Thursday, June 24, 2010

ADHD

What is ADHD and how does it affect individuals? ADHD is a condition that develops in some children in early years but can continue into adulthood and often gets worse for post menopausal women. ADHD can make it difficult for people to focus and control their behavior. Criteria for a formal diagnosis is determined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders from the American Psychiatric Association.
ADHD people are often bright yet challenged by simple tasks; creative with the big picture but fall apart with follow through; interested in many things and often work on multiple projects but complete few.
So how can ADHD individuals be helped or how can they help themselves. Susan Karyn Lasky gave some great tips at the last NAPO conference.
First teach time management skills. Give them reality checks-"With all that is on your plate, will you have time to paint your deck or should you hire that out while you handle more critical tasks?" Have them put recurring maintenance tasks on their calendars and note how long they will need for each task. Help with prioritizing tasks. Point out the options- if you do this then there will not be time to do that.
Use a timer-especially for distasteful tasks. Have them reward themselves after they have completed the task or part of the task in the allotted time. Encourage short breaks. Give reminders of all the progress that has been made.
Keep the environment relaxed.
Set up systems that work the way they think. They well may be pilers instead of filers. Use printed labels and clear containers.
Focus on strengths instead of weaknesses. Know their learning styles and check that they understand what you ask them to do.
Above all, accept them and accept less than perfect (and teach them to accept less than perfect, too).

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

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