From Scattered to Successful

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I recently finished writing a book with Stephen Arterburn: Understanding and Loving a Person With ADD. It will be out this fall. I’m excited about the book because it comes out of years of coaching people with ADD on moving from scattered to successful. Recently, I did a three session class for parents of children with ADD. It was fun, lively (half of the parents had ADD themselves), and generated hope and compassion. “I thought I was just a bad parent. Then I came to this class and discovered that I wasn’t alone with my challenges. I learned strategies on how to parent my ADD child, but also how to advocate for him. I also made friends with other parents. Now I don’t feel so alone,” one dad told me.

Here are some of the insights I shared with the class:

Ten Facts About ADD

  1. Many people with ADD are never hyperactive.
  2. Less than half of those with ADD are in some form of treatment.
  3. ADD can actually be an asset, especially when it is identified early and treated. People with ADD typically have high energy, spunk, creativity, resilience, persistence, an ability to hyper-focus; they are passionate, work well under pressure, can multi-task, frequently engage in non-linear thinking, and are our champion athletes, actors and CEOs.
  4. Higher intelligence typically delays the diagnosis of ADD. Bright students with ADD can partially tune into the teacher and still perform well enough, until they get to a grade or subject that requires their full focus and sustained concentration.
  5. ADD is the most common educational and behavioral challenge with school age children. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 13.2 percent of the boys at one time have been diagnosed and 5.6 percent of girls. The New York Times recently reported that 20 percent of teenage boys are diagnosed with ADD, and half of them are medicated.
  6. Many children, teens and adults don’t know they have ADD, and have never had a professional diagnosis.
  7. ADD is more prevalent among foster and adopted children than among the general population.
  8. ADD impacts all ethnic groups, socioeconomic strata, and degrees of intelligence, educational levels and geographies.
  9. About one-third of the ADD population outgrows it; leaving two-thirds have it throughout adulthood.
  10. Untreated ADD can be troublesome: 52 percent of untreated adults and teens abuse drugs and alcohol. 33 percent never finish high school (In contrast to the national average of 8.7 percent). They are twice as likely to smoke cigarettes and more than four times more likely to be arrested. Three out of four have interpersonal problems due to their untreated ADD: more speeding tickets, higher percentage of motor vehicle accidents or driving without a valid license. They are more likely to be injured up to five times more than those without ADD.

Parents of ADD children divorce three times more than the general population and people with ADD are more likely to divorce. This was the case in our class. Having a child with ADD and not having the support, information, training and resources on how to deal with the extra challenges can take it’s toll on the marriage. We are hoping to save marriages, make parents more effective and help children, teens and adults with ADD feel more capable and more understood.

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ADD doesn’t have to be a negative label or experience – it’s simply a different way to think.

ADD traits don’t have to be changed or suppressed. ADD is a natural part of our human condition. Not only is it in the normal range but; as in the case of some very creative entrepreneurs, it helped people excel beyond normal to excellent ranges of achievement at work. ADD is not a problem to be fixed, but a unique way of thinking that needs to be understood, loved and leveraged for it’s strengths.

Please subscribe to my blog to receive notice when I post a blog on ADD. I’ll be posting on symptoms of ADD, secondary symptoms of ADD, the seven kinds of ADD, and fourteen treatments for ADD. I offer ADD coaching for children, teens and adults that will help you focus, be calmer, be organized, be less frustrated, enjoy relationships more and enhance productivity. My coaching is evidenced-based, positive and solution-oriented. Contact me for more info.