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

 

Click here to join the “There’s more to you than ADHD” Facebook Group.

4 lessons from my morning drive

Hey there, my friends, Brian King here. If you are familiar with me, you know that I like to use metaphor.

And I like to find lessons pretty much anywhere that I can.

Because when you’re able to do that you’re reminded constantly what your principles are and what you stand for.

I had to take my wife to work this morning, and I live out in the country, farm country. So there’s a lot of critters and whatnot.

I made several small observations this morning, that I think are indicative of larger lessons, so I wanted to share them with you.

The first one was, and I’m gonna start this with a question. If birds can fly as high as they do, why on earth do they keep flying right in front of your car?

I don’t understand why it happens so much out here.

So there was a bird, I hope he made it by like, this much. He flew in front of my car and barely made it past.

So the lesson from that is, if you fly low, because you’re trying not to be noticed, or you’re trying to stay safe, it doesn’t prevent you from getting hit.

Now, there are a lot of people in this life that try to navigate this whole experience as much as possible without any risk. And it’s simply not possible.

No, unless you are living in a coma, or in complete isolation and experiencing no growth whatsoever. That’s the only way you’re going to avoid risk.

If you’re going to fly, fly high, don’t be afraid to be noticed. Put yourself out there, yeah, you’re going to be a little bit more exposed. And you’re going to be subject to different kinds of dangers and risks.

But you’re not going to get hit by a car because you’re flying so low. That’s the first lesson.

The second one is I saw a dead possum in the middle of the road. I’m going to spare you the details. But whenever I see a critter that didn’t make it, I asked questions like, you know, did it not see the car coming? You know, why does this keep happening? And I’m not sure.

But the lesson that came to my mind is, when you’re in an environment, you have to be aware of the the opportunities as well as the risks, you know, so a lot of people say, Oh, this is a great idea. Let’s do this, you know, nothing can stop us blah, blah, blah, then they do it.

And something comes along that derails them and they say, well, you never thought of that we didn’t consider that. Well, my question is, did you consider it at all?

Now there’s a risk, of course of people trying to over prepare or overthink it and think that they’ve covered all of their bases, when the reality is, no you can’t think of all the risks, not necessarily.

So you’re going to take your risks, you’re going to have some setbacks, hopefully, you’re not going to get run over. Because you anticipated some of the big risks. But it’s important to look at both sides of it. That’s the second lesson.

The third one is I have an older car, and it can only really get one radio station.

Fortunately, it plays a lot of songs that I like, but also songs I don’t like.

I remember when I used to live in the suburbs, I could just hit the search button. And it would find me the next best station or the next best song.

I rarely had the experience of sitting through a song that I really didn’t like, or didn’t care for, or bother me or whatever.

But if I want to listen to the radio, I’ve got to be willing to listen to a lot of songs I don’t like in order to get around the song I do like, now that is really a metaphor for life.

Because there are people these days, some of the younger folks who think everything should be fun, everything should be entertaining, there should be no inconveniences.

There should be nothing dislikable to any degree anywhere in your life experience.

I need to be willing to sit through some discomfort, some things I don’t like, because I know it’s on the way to something I do like, okay, final lesson.

Final lesson! There are a lot of hawks out here. And I saw a hawk trying to balance on a very thin, what I’m guessing as a telephone wire.

It was bumbling and it was clumsy. And it was putting its beak down and grabbing the wire and trying to balance and it was just having one a heck of a time.

The thought that came to my mind was, hey, bird, you need a stronger foundation, you need something that’s going to support you so that you can stand firm and stand tall.

A lot of us have a ready fire aim approach to life. And in some situations, that’s helpful. But for the most part, it’s reckless.

And what you really need in order to feel confident and secure enough to move forward is you have to have a stable enough foundation underneath you.

Do you have the right support system?

Do you have the right strategies?

Do you know what you need to know to get started? Not to go the distance because we know we learn as we go along. But to get started.

You need to be able to stand on a more solid foundation.

So those are four observations I made this morning in the 20-30 minutes or so it took to take my wife to work.

But if you’re really paying attention to life, and you’re noticing everything around you, and you ask yourself, you know what, what’s the lesson here?

What’s the lesson for me and the experience of this tree or this bird or whatever it is. So I just wanted to share those observations with you.

Hopefully they’re helpful. You can go ahead and pass this along if you think that there’s other people that can benefit from it. And until we talk again, this has been Brian Thanks for being you.

Want to learn more about developing the mindset I described here. Click here to explore my current offers. 

What has social media done to improve relationships for people with ADHD?

Hey there, friends, Brian King here. It’s my personal opinion that social media is one of the best things to ever happen to human relationships. Hear me out here.

One of the things that I discovered, when I really got to know things like Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, is it helped me realize just how much unnecessary fluff there is in human communication.

In fact, when I first started exploring what it meant to  have ADHD, dyslexia, and all of the language processing challenges that come along with that, in my case, my ability to remember everything that’s being said to me, all the different facts, so on very, very difficult for me to remember.

It’s not because I haven’t put the effort into learning all these different memory tricks. It’s because my brain simply doesn’t hold on to it. It’s a working memory problem.

The other piece of this is social nuance, things that require me to read between the lines, more abstract things, lot of it goes way over my head. For some people, they don’t catch the nuance at all. They just catch the concrete stuff.

Not to mention, there is a lot of being extemporaneous putting a lot of unnecessary detail as you tell the story.

And it’s very difficult for us to keep track of what’s the important stuff? What do you really want us to know? And a lot of us growing up are not taught to self advocate and ask for what it is that we need.

Any clarifying questions like can you repeat that again? Or Could you expand on this part, are often met with frustration? You know, people that say, “Man, you got to pay better attention”, or “You should have been listening the first time”, “I hate repeating myself”, all kinds of reasons why.

