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August 7, 2013 


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In This Issue . . . 


Our featured article, entitled "Finding ADHD Alternative Strategies in Our Dark Past," was contributed by ADD CrusherTM Alan Brown. He reveals some incidents in his past, before he knew he had ADHD, which is a common story often heard among ADDers who went undiagnosed for a long time. Alan shares his insights and lessons learned from all that baggage to help himself "emerge from the darkness." If you identify with his story, then you may gain your own enlightenment from the article.   


How do you deal with boring or difficult tasks? If you're one of those people who have a lot to get done but just get stuck trying to handle those tasks that are boring or difficult, how much more efficient could you be by following Kirsten Milliken's tip in our Guest Writer article, titled "The Body Double." Read the article and learn more.


Could your child's teacher use some effective tips to manage ADHD kids? Check out our Attention Talk Video section featuring an interview with Jackie Minniti, entitled "Project June Bug: ADHD Strategies Applied by an Everyday Teacher."


How can coaches fit into medical teams in the larger perspective? Get Dr. Charles Parker's perspective in our interview with him on July 24 on Attention Talk Radio, titled "Why Have a Coach on an ADHD Treatment Team?"


If you have an ADHD teen heading off to or already in college, is it about managing the next deadline for the student's paper? Or is it long-term growth we should focus on? In our July 10 show on Attention Talk Radio, entitled, "ADHD: You Can't Go Off to School with Them, But We Can,"  Robert Tudisco of Edge Foundation gives us the answers.


Also check out our July 17 interview on Attention Talk Radio with Kirsten Milliken entitled,"Play and ADHD: Everybody Needs to Play," to find out what role play has on ADHD.

Be sure to make time to listen to our show tonight with Dr. Craig Wiener on Attention Talk Radio, entitled "ADHD: Behavior Response and Reinforcement," and set the date to hear Dr. Abigail Levrini talk about "ADHD Rules for Effective Incentives," on August 14, 2013.

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Why Have a Coach on an ADHD Treatment Team?  

Surprise! The tables are getting turned.  In this episode of Attention Talk Radio clinical psychiatrist Dr. Charles Parker quizzes Attention Talk Radio host and ADHD coach Jeff Copper around the need to have an ADHD coach as part of an ADHD treatment team. The two talk about the challenges and the values and give examples around how those with ADHD can have a more positive impact when mental health professionals and coaches work together. If you want to get the most out of your treatment team, you won't want to miss this show.

College is a huge investment. It is the biggest life transition for any student and even bigger for an ADHD student. Join us for this edition of Attention Talk Radio as we talk about how to protect your college investment. We interview Robert Tudisco, head of the Edge Foundation, a nonprofit organization providing resources, among other things, to college students. We also have an excerpt of a prerecorded interview with Dr. Eileen Henry of Muskingum University around its programs that also protect students. If you have an ADHD student and are starting to think about college, you don't want to miss this show.

We've done the science-based shows, the emotional shows, shows about research, shows about kids, about adults, religion, sex and intimacy, and even ADHD and humor, but never one around ADHD and play. Don't you think it is about time? If you have ADHD, come with us and play and learn about play in this edition of Attention Talk Radio. Our guest is Kirsten Milliken, co-founder of PlayDHD. We talk about play in the context of science (how it relates to Dr. Barkley's EFDD construct), the value of play, how those with ADHD should play to have fun. To quote Dudley Moore's character from the movie Arthur, "Isn't fun the best thing to have?" Join us for this fun and playful show.


Reminder to Calendar Upcoming Shows

Attention and the object of attention are two different things.  Most focus on the object of attention because it's more tangible.  In this episode of Attention Talk Radio, we interview Dr. Craig Wiener, licensed psychologist, to talk about behavior in the context of ADHD, responses to the behavior, and reinforcements of the behavior. Anyone who listens to this show will know we love to pay attention to attention, and this is right up our alley. If you want to learn about attention or behavior, you don't want to miss this show.

ADHD Rules for Effective Incentives
Establishing habits or finding motivation to do boring things is most effective by piggybacking on existing habits or using what you naturally attend to as a way to get around what you struggle to focus on. For those who need extra help reaching their goals or need an extra push, there are key characteristics necessary for effective incentives. In this episode, we discuss these rules and share examples of effective incentives with Abigail Levrini, Ph.D. If you are trying to change habits or find motivation, this is a show you don't want to miss.

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Project June Bug: ADHD Strategies Applied by an Everyday Teacher
Imagine being a teacher working on your master's and using your classroom to experiment with ADHD strategies to determine if they work? In this episode we interview Jackie Minniti ( who did just that. She tested her strategies in the classroom. Some strategies worked; some didn't; but she shared what did work in her book, "Project June Bug," which is a self-help novel of sorts. The book tells a story of a teacher working with ADHD students. Insights abound for parents, teachers, and students.

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Finding ADHD Alternative Strategies in Our Dark Past by Alan Brown of ADD CrusherTM

Article originally appeared on and is reproduced with permission.


