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September 1, 2014 

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In This Issue . . .  


null What is the role of an ADHD advocate in managing the experience of your child's ADHD? How much involvement should you have as the parent? Have you abdicated your role? Or do you learn the process and work toward the desired outcome? Read our featured article by DeShawn Wert, titled "ADHD Advocacy: What It is... and Is Not," and get her insight around parents' advocacy for their ADHD kids. It might be a no-brainer for you, but it just might show you some tips and strategies to help your family.
On Attention Talk Radio, be sure to check out these recent shows:


Retention ratios of returned students to college are being used as a marketing tool. Dr. Theresa Maitland and ADHD coach Jeff Copper see this as a sign that colleges are providing more support services to those with ADHD. What do you think? Listen to our show with Dr. Theresa Maitland, titled "Preparing Teens with ADHD/LD for College," and learn more.    


Why are we unaware of how unaware we are? Because we are only aware of missing the obvious when we notice we missed the obvious. Could becoming aware of how unaware you are help you to manage your ADHD? Learn more in our show with Dr. Daniel J. Simons, titled "ADHD, Awareness, and Inattentional Blindness."  


Can you believe there is virtually no research on ADHD and the elderly?  We believe that they not only experience it the same as other ADHD adults, but perhaps the challenges they face are much worse. Would you agree that more research is needed in this area? Catch our show with Gina Pera and learn more. It's titled "ADHD: The Elderly, Their Issues, and a Call for Research."


And don't miss our recent interviews on Attention Talk Video:


If ADHD stimulants are so addictive, why do you think so many with ADHD forget to take their meds? Do you think flipping your ADHD meds prescription can help you know if you took your meds? How do you confirm if you did or didn't take your meds? Hear what ADHD coach and nurse practitioner Laurie Dupar has to say in our video, titled "Why Do Those with ADHD Forget to Take Their Stimulants?"

Marriage consultant Melissa Orlov talks about flooding as a type of anger that is physiological. it overcomes us and is difficult to down-regulate. The best way to notice it coming on is to sense it in the body. Have you ever felt this type of anger coming on? How have you managed it?  Learn more in our video interview with her, titled "ADHD Hurtful Fights: Can They Be Mended?" 

ADHD coach Jay Carter explains how you should make your own ADHD accommodations at work without addressing it with your employer. Is this doable for most? Or would your environment prevent such a thing?  Check out our video interview with him, titled "ADHD Accommodations in the Workplace, Expensive or Not."

Overeating, gambling, sexual activity, and others are addictive behaviors that Dr. David Teplin explains are highly correlated with ADHD. Do you think it is biological? Or do such behaviors manifest from ADHD traits of impulsivity and distractibility? Get the answers and learn more in our video interview, titled "Revisiting Aspects of Adult ADHD & Addictive Behaviors."

Are you attending to the right thing? If you haven't done it yet, download our new a-Book (the "a" is for attention), "Identify YOUR Top Five Hurdles to Managing ADD/ADHD."  It has tips Jeff has learned from doing over 300 interviews with ADHD experts. Let your friends know about it, too! They can download it here:

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ADHD Advocacy: What It Is... and Is Not       

