Some great ideas for you

It isn’t necessarily useful to be so attached to beliefs you currently believe most accurate.
 
The universe is inherently playful and will usually challenge them regularly.
 
I’ve learned over the years to share my thoughts with a spirit of “would you like to try this on”?
 
Understanding that the beliefs you hold are like the threads of a cloak you use to wrap yourself in as you navigate life.
 
This cloak has a special property. Any thread can be replaced with a stronger, more refined thread whenever it’s available for doing so.
 
We misunderstand that only things that never give are strong. When we know the ability to take in information, learn and adapt is how we survive, thrive and grow.
 
Flexibility, resourcefulness and resilience it responsible for your progress but you’ve been giving credit to stubbornness.
 
If you think a main function of ideas is to allow you to stroke your ego by one upping others, you may as well be wiping your ass with silk.
 
Ideas are precious, precision instruments that create the modern world. Ideas that improve the lives of others aren’t for you, though they do come through you.
 
Through, as in passing through. Long enough for you to help it come to life. Then the next idea comes. Let the energy of inspiration keep moving.
 
So hold on to your ideas long and strong enough for them to be useful. Just not so hard they become indistinguishable from you.

When “I don’t know”, is your kid’s favorite answer

“Why did you do that?”
 
“I don’t know!”
 
If you are raising a neurodiverse kid this is a familiar exchange.
 
Few parents know where to go from here. Fortunately, I do.
 
Einstein said, “It’s not that I’m smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
 
Introspection doesn’t come naturally to the neurodivergent, especially when they’re living in survival mode.
 
Their energy is spent monitoring and reacting to the overwhelming world they live in.
 
You almost need to require them to introspect.
 
For example, say they engage in a behavior that causes harm for them or others. You ask them to explain the behavior so you understand it better and they respond with, “I don’t know”.
 
Your response is. “Not yet perhaps. Do you agree it would be useful to know?” (pause) Let him ponder the question and even respond.
 
Saying, “NO” is a choice to be helpless to change things for a better result.
 
Assuming his answer is, “YES,” you can explore what feeling he may have been trying to calm with the action he took.
 
This is the beginning of understanding the cause and effect relationship between what they feel and what they do.
 
Their existing way of seeing the world is, “I did it because something outside me happened.”
 
See the difference?
 
Teaching your kiddo how to introspect helps plant the seeds of self-discipline, self-control and empowerment.
 
Let’s work on helping your child make this important shift.

Can a single criticism crush you?

Ever felt criticized for saying something in the wrong “tone”?
 
In your mind you knew it wasn’t a big deal. A misunderstanding, easy enough to correct.
 
But seemingly out of nowhere you find yourself sobbing and feeling worthless. It’s like that one criticism reminded you of how it felt every time you were criticized. Now you’re feeling all of them.
 
What the hell is going on?
 
In a neurodivergent brain such as yours. Especially if you have ADHD or Autism Spectrum Blips running around in there. Thoughts and feelings are experienced in an all or nothing, now or not now manner.
 
Even though many of those criticisms happened in the past. A brain experiencing time as now or not now feels like all the emotion is happening now.
 
If its all being felt now its all being expressed now. Sobbing, rage, panic, with little in between.
 
If you wanna break free of this trap start by recognizing the all or nothing aspect of your mind is a filter that isn’t giving you the full picture.
 
When your mind tells you, it’s either this or that, question it. Get into the habit of pausing and generating more options on your own or ideally with others.
 
It’s important to learn to understand experience as a continuum. Options offers us a continuum.
 
With our emotions, levels of intensity and how long it takes us to calm down exist on continuums as well. Learning what this means for you improves your ability to manage your emotions instead of being drown by them.
 
You can think of it as installing an internal emotional brake pedal to help you navigate those sharp turns so you don’t fly off the road.
 
Make sense?

A skill your neurodiverse child must have

As the mother of a Neurodiverse child, one skill you want your child to have is proactivity.
 
It’s difficult to teach if your child struggles with task initiation, future thinking, anxiety.
 
Here’s the gremlin to focus on to help remove the psychological barriers to taking charge of their life.
 
Common statements like:
 
“I forgot”
“You didn’t tell me to”
“You didn’t remind me to”
“I’m too tired”
“I don’t feel good”
 
May be be true on occasion. They may also be code for, “I don’t wanna.”
 
