|February is here, so of course we write of romance (and provide a webinar on the topic, too!)...but that's not all. This newsletter features long and interesting "in the news" and resources sections as well as many events listing where we hope you'll join us.|
Dr. Hallowell responds to recent controversy surrounding Ritalin, while Coach Nancy Snell provides great tips for organization at work, too. We provide information about sleep and ADHD, and a reader provides her success story about lobbying for government support of disabled children. And, the Hallowell Centers in both New York and Sudbury are offering a wide array of services (some of them FREE) to support you if you live in those areas.
There is even information about scholarship monies for both college and camp. All in all, it's worth a few moments of your time to take a look!
Melissa Orlov, editor
Dr. Hallowell On-Site Presentations:
SHINE: Five-Steps Managers should follow to bring out the "Gold" in themselves and
Q: I am pretty sure my 21 year old son has ADHD, but its undiagnosed. He has a terrible time falling asleep and staying asleep. This has been an issue since he was a toddler. Do you have any tips or resources that would be helpful to us? Thank you.
A: Three quarters of adults with ADHD report an inability to "shut off their minds", and when they eventually do fall asleep, many complain that they toss and turn or get up several times in the night. It is not clear why this is the case. Some researchers state that the circadian clock is the culprit, others believe a comorbid condition, such as depression or anxiety, could be the cause. Whatever the reason, if your son is taking stimulant medication, I recommend that he takes it early in the day, and also avoids caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime. In addition, shutting off electronics and practicing relaxation exercises will also help. We have a longer article on the topic of sleep and ADHD at this link.
Q: I was wondering why they do not make meds that last 16 hours a day - most adults must function that many hours - not just 8 or 10 hours a day to hold a job. My husband is kind of a mess at night and can no longer relate or help with home or kids. Can we ever expect this to change?
A: If your husband takes a stimulant that wears off too soon, he could talk with his doctor about adding a short acting dose mid-afternoon that might keep him covered longer. Watch for the possible side effect of having trouble getting to sleep, though. Also, some medications, such as Wellbutrin, don't 'wear off' in the same way that stimulants do. So he may wish to think about that as an option, too. Another issue may be that he is simply too exhausted at night to be of much help, in which case there may be sleep issues or larger life/balance issues you need to be thinking about.
|Dr. Hallowell's Response to NY Times Article "Ritalin Gone Wrong"
In the 1/28/12 edition of the New York Times, L. Alan Sroufe, a professor emeritus of University of Minnesota's Institute of Child Development, published an article entitled Ritalin Gone Wrong. The piece questioned whether children with problems concentrating should be taking medications. Dr. Hallowell weighed in to counter the tactics and assumptions, stating "the piece pushed emotional hot-buttons in a way that would scare the daylights out of uninformed readers..."
Dr. Hallowell believes that medication is one tool that can help, but always as part of a comprehensive treatment plan. The complex issues that contribute to behavioral, emotional, and learning problems in children must also be evaluated, but as long as Ritalin is used properly, it remains one of our most valuable--and tested--medications.
Read his response in its entirety at the Dr. Hallowell website. In addition, to read others' opinions and to share yours, please visit www.facebook.com/Dr.Hallowell .
Reigniting Romance in ADHD Relationships
Under-managed or untreated ADHD symptoms can introduce a host of problems into a relationship - disconnection, frustration, unequal responsibility, nagging, shame, anger and more. With all the stress, couples often ask me how they might find affection and romance again in their relationship.
While you are working on the fundamentals of your relationship, and I outline how to do this in my courses and my book The ADHD Effect on Marriage, there are things you can do immediately. Under the umbrella idea that romance and successful marriages are all about "attending" to each other enough, I offer these ideas:
Get together to do things that are challenging and new. Research suggests that embarking on new, challenging "adventures" (or mini-adventures) is the fastest way for couples to reconnect. Consider a weekend away to a new place, tango lessons, roller blading for the first time, or just picking something exciting from the local paper. Just spending time together isn't the same.
STOP certain types of interactions. You're in control of your own behavior... stop disrespectful interactions such as eye rolling, huffing, bullying and the like. Even if you disagree about a lot of things, your partner deserves your respect.
INCREASE validating interactions. Make time for each other, listen when your partner talks, ask questions, say thank you and I love you. If you need to write yourself a reminder to say "I love you" because you're not in the habit, do so!
