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December 9, 2013  

Attention Talk News 


In This Issue . . . 


What five factors does ADD CrusherTM Alan Brown, describe as having an effect, either negative or positive, on how well your ADD meds may work? Check out our Featured Article section, titled "Optimizing Medical Treatment for ADD: Nurture Your Body to Increase Medication Success," as Alan discusses what he learned from personal experience about how the body metabolizes meds, especially for the ADDer.          


DeShawn Wert Flight, fight, or freeze? That's amygdala! It's a primal brain response that kicks in when we feel threatened. In our Guest Writer section, DeShawn Wert shares her insight on this emotional response that actually shuts down the thinking process. Check out her article, entitled "Four Steps to Take When Your Amygdala Takes Over," as she reveals ways to stop your prefrontal cortex from being shanghai'd by that amygdala.     


You might not like our criticism of mainstream articles outlining strategies for blurting and babbling, but we can guarantee to get you to think, which is worth the time to listen to our recent interview with Kirsten Milliken, entitled "ADHD: Blurting, Babbling, and Interrupting - Point/Counterpoint." Get more information in our Attention Talk Radio news section.   


Learn some of Jeff Copper's and Dr. Abigail Levrini's favorite metaphors in our interview with Dr. Levrini, titled "ADHD Coach's Toolbox: Favorite Metaphors," listed in our Attention Talk Radio news section.   


Is there a difference between metabolism and metabolic rate? Find out by listening to our interview with Dr. Sandy Newmark, titled "Making Sense of Nutrition and ADHD."  Get the details in our Attention Talk Radio section.  


Be sure to catch our upcoming shows with Zoe Kessler entitled "ADD/ADHD: Finding It Difficult to Pause 'Cause of Menopause," and with Jane Hersey, entitled "The Impact of Food Additives on ADHD."  Get the details in the upcoming shows on Attention Talk Radio in this issue.

In our Attention Talk Video news, catch our video interview with Jackie Minniti, entitled "Benefits of In-House Field Trips for Wiggly ADHD Students," and find out if there are any benefits to using ADHD kids as internal mail carriers in school.  Also watch "Famous People with Learning Disabilities."  You might be surprised to find the names of some famous people who have struggled with and overcome the challenges of learning disabilities.
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Four Steps When Amygdala Takes Over      

by DeShawn Wert, BS, MEd, ADD Coach 

Article initially appeared on and is reproduced with permission. 


DeShawn WertOne of the biggest barriers that ADDers face is the real and ever-present FEELING of being overwhelmed; the all-out panic that starting/completing a task can bring on, especially if you don't want to do it! I find, as a coach, it is one of the first issues that must be addressed if success is to be made. Strategies (no matter how good) won't work until you understand HOW your brain works.


Here is an attempt to inform you on how your brain takes off when feeling threatened (Cue the boring science music here).


Deep within our brains, resides the amygdala, the primal part of the brain that reacts with fear when facing stressful situations. It starts the whole "flight, fight or freeze" response when you are feeling threatened.


When our amygdala is engaged, our prefrontal cortex (PFC), responsible for the decision-making part of our brain, is TOTALLY disrupted. In other words, the fearful part (amygdala) of the brain "shanghais" the reasoning (PFC) part of the brain. This emotional response actually shuts down the thinking process because the primitive limbic system is biologically made to override your decisions and thoughts.


Amazingly enough, our brains can't tell the difference between real threats (OMG! A tiger is in my house!) or imagined threats (OMG! I don't know what to do next!) because of the hijacking that is biologically taking place in your brain. The stress level causes your brain to react as if there is a clear and present danger, leaving your willpower... powerless! So how can you stop your PFC from being shanghai'd by that amygdala?

  • Accept... acknowledge that your response is biological and not, mental weakness.'
  • Say... out loud what is happening to you. Scream and then say aloud, "I know what's happening here; my amygdala is 'shanghai-ing' my brain!" This awareness will start to engage your PFC brain and "hacks" the brain.  
  • Breathe... take deep breaths and calm yourself down. Get your body out of its anxious state.  
  • Start simple... with a task and stick to it. It may be as simple as sitting at the desk for 10 minutes and sharpening pencils, but you need to stay and accomplish something.