“I don’t wanna feel the frustration of not knowing where to start.”
 
“I don’t wanna deal with mom’s impatience when I need to ask her multiple times to explain what she wants me to do.”
 
“I don’t wanna deal with the anxiety of messing up and having someone be angry with me.”
 
But if they said, “I don’t wanna”, in the first place it wouldn’t save them. So they need to say something else.
 
In time they may lose awareness of the true issue.
 
So you see what appears to be laziness or lack of motivation. But with an inner dialogue like that, it’s more a matter of self-preservation.
 
Encourage them to be honest with you. Ask them if it’s a matter of not wanting to.
 
If they own it, wonderful. Then we can have a conversation about overcoming specific concerns (e.g. boredom, executive function difficulty).
 
Through you we can help your child learn to be more compassionate and patient with themselves.
 
Help them become more comfortable and confident in asking for what they need.
 
Learn to develop reciprocal, healthy relationships.
 
Help you find belonging in a community of women who “get it”, and help you find peace of mind.
 
Where there’s a we there’s a way. Here is the way.

How do you feel about change?

One assumption many parents and professionals make is that people with Neurodiversity aren’t motivated to improve their lives.

It isn’t that they don’t want to change, they may not believe they’re able to change.

They often have difficulty finishing what they start or getting started at all. Struggle with creating an action plan let alone executing on one.

This can cause such brutal self-talk they believe themselves to be stupid, incompetent, worthless etc.

The first thing to establish with any person living with Neurodiversity is their mindset around change:

1. Is change something they want?

2. Do they believe they are capable of making the change(s) they want?

3. If things were more like they wanted them to be, what would be different?

4. What one thing could they do to begin making that change?

5. What do they need to believe about themselves in order to take that first action?

6. Do they agree to act as if what they believed what was stated in #5 is true?

7. Do they agree to take the new action and report back?

How they respond to this exercise will tell you a lot about how flexible their thinking is, their level of self-doubt, openness to risk and change, etc.

Again, the objective is to introduce the possibility that change remains accessible and achievable but isn’t attainable until the individual believes it is and takes action.

Thoughts on setting boundaries and sticking to them

When learning to set boundaries it can feel uncomfortable to do. Like breaking in a pair of new shoes. You have to walk around in them for a while before they feel natural.

You may even feel like you’re being mean to others you’re setting boundaries with. Especially because many of them will say so.

It’s important to recognize the positive qualities you’re embodying when you set boundaries to offset any negative feedback you receive.

Qualities like:

👉 Self-respect regarding treatment you will not accept
👉 Honesty about you’re abilities and availability
👉 Balance is a clear priority when you say, “No” more often to preserve your energy for the important things

Should you receive pushback when setting boundaries, focus on feeling the self-respect, honesty and balance flowing through you.

Let that be what drives you to keep showing up in this new empowered way. It’ll be much harder for the naysayers to shut you down.

Getting things done when you don’t know how long it’ll take

One of the challenges with time blindness is when you have a long to do list. It can be anxiety inducing because estimating how long it’ll take you is a shot in the dark.
 
I don’t feel time passing unless I have a clock or clouds to watch, something that tells me time is passing.
 
I had a long list this morning my mind told me would take all day. It took a few hours.
Sure, I could use past experience as a point of reference. It’s just that my executive functions on one day may not be as well oiled on another.
 
So something I’m ordinarily proficient in may take me longer or may get done with more mistakes on days my brain is more glitchy.
 
I may know when I wake up my brain is off. I may not know until I begin the task.
Either way. Time is an elusive entity for many of us and a disorienting one at that.
 
To make this fact less stressful on myself, I complete tasks in short bursts.
 
It’s easier for me to appreciate 10 minutes than an hour. So I plan 10 minute chunks of work and see how much I get done in that time.
 
After 10 minutes I see how much I’ve gotten done, then plan to get at least as much done in the next 10 minutes.
 
It’s not a perfect system, but it keeps you moving forward.

Nipping IMPULSIVITY in the bud!

Not thinking before blurting out an embarrassing comment. Doing things that upset others as a matter of habit, only to regret them later.
 
The seeming inability to learn from any of this is a hallmark of ADHD. I used to get in so much trouble because of this.
 
The reason for impulsivity (as I understand it) in ADHD is two fold. The brain processes information more slowly. So the information you’re likely responding to is a bit behind.
 