Attend to each other in scheduled "blocks" of time. To get around the willy-nilly nature of distractibility, block out the time to do something you'll both enjoy. This might include scheduling dates, sex, or just an afternoon together. You don't have to figure out right now what you are going to do, just block out the time - you can figure it out the day of, if needed.
Emphasize the positives of ADHD. Too many couples focus on the negative of ADHD, but focusing on the positive can be great for romance. For example, "impulsivity" can be thought of as the basis for creativity. Someone who is distractible often has the (underutilized) talent of being able to "take in lots of information at once." How can you "harness" the positives of ADHD and put the ADHD partner in his or her "zone"? Now that's sexy!
I cover these ideas plus trust, sex, playfulness and more in a one hour webinar about Reigniting Romance in ADHD Relationships. To listen to it, go to ADD Resources. Take a moment RIGHT NOW to write a reminder - RIGHT NOW! - to do something special for your partner TOMORROW - FEBRUARY 14TH. He or she will be touched by your effort!
- Melissa Orlov
ADHD in Today's Workplace: Tips to Manage the Tsunami and Stay on Top of Your Game.
Handling today's onslaught of information and responsibilities is difficult for anyone, but those of us with ADHD have a particularly hard time. Coach Nancy Snell provides constructive tips on how to manage all this information - ON Paper! Smart Phone users - listen up!
Unrecognized ADHD is costing companies billions of dollars due to lost income, lost productivity, medical costs and retraining. Nearly 12 million people don't even know they have ADHD, so more than likely you are dealing with ADHD at work daily, and don't even know it. You may be seeing unexplained absences, difficulty carrying out assigned tasks, inconsistent performance, and poor follow through from someone who works for you. Or, MAYBE EVEN YOU!
The onslaught of responsibilities, information, distractions and interruptions puts us as ADHD adults in a particularly vulnerable spot. Why? Because work life is becoming increasingly faster, and as competing demands escalate, tolerance levels for error are zero and expectations to execute efficiently on any tasks simultaneously are the norm. As a result, many of us are feeling out of control, stressed, scattered and anxious. We are like magnets attracting information, new ideas, people, places, and endless possibilities but we have a hard time sticking to, following through, or completing one task so that this overwhelm is magnified exponentially.
The work environment isn't going to conform to our needs. We will each have to take responsibility in the midst of the storm.
So now what? The answer is simple but not easy. Each of us has to figure out what works for him/herself and create an individualized approach to effectively manage our time and tasks. Many of us don't realize that until we learn the skills to get and stay organized, the probability of not being overwhelmed or feeling in control is slim to none.
Five simple tips for managing the onslaught:
PAUSE - You literally need to PLAN (Pause) to PLAN: you can't plan on the fly. You need to stop amidst the external/internal swirl of information to designate an appointment on your calendar for when you are going to plan - and commit to it as if it was a meeting with your boss (except you are the boss).
PLAN - Routinely make/consolidate lists of what you have to do into ONE list so as not to have forty lists and sticky notes all over the place. From there you can more easily break things down into smaller steps and ask yourself "when am I going to do X, Y, or Z?" Now you see the whole landscape.
PRIORITIZE - Always note due dates and time sensitivities first when looking at an overwhelming To-Do list. It should then become clear as to where you will start and what steps you need to take next.
PRODUCE - Break down each task into small steps. Once you have mapped out all of the tasks, you can estimate each step to see cumulatively how long the project might take. Remember to add the X factor, (it will probably take at least 25% more time than you think you need). Another ongoing rule of thumb is before you leave one task, even if it isn't completed, think of what the next step will be when you get back to it.
PERSIST - Never ever leave home without your calendar! It will become your best friend, and source of piece of mind, and most importantly, it will help you on the road to a productive, purposeful life. Remember, STOP, THINK and THINK THROUGH.
And what about electronics? - Why do I suggest paper and not your iPhone? What I see when I work with people who are really organizationally challenged is that they need to "go back to basics" first to learn how to manage their time, use a planner, break down ToDo lists and make decisions about when they are going to do what. Once the skills and new habits are in place, then they may begin to integrate electronic calendaring more successfully. If you love electronics, you can get the "best of both worlds" by printing your electronic calendar for the week and use it in a notebook as if it were a paper calendar. This tactile approach works well for many.
