Useful information about ADHD

20 Things To Remember When You Love Someone with ADHD

It’s a fact; a person with ADD is hard to love. You never know what to say. It’s like walking through a minefield. You tiptoe around; unsure which step (or word) will be the one that sets off an explosion of emotion. It’s something you try to avoid.


People who have ADD/ADHD are suffering. Life is more difficult for them than the average person. Everything is intense and magnified. Their brilliant minds are constantly in gear creating, designing, thinking and never resting. Imagine what it would feel like to have a merry-go-round in your mind that never stops spinning.


From emotional outbursts to polar opposite extremes; ADD presents several behaviors that can be harmful to relationships. ADD is a mysterious condition of opposites and extremes. For instance, when it comes to concentration, people with ADD cannot concentrate when they are emotional or when their thoughts are distracted. However, when they are interested in a specific topic, they zone in so deep that it’s hard to pull them out of that zone. Starting a project is a challenge; but stopping it is an even bigger challenge.


True love is unconditional, but ADD presents situations that test your limits of love. Whether it’s your child, boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse or soon-to-be spouse, ADD tests every relationship. The best way to bring peace into both your lives is to learn a new mindset to deal with the emotional roller-coaster that ADD brings all-day-every-day.


Understanding what a person with ADD feels like will help you become more patient, tolerant, compassionate, and loving. Your relationships will become more enjoyable and peaceful. This is what goes on in the mind of a person with ADD/ADHD:


1. They have an active mind
The ADD brain doesn’t stop. There’s no on/off switch. There are no brakes that bring it to a halt. It is a burden that one must learn to manage.


2. They listen but don’t absorb what is being said
A person with ADD will look at you, hear your words, watch your lips move, but after the first five words their mind is on a journey. They can still hear you speak, but their thoughts are in outer space. They are thinking about how your lips are moving or how your hair is out of place.


3. They have difficulty staying on task
Instead of keeping the focus on what’s in front of them, people with ADD are staring at the colors in the painting on the wall. Like walking through a labyrinth, they start moving in one direction, but keep changing directions to find the way out.


4. They become anxious easily
As deep thinkers, they are sensitive to whatever is going on around them. Being in a noisy restaurant can sound like you are standing in the front row at a Metallica concert. A depressing news snippet can set them into end-of-the-world mode.


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5. They can’t concentrate when they are emotional
If there is something worrisome going on, or if they are upset, a person with ADD cannot think of anything else. This makes concentration on work, conversation, and social situations almost impossible.


6. They concentrate too intensely
When the doors of their mind open, the person with ADD dives in like a scuba diver jumping into the deep ocean.


7. They have difficulty stopping a task when they are in the zone
And under the deep ocean is where they stay for hours. Even when their oxygen is running low, if they are enjoying the view, they won’t come up for air until they’re almost out of oxygen.


8. They are unable to regulate their emotions
For a person with ADD, their emotions are flying wild, out of proportion and cannot be contained. The tangled wires in their brilliant brains make thought and feelings difficult to process. They need extra time to get their systems up and running properly.


9. They have verbal outbursts
Their intense emotions are hard to regulate. Since they impulsively say whatever they think, they often say things they later regret. It’s almost impossible for them to edit their words before they release them.


10. They have social anxiety
Feeling uncomfortable knowing that they are different, people with ADD are often uncomfortable in social situations. They are afraid they will say something foolish or react inappropriately. Holding back feels safer.


11. They are deeply intuitive
For people with ADD, the surface is an invisible exterior that they penetrate. They see beyond it. This is the most enjoyable aspect of ADD. This inspirational trait is what makes creative geniuses. Inventors, artists, musicians, and writers thrive in this zone.


12. They think out of the box
Another wonderful aspect of ADD is that because they think differently, their abstract minds see solutions to problems that the concrete thinker cannot see.


13. They are impatient and fidgety
Annoyed easily, wanting things to happen immediately, and constantly playing with their phones, twirling their hair, or bouncing their leg up and down; a person with ADD needs constant motion. It’s a calming Zen activity for them.


