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Great learning opportunity

Feb 9, 2018

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New ADHD medication trial

Feb 2, 2018

Check out the attached flyer. Kids 6-12. Great opportunity.
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Workout Tip #7: Use the weekends!

Jan 12, 2018

If you’re going to take my advice and not skip two days in a row. That means working out on weekends. But, beyond the idea that you’ll need to workout on the weekend once. You should workout on weekends. Why? Most of us have pretty busy lives. There just isn’t a ton of time during the work week. I’m lucky. I work from home and can be pretty creative with my workout scheduling. And it can still be tough. For most folks weekdays are... getting the kids ready in the morning, getting ourselves ready, commuting, working, working more, trying to get home in horrible Greater Boston traffic or on trains that break down, making dinner, eating dinner, squeezing in family time, getting the kids to bed and/or helping with homework, etc.


Not exactly a lot of free time. More power to you if you have the energy and discipline to get your exercise on after all that. More likely you are squeezing it in at “lunch” or going super early in the morning. I’m certainly not saying that it’s impossible to fit in workouts during the week. Either way, we have to do that. But it usually leaves us with limited options. My wife gets up and rides the spin bike most mornings. That’s the only time during the week she can do it. But it was not an easy habit to cultivate… and she’s neurotypical.


Of course our weekends are busy too. But, if you plan ahead and think about when you’ll have an hour or so, you can probably find time on Saturday and Sunday to get in a decent work out. In fact, it may actually be easier because you may find you can relax and enjoy the activity more. And, you may have more options than just the one class at the gym that’s offered at 6am. Bottom line: if you go Saturday and Sunday, that means you only need to get to the gym Tuesday and Thursday to make it a 4x week. If you manage a third weekday workout, then you’re a rock star 5x-a-weeker.



Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. An imperfect post completed is better than a perfect post that goes unposted.



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Over stimulation at the holidays

Dec 21, 2017

When I turned 10 (I think) it was the last time that my parents invited everyone in my class to a birthday party at my house. It ended up being 30 or so kids running around and going crazy. Apparently it was too much for me to handle and I went outside and hid in my dad’s car. And I don’t mean hiding in the sense that no one knew where I was. I mean that I was hiding from the chaos.


As my Dad loves to tell this story, I have had a chance to reflect on its meaning many times over the years. I used to think of it as an anomaly. I never thought of myself as an introvert and am very much a social person. I spent my first career in commercial kitchens, which are, at best, controlled chaos. And, I thrived in that environment. So why the freak out at the birthday party all those years ago?


Well, I’ve realized recently that as much as I am a people person, I can also be over stimulated by my environment. Don’t love going food shopping in the middle of the day on Saturday at Wegmans. I never liked taking our son to the children’s museum on a Saturday unless it was members only hours. Generally speaking, I don’t love crowds.


I guess my point is that I’m a guy who handles busy situations pretty well and can thrive in them, but only if I have a way to make order out of the chaos. That was the case in the kitchens I working in. But, I can’t create structure in a supermarket on the Saturday before Christmas. So that I do find over stimulating.


There are many ADHDers who are even more susceptible to being overwhelmed by stimulation than I am. For those folks especially, it is really important to know their limits and be able to get the space that they need to feel comfortable. It’s also really important for spouses and other family members to understand those needs and be accomodating.


If you need to, give yourself a time out. (Like I did in the car at my birthday party.) Go into another room and sit by yourself and listen to a podcast, read a book, or meditate for a few minutes. Try not to plan too much back to back that could be overwhelming. Maybe sit out a select activity to give yourself room to breath. And, of course, exercise is always a good idea. Bring your running shoes to your folks’ house for the weekend and plan to get a few miles in before dinner.


And, while I’m speaking of planning… If you know yourself and plan ahead, you can probably predict when the points are that you may find overstimulating. Definitely plan ahead rather than waiting until you have an emergency. And, plan as a family. Let your spouse know what you are going to need to ‘survive’ the holiday so it’s not a surprise when you need to step a way for a bit.


Lastly, as a parent of an ADHD child, try to be aware of the potential over stimulation hazards that you child will face. Plan ahead, talk about it as a family, and teach self monitoring and self management skills. All of this should make your holiday season much more manageable and enjoyable.