Nancy Snell, CEC, PCC is an ADHD/business productivity coach and seasoned professional helping distracted executives master the skills necessary to gain control of their schedules and manage everything that has to get done. Contact her at
Hallowell Centers' Unique Philosophy:
The Hallowell Centers employ a "strength-based" approach which emphasizes first what is good and strong and healthy in a person, then secondarily what is in need of remediation. Our team of experts develops a comprehensive, "whole-person" treatment plan that may include recommendations for lifestyle changes, environmental modifications, stimulant (or other) medication, counseling, individual or group therapy, and coaching. In some cases, complementary therapies such as Low Energy Neurofeedback, or a program of physical exercises for the brain, may also be suggested.
Here are just some offerings that support the "whole-person" philosophy:
Hallowell Center Sudbury, MA:Adult ADHD Support Group - Every other Tuesday, 7-8:30pm. Some evenings host speakers and specific topics; other meetings are open-ended with no particular agenda set. Mindfulness Meditation - a 6 session workshop - This training helps people with ADHD strengthen control over their mind, helping them to be aware and timely. It focuses on nonjudgmental awareness of sensations, feelings and state of mind. Research suggests that one can make changes in the brain that may strengthen the immune system, reduce stress, help focus, and improve memory and sleep. Facilitated by Sarah Reiff-Hekking Ph.D, coach and psychologist. Starts Feb 15 from 6-7pm. To register contact Sarah Reiff-Hekking at 978 287 0810 or Sarah@TrueFocusCoaching.com.
Parenting Your Child with ADHD - For parents of children with ADHD aged 4 to 12. Call to register for the next group with Shelley LICSW 978 287 0810 x119
Business Goals Group - Are you looking for structure to reach your business goals? Connect with like-minded business people and establish a business baseline, clarify the business of your dreams, create goals for the next year and create a process to achieve those goals. To register for the group contact Sarah Reiff-Hekking at 978 287 0810 or Sarah@TrueFocusCoaching.com.
Calm and Connected - Parenting your child with ADHD - a 7-session Workshop - Develop the knowledge, tools and techniques needed to establish a calm, consistent, and connected home life with your children. Reduce homework stress and help your child stay organized and productive. Learn to truly understand and support your child's unique traits and help them feel confident, secure, and successful. Facilitated by Cindy Goldrich, Ed.M.; Parent Coach Specializing in ADHD. Starts March 21. To register for the next series contact Denise Boline at 212.799.7777 ext 100
Parenting the Challenging Child - a Drop-in Parent Support Group, gain positive, constructive support from parents who understand the challenges of raising a child with ADHD. Brainstorm helpful solutions to difficult parenting issues. Share resources and receive feedback and targeted advice to improve your parenting skills and help your child gain confidence and success. Facilitated by Cindy Goldrich, Ed.M.; Parent Coach Specializing in ADHD. For more information contact Denise Boline at 212 799 7777 ext 100.
From One of Our Readers: "Painting A Rainbow of Hope" - A Journey in Educating Policy Makers About Early Education
We recently received a moving account of how one of our readers successfully lobbied to save $8 million in the Massachusetts Early Intervention budget - money that affected as many as 6,000 children with developmental disabilities - proving yet again that inspired individuals can make a difference! To read her story, go to this link.
The ADHD Effect on Couples CE Seminar Starts April 26th - Special Discount for Newsletter Readers
We invite therapists, counselors and coaches to join Dr. Edward Hallowell, Melissa Orlov, Dr. Kevin Murphy, and Sue Hallowell LICSW for an upcoming CE seminar to learn the skills you need to effectively help couples struggling to manage ADHD. Even if you have lots of experience working with ADHD couples you will find this course enlightening and immediately useful.
This acclaimed seminar (100% of past participants would recommend it to a colleague) is taught by phone in seven sessions and qualifies for 21 CE credits.
Newsletter readers can get a special discount for the program. Register before April 15 and take advantage of both the early registration discount and a special Hallowell Connections Newsletter refund of $50, making the total course price only $299! Just enter "Hallowell Connections" in the messages box at registration. Please visit the The ADHD Effect on Couples Continuing Education Seminar for detailed information.
Scholarships for College Students - These scholarships are supported by the Attention Deficit Disorder Association.
