Repeating Mistakes

School and life help 1) People with ADHD generally repeat their mistakes. If you think about the school journey there are so many times where we are repeatedly reprimanded for making the same mistake over and over. Sometimes we don’t make the mistake and a well-meaning person will suggest we are finally learning from our mistakes. Time goes by and we make the same mistake again only to disappoint ourselves or the teacher, spouse, or friend.

In school one example might be remembering to write an assignment due date in to a calendar that is used. Two items there one is writing in the calendar and the second is looking at the calendar. The point is getting in trouble for not turning in homework on time because it was not entered in the calendar. After being yelled at a few times one remembers to write in the calendar for a week or two and homework is on time. After a month or two and an assignment or two is dropped, bam here comes the “haven’t you learned your lesson speech.”
Of course if you have ADHD you have experienced this scenario. Don’t beat yourself up, we don’t easily grasp the bigger picture so the idea of saving a penny today for a dollar tomorrow or saving oneself from future hardship by writing the assignment in a calendar just does not have any permanent resonance. Actually it’s even worse because we remember that we wanted to do better but we don’t have control over that part of our brain. When it’s on and firing we are great but when it’s not we don’t usually realize it until later. We end up living with the mantra of I should do this or should have done that.

An additional example is checkbook maintenance. Those pesky
fees from banks were made to get rich off of those with ADHD, I’m convinced of it. Each time the bank is paid up and I remind myself I’m going to enter every single item as it occurs I get along great for a while and then once again something overdraws the account. As an adult you may have experienced this scenario. Unfortunately coaching experience tells me the cost goes far beyond bank fees. The point is simply you are not alone and mostly remember if you have a particular weak spot understanding it allows you to ask for help when working on it. If you make a mistake that’s because of how your ADHD brain works you are likely to make it again.

ADHD Treatment

There is no one cure fits all for ADHD. Accurate diagnosis is the place to start. A doctor should be asking for full family input when diagnosing ADHD. An important factor is that the abnormal behavior is seen in more than one setting. Children may have behavior expectations at school that are unrealistic and the same is true of behavior at home therefore behavior needs to examined in both settings. Additionally there are generally some co-morbid issues like dyslexia, oppositional defiance disorder (ODD), or OCD. Even when a diagnosis is made and accurate the treatment regime is somewhat experimental in that it requires input to determine if the treatment is showing results without side effect. If diagnosed I recommend following your primary doctor’s treatment along with complimentary and alternative practices including coaching, prayer, and exercise.

Stim Chase warning

Moms and Dads please read my post on Stimulus chasing and now apply it to your adolescent children. If you can remember The A Team when it was first run then you are old enough to remember life without the cell phone, selfies, or the internet. All of the stim. issues I discuss apply even more when adding a dose of out of control hormone spikes to the mixture. Everyday there are new articles about phone abuse being carried out by our youth. I know when a child with ADHD hyper-focus’ that saying no is a battle and I know as parent we have to pick the important battles. Most 6th graders I know (I have an elementary aged child) already carry cell phones. As a parent it is nice to be able to reach our kids and it’s good for them to be able to reach us. What’s important to consider is if the child has ADHD they chase stimulus, lack self control filters, and can get so completely focused on one issue that reasoning no longer exists. That combination could be a recipe for disaster. Some states actively pursue criminal prosecution against minors that exchange inappropriate photos. As innocent as “my” child is one “it’s ok if I do it” can ruin a child’s life. Please monitor cell activity and remember if your child has ADHD he or she is more likely than not to experiment with this stimulating device.