Reprinted with permission. Originally published on 

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


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Optimizing Medical Treatment for ADD:  Nurture Your Body to Increase Medication Success

 by Alan Brown, ADD CrusherTM




On the ADD Crusher™ Facebook page, we often see flurries of questions and qualms about medical treatment for ADD. I've always shied away from commenting too much on such posts, because, as I say right up front in the Crusher videos, I ain't no doctor or expert on anything other than the strategies that have taken me from mess to success. (Although I learn more good/useful stuff, including more alternative ADHD strategies, every day.)


On meds, I prefer to defer to folks like ADHD coach Laurie Dupar who, as a former psychiatric nurse, can school you real good on meds -- and does so in some of her presentations. Another reliable source is Dr. Charles Parker. I saw part of Parker's presentation at the ADHD Coaches Organization conference in March (where Laurie also made a great presentation), and you only have to see this guy talking for a few minutes to know he's a guy to listen to and learn from.


So when I found an archived interview with him on Attention Talk Radio (yes, it's been my go-to source for meaty blog topics lately), I had to listen in hopes I might at least get a few pointers I could pass along to the Crusher Facebook fans. Well, he certainly delivered.


In an interview themed, "Paying Attention to Meds for Paying Attention," first thing he points out is that meds have to go through the body to get to the mind. Hmmm. Hadn't really thought about that. Anyway, as a result, what's going on with the body impacts how well your meds are gonna work. Here are a few interesting topic areas that will help you steer a smarter course with your (or your loved one's) meds regimen.


Immune System & Food Allergies: If you're allergic to milk, eggs, or gluten, your bowel can become inflamed. By far the most common allergen is milk -- but it's not always an acute thing. It's often chronic and asymptomatic, so you don't know it's going on. But that inflammation can interfere with the delivery of your meds to your brain.


Your Liver: You can have an otherwise healthy liver in terms of acute pathology -- but a "constipated" one that has a chronic foul-up, thus affecting the absorption of med chemicals. Any treatment for ADD will be impeded when the liver doesn't function properly.


Your Diet: Neurotransmitters, which are what we're fixing when we take meds, are products of amino acids and proteins -- and have a short half-life. So if your digestive process isn't right, you're not making the micro-nutrients that produce the neurotransmitters. And just as I teach in Video I, Way 1: Feed Your Brain, Parker says you gotta get the protein -- especially in the morning.


Exercise and Metabolism: These two are related, because an increase in activity can affect metabolic rate -- and you can burn through your meds' effective window more quickly as a result of a significant increase in activity. So a kid (or adult) who takes up a new sport that increases physical activity may find that meds become less effective -- and have no idea why!


Side Effects: These are the window into whether you're using the med correctly. If you're getting side effects -- these are markers that are telling you that you need to change what you're doing!!!


Also know that different meds have different windows of effectiveness. Vyvanse is a different kind of med than Ritalin, for instance, so it has a different onset and "shut-off." Even a kid, Parker says, should be a "partner" in this arrangement, and parents can help kids to keep aware of the effective windows throughout the day. And lastly -- and this I tell EVERYONE, cuz I know it from personal experience -- each person is different and metabolizes stimulants differently. All too often, ADDers get the diagnosis, take the medication, have a bad experience, then give up. All the aforementioned in TESTIMONY to this view! Whichever treatment for ADD your doctor recommended initially, there's most likely another that could work better for your body.


You need to pay attention to how your meds are working. If something feels out of whack, go back to your doc and tell him/her in as much detail as possible what you're experiencing, because you (or your child) deserve to get correct results from meds. So if you go get a prescription and it doesn't work as you'd hoped or there's some problem -- TELL YOUR DOCTOR and DON'T WRITE OFF MEDS. It's trial and error. Keep trying!!


