Principals are people too

No need to be afraid of Superintendents, Principals or anyone else in a position of school authority.

Sure, some are tougher to communicate with than others but they’re still people.

They’ve been taught to approach your child with ADHD from a behavioral perspective.

A perspective which in my opinion is outdated and ineffective at building self-awareness, self-regulation and an internal sense of reward.

It creates a desire for people pleasing and perfectionism in far too many instances.

Bottom line is they need education and support in adopting new thinking and strategies.

A PhD doesn’t grant you immaculate perception and the cathartic purging of your blind spots and every shred of ignorance.

True leadership is when learning goes both ways.

Mothers of special needs kids are some of the best researchers on the planet and know very well there’s always something new to learn.

If sharing resources becomes something you do as a team then teachability can become the norm.

A learning community isn’t made up solely of students. It must include those guiding them. It’s hard to get kids to buy into this philosophy if it isn’t modeled for them.

All parties need to acknowledge they don’t know what they don’t know, and maybe, stand to learn a thing or two from the other stakeholders in the arena.

We’re all in this together.

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Have a hard time falling asleep at night due to your ADHD?

There are many brain chemicals involved in enhancing focus, the two primary ones are dopamine and adrenaline.

Adrenaline is helpful for focus needed quickly. The downside is its the kind of focus needed for fight or flight vs let’s get some work done.

☑️Adrenaline is increased by caffeine (e.g. coffee), which is common for people with ADHD.

☑️Intense exercise that ramps up the pulse rate increases adrenaline and some dopamine and endorphins as well.

☑️Fear and anger increase adrenaline. Are you familiar with waiting until the last minute to get something done? That’s because you’re relying upon the adrenaline caused by the fear of not getting it done.

☑️The risks of relying too much on adrenaline for focus is it reinforces the all or nothing approach to tasks. You’re either full throttle or not interested.

☑️A drop in adrenalin can feel like a crash that can lead you to seek more adrenalin (e.g. coffee) or to listen to a song or watch a movie clip that jacks up your heart rate to give you more adrenalin.

Imagine what this is doing to your heart and nervous system over time.

Dopamine provides the pleasurable experience of a job well done. The pleasure of the action, meaning action must be involved in the experience.

☑️ADHD stimulant meds increase dopamine and norepinephrine. This is one reason it’s a favorite of people who want a child to be able to sit still. The meds increase dopamine without the need for movement (in theory). The reality is the meds may help require less movement but no movement at all is a fantasy.

☑️How do you get more dopamine without meds? A healthy diet and daily exercise can be done alone or with others to increase accountability.

Also supplements including supplements may help boost dopamine levels, including probiotics, fish oil, vitamin D, magnesium, ginkgo and ginseng (please consult your MD or nutritionist on this because dose is very important.

☑️Other things that increase dopamine are laughter, activities that make you happy and talking with people you feel strongly connected to.

With this I ask you, which source of focus do you think is more conducive to a good night sleep?

A feeling of calm while you work?

Sustained productivity vs peak and crash?

The ability to experience a wider range of emotion and resilience?

Yep, dopamine. Go get some.

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How people with ADHD Hear and why it’s crucial to understand this

Listen for one of the best descriptions you’ll ever hear of “Onmidirectional hearing”. It’s the way people with ADHD hear and one of the main reasons a traditional classroom will forever be a poor fit for these students.

Not to mention a workplace for an adult who has no idea the role her hearing plays in her inability to focus. 

This knowledge is game changing. 

You can watch the video version of this podcast here https://youtu.be/bmLGOZamgUs

 

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Public education policy is biased toward the needs of the able bodied

I’m hearing from mothers of young children who are being told about how their children need to learn to control their behavior, especially touching other children.

That’s it! The problem isn’t framed as a child acting in a way that demonstrates their own needs aren’t being met followed by asking questions about how to better support this child.

The frame is, this child must not bother other children.

REALLY! That’s the problem????

The problem isn’t that you expect a child who’s brain doesn’t produce enough dopamine to inhibit impulsive action, a child who’s best strategy to get the dopamine is movement and you bend over backward to deny them that and wonder why there’s an issue?

Wake up and smell the bullshit!

This isn’t the fault of the teacher either who is already juggling chainsaws to feed a bureaucratic beast that wants more and more for itself and less for the students.

Solution? We need parents, teachers and members of the special needs community involved in policy decisions at every level of government, from the school board up to the president’s cabinet and we must fight for this.

I’ve spend a lot of time over the years talking with administrators when I see inflexibility in the way things are done to educate my child(ren).

Teachers have less say about what happens in their classroom than you may realize.

They usually have to answer to someone with more authority, higher status and a bigger ego than can fit in the average classroom.

Of course not all administrators are like this, many are hands on partners with the teachers.

But where egos bloom students and teachers suffer, that MUST change. Put people in positions of authority who aren’t corrupted by it. When they are, don’t promote them, toss em out.

The future of our children is too high a price to pay for maintaining the status quo.

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You don’t need a cure for ADHD, but you do need . . . .

Just finished a call with my buddy Holly Ann Kaspar who is doing great things in the ADHD Arena as well.
 
We’ve both experienced well intended but misguided efforts from those who offer a cure for ADHD.
 
They don’t understand the nature of ADHD as a life long condition.
 
I’m not saying ADHD is static, there are absolutely areas where you can grow and I strongly encourage it.
 
But here’s the thing, if others really want to help, then tell them what you truly need isn’t a cure, it’s a community.
 
A community of people who accept and understand that you’re working hard on yourself, strive to be and do your best, yet you still have ADHD.
 
☑️ You need help with accountability so you stick with tasks.
☑️ You may need someone to help you calm down when your emotions get away from you.
☑️ You may need a gentle prompt when you’ve been talking too long and need to give someone else a chance.
 
