Helping Your Child With ADHD Succeed at Home


Life Management Skills for Adult ADHD

It can be difficult for adults with ADHD to juggle family, work, relationships, and daily responsibilities. Here are some ways to manage.

By Alyson McNutt English

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From forgetting to pay bills on time to missing dates with friends, the consequences of unmanaged attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be life-altering. But how can an adult who struggles with attention-deficit difficulties move past these roadblocks to enjoy a fuller, less anxiety ridden life?

ADHD at the Office

Creating to-do lists with deadlines can be a big help to people with ADHD, says Kirk Martin, executive director of Celebrate!ADHD, an organization that coaches schools, families, and companies on ways to productively address the social and behavioral differences in those with ADD and ADHD.

And while it may seem counterintuitive, Martin says controlled external "distractions" can actually help those with adult ADHD concentrate better. "The brain of an adult with ADHD works better when stimulated," he says. "Moving, chewing, listening to music, and other activities can help the brain focus and work smarter."

People with adult ADHD are messy by nature, says Ari Tuckman, PsyD, a clinical psychologist and ADHD specialist in West Chester, Pennsylvania. This not only looks bad but also can affect productivity. "Create a system you can stick with that will help you reduce clutter so you can find things when you need them," he says.

ADHD at Home

People with adult ADHD tend to crave new experiences and often act impulsively, according to Lara Honos-Webb, PhD, a clinical psychologist in San Francisco and author of The Gift of Adult ADD. Dr. Honos-Webb says it's important for those with adult ADHD to explain their behavior to their partners and for couples to work together.

For example, if you have ADHD and tend to tune out when your partner is talking, Honos-Webb suggests focusing on the conversation for five minutes, then verbally summarizing what you heard your partner say. "This strategy can really help a partner because you'reshowingthem you've listened," she says.

ADHD and Coaching

To become more productive at home and at work, people with adult ADHD can work with an ADHD coach to learn organizational skills and time-management strategies, says Dr. Tuckman. "Someone with adult ADHD will say, 'I'm going to spend two hours working on this report,' but then the phone rings and some e-mails come in and a half hour goes by," Tuckman says. "A coach can help you implement strategies to manage your ADHD."

Other ADHD Coping Strategies

While some people believe that chemicals in food coloring or preservatives can make ADHD worse, no studies substantiate the claim. But diet can affect mood and behavior, Tuckman says. "People feel better when they eat a healthy diet," he says. "And you should avoid foods you have a negative reaction to."

Exercise can also be helpful. Olympian Michael Phelps and his mother, Debbie, have been open about his ADHD and how swimming helped him manage his condition. Studies show that, in children at least, exercise can help control the symptoms of ADHD.

Living With ADHD

For those who've gone untreated their whole lives, beginning to understand that they can make adjustments and changes to improve their quality of life is a huge step.

"Surround yourself with people who will hold you accountable, keep you focused, and offer encouragement," Martin says. "Being open and honest, establishing clear boundaries and routines, and working with a team — therapist, coach, mentor — are all helpful."

Medication is the first step in treating adult ADHD but not the only one; the condition requires a whole-life approach, says Tuckman.





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Life Management Skills for Adult ADHD
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Date: 04.12.2018, 09:31 / Views: 44233