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April 1, 2014   

Attention Talk News 


In This Issue . . . 


null DeShawn Wert has seen the devastation of ADHD that has been left untreated. So, how can parents address the struggle they have when making decisions for their ADHD child? Do parents suffer shame from misinformation in the media and misguided bystanders? Find out more in our featured article in this issue as DeShawn shares her insight on understanding ADHD in the wiring of a child's brain. Get her insight in the article, titled "Essential Understandings about ADHD & Your Child's Brain."      


How many people in Central Park would line up to have their picture taken with a proud dyslexic/ADHD person? Find out in our interview on Attention Talk Radio with David Flink, titled "Addressing ADHD Stigma Eye to Eye."   


Can you name three components of social attention? Find out what they are in our interview with Michelle Garcia Winner, titled "ADHD: What is Social Attention and What is Social Thinking?" on Attention Talk Radio.  


Is the ACO Coaches Organization conference of value to the ADHD community? We asked Dr. Charles Parker and Katherine Jahnke, conference chair, in our interview on Attention Talk Radio, titled "The ACO Conference is not Just for Coaches Anymore."


Do college professors teach information? Or do they require ADHD students to gather information themselves? Dr. Patricia Quinn answers the question in our interview with her on Attention Talk Video, entitled "ADHD: What's Missing in College?

Does dopamine make you feel happy? Find out in our video interview with Dr. David Nowell, titled "ADHD: Is Dopamine Something You Can Feel?

If you are a hoarder, does it mean you are OCD? Dr. Roberto Olivardia answers the question in our interview with him on Attention Talk Video, titled "Hoarding: Is It OCD, ADHD, or Both? Give Me context!"
Featured Article    

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Essential Understandings about ADHD & Your Child's Brain  

by DeShawn Wert, BS, MEd, ADD Coach



As a coach, I try to use all of the latest information with my parents and clients. I also try to rectify the different information as I filter and assimilate it in a way that makes sense with ALL of my experience... as a coach, educator, and practitioner of ADHD.


By putting all this information together in a way that makes sense to me, I can help people understand their own brain wiring and help them see the complexity of ADHD's impact on their home, work, school and relationships. This allows the client and me to develop a really solid action plan that set clients up for success, rather than more failure. I've seen the devastation of ADHD untreated; it is more than not paying attention in school!


After watching this video of Dr. Russell Barkley and his presentation to parents of children with ADHD in July 2012, I felt compelled to share what he considered the 30 most essential ideas about ADHD so parents are better armed to advocate and lose the shame about their ADHD child. Dr. Barkley tried to boil down the very essence of ADHD and what he wanted every parent to understand about the diagnosis and its implications about living with ADHD before leaving his office.


I connected with the presentation because of the research and stats he shared with the group, but he is also brutally honest about the impact of ADHD and the toll it can take on families if they don't embrace and believe their child has a real diagnosis and they don't fully advocate and fight for their child's education and place in their world.


One thing I have found as I study ADHD research is that each individual ADHD researcher has a unique view of ADHD executive function and its manifestation of behavior. Dr. Russell Barkley's research has led to his supposition about the importance of the lack of self-regulation and its impact on the emotional and cognitive parts of ADHD brains. He has worked with thousands of families on this topic, and I found his insight invaluable as he sees the shame so many parents suffer from the judgment of misinformed media and everyday bystanders.


So, based on his information and paired with my experience of working with families, I wanted to share several essential understandings I think parents really struggle with when making decisions about their kids and ADHD. I hope this helps...  


