Most of these translations are from Cindy Goldrich's book "8 Keys to Parenting Children with ADHD". While it is important to understand ADHD challenges to help the children learn how to remain focused, organised and self-aware, it is also important to see their challenges from another viewpoint. All children are unique, but their uniqueness may present as challenges when put in a pool of normality. When you let them thrive in their own unique way, you may get amazing results. Some unusual and unique people who helped changed the world for the better with their crazy, creative ideas include Walt Disney, Albert Einstein and Richard Branson, just to name a few. Remember, ADHD people are now being called the creative genius.
•Questions Authority – Independent Thinker
•Lazy – Laid Back, Relaxed
•Argumentative – Persuasive
•Manipulative – Delegates Well
•Bossy – Signs of Leadership
•Distractible – Curious
•Poor Sense of Time – Lives in the Moment
•Difficulty Transitioning – Can Focus Intensely
•Hyperactive – Full of energy
•Strong-willed – Tenacious, Persistent
•Daydreamer – Creative, Imaginative
•Daredevil – Risk Taker, Adventurous
•Aggressive – Assertive
•Slow Processor – Deep Thinker
•Confusion - Intellectual Curiosity
There has been a lot of discussion over the years about misdiagnosing people who are thought to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) but may in fact be gifted.
People who are gifted tend to misbehave if they are bored and not challenged, have a lot of energy, usually need less sleep (resembling hyperactivity), argue with authority figures because they have a need to question everything, lose their ability to attend because their mind is full of new ideas and overloaded with thoughts which causes them to lose focus (resembling inattention) and act without a lot of thought, which can result in risky behaviour (resembling impulsivity).
It is also known that both the ADHD and the gifted can experience underachievement and and be inept socially. Moreover, both the ADHD and gifted people can experience overexcitabilities in any of the psychomotor, sensual, intellectual, imaginational and emotional domains. This means that they can be intense in any of these areas.
It is also important to realise that the person may have both ADHD and giftedness. This means that the person is known to be twice exceptional because he or she has two types of special needs (one being from ADHD symptoms and the other from the symptoms of giftedness).
It is therefore important for the parent or the person receiving the diagnosis to be an informed client so he or she is ready to question the outcome as some clinicians may not be fully aware of the possibility of misdiagnosis or specialised in assessing or treating people with ADHD or the gifted, which in turn will result in the wrong type of treatment and worst of all given medication when there is no reason for it.
Diagnosis in an adult should take at least three hours as suggested by Dr Kevin Murphy from the Adult ADHD Clinic U. in Massachusetts Medical Centre. The diagnosis will include a computerised test, a clinical interview with the client, an interview with the client's parents (if still alive) and their spouse or other close person to the adult. Children's diagnosis will also include interviews and assessments from the teacher and parent as well as from the child. It has been known that some doctors used to test if the child had ADHD by seeing if they reacted differently to the drug Ritalin. If the child did improve then they were to be considered to have the diagnosis of ADHD, however, it was later found that any non-ADHD person will have some change in attention and behaviour with Ritalin. To put this in another way, be an informed client to ensure that you are receiving the correct diagnosis, as the diagnosis will inform the type of treatment and support you will receive.
Lastly, the correct diagnosis will also inform how you see yourself - with a disorder or a gift. But should ADHD really be considered a disorder? For example if ADHD symptoms are similar to giftedness then why should one be considered a disorder and the other a gift? There are many people who have ADHD already challenging the notion that it should be not considered a disorder, but symptoms that society needs to adapt to. With the right strategies and support, the person with ADHD and the person with giftedness will both thrive.
D. Niall Hartnett , Jason M. Nelson & Anne N. Rinn (2004) Gifted or ADHD? The possibilities of misdiagnosis, Roeper Review, 26:2, 73-76, DOI: 10.1080/02783190409554245
Edwards, K. (2009). Misdignosis, the recent trend in thinking about gifted children with ADHD. APEX, 15(4), 29-44. Retrieved online from http://www.giftedchildren.or.nz/apex.
Yesterday I was listing to a segment on RN radio about super recognisers. Super recognisers are people who have the ability to remember a face after years of meeting the person. They are now used in law enforcement agencies to recognise faces of people caught doing criminal activity on CCTV footage. CCTV footage can be blurry and difficult to decipher, but not for a super recogniser. A super recogniser will firstly identify the face, then remember who it belongs to, to identify the person. To confirm if the first step is accurate, the information will then go to another super recogniser who will again identify the face on the CCTV footage. The information will then be used as a lead for police officers to investigate.
Super recognisers were identified after Harvard University called for people who had prosopagnosia (people who have difficulty recognising familiar faces), however received inquiries about people who had an unusual ability to remember a face after years of meeting the person. They are now being used in identifying people in CCTV footage that would otherwise be difficult to recognise.
People who have prosopagnosia will identify a person from their clothes, as apposed to the face. For example, a person who has prosopagnosia can know a person well, but if that person is wearing the same clothing (i.e., same suit) as another person next to her friend or family she knows well, the person with prosopagnosia will have difficulty knowing which is her friend or family because she won't be able to discern from their faces.
Here is the article and audio from RN http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/rnafternoons/super-recogniser/6744260
Here is a link to a test you can do to find out if you are a super recogniser, have prosopagnosia or normal when recognising faces
Ryan Holiday wrote a book called “The Obstacle is the Way” to teach about using obstacles as a way to drive you forward rather than hold you back. Some obstacles that can be understood as catastrophes may be normal and only as bad as we think it to be. It is important to prepare for the worst, learn how to remain resilient and learn persistence. Another strategy is to think about what you can learn from the obstacle such as your inner strength and other ideas you can gain from the situation. Ryan Holiday states that learning from the experience is power over the situation and will is your internal power. “True will is quiet humility, resilience, and flexibility; the other kind of will is weakness disguised by bluster and ambition. See which lasts longer under the hardest of obstacles” by Ryan Holiday.
