For me, the Take-Home tip from this podcast – was the “Do Not Disturb” on your phone. Usually when writing, I leave my phone downstairs but today I didn’t by mistake – and I was tempted by the constant boings of push-notifications to read emails half way through. Damn, I then lost my thread.
Her idea to turn on the Do Not Disturb mode on the I-phone (if you swipe up from the bottom as if using the Torch, it is a “crescent moon” shape on the tool bar) is genius.
There’s a great blog by an American author called Tess Messer, a mother of an adopted ADHD-er with Combined Hyperactive and Inattentive, and an ADHD biological son who is Primarily Inattentive. She herself had it as a child and writes eloquently, in an All-American fashion about what it is like to sit in 5th Grade with it here on her blog
“I wanted to give you a sense of how a child with Primarily Inattentive ADHD might appear at school.
Do you see that kid in the corner of the room. She is in 5th grade and is lost in her own thoughts. She knows better than to look out the window. She is staring straight ahead. She has not heard a word the teacher has said. She is thinking about why her teenage cousin is so obsessed with that boy with the funny hair.
Now everyone has reached for their math books. Now all the math books are on the desks. Now everyone is writing. Where is my math book? What page are they on? Where is my pencil? She wonders. She finally finds her book and her pencil and manages to sneak a look at the desk in front of her to find the correct page but the lesson is over. The teacher is talking about homework. She is confused and way behind.
This looks very worthy and important stuff about diet. But I’d rather walk more, and eat a home-made quiche then stare at the rain and pick at a salad. So exercise and more cake rules over nutrient dense in this part of the country. But medication also plays havoc with suppressing appetite during the day, so the propensity to binge is exacerbated. Any thoughts?
Anyway, thanks Additude mag for the info, and if you haven’t signed up to their email magazine, and you have an ADHDer in the family. I recommend them. It’s all free…
We know that Meditation is good for ADHD, and for calming the system of other neuro-atypicals. The expert and psychiatrist Dr Ned Hallowell recommends it as one of the 8 interventions to help, along with sleep and exercise, but it seems that more and more international studies are now confirming just how impactful it can be.
This New York Times piece goes into some detail about how it is helpful for children at school, in regulating emotions and helping to reboot them – including those with other additional needs such as Bi-polar disorder.
However, persuading an ADHD child off the stimulating activities, such as video games, and into a meditation chair is going to be quite the challenge. Somehow that needs to be overcome with a group, so it is great news that some schools are cottoning on to the benefits. I still haven’t managed it with my son.
For my own part, the end of the Yoga session when Shivasna (lying on your back and meditating for a few minutes) is probably my most favourite part of the week. It takes the effort of the full hour and a half class to make it so potent, and I can’t seem to recreate it at home.
So let’s hope that the group encouragement of meditation and mindfulness practice is soon to be on the school curriculum, as it already is for some schools in the UK – like St James’s schools.
This is a brave and clear explanation of the physical effects of anxiety, often termed as a “co-morbidity”, something that accompanies spectrum disorders such as Autism and ADHD. I think it comes about because of deeply ingrained sense of being different from a young age – and how that affects your ability to navigate the world effectively. I used to have dreams of having a baby that I would leave places in a lift, Very ADHD, and Anna’s lack of understanding (see below) from her mother pre-diagnosis suggests a similar awareness of being at odds with the world. This is a great blog, and it is good that she has found something that helps her keep her issues at bay.
For all that scattered attention, mindwandering, forgetfulness and disorganization there is an even more confusing aspect to ADHD that is often cited as evidence for why the person can’t have it at all. Hyperfocus, the ability to lose time and be completely absorbed by some interesting occupation, and interesting is the crucial word here, seems to suggest that the adhder can pay attention when it suits them.
Hats off to Dr Hallowell for his new podcasts on a brand new website that launches tomorrow. I listened to the one on music and focus, where the author and neuroscientist interviewed spoke for five minutes about music and focus. It appears that the ADHDer and psychiatrist Dr Hallowell is unusual because he likes to write and listen to music. Most perform worse when listening to music because it stimulates the mind-wandering mode.
I liked the idea that listening to music helped our “mind-wandering mode”, and how this mode is valued to help us solve problems that the “executive function” aspect, ‘ the planning aspect, wasn’t able to do. This is perhaps the “Thinking Outside the Box” tag that is often given to ADHDers, who are celebrated for being able to make brave and bold decisions that more cautious planners might shy away for.
You can guarantee that these podcasts will attempt to focus on the positive wherever possible, something that was perfectly illustrated by the giant laugh that he leaves us with.