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September 23, 2013  

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In This Issue . . . 


Why are self-restraint and self-awareness important to an ADDer? Do you have control over them by taking "the pause that refreshes"? Do you know how to "cause the pause"? In our featured article, ADD CrusherTM Alan Brown reveals the answers in his writing, entitled "Natural ADHD Treatment: 6 Helpful Tools of Executive Function," as he reflects on Dr. Russell Barkley's book, Executive Functions: What They Are, How They Work, and Why They Evolved.    


DeShawn Van de Water-Wert How can "connection" serve as an important part of the formula for your child's success in school? Does "Momma Bear" fit into the equation? DeShawn Wert shares her insight as our guest writer in her article, entitled "Steppin' up to Meet the Teacher Night: Six Dos and Don'ts to Start the Year off Right!" Read the article to get six simple guidelines on how the parent and the teacher can set the tone for the whole school year. 


Our video guest in this issue is Dr. Ari Tuckman who answers the question: Is ADHD a disorder of doing what you know or knowing what to do? Get the answer in our interview with him, entitled "ADHD: Does Knowing What to Do Mean You Can Do It? Not!"    


And coming soon, be sure to catch our Attention Talk Radio shows starting October 9, 2013, with Barbara Hawkins, the president of CHADD, on "The 2013 CHADD Conference: Details in Interviews with Featured Speakers."  Then, October 16, 2013, ADD coach Linda Walker discusses the economic cost of ADHD and provides data that can help organizations justify their investment in managing ADHD for profit in our interview titled, "The Impact of ADHD on the Economy." And on October 23, 2013, is our interview with Rick and Ava Green, titled "WE plus ADHD: Creating Great Relationships," which is sure to be hilarious! 

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Steppin' up to Meet the Teacher Night:  

Six Dos and Don'ts to Start the Year off Right! 

by DeShawn Wert, BS, MEd, ADD Coach 
Article initially appeared on and is reproduced with permission. 


DeShawn Wert

I've been a part of over 50 different "Meet the Teacher" nights over my 25 years in education and I know from experience many well-meaning parents make some mistakes that can setback their relationships with teachers and school staff. I created this simple guide to help you start your year off on the right foot so you can set a tone of cooperation and professionalism while working with your child's teacher. Lord knows, some difficult conversations may need to be had throughout the year... so start it off on a strong step!


Some "Meet the Teacher" nights are very scheduled and have activities going on and may have specific "talks" planned in various areas. Others function like open houses where you just drop by and visit during the hours and "touch base" with teachers. No matter what the format, it's important that you and the teacher set a cooperative tone from the onset of the year.


I recommend keeping in mind these guidelines when talking to your child's teacher at the "Meet the Teacher Night":

  • DO go! This is not the night to miss unless you can really help it. This is a chance to make a good impression, which goes a long way with the school staff! By attending the evening, you are demonstrating to the teacher you are going to be an active participant in your child's learning and school is a priority in your family.
  • DO take your child with you, unless specified not to. Coach and remind your child to use his manners when introducing himself to the teacher. If your child already met the teacher, have your child tell the teacher what they are enjoying in school so far or a favorite subject. This is important because it allows the teacher to get some information or feedback about "what makes your child tick" and helps the teacher to know the types of activities your child enjoys in school.
  • DON'T use "Meet the Teacher Night" to fill the teacher in on all of the "issues or quirks" your child has. This time should be a low key time to say hi and "I'm here to support you." It is not the time to get into the nitty-gritty of your child and their learning style. You'll want to set up some time to go into detail about your child's learning style in private and not use this public forum.
  • DO let the teacher know that you would like to set a separate time to discuss your child in the first few weeks of school. Many teachers know and understand you are your child's "first, best teacher" and will look forward to scheduling a time to discuss how to best support learning in school and set up communication on a regular basis.
  • DO introduce yourself and family to the principal and other staff (nurse, secretary, school counselor) of the building, you will be working with them on plans and other daily tasks throughout the year. Again, keep the conversation light and supportive.
  • DON'T bring your "Momma Bear" to this event. If you have had "run-ins" in the past with staff, it's still best to remember that this is a new year and start out positively. By taking the high road, you are demonstrating that you want to put your child's welfare at the front of any past differences. "Momma Bear" has a time and place at school, but not at "Meet the Teacher Night"!

Both research and personal observation have shown that a teacher and the school staff can make a child's success in school. I believe "connection" is an important part of the success recipe. Using the "Meet the Teacher Night" can put you on a path towards success by showing you support the school and you are their partner in education. Now, take the first step and go meet the teacher!  


