KNOWLEDGE HAS A BEGINNING BUT NO END
Sourcing accurate research and information on ADHD and how it relates to your unique experience is essential to stepping into the life you desire.
CHADD.org: Believes in improving the lives of people affected by ADHD by providing resources, conferences, support and advocacy
Additudemag.com: A trusted and reliable source of all things ADHD across all ages
CADDAC.ca: We improve the lives of Canadians affected by ADHD through awareness, education, and advocacy
ADDA- add.org: is the world’s largest organization dedicated exclusively to helping adults with ADHD to live better lives. After 30 years of service, we’ve learned a few things – and we’re here to help you banish the confusion and overwhelm.
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“KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. INFORMATION IS LIBERATING. EDUCATION IS THE PREMISE OF PROGRESS, IN EVERY SOCIETY, IN EVERY FAMILY.”
What is ADHD?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is marked by an ongoing pattern of inattention and or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development.
There are three main types of ADHD:
Predominantly inattentive presentation.
Predominantly hyperactive/impulsive presentation.
A diagnosis is based on the presence of persistent symptoms that have occurred over a period of time and are noticeable over the past six months. While ADHD can be diagnosed at any age, this disorder begins in childhood. When considering the diagnosis, the symptoms must be present before the individual is 12 years old and must have caused difficulties in more than one setting. For example, the symptoms can not only occur at home.
Weaknesses and ADHD
Weaknesses are Strengths in the Wrong Environment…
Too often, people with ADHD spend a lot of emphases and focus on their weaknesses. Many people with ADHD can easily list their weaknesses or shortcomings but have no idea what their strengths are. Studies show that improving your weaknesses is less effective than spending the time to develop and hone one’s strengths.
“If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?… As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.”
Many things impact someone’s experience with ADHD. A person’s strengths, talents, interests, and values contribute to the symptoms, behaviour and uniqueness of ADHD.
There are many advantages to discovering your untapped strengths. You will benefit from increased happiness, balance, lowered stress, more energy, confidence, empowerment and finding purpose in life.
Start leveraging you’re God-given strengths, talents, gifts and abilities to build confidence and resilience that will help you overcome obstacles and barriers that can hold you back from enjoying the life you were created to live.
“The Executive Functions are specific types of self-regulation or self- directed actions that people use to manage themselves effectively in order to sustain their actions and problem-solving towards goals and the future.”
-Dr. Russel Barkley
What is Executive Functioning?
Essentially, our executive function is a set of cognitive skills that help us manage ourselves and resources to achieve a goal or accomplish a task. They don’t all develop simultaneously but in a sequence, one skill building atop the next. All executive functions interact with each other, and impact how individuals regulate their behaviour to create positive future outcomes. The executive functions start to develop around age two and fully develop by age 30. People with ADHD often are 30 to 40 percent behind in development, which makes them more likely to act motivated by short-term rather than longer-term goals.
Executive functions allow us to plan, organize, make decisions, pay attention and regulate behaviour. When different parts or skills of our executive function are missing, not working optimally, or working randomly, it creates chaos, inconsistency and confusion. For those of us with ADHD, it can show up as a lack of time awareness, impulsivity, hyperactivity, difficulty organizing, distractibility, procrastination, overwhelm, and forgetfulness.
Most people diagnosed with ADHD report significant difficulties in at least one or more aspects of these 8 areas, impulsive control, emotional control, flexible thinking, working memory, self-monitoring, planning and prioritization, task initiation or organization.
Executive functions are skills that everyone uses to organize and act on information. If you have executive functions challenges you may struggle with some of these areas:
Impulse Control– this helps you think before you act. If you have weak impulse control, you might blurt out answers and engage in risky behavior.
Emotional Control– enables you to keep feelings in check. If you have weak emotional control, it may seem to others like you overreact, have trouble with criticism, and moving on when something goes wrong.
Flexible Thinking– allows you to adjust to the unexpected. If you have rigid thinking, it can be hard to go with the flow. It is easy to get frustrated if asked to change or think of something differently.
Working Memory– helps you keep essential information in mind. If you have a weak working memory, you might have trouble remembering directions, or a short list of items, even if you have taken notes and repeated them several times.
Self-Monitoring– allows you to know how well you are doing. If you have weak self-monitoring skills, you may be surprised to learn how poorly or well you are doing.
Planning and Prioritization– helps you set a goal and make a plan to meet it. With weak planning and prioritizing skills, you may not know which part of a project is most important.
Task Initiation– helps you take action and get started. With weak initiation skills, you may freeze up and have no idea where to begin a task.
Organization– lets you keep track of things physically and mentally. If you have weak organization skills, you can lose your train of thought and other important physical items.
ADHD Life Coaching & Executive Functioning
ADHD Life Coaching is unlike any other profession. We believe that the client and coach are equal partners. Coaches partner with clients, believing that each person is naturally creative, resourceful and whole. We believe that people can solve their own problems. Coaches never take freedom of choice away by telling a client what to do because free will is a gift from God.
An ADHD Life Coach provides our clients with a safe, non-judgmental space to unlock their often-buried talents and realize their full potential. As we trust and tap into the client’s own knowledge, it helps the client develop systems, procedures, habits, and processes that minimize the executive function challenges while maximizing their strengths and talents, such as creativity and thinking outside the box.
ADHD Life Coaches work with clients to increase their self-awareness, barriers, goals, talents, strengths, and values. Often these areas will include issues or symptoms related to their ADHD or other areas of their life. Increasing their awareness allows clients to move forward in their lives with clarity, get closer to their goals, and gain a deeper understanding of themselves. This structure and process allow for brainstorming, developing and executing customized strategies and systems, and will support managing the executive dysfunction of those with ADHD.
There are commonly biological ways we need to take care of ourselves. An ADHD Life Coach can work with you to create bedtime routines, exercise schedules, diet, vitamins and education about medication.