In the past several weeks I've received inquiries from two high school students preparing reports on the theme ofprocrastination
. And even though you might have heard me suggest atADHD workshops
that "there's no such thing as procrastination
," I actually do think that making the right choice (moment by moment by moment....) about exactly how we use our time is a really big deal. Here are the students' really good questions, along with my responses.
Q: Do you think that procrastination is truly an issue and that it may be
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I was doing some research last week for a talk I gave at theannual conference
of the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts (thanks to the survivors, family members, and clinicians who attended!). Thought I'd share with you something I found regarding efficacy of stimulant medications with brain injury survivors.
While use of these agents is a fairly common practice with both adult and pediatric TBI patients, these "ADHD medications" have not been FDA approved for this use, and clinical implementation relies heavily on anecdotal data.
Q: Hi Doc.
I have been treated for ADHD for over 15 years through medication,
but I've never sought behavioral treatment. And I'm getting to the point where
personal projects and lifelong dreams are being undermined by anxiety-fueled
porn binges and video games which is ironic, because I want to become a video
game designer and a trailblazer in the field. I know I have the skills to make my
dream a reality, but I suck at the discipline. It was easier when in high-school,
because the immediate threat of my dad chewing me out always kept me motivated.
If you are asking a student with
ADHD to do a task which is harder than a three out of ten on a ten-point scale
(where one is “super easy
” and ten is “the most difficult thing in the world
you might be asking too much. Many
times, our frustrations with students or family with executive challenges are related directly to our expectations that
they complete a task which is simply harder than a three on a ten-point scale.
Don't Expect Me To Do What's Typical If I'm Not "Typical"
"Trust us," she said
I had this little epiphany at a workshop in late 2012. An attendee said "David can you move on more quickly to some practical tips and strategies?" I replied that I would - but first I wanted to provide some context, some framework for making sense of when and how to use these strategies.
And she said,"David, just trust us. Trust our clinical skills and training and our ability to make good choices about implementing strategies.
- this one (for clinicians) andthis one (for clinicians and parents) by Dr Barkley
- "Smart but Scattered" is another of my go-to books for parents of kids with executive dysfunction
- Dr Lynne Kenney's "Family Coach Method" presents her whole-family approach to supporting and coaching kids to success, and I love her emphasis on relating family rules to familes' values and goals and hopes for developing children.
Q: It has been repeatedly pointed
out to me that I have problems with time management. In my mind, I'm doing everything right, using phone apps as a planner and recording as much as possible, taking meds. How does it feel for people without ADHD? What does it feel like to
have that part of the executive functioning system that allows people to arrive
on time or to estimate how much time a task takes?
A; Sorry to hear
about how you’ve been struggling. Y'know, time is not a real
thing that actually exists.
Amber, who connected with me onLinkedIn
, is thinking of a career in neuropsychology and had a few questions for me. I'm sharing my responses to her questions here.
Q: What education/training is involved to become a Neuropsychologist?
neuropsychologist's training includes academic and supervised clinical
placement experiences in graduate school, and then continues with a predoctoral
internship focused on evaluation and treatment of brain-behavior disorders.
A postdoctoral fellowship (1-2 years) or residency in neuropsychology
provides the additional supervised clinical experience, brain labs, and
directed reading necessary for independent practice.
It’s the first day of February and a good time to consider
another“tip that just might change your life”!
Many of my adolescent and adult clients with ADHD
will at some point seek the services of an ADHD coach. A coach is a professional trained in
strategies for blasting through obstacles at work or school. A coach can be a great addition to my
clients’ support system. But these
services aren’t cheap, and they’re not covered by health insurance.
So what are other ways of getting the support
you need now?
Q: How common is daydreaming with ADHD?The reason I ask is that I've heard that daydreaming is more common with Asperger's Syndrome than with ADHD. With ADHD the problem is more distractibility than with daydreaming. So -- if a person demonstrates excessive daydreaming would we say it's more consistent with Asperger's than ADHD?
A: You've described a difficult clinical distinction, but this might help:
There exists the emerging concept of Sluggish Cognitive Tempo, which has at points gone by the awkward moniker "pathological mind wandering.
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