Reprinted with permission. Originally published on  

Copyright DeShawn Wert, B.S., M.Ed., ADD Coach


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Natural ADHD Treatment: 6 Helpful Tools of Executive Function    

 by Alan Brown, ADD CrusherTM 


Executive Function - "EF" - is quite the fashionable phrase the last few years. But what does it really mean, and what does it mean in terms of natural ADHD treatment strategies or to better understanding ourselves? Fact is, as Dr. Russell Barkley recently pointed out in an interview on Attention Talk Radio, there've been too many definitions floating around out there, and no definitive one. But his new book seeks to wrap this matter up in a neater bow for us ADDers.


Executive Function: 6 Tools for ADHD Success

He breaks down EF into six "mind tools" that together make for a kind of Swiss army knife for the ADDer. They go a little something like this:  

  1. Self-Restraint: Ability to inhibit your automatic actions/reactions.
  2. Self-Awareness: Ability to monitor yourself and what you're doing.
  3. Hindsight Informing Foresight: Ability to visualize past imagery and make better-informed choices.  
  4. Self-Speech: Ability to talk to yourself privately with instructions.  
  5. Self-Regulation of Emotions: Ability to control your emotional state, a natural ADHD treatment that requires practice! Take it from me!  
  6. Problem-Solving: Ability to play with ideas in your mind to create constructive solutions.


For me, each one of these is a juicy box of possible topics to riff on - cuz each conjures one or more ADHD alternative treatment strategies that are either somehow expressed in the ADD Crusher™ videos, or that I've begun writing/developing for future Crusher™ videos. So if I were to let loose on all of these, I'd write a freakin' book. I'll spare both of us and, for now, just talk about Self-Restraint and how understanding it can be put to work for us.


If self-restraint is the opposite of impulsiveness, then we ADDers reaaallly suck at it. Even a cursory look at the role of impulsivity in the ADDer's life explains much of the pain in our often tortured existence.

  • It's the unintentially offending remark that alienates a friend or acquaintance.
  • It's the poorly considered - or the NOT-AT-ALL considered - purchase of something we don't need...and the financial woes that result.
  • It's the walking out of the house without our keys...or phone...or child.


The Pause That Refreshes

These are all areas where a PAUSE could be enough self-restraint to mitigate the bad results. Yes, the pause is the thing. If you could pause to first consider the impact of your words, you'd have the opportunity to edit them. If you could pause to first consider how stupid buying that motorcycle is right now, you might recall that you just bought one last week. If you could pause to inventory your important personal items, tasks, family members, etc. In other words, you could change the course of what follows.


This raises two questions. One, if I'm inherently impulsive, how the @#$%$ am I supposed to remember to pause?!? And two, even if it occurs to me to pause, what do I do in that pause to make things any better?


How to Cause the Pause

We're gonna need an external cue that reminds us at the appropriate time to pause - or at least to be ready to pause. And here's the cue: entrance/exit. If you were able to associate the idea of entrance and/or exit with preparedness to pause, you'd be much more likely to do so and reap the benefits of self-restraint. And by this I mean both literal and figurative entrances/exits. To wit:

  • When you enter a room full of people or enter into a conversation or argument, this is your cue to pause and be prepared to exercise self-restraint.
  • When you enter a store or enter an e-commerce website, this is your cue to pause and ask yourself if you're about to make an impulsive purchase.
  • When you exit your house, that doorway is your cue to pause and pat down your body to be sure you have everything you need; and when you exit your car, before you slam that locked door or trunk lid shut, pause to make sure your keys are firmly in your hand.


Awareness of how executive function plays into life's successes and failures is one of the natural ADHD treatments utilized by the great coaches.



And you can see in the above examples the answer to the second pause-related question - i.e, once you've caused the pause, you need to execute what I call Stop/Feel/Go. You stop your motion to feel your emotions, feel your surroundings or literally feel your pockets/keys/phone - and only then permit yourself to go forth.


I've been doing and teaching this for years - but listening to Barkley made me realize this is absolutely foundational to strong Executive Function. Thanks, Dr. Barkley!




Originally published in ADD Crusher Blog. Republished with permission.    