  1. Your parenting style (allowing TV watching or video gaming) did not cause your child's ADHD. It is a brain-based disorder and is due to genetic differences. That means your child was born with a brain difference. It is NOT bad parenting. Genome scans have identified 5-7 sites that carry ADHD risks. Some of these genomes identified have to do with dopamine pumps, which explains why medication works for certain ADHD symptoms connected to dopamine.  
  2. Parents need to understand that ADHD is about your child's "time blindness." Your child's brain doesn't look back or look forward in time. NOW is more compelling than the future. This time blindness starts out being appropriate in young children but can be devastating as children age and more independence is expected. This time blindness makes it hard to plan behaviors in a sequenced way that work towards a long-term, multi-step process needed to complete projects. ADHD children have very good intentions in producing but cannot get organized in a way to produce the intended outcome desired... no matter how hard they try!  
  3. Your ADHD child has all the knowledge that other children have. It is the "application of the knowledge" that is disrupted because of the lack of executive functions. Skills are not the focus in making changes to behavior but the point of performance is where the rubber meets the road. This makes accountability more important for ADHD students than their peers. Behavior modification is needed with students to help develop motivation, not skills. ADHD children need external motivation and it doesn't go away over time as an instructional step to learn but as a piece of motivation. These children need more frequent accountability to motivate, not additional lessons to learn skills. They already know the skills; they just lack the motivation.  
  4. Most children with ADHD have a higher chance of having other mental health issues in conjunction with ADHD. It is pretty rare as a standalone diagnosis. Other co-morbid conditions can include anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. This makes the diagnosis very important. Having a physician that understands the facets of ADHD and how other co-morbid disorder symptoms interact and mimic ADHD. The right diagnosis is vital to correct treatment.  
  5. Educational supports are specific to ADHD students due to brain differences. Parents need to help children create external systems to organize information for these executive functions:  
  • Short-term memory management, including sticky notes, paper, pencil, or other apps.  
  • Future blindness: use a timer for the passage of time and break the future into pieces/chunks  
  • Allow kids to manipulate items for math and language assignments. Don't ask them to mentally do abstract math or mentally hold things in their mind while processing. Allow them to use their fingers or other physical representations as they do multi-step problems and writing assignments.


ADHD can be a serious obstacle for students when it goes untreated, but it can be managed with the right treatment, designed learning environments that support their child's executive function deficits, and parents who are knowledgeable about their child's needs and advocate for them. 
Copyright DeShawn Wert, B.S., M.Ed., ADD Coach


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 Recent Shows to Listen to in Our Archives

What is the best way to deal with a learning disability or ADHD stigma? David Flink, a man with dyslexia and ADHD, says, "Eye to eye; the best way to do it is to talk about it." David's organization, Eye to Eye, specializes in just that. In this episode of Attention Talk Radio, we talk with David Flink about stigma and the benefits of discussing it and owning it. We also learn more about David's own story.

For those with ADD, ADHD, or ASD, regulating attention is difficult enough in usual circumstances, but what about in a social environment? What is social thinking? What is social attention? Has any research been done in this area, and what does it all mean? In this episode of Attention Talk Radio, we interview Michelle Garcia Winner on the topic of social thinking and social attention. We talk about these issues in the context of social skills and how to manage them. This is a show you won't want to miss.

The ADHD Coaches Organization conference isn't just for coaches anymore. In this episode of Attention Talk Radio, we interview Dr. Charles Parker, who shares his experience and what he learned as a mental health professional attending the ACO conference. He also shares why he thinks other professionals and those with ADHD can gain by attending the conference.  We also have conference chair, Katherine Jahnke, with us to share the details of this year's conference on May 2-4, 2014, in Phoenix, Arizona. 

Be sure to visit the Attention Talk News website  


Attention Talk Network... Your ADHD information Source!

Video News



ADHD: What's Missing in College
What are the three key differences in high school and college? Do parents fear these differences? Are these differences good news for college students? On the surface, they may sound great, BUT... are they? Watch this interview with Dr. Patricia Quinn and reflect on what might be obvious but are the very things that can be problematic for students with ADHD going off to college.
ADHD:  What's Missing in College?

Dopamine is the reward neurotransmitter and plays a big part in ADHD. What exactly does dopamine feel like? Watch our interview with Dr. David Nowell as he talks about dopamine and shares insight on what dopamine feels like. How can this help those with ADHD? Noticing it might help you pause and better manage your attention.
ADHD:  Is Dopamine Something You Can Feel? 

Are you a pack rat?  A hoarder?  Does that mean you are OCD?  Does it mean you're ADHD? Are you both OCD and ADHD? Watch our interview with Dr. Roberto Olivardia, an expert on OCD, ADHD, and hoarding as we try to put things into a context to understand what is what.

Other Stuff    


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Copyright 2014 Attention Talk News, Tampa, FL, USA.  All rights reserved. 

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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