There are so many small ways people can help a person with ADHD be more successful.
 
It starts with simply being a part of your life.

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Create women leaders instead of creating more followers

The pack mentality of the present school system works for the group often at the expense of the individual.

Case in point. A bright girl enters school already ahead of her classmates in many subject areas.

Are her abilities celebrated, is she challenged, praised, supported in maximizing her potential?

HELL NO! She’s told to stay with the pack, don’t work ahead, do the same busy work as the other students which bores the hell out of her.

This sends the message that education isn’t an individual pursuit. That it needs to be steered by an authority figure who isn’t interested in what you love.

I’m not saying this is the intention, I’m saying this is the message often received. How do I know? I work with these kids that’s how.

We work hard to undo the damage caused by the curiosity suffocation that can occur, hopefully unintentionally.

“Off task” has become a euphemism for using your imagination at a time when it inconveniences an authority figure or the pack.

It’s a wonder many of these kids end up working alone.

I call BS on this pack mentality and encourage parents and teachers to work closely together to allow a gifted student to blow past her peers academically if it means she learns to bring the best version of herself into the world.

Our world needs more female leaders and when they show up at a young age the last thing you should do is hold them back.

That’s the kind of education she needs.

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Quit calling yourself a PUSSY! Or should you?

On a call with my female entrepreneur clients I referenced my inner drill sergeant. It’s a voice I use to kick myself in the ass when I get down on myself.

I shared that my inner drill sergeant would sometimes call me a pussy. My client Lisa immediately called me on it and rightfully so.

Even though I didn’t mean it as demeaning toward women, it still speaks to the larger cultural stereotype that women are weaker than men, you and I both know that to be complete bullshit.

Historically men may appear physically stronger but that isn’t the only form of strength. Just think about how your typical guy handles a cold.

He’s so focused on being a tough guy in life he doesn’t learn to experience and manage vulnerability, like being sick.

Lisa’s correction led to a discussion about women’s empowerment, how women can stand in their own power and create a conversation around how women can create a shift in the culture.

It ended with us declaring where and how we can take action to create the change that is wanted and needed.

Great way to start the day if you ask me.

What you just read is what I posted on Facebook. Then the comments started coming in and the conversation grew. 

I was reminded of a quote attributed to Betty White regarding the sensitivity of testicles and ability of a vagina to take a pounding. 

According to Snopes Betty White never said that. The quote actually originated with comedian Sheng Wang and here’s how she said it.

A friend said to me, “Hey you need to grow a pair. Grow a pair, Bro.” It’s when someone calls you weak, but they associate it with a lack of testicles. Which is weird, because testicles are the most sensitive things in the world. If you suddenly just grew a pair, you’d be a lot more vulnerable. If you want to be tough, you should lose a pair. If you want to be real tough, you should grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.

Then I received a comment from my Facebook friend Laura Mzhickteno,

Dude! I’m proud to call myself a pussy. Pussies are strong and magical as fuck. Actually, they are basically indestructible. Human beings literally come out of them and then they continue to function how they were intended. Not to mentions the insane amount of nerve endings, self-cleaning properties, and the ability to create so much fucking pleasure. You want to call me a pussy? I’ll say thank you. Because honestly, I couldn’t imagine a better compliment.

That shifted the conversation to the importance of reclaiming the word instead of vilifying it. 

When you consider how much of our public discourse includes the fear of certain language, I think it misses this important point.

You can’t use that word because someone may be, “offended.” 

I get how emotionally charged certain words are because of their historical context. 

In this instance, my choice to use the word “pussy” openly led to further dialogue and changed my view of how the word could be used.

With that, I proudly declare myself a Pussy.

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Be careful, the parts of your parents you allow to show up in you may not be the best

Our parents instill layer upon layer of experience, prejudice, beliefs and habits upon us.

Some we adopt, others we resist or simply forget about.

ALL of this influences who we become, not always for the better.

You may learn the importance of hard work from your mother or father. You may also subconsciously learn perfectionism.

It’s very important for you to do the inner work. To take a close look at the mindset, worldview, software, whatever you want to call it, that drives everything you say and do.

It influences how you see the world, how you think it works, the beliefs you have about people for better or worse.

Separate the profound and practical from the poison.

Do this for your soul. Do this for those who rely on you.

The difference between you and me isn’t always choice

Yes we all have the same 24 hours.

This doesn’t mean what I make happen during that time and what Tony Robbins can make happen should be compared.

Besides not having access to his resources, I don’t have the same gifts or ambitions.

In 243 years the USA has had 45 Presidents. Not everyone gets a shot at that job.

There’s a lot of pressure to hustle, ship it, endlessly pursue greater levels of excellence. I’m actually a fan of the last one.

But the more I get to know the variety of people in this world the more I meet people who are cool playing tambourine instead of being the lead singer. Know what I mean?

I was listening to an interview with Casey Affleck (famous actor) and the interviewer was piling on the praise, all of which Casey shot down.

He went on to explain he thought all award shows are bogus and here’s why.

He said (paraphrasing), an actor isn’t by themselves on a movie set. There’s a director and the other actors who create a space that bring things out in you.

Outside of that context the talent may not be accessible. It’s a fascinating perspective.

Some may be genuinely content with a more simple role in the community which is a beautiful and essential contribution.

Still there are those who must endure extra layers of resistance due to race, sex, sexual preference, gender identity, learning or physical disabilities, etc.

When the gatekeepers to opportunities and resources actively discriminate (consciously or otherwise), the ones needing them most often don’t get them.

It’s easy for some to look down on others and believe what differentiates them is as simple as choices.

I call BS, it’s a matter of “access” to the resources, opportunities and people you need to help bring out the best in you.

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