Next week, I'll probably talk about NON-medication treatment for ADD, because that's the next ATR archived interview I'm looking forward to listening to, and I'm pretty sure it'll yield a useful, informative blog.




Originally published in ADD Crusher Blog. Republished with permission.    


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 Recent Shows to Listen to in Our Archives


ADHD: Blurting, Babbling, and Interrupting - Point/Counterpoint
Ugh! Isn't it frustrating when you struggle with something for years only to find out you're paying attention to it the wrong way? Then, when you attend to it the right way, the solutions are obvious and come easy. In this episode, host Jeff Copper and his guest Kirsten Milliken, ADHD coach and clinical psychologist, address blurting, babbling, and interrupting. They discuss an article written on the topic and share their strong opinions around how the article is attending to the wrong thing, making it more difficult to manage ADHD and creating unnecessary stress. If babbling, blurting, and interrupting is something you identify with, you don't want to miss this show. You'll hear the side of the discussion that you've not attended to and the one you likely have longed for.

ADHD Coach's Toolbox: Favorite Metaphors
The root of ADHD coaching is helping those with ADHD regulate attention.  Shifting attention to what works is a big part of the process.  Metaphors and analogies are fundamental tools coaches use to shift context.  In this episode of Attention Talk Radio, attention coach and host, Jeff Copper, interviews Dr. Abigail Levrini around metaphors and their role in coaching, and they share their personal favorites.  If you are curious about attention and the tools used to regulate attention, you don't want to miss this show.

Making Sense of Nutrition and ADHD
"Diet, nutrition, vitamins, minerals, metabolism, supplements, preservatives, additives, fiber, allergies, food sensitivities, deficiencies, protein, fat, carbohydrates, Omega-3 oils, enzymes... AAAAHH!  So overwhelming!! Would someone give me a context so I can understand all this?" In this episode of Attention Talk Radio, we interview Dr. Sandy Newmark does just that, putting as much as he can into a context so you can understand how it all relates. Listen in as we try to empower you to move forward in helping you manage your ADHD with diet. If you feel like you are spinning your wheels trying to understand nutrition, you won't want to miss this show.

Reminder to Calendar These Upcoming Shows  

ADD/ADHD: Finding It Difficult to Pause 'Cause of Menopause
Wednesday, December 11, 2013, 8:00 pm EST
We've interviewed ADDiva Linda Roggli around the topic, "Is it ADD, Age, or Menopause?" In this episode of Attention Talk Radio, host and attention coach Jeff Copper interviews Zoe Kessler around her personal experience dealing with this trifecta. She reveals what it was like, how she managed it, gives tips, and openly shares her experience in hopes of helping you and others gain insight on this stage of life. Mind you, this is not a show just for women. Spouses and significant others can gain real insight by tuning into the show.

The Impact of Food Additives on ADHD
Wednesday, December 18, 2013, 8:00 pm EST
All kinds of things are added to our food. Some are good and healthy; some are not so good for many individuals. In this episode of Attention Talk Radio, we will interview Jane Hersey, national director of the Feingold Association of the United States. We will talk about food additives, the good, the bad, and the ugly. We will also talk about the potential impact on behavioral issues and discuss how to be mindful, where to get good information, and how many can manage food additives. If you have ADHD and are interested in helping the symptoms by diet, you won't want to miss this insightful show.

Be sure to visit the Attention Talk News website  


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Video News



Benefits of In-House Field Trips for Wiggly ADHD Students
Jackie Minniti ( is a retired schoolteacher with a wealth of information with regards to specific strategies that can be employed in classroom and home settings to help those with ADHD manage their hyperactivity. In this episode of Attention Talk Video, host Jeff Copper interviews Jackie Minniti around the concepts of in-house field trips.

We stumbled across this video of famous people with learning disabilities and wanted to share it with you. The video is very inspirational and brings hope to those who struggle!
Famous People with Learning Disabilities

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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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