Grab the Reins: ADHD is an Explanation, Not an Excuse Ari Tuckman, PsyD, MBA West Chester, PA [email_address] www.TuckmanP...
ADHD IS MISUNDERSTOOD
The Problem with Assumptions <ul><li>ADHD is not a disorder of knowing what to do, it’s a disorder of doing what you know....
Excuses <ul><li>Excuses lower expectations because a person is seen as incapable. </li></ul><ul><li>This is ultimately dis...
Explanations <ul><li>Explanations offer understanding for why something is happening—and therefore what you can do about i...
Excuses Sometimes Don’t Work <ul><li>Excuses don’t work in every situation. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The electric company doe...
Who’s in Control? <ul><li>People who use excuses expect most of the change, flexibility, or accommodations to come from ot...
ACCEPTANCE IS EMPOWERING
Striking a Balance <ul><li>Diagnosis isn’t a get out of jail free card—still need to function in the world. </li></ul><ul>...
Knowledge is Power <ul><li>Learning about how ADHD affects your ability to get things done gives you the power to make bet...
You can’t leave the past in the past if it’s still happening in the present.
FACING YOUR DEMONS & BUILDING GOOD SELF-ESTEEM
Better Self-Esteem <ul><li>Solid self-esteem is based on realistic accomplishment and legitimate skills. </li></ul><ul><ul...
Choose Your Battles <ul><li>Sometimes discretion is the greater part of valor. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Colonel Custer isn’t ...
Manage the Social Costs <ul><li>Active expectation management can reduce the social costs of ADHD. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>G...
Clean Up Problems <ul><li>It takes guts to admit you blew it. </li></ul><ul><li>Clean up the problem: </li></ul><ul><ul><l...
BUILD ON SUCCESSES
Look on the Bright Side, Too <ul><li>Value existing strengths and successes to counter-balance weaknesses and failures. </...
Work It From Both Sides <ul><li>Improve functioning  by building skills </li></ul><ul><li>Work on acceptance  of certain l...
Persistence, not Perfection <ul><li>Solid self-esteem doesn’t require perfection, but enables you to survive the setbacks—...
Create Good Luck <ul><li>Everybody benefits from a lucky break sometimes, so enjoy them. </li></ul><ul><li>But don’t get t...
Work the process and the product will follow.
adultADHDbook.com (podcast, too!)
 
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ADHD is an Explanation, Not an Excuse

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ADHD is an Explanation, Not an Excuse

  1. 2. Grab the Reins: ADHD is an Explanation, Not an Excuse Ari Tuckman, PsyD, MBA West Chester, PA [email_address] www.TuckmanPsych.com
  2. 3. ADHD IS MISUNDERSTOOD
  3. 4. The Problem with Assumptions <ul><li>ADHD is not a disorder of knowing what to do, it’s a disorder of doing what you know. </li></ul><ul><li>ADHD folks have trouble turning their good intentions into action. </li></ul><ul><li>If you don’t have ADHD as an explanation, what are you left with? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People assume others operate the way that they do. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 5. Excuses <ul><li>Excuses lower expectations because a person is seen as incapable. </li></ul><ul><li>This is ultimately disempowering because it relies on others to be forgiving—and not everyone will be. </li></ul>
  5. 6. Explanations <ul><li>Explanations offer understanding for why something is happening—and therefore what you can do about it. </li></ul><ul><li>The responsibility for change is on the individual to use that information productively. </li></ul>
  6. 7. Excuses Sometimes Don’t Work <ul><li>Excuses don’t work in every situation. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The electric company doesn’t care if you have ADHD—they still want their payments on time. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Explanations assume that we can’t easily change the rules for individuals. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Explanations don’t mean that you have to act on the knowledge, but you can if you choose to. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 8. Who’s in Control? <ul><li>People who use excuses expect most of the change, flexibility, or accommodations to come from others—and are thereby powerless. </li></ul><ul><li>Using ADHD as an explanation places most of the onus for improvement onto the person himself—that means accepting responsibility but also offers hope for a better future. </li></ul>
  8. 9. ACCEPTANCE IS EMPOWERING
  9. 10. Striking a Balance <ul><li>Diagnosis isn’t a get out of jail free card—still need to function in the world. </li></ul><ul><li>Forgiveness + accountability = solid self-esteem. </li></ul><ul><li>Balancing act between hopelessness (too hard) and carelessness (too easy). </li></ul>
  10. 11. Knowledge is Power <ul><li>Learning about how ADHD affects your ability to get things done gives you the power to make better informed choices. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve your batting average with a short list of targeted strategies. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>General good advice often isn’t very helpful. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No matter how earnest. . . </li></ul></ul>
  11. 12. You can’t leave the past in the past if it’s still happening in the present.
  12. 13. FACING YOUR DEMONS & BUILDING GOOD SELF-ESTEEM
  13. 14. Better Self-Esteem <ul><li>Solid self-esteem is based on realistic accomplishment and legitimate skills. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No one can take that away. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Each success creates a step up the ladder of future success. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lessons learned </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Skills sharpened </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Confidence and willingness to take chances </li></ul></ul>
  14. 15. Choose Your Battles <ul><li>Sometimes discretion is the greater part of valor. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Colonel Custer isn’t famous for his bravery. . . </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Moral victories are expensive. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pursuing inappropriate goals. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not pursuing appropriate goals—cutting your nose to spite your face. </li></ul></ul>
  15. 16. Manage the Social Costs <ul><li>Active expectation management can reduce the social costs of ADHD. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Give people permission to remind you, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Re-interpret ADHD behaviors as unintentional and discourage over-reading of their meaning. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Talk symptoms before diagnoses. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 17. Clean Up Problems <ul><li>It takes guts to admit you blew it. </li></ul><ul><li>Clean up the problem: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Fix the problem, if possible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make amends </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sometimes the cover up is worse than the crime. </li></ul>
  17. 18. BUILD ON SUCCESSES
  18. 19. Look on the Bright Side, Too <ul><li>Value existing strengths and successes to counter-balance weaknesses and failures. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Even if shortcomings loom larger. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Give yourself credit for the effective strategies that you already use. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>And don’t cherrypick others’ good qualities. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 20. Work It From Both Sides <ul><li>Improve functioning by building skills </li></ul><ul><li>Work on acceptance of certain limitations and weaknesses </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is easier if you value your strengths. </li></ul></ul>
  20. 21. Persistence, not Perfection <ul><li>Solid self-esteem doesn’t require perfection, but enables you to survive the setbacks—and keep trying. </li></ul><ul><li>Life is a constant learning process. </li></ul>
  21. 22. Create Good Luck <ul><li>Everybody benefits from a lucky break sometimes, so enjoy them. </li></ul><ul><li>But don’t get too down on yourself when you get dealt a crummy hand. </li></ul><ul><li>However, good luck is also created—tilt the tides of fortune by laying a solid groundwork. </li></ul>
  22. 23. Work the process and the product will follow.
  23. 24. adultADHDbook.com (podcast, too!)

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