I'll probably take a few weeks off from posting around the holidays. So, Happy Everything. And, look for my next post in the new year. Or consider using the new subscribe feature so you get an email whenever I post a new entry.


Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please excuse and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. An imperfect post completed is better than a perfect post that goes unposted.



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Workout Tip # 6: Don’t miss more than one day in a row

Dec 15, 2017

This one is short and to the point. If you are trying to develop a routine it is super important to be consistent. So yes, any working out is better than none. However, a workout routine that is more consistent is more likely to become a lasting habit. It has been my experience that once you miss two days in a row for any reason, it makes it really easy to not go on that third day… next thing you know you haven’t worked out for a week and your developing habit is disappearing before your eyes.


That’s why I recommend getting exercise at least 4 days a week. And, don’t assume that this has to be during the week. I think it can be easier to handle the demand of the work week if you make the commitment to exercise on the weekends and then you only have to go 2-3 times during the week.


It’s my feeling that going regularly is far more important that what you do or for how long. I think you are better off going 5x a week for 20 minutes than going than going twice a week for an hour each. It’s a better way to build good habits and probably better for your body and ADHD management. You can alway work up to longer workouts. Start with consistency.




Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please excuse and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. An imperfect post completed is better than a perfect post that goes unposted.



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Does music help us concentrate?

Dec 8, 2017

I had a great meeting of my CHADD parents support group last night. It was only three moms but they were all new and really ran the gamut of who comes to the meetings. One mom was really struggling with her 5 year-old boy who's recently diagnosed but long assumed to have had ADHD. One mom has a 16 year old girl who is working her tail off to hold it together in school despite having tremendous difficulty attending to just about anything. Interestingly, she did far better when she did 4 hours of gymnastics everyday. The last mom has a 14 year old who’s super inattentive and impulsive… and already well over six feet tall.


Some really interesting things came up. I’m going to try to cover them in the next few posts before I circle back to finish my work out tips series. One thing that came up near the end of the meeting was the whether or not listening to music is helpful or hurtful for concentration. I can’t remember if I’ve done a post on this or not. But, even if I have, it couldn’t hurt to do another one.


The short answer is, YES… for 95% or ADHDers. But there are some caveats to that… and of course exceptions. As with most aspects of ADHD, we ADHDers often respond in two different ways to the same issue/situation. The majority of us will will respond one way and a small percentage of us will respond in what is likely the exact opposite way. The vast majority of us focus far better when this is background sound of our choosing, ie. music.


I have no idea why this is or what the brain-based mechanism is. The way way that I’ve always thought about it was that there is 10% of my brain that is out of control and constantly seeking stimulation. If I’m doing anything that requires deep focus, that part of my brain gets bored and wants to think about or do something more interesting. Once it thinks of that thing, it hijacks the rest of my brain which goes along for the ride. However, if I chose the right music or other audio stimulation, it can keep that part of my brain occupied while I focus on what I want to focus on. As a matter of fact, we can all thank The Mighty Mighty Bosstones for my being able to concentrate on writing this at the end of a brutally long week, as I’m currently listening to their album The Magic of Youth.


The bottom line is that silence if my enemy. Of course, distracting sound is my enemy too. In this sense, we all have to find our ‘sweet spot’ of what sound is helpful. The following is what works for me.


  • Getting ready in the morning is repetitive and tedious. I have a bluetooth speaking in the bathroom and get my punk rock on first thing in the am to get me going. It is the difference between a shower seeming boring and something to avoid and it being just a thing that happens. I will also sometimes listen to 98.5.

  • When working in my office getting stuff done I will usually listen to mellower music if I’m doing more attention based tasks. Maybe The Avett Brothers, or The Old Crow Medicine Show.

  • When I’m in the car, I’m usually listening to a podcast or 98.5 or sometimes punk/ska. (I used to listen to a lot of NPR, but the current political climate stresses me out. So, I don’t do that much anymore.)

  • If I’m writing something complicated I might listen to Thelonious Monk solo Piano or Juno Reactor (electronica without lyrics… mostly.)

  • Even white noise is helpful. I sleep with a fan in the summer or a white noise machine while I’m sleeping and sometimes use that to work also.


The bottom line is that when your kids tell you that it help them to listen to music, it almost definitely does. Just encourage them to vary the music as needed to meet their attention needs.


Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please excuse and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. An imperfect post completed is better than a perfect post that goes unposted.



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