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Recent Shows to Listen to in Our Archives


ADHD and Sales Positions: The Attraction
When it comes to ADHD, it's about environment, environment, environment, says host and attention coach Jeff Copper. In this episode of Attention Talk Radio, Jeff interviews ADHD sales coach Steve Callender on the characteristics of the environment of most sales jobs that attract those with ADHD and what misdirects their attention to miscast themselves in sales positions. If you are considering a sales job or are already in a sales job and have ADHD, you won't want to miss this insightful show.

ADHD and Sales Careers: Not a One-Size-Fits-All Solution
Episodic sales, reoccurring sales, create a need sale, replacement sales, product sales, intangible sales, wholesale and retail sales... There are many different kinds of sales, each requiring different kinds of talents. While the characteristics of the environment attract many with ADHD to the sales field, it's not for everyone, and not every person with ADHD is cut out for each kind of sales position. In this episode, we interview Steve Callender, ADHD sales coach, around the many different kinds of sales and their characteristics, and then we illuminate the notion that the generic label of sales is not a one-size-fits-all solution and needs to be deconstructed before pursuing it and achieving success in it.

Reminder to Calendar These Upcoming Shows
The Anatomy of a Story: The Benefit to Those with ADHD
Wednesday, September 25, 2013, at 8:00 pm ET
null Stories are powerful. Stories are what we tell ourselves about ourselves, our families, and our world. Stories impact how we attend to things and what we do with our lives. Stories can reduce our fears or send us into terror. They tap into our emotions. True stories do more than impart information. They move us emotionally and spiritually, because they find the deeper truth in what has happened. In this episode host, attention coach, Jeff Copper interviews comedian, professional story writer, and ADDer Rick Green about the power of stories.  They look at the anatomy of a story, attend to its different parts, and illustrate how stories can be changed with simple shifts of perspective. In the end the topic sounds fun, but the real meat of the interview is around managing a story to have positive impact on ADHD and controlling it. Stories can become a powerful tool to help others understand that ADHD is real, can devastate lives, but properly dealt with, can become an ally. If you want to overcome stigma, fear, doubt, or dismissal from people and you're tired of arguing, berating, and explaining to no avail, then don't miss this show.
The 2013 CHADD Conference: Details in Interviews with Featured Speakers - NEED LINK
Wednesday, October 9, 2013, 8:00 pm ET
null The 2013 CHADD conference is around the corner. In preparation, we will be interviewing Barbara Hawkins, president of the board of Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) on what to expect at this year's conference, as well as interviewing key featured speakers, like Michelle Garcia Winner, Dr. Nancy Rappaport, Dr. Robert Brooks, Wendy Davis, Dr. Thomas E. Brown, Dr. Nora Volkow, Dr. James Swanson, who will tip their hats and share insights from the presentation. If you've been to a CHADD conference, are going to this CHADD conference, or are thinking about this CHADD conference, this is a must-listen show.

The Impact of ADHD on the Economy - NEED LINK
Wednesday, October 16, 2013, 8:00 pm ET
Linda Walker What is the impact of ADHD on the US economy? In this episode of Attention Talk Radio, host, attention coach Jeff Copper, interviews Linda Walker, an ADHD coach, chairperson of the Workplace Issues Committee and member of the board of directors of the Attention Deficit Disorder Association. The two will discuss an economic study that begins to account for the economic cost of ADHD, providing data that organizations need to justify the investment in managing ADHD for profit. If you have or are impacted by ADHD, be sure to catch this show.

WE Plus ADHD: Creating Great Relationships
Wednesday, October 23, 2013, at 8:00 pm ET
null You fall in love, get married, and live happily ever after... NOT!  How about a reframe? You fall in love, get married, and live happier, and happier, and happier. Now you're talking! In this episode of Attention Talk Radio, your host, attention and ADHD coach, Jeff Copper interviews "We," who are Rick and Ava Green."We" represents not Rick, not Ava, but their relationship. Yes, there's a third-party in their marriage. The marriage itself. Now we add a twist: "We" plus ADHD. Oh yes, Rick has ADHD and, thus, the couple has ADHD. In our interview we talk about the impact of ADHD on relationships, the challenges, the importance of knowing ADHD is there, the impact of knowledge on expectations, the overriding vote "We" have in relationships and how this couple lives happier, and happier, and happier.

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ADHD: Does Knowing What to Do Mean You Can Do It? Not!
As Dr. Russell Barkley says, ADHD is not a disorder of knowing what to do. It is a disorder of doing what you know. Join us as we interview Dr. Ari Tuckman ( around this concept and its impact on those with ADHD.

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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 inspire you to pay attention to something differently. Enjoy.

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