The challenges of neurodiversity and ADHD are compounded when those around you doubt or don’t understand ADHD. Those with ADHD can be perceived as inconsistent at work and home, easily distracted, and unsure of their intelligence. It leads to misunderstanding and mistakes. Education about ADHD is the first step in helping your family, friends and work colleagues. There are many ways to learn.
ADHD’s many flavors
While each individual with ADHD is different, there are both many common aspects of executive function that are part of neurodiversity. What can appear as mysterious functioning at times, can be a real pattern in ADHD. Common challenges include sleep and self care, intense and intermittent focus, perfectionism to a high level and general executive functioning issues with starting, completing and planning. When partners or colleagues are unaware or not knowledgeable about these challenges, discord occurs.
Attending an ADHD conference is a way to immerse in information. Each February, in Houston or Dallas, the ADDA-Southern Region (ADDA-SR) hosts a day long event. Each year the keynote presenter shares big information about ADHD research and lifestyle. A series of breakout sessions caters to individuals and families on a variety of topics. Attending an event helps you learn in an intense manner with information to process over time.
Learning in small bits helps you process information quickly. ADHD podcasts range from learning about ADHD itself and how individuals with ADHD process information. My favorites include Translating ADHD, ADDitudemag.com, and FasterThanNormal. Each podcast shares topics with valuable information.
Authors and books
Books and audio books are always outstanding resources. Favorite authors I follow include Ari Tuckman, Judith Kohlberg, Sari Solden, Nancy Ratey, Russell Barkley and Peter Shankman. The number one resource for organizing is ADD Friendly Ways to Organize by Judith Kohlberg and Kathleen Nadeau.
Support groups exist for both you and those around you.
- In Houston, ADDA-SR has many groups around the city that meet regularly.
- CHADD has support for parents with Parent to Parent trainings, individuals with online forums, and support groups that meet locally depending on your location.
- ADDitudemag offers a directory for professionals who support clients.
- Melissa Orlov specifically offers workshops for couples who struggle with ADHD.
- There are a many ADHD coaching associations that provide coaching support to individuals and families.
- Medical support comes in the form of therapists, counselors and psychiatrists to diagnose. You may wish to seek a formal diagnosis to learn more.
Both Understood.org and ADDitudemag.com offer many resources, answers to common questions, and access to tools to use for ADHD. It’s a first step to understanding and taking steps to address lifestyle with ADHD.
Understanding ADHD is important to both you and those around you. Knowledge is powerful and makes a difference in your connections with others. With between 10-15 percent of the population with ADHD, it’s important to know true facts and not misleading information.