I've been thinking a lot about how ADHD parents can better advocate for their kids lately. So much so that I've created a survey to see how I can better help parents prepare for their advocacy role in school settings when participating in Section 504 and IDEA law case conference meetings. By becoming the a parent of an ADHD child, you WILL be forced to become an advocate for your child, and they will learn to advocate for themselves by watching you. With that being said, the question now becomes what are you doing to model ADHD advocacy for your child? Today I wanted to share mindsets, tips and strategies in parent advocacy for your ADHD child. They could already be strong in you and this post is a no-brainer...or you may not be sure exactly how you should be working with the school to get your child's needs met.
ADHD Parent Advocacy IS...
  1. Being well informed about the facts of ADHD and using them in conversation in formal situations when decisions are being made and informally when awareness is being raised. To do this, you can join online communities, read or listen ADHD books, participate in podcasts, trainings and conferences.
  2. Sharing your child's ADHD symptoms with the group by sharing how they manifest through your child's appropriate and inappropriate behaviors, identifying the social fallout of the behavior you're seeing, noting the impacts on academics at home and in class, and what is currently being done to "modify" at home. You have to share your child's "quirks" and be able to articulate them if he is having difficulty at home, school or with peers-most especially if the school hasn't caught on yet. This means bullying behavior (as a victim or perpetrator), academic issues, and emotional regulation.
  3. Confidently sharing your thoughts and opinions on what will work with your child but being open to try alternative ideas. You are not a interloper here. You are the child's parent and if you disagree with a suggested strategy, be sure to express your concern and why. Relate it back to your child's ADHD diagnosis or the concern you are seeing in the home or at school. Remember that you do know what you are talking about when it comes to your child, no one else.
  4. Being positive with the staff if/when you disagree with a modification, accommodation or strategy. Your positive tone conveys that your interest is on seeing your child's needs are being met, not winning an argument. Restate concerns as they relate to your child and their diagnosis.
  5. Knowing the process for getting assistance and understanding the protocols for help. If not yet diagnosed, don't be afraid of getting proper diagnosis from a doctor, requesting additional academic interventions for your child, or setting a case conference for services. Start the request for interventions, diagnosis, and special services to get your child relief from the frustration of working so hard and feeling as it they are not catching on. This is a soul killer for ADHD children! As one of my colleagues says, "special education is a service, not a place." Don't let your bias of special education stop your child from getting help they deserve.
  6. Taking and keeping your own notes of the meetings. I don't want you to assume the worst about staff and I've mentioned before the importance of being positive and the professional tone it brings. In fact, your interactions and words say you trust them, but they make mistakes too, and you need access to your own information. One strategy I recommend after any conversation, is to email all participants your thanks and a quick summary of the conversation. This serves 2 very important purposes. It is as reminder of actions steps (to them and yourself) and documentation the conversation took place, if you need it. You also need to designate a place to keep your important documents regarding all conversations. Bring paper and a pencil and record your own notes for your reference to every meeting.
  7. Finding ways to meaningfully include your child into the advocacy process. This means you should talk with younger students before the meeting to get ideas from them on HOW to make school better. Older students absolutely need to be participating in strategies for themselves. We want them to start advocating for themselves before leaving high school and law changes requiring your young adult to talk with professors and employers regarding their needs, and not you. By advocating, you share your particular knowledge of your child history, any concerns you have about them (social, academic, or emotional), make plans for implementation in the best interest of the AHDH child, and ensure everyone's legal rights are protected and policy is followed.
ADHD Parent Advocacy IS NOT...
  1. Making excuses for your child's behavior. ADHD children need strong external motivation and you and the school personnel will be providing that piece. Dr. Russell says that ADHD children need more accountability, not excuses and I agree with him totally.
  2. Complaining about the school's lack of effort, support or services to other parents. Use the proper channels and protocols to note your concerns and the lack of progress. Complaining wastes your time and makes you feel like a victim, so just stop and start following the protocol to request another meeting, find an advocate to assist you, or start a group of concerned citizens to make a change to the school policy.
  3. Deferring to the "professionals" to make all the important decisions about your child's education and health. As the parent, you need to weigh in on ALL of the process. Even if that means you need to have some additional time for processing, bringing others to the table, or getting more information.
  4. Providing a perfect school experience for your child at school. School personnel work to make your child's school experience "appropriate" and "least restrictive," ( if you are using the IEP process). Every parent should want their child to grow and stretch (that is actually called learning). If you are trying to arrange an "easy go" of school, you will be short changing your child! He will not learn the skills of perseverance, setting goals, and taking action in achieving his dreams.
  5. Not following rules or protocols, and expecting special treatment.  It is vital that you learn the legal process and work with it to have the outcomes you want for your child.
It is my hope that by understanding your role in the process, being armed with ADHD facts, and expressing your child's unique manifestation of ADHD, you can model good advocacy skills, get the best help for your child and work cooperatively with those who want to see your child succeed, too. By stepping back and letting the "professionals" manage your child's condition is, in my opinion, abdicating your role and only teaching your child to pass on advocating for himself...which is not good in the long run.
Copyright  2014. DeShawn Wert, B.S., M.Ed., ADD Coach. All rights reserved.
Published with permission.
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Listen to Recent Radio Shows in Our Archives
(Just click the title link)