14. They are physically sensitive
Pencils feel heavy in their hand. Fibers in fabric that most people wouldn’t feel can be itchy. Beds are bumpy. Food has textures you can’t imagine. Like The Princess and the Pea, they can feel a pea under twenty mattresses.


15. They are disorganized
Piles are their favorite method of organizing. Once a task is complete, papers related to it are placed in a pile, where they stay until the piles grow too high. That’s when the person with ADD becomes overwhelmed, frustrated, and cleans up. People with ADD have to be careful to not become hoarders. It’s hard for a person with ADD to keep things in order because their brain doesn’t function in an orderly manner.


16. They need space to pace
When talking on the phone or having a conversation, people with ADD think better when they are in motion. Movement is calming and brings clarity to their thoughts.

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17. They avoid tasks
Making decisions or completing tasks on time is a struggle. Not because they are lazy or irresponsible, but because their minds are full of options and possibilities. Choosing one can be problematic. It’s easy to avoid making decisions because they are over-thinkers. They obsess and dwell in the depths of their own minds.


18. They can’t remember simple tasks
Another paradoxical trait of ADD is memory. People with ADD can’t remember to pick up their clothes at the cleaners, milk at the grocery store, or appointments. On the other hand; they remember every comment, quote, and phone number they heard during the day. No matter how many post-its or calendar reminders they set; their distracted mind is always elsewhere. Visible items are easier to remember. That’s why they have fifteen windows open on their desktop.


19. They have many tasks going on at the same time
Due to the constant activity in their mind, once a task is finished, they are ready to move on to the next task without closing up the prior task. The more going on at once, the better. Multi-tasking is one of their favorite activites.


20. They are passionate about everything they do
The emotions, thoughts, words, and touch of a person with ADD is powerful. Everything is magnified. This is a blessing when channeled properly. When a person with ADD does something, they do it with their heart and soul. They give it all they’ve got. They are intense, perceptive, and deep. This quality is what makes the person with ADD so lovable.

June Silny



The CPR’s of Parenting

When I meet with a new family for the first time, I often talk about the CPR’s of Parenting.


1) Consistency –If I’m consistent, my child knows I am “unchanging” over a period of time.


2) Predictability –If I’m predictable, my child knows what to expect.


3) Reliability – If I’m reliable, my child knows that if I say something I’m going to follow through with it.


Dr. Scott Koenig, Psy.D.

45 Lessons of Life

Sometimes you come across a quote or inspirational message that resonates with you in such a way that can feel life changing. When you find 45, that is really something else. Regina Brett is a columnist for The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio. Regina said, “To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written.”


1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.


2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.


3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.


4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.


5. Pay off your credit cards every month.


6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.


7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.


8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.


9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.


10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.


11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.


12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.


13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.


14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.


15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.


16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.


17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.


18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.


19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood… But the second one is up to you and no one else.


20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.


21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.


22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.


23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.


24. The most important sex organ is the brain.


25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.


26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’


27. Always choose life.


28. Forgive everyone everything.


29. What other people think of you is none of your business.


30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.


31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.


32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.


33. Believe in miracles.


34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.


35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.


36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.


37. Your children get only one childhood.


38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.


39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.


40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.


41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.


42. The best is yet to come.


43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.


44. Yield.


45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.

Collaborative Parenting

Some of the tension and arguing of enforcing rules (at home) can be reduced by allowing your children to contribute in the process of setting rules and assigning consequences before the rules are broken. We will refer to this arrangement as, “Collaborative Parenting.”


When parents include their children in establishing clear rules about appropriate behavior and consequences, the arguments over rules and punishments are often reduced (and sometimes eliminated). Children can no longer say that consequences are unfair, and parents can now calmly refer to the pre-arranged agreement instead of having to scramble to find an appropriate punishment.


Please keep in kind that allowing your children to have input regarding rules and consequences may not dissuade them from breaking them sometimes, but it can help parents to avoid a power struggle dynamic that exists in many families. Parents who expect that their child will sometimes act out inappropriately, but prepare for it by involving their children in the formulation of rules and consequences, will improve family communication and give their children a powerful sense of responsibility and autonomy.


Dr. Scott Koenig, Psy.D.

The Importance of Self-Soothing

Regardless of your personal sleeping philosophy or method, one of the important early gifts you can give your child is the ability to Self-Soothe.