Below is a fact sheet from the Royal Children's Hospital that will give you tips and strategies to help your child cope with ADHD symptoms.
How ADHD presents is not alike for everyone. This is why it may be so difficult to accept as a disorder or why some people may think of the disorder as a myth. Personally, I don't think this debate is necessary, but what is important is to help people who are inattentive and/or hyperactive cope better in life and to help them achieve whatever it is they want out of life, preferably without the need for drugs. It is more important to let them be who they need to be while helping them function better rather than to shut them down with drugs.
Example of differences:
Niggs (2006) says that people with ADHD are "anxious, whereas others are fearless; some have motor coordination problems, while others are good athletes; some are hostile, whereas others are friendly; some have high IQs and find schoolwork easy to understand, while others have learning disabilities or below-average language skills. Likewise, some have average psychological test scores on neuropsychological examination, but others have multiple impairments".
Nigg, J. T. (2006). What Causes ADHD? Understanding What Goes Wrong and Why. London: The Guildford Press, p. 175.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) consists of two subtypes being either inattention and hyperactivity-impusivity. A person with ADHD can have either one subtype or both.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th edition), ADHD symptoms include a persistent pattern of six or more symptoms of inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development of children 12 years of age or younger or five symptoms for individuals aged 17 years and older. The symptoms will interfere with social, educational and/or work situations and occur in more than one setting such as school and home. Lastly the symptoms will be either mild, moderate or severe.
Inattention include symptoms that are characterised by:
Hyperactivity-impulsivity include symptoms that are characterised by:
It is important to consider that the above symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity is not a manifestation of oppositional behaviour, defiance, hostility, or failure to understand tasks or instructions.
Source: American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, (5th ed.), Text Revision. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
Self-determination theory posits that being aware of yourself will help you remain self motivated without the need for external rewards. Self-awareness is one of the 11 components related to self-determination theory that address intrinsic motivation.
Self awareness means that you understand your strengths and weaknesses. Self awareness builds self respect because you will be willing to work in an environment that support these aspects of yourself and thrive. Therefore find work that you are good at and where you can delegate work you are not so good at to other people. An environment that supports this structure would have to include people that won't mind your own shortcomings but their own too. Finding an environment that supports your strengths and working in a team that will distribute work that you are not so good at to others will help you stay focused and attentive.
A supportive environment and team also means providing a structure that will provide accountability, meaning standing by your decisions and actions. Each decision and task completed will help complete the overall goal and vision of the team. If you fail to focus on your goals, then you fail the team. People who tend to respect their manager, colleagues and the vision of the company are more willing to work hard and cope with the challenges because where they work, who they work with and why they are doing the work provides intrinsic motivation as it is important to the person.
In summary, it is important to work in an environment where you are respected, respect others, understand each others strengths and weaknesses and delegate work you are not so good at to remain stimulated and engaged.
Researchers at the University of Waterloo have found that drawing pictures of information that needs to be remembered is a strong and reliable strategy to enhance memory.
“We pitted drawing against a number of other known encoding strategies, but drawing always came out on top,” said the study’s lead author, Jeffrey Wammes, PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology. “We believe that the benefit arises because drawing helps to create a more cohesive memory trace that better integrates visual, motor and semantic information.”
Read more http://neurosciencenews.com/drawing-memory-recall-4094/
Survey - Survey the page by skimming through through the chapter. While doing this notice headings, pictures, summaries, quotes and anything else that captures your attention
Question - Make what you are reading more interesting by turning headings into questions, dot points into questions and anything else that you notice into questions. You may want to write the questions down for additional learning later.
Read - When you read, try to answer the questions you wrote. Additionally, when you read ask turn sentences or any other part of the text into your own interesting questions and answer them as you go along to improve retention.
Recite - Mentally or orally rehearse any of the information as you read
Review - When you finish the chapter, or page (your preferred strategy), recall the questions you wrote before going along to the next section
wRite - As you read or listen to lectures, write questions and answer them as you go along. You may also wish to only write questions while listening to lectures and answering them at your own time.
SQ4R is about active learning and is another mnemonic strategy.
Source: Burton, L, Westen, D, Kowalski, R. (2009). Psychology (2nd Ed.) Australian and New Zealand Edition. Milton, Queensland: John Wiley & Sons Australia, Limited.
Mnemonics is any device used to help you remember. A device may include rhymes, using pictures, groups of letters to remember a long list of numbers (i.e., abc = 1). The letters can be formed into words to help you remember the numbers easier. An example is a telephone with numbers and letters on a key and telephone numbers with 1800 - ring - me.
Another strategy is to connect words with pictures to improve retention and retrieval. Make the image as vivid as possible in your mind. You can even make it is interesting ridiculous as you can. Connect emotions with the image. Click here for an example from Vocabulary Cartoons
FACT: Mnemonics is effective because it connects new information with information that you already have in your long term memory. The memory is further improved when you use all your senses such as smell, image, feelings.
Helping you stay focused can improve your attention span. If you find your mind wandering think about:
Josephine from JB Consulting and Psychology has developed this blog to share information about improving attention and memory so you can learn more and be motivated to learn more. It is also for people who struggle in these areas as well as those with ADHD. "The capacity to learn is a gift; The ability to learn is a skill; The willingness to learn is a choice," by Brian Herbert.