Saturday, December 1, 2012

ADHD? Discover Those Strengths & Build on Them!

If you are the parent of a child or teen with ADD, you may often fret over the challenges your child faces at school and at home with the family, concerned about the child's future. If you are an educator in a classroom having one or more students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, you may find that you spend considerably more time thinking about how to address the negative behaviors associated with the ADHD than you do about how to teach these students. If you are an adult challenged with ADHD, you may find yourself spending a great deal of time thinking about your daily struggles and weaknesses. These are not unusual situations; however, there is a way to “turn the boat around” in thought and action for children or adults with some form of ADHD.

It is almost always easier to think about the “negative side” of a situation. It takes little energy and no productive thinking to “give in” mentally to “The Dark Side” when thinking about a situation, rarely if ever arriving at a good solution. This can certainly be true when we talk about ADHD. However, you might remember an old song with the lyrics:

“Accentuate the positive. Eee-lim-inate the negative. Latch on to the affirmative. Don’t mess with Mr. In-Between.”

Well, that’s certainly the advice we have to share with you here.

You might find it a little difficult to do, but consider your child, your students or yourself challenged with ADHD as persons with strengths in addition to the struggles associated with attention deficits. It is even a good idea to make a list of the strengths of each individual, and that may mean YOU. Yes, you DO have strengths. These may be special talents or gifts such as a great sense of humor, the ability to talk or interact well with others or special artistic skills. There are other talents less tangible but very valuable that are gifts as well: honesty and integrity, the ability to be a team player or to be compassionate and generous when others are hurting.

Whatever those gifts are, they are a person’s strengths. When that person is challenged with ADHD, acknowledge those strengths, gifts and talents and celebrate them. Then focus and build on them, diminishing the weaknesses associated with the ADHD. That is not to say that those symptoms are to be ignored or forgotten. No, it means that the emphasis of thinking is on what is positive.

Get involved with or provide activities that will capitalize on those strengths. Allow yourself or the person with ADHD to “shine” as a result of using those special gifts in a carefully chosen activity or exercise. You will find that your child, your students or you will experience increased self-esteem, which in turn will positively impact learning, achievement and daily life experiences. In other words, ACCENTuate the POSITIVE---with ADHD!

Positively GOOD Resources and Apps for ADHD (to Help Build on Strengths)

Resources for Supporting Students with ADHD---List of supportive links to access resources and support for adults challenged with ADHD as well as parents and teachers of children with ADHD

Adult ADHD: 50 Tips of Management---Tips for adults with ADHD that help instill hope and re-establish a positive attitude (includes insight and education as well as self-management strategies)
by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D. and John J. Ratey, M.D.

Parents of Children with ADHD---Some positive tips for parenting an ADD or ADHD child (includes a planner designed by a mother for her son with ADHD)

ADD/ADHD Resources for Teachers---From assessment accommodations and FAQs, these articles and resources will support and help teachers work with the special nature of students with ADD/ADHD.

Apps for Teens and Adults with ADHD---Supportive apps for improving organizational skills, weight loss and self-esteem among others are available via this link (FREE and low-cost apps)

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For more information: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

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