Special Report: ADHD Management Tips from the Experts! To start the year off right, download a free report with 20 tips from the leading ADHD experts that includes advice on organization, money, treatment options, positive thinking and inspiration (by Dr. Hallowell). Download your copy at ADHDmanagement.com.
| In the News|
ADHD Medications Not Linked to Cardiovascular Conditions - A recent study that included 150,000 adults taking ADHD medications "found no conclusive evidence that the medications increase users' risk for heart attack, stroke, or sudden death from heart-related causes." An even larger study of more than a million children and young adults had similar findings about the safety of ADHD medications relative to heart risks in that group. Both studies were published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Children With ADHD Use Different Functional Brain Pathways to Process Visual Attention Information -
In a study from the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York 18 children with typically developing brains and 18 children with ADHD were observed in a sustained-attention test using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). fMRI produced a brain activation map which revealed which regions of the brain became activated while the child performed a task and then the maps were compared. The results indicate that children with ADHD demonstrated abnormal functional activity in several regions of the brain involved in processing visual attention information and that communication among these regions was disrupted. This study may help those with ADHD recognize that they have "different wiring" not "brain damage". See more on this study.
Are You Still Having Difficulty Getting Your Stimulant Medication Prescription Filled? - We thought this was a short-term problem, and yet people are still experiencing difficulty get their prescriptions filled, especially for amphetamine mixed salts (the Adderall generics), or more recently for immediate-release methylphenidate (Ritalin generics). Learn more about this issue and what CHADD is doing about it. A New Drug For Children With ADHD?- In a study, guanfacine extended release (GXR, also known by its brand name, Intuniv) was determined to be beneficial to individuals who do not respond to a psychostimulant. For nine weeks, participants in 59 treatment centers were given doses of GXR in the morning and afternoon, or a placebo. Results, which were published in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP) indicate that inattention subscale rating and the hyperactivity/ impulsivity subscales showed significantly greater improvements from baseline in subjects receiving GXR with a psychostimulant. Read more at PsychCentral.
Multiple Exposures to Anesthesia Linked to ADHD - An observational study by the Mayo Clinic indicates that children who receive two or more anesthetics before the age of 3 were twice as likely to have ADHD. The results do not indicate that the anesthetics cause ADHD, only that further investigation is warranted. Learn more at Sciencedaily.com.
Kiddie Couture - How Young Is Too Young to Wear "Couture"? - What do you think? Watch Dr. Hallowell give his opinion on Good Morning America.
Teens & Young Adults: Start looking for your Summer Job or Volunteer Opportunity Now
In this economy, landing a summer job takes careful planning, effective job-hunting techniques and persistence. This may be a challenge for those with ADHD.
Working during the summer not only can put some cash in your pocket but it can help you decide about the kinds of college majors or future occupations that would interest you and where you might thrive. For some students with ADHD, a good summer work experience motivates them to persist in college because they have a better idea of where their hard-work might lead them in the future. Carol Christen, a colleague of mine, and co-author, "What Color Is Your Parachute? For Teens," states, "Over 40% of high school seniors who are admitted to, and start, college don't finish within 6 years. Those who do graduate credit the fact that they knew exactly how their studies would help them achieve their career goals. These college graduates see college as a means to a goal, not as the goal itself. If you want to be a part of the minority of young adults who not only get a bachelor's degree but also find a job that uses your education, spend some time this summer learning about jobs that interest you."
Try a few jobs on for size. Think of your summer jobs as one way to do this.
Tips for the Summer Job/ Volunteer Experience Hunt:
1. People with ADHD perform better when they are engaged or employed doing things that interest them. Therefore, as you think about summer job possibilities, make a list of what interests you. Do you like to cook, play tennis, meet new people?
2. Ask trusted adults to help you make a second list of summer jobs/volunteer roles that might be in your area of interest.
3. Ask these same adults to help you create a set of possible employers - can they help you think of a "short list" of places to apply to?
4. In the best of all possible scenarios, one of the adults that you have conferred with will know a hiring manager, or a friend or neighbor, who is currently employed at the place that you want to apply. Ideally, they will put in a good word for you. If not, you might need to apply online through a job-posting service. If possible, follow-up with a visit to the store, company or organization and introduce yourself in person.
5. If you get called in for an interview you will want to make a good impression. Ask someone older than you, who is employed, to help you practice; role-play the interview with them.
6. These days teens and young adults often compete for interesting volunteer positions. Many high schools and colleges have community service requirements so ask your guidance office or career counseling office if they have a list of organizations and contact people. Discuss options with some trusted adults and approach several of the organizations about their summer volunteer opportunities.
This process of uncovering your interests and what might be a possible "good fit" summer job takes time. While it is only February, if you start now, you have a better chance of securing summer employment and/or a worthwhile volunteer role. Students who wait until June will find most summer jobs are already filled.
