It is important to get a clear picture of what ADHD really is. Often, ADHD is described only by its negative effect on an individual. That approach is very misleading, dangerous and simply not true. Let’s begin. Attention deficit hyperactive disorder, a condition that is most of the time genetically transmitted, is the current official label for this magnificent and powerful mind. This label evolved through a shorthanded look at the situation, without truly understanding the ADHD story.
Studies show that the ADHD brain is a healthy, fully, functional brain. It has the same amount of hormones, like dopamine and norepinephrine as the neuro typical person. These are neurotransmitters that transfer the incoming and outgoing information between two neurons in the brain. The ADHD brain does have its own set of rules, namely activating it into engagement and creating inhibition (that means pressing the brakes). You could say that it’s wired or created to work in a way that very much resembles the ADHD person, that is spontaneous and unplanned. This is the natural source of the ADHD trademarks known as “distraction” (or involuntary wandering of attention), “impulsivity”, and “hyperactive or restlessness.
Not understanding the rules of the ADHD brain and letting it just be, is what earned people with ADHD the name of being consistently inconsistent. That’s actually how parts of this healthy brain works. Once understood though, you will be the one who makes the calls and begin to consistently take authority over every thought, word and action. It’s not to say that this is a neurological disease. When ADHD is not understood and taken care of properly, ADHD can certainly create “diss-ease” in every area of live in general.
The facts are the ADHD person actually has a surplus of attention. That means their mind picks up everything. That’s awesome, but one needs to learn to manage ADHD if they want to experience its value. It’s the exact opposite of attention deficit. “Hyperactive” – that’s power, vibrancy, strength physically and intellectually. Get in tune with it, understand it and learn how to maneuver it. Learn how to do that and you are set for life.
One of my oldest clients, a fellow way into his 70’s is up early in the morning (5:30 am), learns the Daf Yomi, is teaching himself a new language, lifts weights and works out. The list goes on of what he’s set to accomplish. Where does that come from? A protein shake? No way. It’s called H.A.! H.A.! or HyperActive. It’s one of the innate powers that comes along with ADHD. I wouldn’t call that a disorder. Would you?
I compare ADHD to a foreign language. There is nothing wrong with speaking Spanish. However, if you and the people around you think and assume you're speaking English, but the message that’s coming across sounds and looks like Spanish, it's a great set up for lots of frustration, misunderstanding, disappointments, and the reason why the ADHD person often feels under achieved. Again, Spanish is great but if the speaker doesn’t know it and the listener doesn’t understand it, you won’t get too far. ADHD is just that, it’s a different language, other than the other 90% of the population. The good news is, is that by understanding the ADHD language and mastering its ins and outs, the successes you will achieve will sky rocket. This includes all areas of your life: marriage, children, profession, work, learning, relationships in general, even your connection with G-d. And unlike learning a new language that takes a long time, the impact of understanding the language of ADHD is something you will probably experience on the first day of learning about it.
Take ADDvantage of this small message on ADHD. This positive turnaround is really a fun and exciting journey. Yes, it requires work, but this new understanding often gives one the feeling of a new life. A clean slate. Now what you once viewed as an ADDversary in life is really ADDmirable, as it ADDvances you in your life’s ADDventure.
My approach in coaching people with ADHD is a bit different from general coaching. I feel obligated to help anyone dealing with ADHD, on any level, and at any stage in life, no matter what, that they first become totally aware of how ADHD manifests itself. This is an educational process. A person finds out and discovers who he himself, spouse, child, or student really is. And most important we discover that ADHD is not a deficit or disorder. Rather ADHD is a way of being, that is associated with major success and is a contributing asset to life. I guarantee you - you will get a new picture of what ADHD really is.
My goal isn’t just to help a person to set up and use organizational and structural skills or how to guide parents in raising children when dealing with ADHD. Rather, through the educational process, my true driving passion is to help the client come to his own realization, and feel that such a powerful transformative change has happened and will continuously happen within him/herself. It’s as if he's become a new person attaining a new meaning towards his present, past, and future.
From that point the person is usually very motivated to help himself in every way. Learning how to structure himself to success. We explore how, what’s known as executive functioning skills affects us, and how to use it in a productive fashion. I will help a person to really get in sync with himself. Creating clarity with “what” he really wants from himself or his situation. And then understanding and making clear the “why” (that is, his driving force behind whatever is it he really wants) on its deepest level, guarantees achievement, growth and a life of fulfillment. We should view managing, handling and excelling with the traits of ADHD as a life long mission. I say strive, create progress, conquer and then do it again. Life with ADHD isn’t just a ride around the block, a short term cruise. Fasten your seatbelt and enjoy your new life’s journey. Remember our only limitations are our expectations.