I remember being corrected in class for commenting on something when the class had already moved on. Or continuing to talk about something when the person I was with was becoming upset because I was slow to catch on.
 
The second issue is that the brakes needed for stopping are faulty. So the STOP part of stop and think needs strengthening, like building a muscle.
 
One way to strengthen this muscle is by requiring yourself to consciously pause. Breathing techniques like box breathing are great for this.
 
The directions are straight forward…
 
👉You inhale for 4 seconds
👉Hold your breath for 4 seconds
👉Exhale for 4 seconds
👉Hold your breath for 4 seconds
👉Inhale for four seconds and repeat cycle for 5 minutes.
 
Box breathing is great on its own for relaxation or preventing anxiety attacks. Where it helps with impulsivity is when you hold your breath.
 
It gives your brain a chance to practice stopping and experiencing it as desirable. You’re consciously choosing to stop, repeatedly and you’re motivated to do it.
 
Practicing this increases wiring in the areas of the brain that need it. It also increases your awareness and ability to deliberately pause with a breath.
 
If all you learn is to count to 4 before responding, that’s a win. Just make sure you think.
 
I teach the women in my Inner Circle strategies like this to help themselves and their children living with neurodiversity.

When a neurodivergent person seems controlling, they may just feel unsafe

Saying someone has, “control issues” is often a misnomer.
 
For neurodivergent folks its often an issue with anxiety.
 
Feeling confused in a fast, noisy world demands you find something you can hold onto. Something to help you feel safe.
 
It can be a collection, a routine, a mantra, a person whose word you depend on.
 
My oldest used to get pissed at me when he was 5 or so and I’d estimate travel time wrong.
 
He’d want to know exactly how long it would take to get somewhere. If I was off by a few minutes he’d call me a liar, begin screaming and kicking my seat violently.
 
That’s how anxious and out of control he felt. I understand this now in retrospect. He’d become just as upset with his teacher when she didn’t keep to the schedule she laid out at the beginning of the day.
 
In one sense this behavior looks like OCD or inflexibility. To a degree executive function challenges play a role here.
 
I suspect your neurodivergent nervous system having difficulty adjusting quickly to uncertainty knows it. Which is why you feel so threatened by it.
 
I’ve become better at handling change over the years because my wife handles it so well. She’s an adventurous, go with the flow person.
 
I’m more a, “what’s the plan” kinda guy. I need some degree of certainty so I have something to hold onto. My anxiety is through the roof otherwise.
 
It’s a fact you and I have disorganized, highly sensitive nervous systems. No amount of meditation, medication or intervention can change all that.
 
They help!!! A lot 🙂 But they don’t eliminate the challenges completely.
 
But you must honor the thresholds of what your mind, body and emotions can withstand without causing you to meltdown or shutdown.
 
Take some time to reflect upon your tendencies to want to be in control of things. See if underneath it you actually feel unsafe.
 
We both know having control isn’t really an option. So what else will help you feel safe?
 
➡ Being with someone you trust?
➡ Knowing you’ll be okay whatever happens?
➡ Having the option to stop and leave if it becomes too much?
 
Create a list of options. In some cases, having the list is enough to lower your anxiety because its like having a map to the emergency exits in your pocket.
 
Give it a go and let me know if it helps.

Movement can be help you work through your emotions

One of the best reasons to include movement breaks into your schedule is because movement plays an important role in relieving stress.
 
Feeling trapped is a hallmark of a traumatic experience or an anxiety attack. Feeling like you can’t fight or flee.
 
An example might be a child who is having severe anxiety and is told they can’t leave their seat until the end of the lesson. A disempowered child may shut down.
 
Movement at least releases muscle tension which is calming.
 
In using both sides of the body to move you activate both hemispheres of the brain. This can make it easier to find the words for your feelings.
 
Being in motion as you talk about what happened changes your memory of it.
 
Because you felt you couldn’t move when it happened.
 
But you’re moving as you remember it in the present.
 
That’s a message to your mind and body that things are better now.
 
Trauma is common in the Neurodiversity world. What’s even more unfortunate is how much it impacts everyone’s world.
 
Somehow we must commit to healing. For our own peace and for the benefit of future generations.
 
As someone doing the work, I promise you. Being on the other side of it is worth going through it.