If you want to learn more about the career exploration process or need help with a job search please contact Robin Roman Wright, Career & AD/HD Coach, Hallowell Center, Sudbury, MA call (978) 447-1496 and mention this article.
Free ADHD Adult Support Group, First Tuesday of the Month, Sudbury Hallowell Center. No registration necessary and free to the public. 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm, For more information: Call Rebecca Shafir 978-287-0810
Parenting the Challenging Child, Starts Feb 8, Hallowell Center, New York City. a Drop-in Parent Support Group, Gain positive, constructive support from parents who understand the challenges of raising a child with ADHD. Brainstorm helpful solutions to difficult parenting issues. Share resources and receive feedback and targeted advice to improve your parenting skills and help your child gain confidence and success. Facilitated by Cindy Goldrich, Ed.M.; Parent Coach Specializing in ADHD. For more information contact Denise Boline at 212 799 7777 ext 100 email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mindfulness Skills for Adults with ADHD, Starts Feb 15, Hallowell Center, Sudbury, MA Develop mindfulness skills and explore how they are helpful for adults with ADHD. You will learn the basics of mindfulness meditation through ADHD friendly activities. To register or for more information: Contact Sarah Reiff-Hekking at 978.287.0810 or Sarah@TrueFocusCoaching.com.
"ADD & Loving It" Free Screening, February 28, The Hallowell Center of Sudbury, MA. 7:00 - 9:00pm. Please join us for this humorous and informative film about ADHD. Immediately following the film, Dr. Hallowell and his staff of specialists will host a lively discussion. Reservations are required as seating will be limited. For information or reservations call Rebecca at 978 287 0810.
The Distracted Family: Overstretched, Overbooked, And About To Snap, March 12 - Westford, MA Parent Connection. 7:00-9:00 pm, The event is Open to the Public. For more information go to the Westford Parent Connection.
Keynote Speech - Dr. Hallowell: Reclaiming What is Most Important for Children: Building Connections in a Disconnected World, March 17, Barrington, RI. - Dr. Hallowell provides the keynote and a breakout session at the 22nd Annual Parenting Matters Conference. Learn more here.
Calm and Connected: Parenting your Child with ADHD, starts March 21, Hallowell Center, New York City. This highly acclaimed 7-Session workshop is an excellent program for parents of children who are newly diagnosed as well as parents who are struggling in parenting their challenging children. Using a combination of education and coaching, specific strategies are developed to help you reduce chaos, establish rules, improve your child's self-esteem and bring back the joy and connection with your child. Contact
CrazyBusy, March 22, Neuhaus Education Center. 12:00 - 1:30 PM. Event is open to Invitees and their guests only. Neuhaus Education
Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness, March 27 - Parent to Parent - Winchester, MA. 7:00 - 9:00 pm. The event is Open to the Public. For information, go to Parent to Parent.
The ADHD Effect In-Depth - Start Turning Around Your Relationship, April 25 - June 6, by phone - 8:30pm EST. This seven session phone seminar with Melissa Orlov will help couples learn what they need to know and do to change the course of their marriage for the better. For details, go the ADHD Effect In-Depth Phone Seminar.
The ADHD Effect on Couples Continuing Education Seminar for Professionals, April 26, 30, May 8, 15, 22, 29 (Bonus session 6/5), by Phone. 8:15-9:45pm EST. This seminar, taught by Dr. Edward Hallowell, Sue Hallowell, LICSW, Dr. Kevin Murphy and Melissa Orlov, will provide the information counselors need to improve their effectiveness when treating ADHD-impacted couples. For additional information go to The ADHD Effect on Couples Continuing Education Seminar for Professionals
ADHD and Your Marriage, July 9 - July 11, Chautauqua Institute, NY.
Join Melissa Orlov and a small group of other couples for three afternoon sessions on how ADHD is impacting your marriage. This course is held at Chautauqua Institution, a wonderful place for a vacation as a couple or as a family. Specific course registration will be posted when it becomes available. Click here for more information.
Unwrapping the Gifts: A Strength-Based Approach to ADHD Across The Life Span, August 6-10, The Cape Cod Institute. The goal of diagnosis and treatment is to transform ADHD from a chronic liability into an overall asset in life. The purpose of this seminar is to show how to do precisely that and to present all the exciting new information we have learned about ADHD in the past decade. Learn more at The Cape Cod Institute.