 Is your teen ready to launch? To head off to college? In this episode of Attention Talk Radio, we interview Dr. Theresa Maitland, co-author of "Ready for Take-Off" around ADHD teens heading off to college. She shares the good, the bad, and the ugly along with some useful tips, lessons learned, and other tidbits every ADHD parent and teen needs to know. If you are impacted by anyone headed off to college, this is a show you don't want to miss.

Attention and perception define our experience in life. They also define what we are and are not aware of. Question is... how aware are you of being unaware? Many researchers and professionals believe awareness or self-awareness is the key for those with ADHD to manage it. Jeff Copper believes the first step to managing awareness is to understand how unaware we really are because of "inattentional" blindness. In this episode Jeff interviews Dr. Daniel Simons, psychologist and co-author of The Invisible Gorilla, a book that will open your mind to visual awareness. Dan is an expert in visual perception and attention and has mastered the art of putting people in an experience for them to witness how blind they are to the blinding flash of the obvious. If you have ADHD and want to more effectively manage your awareness, listen to this show and learn just how unaware most of us really are.
ADHD: The Elderly, Their Issues, and a Call for Research
Can you believe there is virtually no research on ADHD and the elderly? Surely they must be impacted. We speculate that this population not only experiences the same issues as other ADHD adults, but possibly their challenges are worse. Join Jeff Copper and Gina Pera ( in a conversation on the topic, speculating on the unique challenges this group faces and calling for more research and data. If you're elderly or have an elderly family member who exhibits symptoms of ADHD, this is a show you won't want to miss.


Be sure to visit the Attention Talk News website  


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Video News



ADHD Coaching Works
Edge Foundation is a loyal supporter of Attention Talk Network. Recently they released an excellent video about coaching with lots of great comments and testimonials from individuals coached by Edge Foundation coaches.  We encourage you to check it out! Coaching can be powerful for many in need. If you see someone struggling with ADHD, forward this video and let them know help is out there in the form of coaching.
ADHD Coaching works

Why Do Those With ADHD Forget to Take Their Stimulants?
If ADHD stimulants are addictive, why is it that many with ADHD forget to take their meds? Watch our interview with ADHD coach and nurse practitioner Laurie Dupar ( for her thoughts on the topic.
Why Do Those with ADHD Forget to Take Their Stimulants?

ADHD Hurtful Fights: Can They Be Mended?

Regulating emotions is as much a part of ADHD as regulating attention. All too often, emotions flare in ADHD relationships, people say things they can't take back, and the fights become hurtful. The question is can things be repaired? Find out in this interview with Melissa Orlov (, marriage consultant and co-author of "The Couple's Guide to Thriving with ADHD."

ADHD Hurtful Fights: Can They Be Mended? 


ADHD Accommodations in the Workplace, Expensive or Not
When it comes to ADHD accommodations at work, are they expensive, inexpensive, or does it just require imagination? In this interview we talk to ADHD coach Jay Carter ( about workplace accommodations, the iterative process of finding accommodations, and other key tips.

Revisiting Aspects of Adult ADHD & Addictive Behaviors

In another interview we had interviewed Dr. David Teplin ( around ADHD and substance abuse. In this interview we pick up where we left off and discuss ADHD and addictive behaviors. If you have ADHD and notice you abuse substances or have addictive behaviors, you won't want to miss this interview.

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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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