• Self-soothe: Often refereed to as Emotional Self-Regulation, is the practice of being able to properly regulate one’s emotions.


• Research suggests that infants and toddlers who develop healthy self-soothing strategies are at lower risk for anxiety (and other mood disorders), behavioral problems, developing poor coping skills, and co-dependency/separation anxiety.


Dr. Scott Koenig, Psy.D.

The Station

This poem by Robert J. Hastings is one of my favorites. It speaks to the topic of mindlessness and learning how to “stay in the moment,” something most of us struggle with.



By Robert J. Hastings


TUCKED AWAY in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision.  We see ourselves on a long, long trip that almost spans the continent.  We’re traveling by passenger train, and out the windows we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides, of city skylines and village halls, of biting winter and blazing summer and cavorting spring and docile fall.


But uppermost in our minds is the final destination.  On a certain day at a certain hour we will pull into the station.  There will be bands playing and flags waving.  And once we get there so many wonderful dreams will come true.  So many wishes will be fulfilled and so many pieces of our lives finally will be neatly fitted together like a completed jigsaw puzzle.  How restlessly we pace the aisles, damming the minutes for loitering, waiting, waiting, waiting for the station. However, sooner or later we must realize there is no one station, no one place to arrive at once and for all.  The true joy of life is the trip.  The station is only a dream.  It constantly outdistances us.


When we get to the station that will be it!” we cry.  Translated it means, “When I’m 18 that will be it!  When I buy a new 450 SL Mercedes Benz, that will be it!  When I put the last kid through college that will be it!  When I have paid off the mortgage that will be it!  When I win a promotion that will be it!  When I reach the age of retirement that will be it!  I shall live happily ever after!”<   Unfortunately, once we get “it,” then “it” disappears.  The station somehow hides itself at the end of an endless track. It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad.  Rather, it is regret over yesterday or fear of tomorrow.  Regret and fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today.   So, stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles.  Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more and cry less.  Life must be lived as we go along.  The station will come soon enough.


Dr. Scott Koenig, Psy.D.

Getting On The Same Page

What do you do when your spouse/partner doesn’t parent the same way you do?
Here are some examples of questions/topics that you and your spouse/partner should be asking one another:


1)  (For infants and/or younger children) What do we believe is the most effective way to get our child to sleep through the night? In addition, if we both agree that our child is going to ________________ (i.e., sleep in our room, sleep in our bed, cry it out in their crib, breast feed…etc.) how long of a period should that be?


2)  What is our parenting style? Are we too strict, too lenient, well balanced? In addition, what are our thoughts on positive reinforcement, punishments, discipline, behavior modification (i.e., reward charts, token economy)…etc?


3) How involved do we want our in-laws (or other family members) to be in helping us raise our child? If they are going to be involved, what boundaries do we need to set?


4) Will we raise our child in a parent-centric or a child-centric home?

A parent-centric home will have more rules, more structure, and more intellectual discussion. Parental preferences will dictate vacation choices, movie-watching habits, and even what’s-for-dinner.

A child-centric home will have fewer rules, less structure, and more discussion of kiddie activities. Kids will have more say in choosing vacation spots, picking movies for the family to watch, and deciding what the family will have for dinner.


5) What type of educational environment do we want our children to be in?


6) What type of human being do we want to see our child become? (I’m not talking about vocations or hobbies, like becoming a doctor or appreciating music. I’m talking about the likes of self-reliance, self-awareness, discernment, moral and ethical views…etc).


7) What are our views on food/feeding?  What types of foods should we feed our child? What foods should we avoid giving our child? How frequently should we feed our child?


8) How much time should we spend with our child? What activities should we do with our child? How much time should we spend away from our child? How often should we have “date nights?” How often should we have romance?


9) Should we generally buy our child what they ask for? Should we have our child do chores? Should we give our child an allowance? Should our child have to “earn” a reward if it’s not a special occasion?


10) If either one of us observes something in our child that we are concerned about (behaviorally, medically or developmentally), what should be the protocol?


And remember……You don’t have to win every argument. Validate. Listen. Love.


Dr. Scott Koenig, Psy.D.