I was honored to be interviewed [recently] by Jeff Copper on Attention Talk Radio. They've on occasion done interviews with various folks called "behind the scenes" - a sort of "unplugged" version of the show where ADHD personalities can let loose with tales of the darker/funnier side of their ADD.

My Undiagnosed ADHD Past: The G-Rated Version

I love telling stories about my dark years - mainly the years in my 20s when I had no idea what ADHD was, let alone that I was an epic ADDer. A lot of the stories are beyond "G"-rating, but even the ugliest episodes are worth remembering and retelling, because they shed light on the nature of ADHD and inspire me NOT to revisit those days or those behaviors (more about that in a moment).


Some highlights of my undiagnosed, untreated adult ADHD, much of which will likely sound familiar to many of you:


  • Banged up or totaled very car I ever got my hands on, including at least 2 dents on roofs (that I can remember). How do you dent a roof?? Well, flipping it over is one way, but there are others -- trust me, I know.
  • When you crack up 8 motorcycles, you're lucky to be alive - though most of those were on a race track, which is way safer than on the street believe it or not. I crashed one just a few weeks ago!
  • Alcohol was my escape - and my constant companion.
  • Drugs were my self-medication (though I didn't realize it at the time).
  • Crime (most minor, a few major ones) for which I never got caught, amazingly.

I still think I'm on the verge of getting caught for stuff I did, or somehow in trouble. I see a cop car, and I think he's looking right at me and knows every bad thing I've done! And on some level or another, nearly ALL adult ADDers - particularly those who went undiagnosed for a long time - have this kind of baggage. But, there are lessons to be drawn from our darker days.


Lessons from Dark Days Can Support Alternative ADHD Treatment Efforts

As I've said in this space many times, there are forms of alternative ADHD treatment in not only hard-fought changes to life habits, but also in simple acts and even simple thoughts and keener awareness. Here are lessons from my past that likely mirror some that any previously undiagnosed ADHD adult might have:

  • Understand your past. Know why you did what you did. For instance, I did drugs because I was self-medicating; I committed crimes because of stimulation-seeking and willingness to do stupid things for peer approval.
  • Come to terms with it. Don't regret it - see it as part of the "quilt" that makes up your interesting life history. You're your stories!!
  • Use the painful memories as forward-moving fuel. This is what I call a Negative Nag, which can combine with a Positive Nag to provide consistently strong MOTIVATION (Way 2).
  • Know that we ADDers have the risk-taking, stimulation-seeking gene - and most importantly, see the difference between stupid risk-taking and worthy risk-taking.

There's one more section of this blog - the ADHD strategies I developed to emerge from the darkness. But I'm running a bit long, so I'll pick up on those in a later blog (they're of course the foundation of what's taught in the ADD Crusher Videos, which you can preview here.


And By the Way...

Whether you're a regular Attention Talk Radio listener or not, I announced on the show a special discount code for ATR listeners: ATR15. If you're reading it here, you're entitled to use it for 15% off any purchase at Go for it!!





Article originally appeared on and is reproduced with permission.   


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The Body Double 

 by Kirsten Milliken  


ADHD coaches recommend this strategy if their clients simply must work on a task which is boring or difficult. The principle of the Body Double is that simply having someone present with you while you work on a difficult or boring task will make you more efficient at that task. Notice, this is not "helping." That strategy already has a name -- it's called "helping." The Body Double strategy is different. The individual serving as the Body Double is there to simply be present to the adult with ADHD while she works on a boring or difficult task. The role of the Body Double is -- simply by his or her presence -- to remind the ADHD adult or teenager what is important, what is their goal, what it is they want to complete.


I know a busy professional who loves many aspects of his work, but does not like some of the filing, and billing and invoicing. He tells me that because of his distractibility he tends to go on line, checks sports scores, and get lost in the rabbit hole that is the internet. In fact, he says that, when he sits down to do something hard or boring, he frequently finds himself perhaps two hours later still on the Internet. But from time to time he hires a high school student to help him with some of his paperwork. He says that, after an hour or so, there often is nothing left for her to do, because she doesn't have advanced clerical or paralegal skills. He's noticed that, when she is there in the office with him, he is much less likely to go online and waste time. He says that, when she is there in the office with him, he is much more likely to attend, to focus, to persist with these boring but important tasks. Because of his expertise and experience, he can bill his clients quite a lot for his time. So if he pays this high school student $10 an hour to chew gum, roll her eyes, and text her boyfriend, it actually makes financial sense -- because it makes him more efficient. The five hours he spends in the office in the presence of this "Body Double" allows him to actually generate billable work.


I spoke about the Body Double strategy with a group of graduate students in speech language pathology. One of the students raised her hand and recalled that, "When I was in school, I used to pay my little sister a quarter to sit on the bed with me while I did my most difficult homework." Exactly!


What about you? What's on your calendar in the next several days that's going to be really boring or hard? And can you sit quietly with yourself and simply be present? How much more efficient could you be with a body double?


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Editor's Note

Jeff Copper, Editor

Our intention is to share audio, video, and printed content to capture your interest and perhaps inspire you to pay attention to something differently. Enjoy.

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