This still baffles me all the reasons why you don’t want to put the effort into being better understood.

Okay, you don’t want to clarify, you don’t want to repeat yourself. And I’m giving you the opportunity to be understood by me. And you’re fighting me on it. Does that make sense?

But on social media, it is so much easier to cut to the chase, to just show up and say, “Hey, can I ask you a question”? “Hey, I want to share this information with you.” And people don’t question it?

Not necessarily.

“Why are you sending me this article?” or “Hey, how was your day Tommy, how the kids are, let’s catch up.” A lot of that doesn’t happen on social media. Sometimes it does.

But for folks like myself who really need it short and sweet. It’s much easier for us to simply cut to the chase. Ask for what you need, deliver the information you want. And move on the same for texting, email.

It hasn’t depersonalized communication, I’ll tell you why.

Because there are people that I will go meet at a noisy coffee shop. I try to avoid the peak hours. But there are people that I will deal with that melee for just to be in their presence. Or I will fire up the webcam even when I’m tired.

I know at the end of the conversation with this person, I will be energized. So it’s not that I’m completely shunning relationships, I am prioritizing them more highly, in that I can have more people in my life. But I don’t have to have them at the same intensity as if it were in person.

There are certain people that I can take their personal energy, I can take it on web chat, I can take it in person. But there are some people that they’re wonderful. They have a wonderful influence on my life. But man are they way too intense, or they are so laid back. I start to doze off talking to them, not because they’re boring, but because my nervous system needs a greater level of intensity to wake up.

I know who those people are. And all the different points in between relationships are on a spectrum as well, just as ADHD, or Asperger’s or any other challenges on a spectrum.

Buffers, like Facebook, texting. Those are essential to helping us protect our energy, protect our bandwidth. Just find the balance of what it is we need in order to be effective in relationships.

I’ll tell you, if I had to interact face to face with everybody in my life that I need to interact with, I wouldn’t make it very far. You know, it’s like signing up for a marathon and then sprinting out of the gate and wondering why you got exhausted after the first hundred yards.

You need to be able to buffer to protect your energy to protect your bandwidth. And social media, texting technology gives us that. And I can’t reiterate enough.

I highly suspect it’s the people like me a lot of them a lot smarter than me, who invented this technology as a way for them to be able to have human connection and contact without absolutely exhausting themselves. But that’s just my opinion on it.

So use digital communication liberally use it the way you need it in order to be able to meet your social needs, your meet your career goals, your personal goals in a way that’s not going to so exhaust you that relationships become a source of pain. 

So that’s my two cents. Hopefully this has been useful for you. If so, please share it with somebody who really needs to hear this message. Until we talk again soon. This has been Brian Thanks for being you.

Don’t be the parent you wished you’d had

Hey there, my friend, welcome back. This is Brian King. I had a wonderful conversation with a young mother this morning who is likely to become a client.

One of the things that we talked about was the attitude of those around her that are giving her support teachers, professionals, and so on, and raising her child with ADHD.

One particular point came up, that stopped me stop the conversation, because I wanted to make sure she understood that this particular piece of advice was not going to help her and what she wants to accomplish in her goals with her child.

Ironically, of all the places to come across this advice, it was in a therapist office, it was a little sign on the wall. That said, “Be the parent you wish you’d had.”

 
I stopped her and I said, “I hate to tell you this, but that’s lousy advice.”

 
Let me explain to you why that’s problematic.

 
The first reason is, it’s important to understand that parenting isn’t your opportunity to repair the wounds of your childhood through your child.

Too many parents do that.

They say, “Well, my parents beat me. So I’m going to do the opposite.”

“My parents never gave me you know, big birthday parties. So I’m going to have the biggest knockdown drag out parties you ever had.”

All this is about meeting needs of yours almost like you want to thumb your nose at your parents poor parenting.

So you show off towards your own kid. But none of that parenting is about them. It’s all about you.

Meeting your needs trying to settle a score with the poor parenting you had.

I’m not saying that you’re coming from a vindictive place, or a vengeful place.

I am suggesting that you are coming from a bit of a hurt place, focusing on needs you didn’t have met for yourself.

And you’re being fed this poor idea that the measure of success is how good a parent you are, based on what you wish you had.

Now, just thinking about this point alone, should hopefully help you realize that, although we get into parenting for biological reasons, we’re driven to reproduce. Or we want to give a kid a good life, you know, whatever our reasons are for becoming parents.

Initially, you aren’t as self less as you would like to be. It’s about you, I want to be a parent, I always saw myself as a parent. And I’m not going to parent the way I was parented that I’m going to do it different.

 
All that is about you.

 
So when you begin with that premise, you’re already missing out on the opportunity to find out who your child is.

 
So let’s think of some other reasons why being the parent you wish you had isn’t good advice.

 
We already mentioned that it isn’t an opportunity to repair your childhood. You also have to keep in mind that your child is not growing up in the world you did.

I don’t know how old you are. I’m 49. I was an 80s kid. That’s when I went to high school. Then you have the millennials and the Generation Z or however they’re dissecting us these days.

I did not grow up with cyber bullying. With school shootings, with the 24 hour bad news cycle, the amount of pressure, anxiety, comparison, that is now accessible to kids that wasn’t accessible before.

Not to the degree that it is now our kids are under so much more pressure than we ever were.

And they don’t have the same ways to let it out. In fact, they have more access to peers. They’re getting together in chat groups, Facebook groups, that we don’t even know that they’re in.

New apps rolling out constantly that allow group communication, we don’t even know the app exists, let alone when our kids are having these conversations.

But often they find their peers understand and listen to them better than their parents do. And get it even though these peers may be feeding them very bad advice.

They’re going to go to their peers because their peers Listen, and their peers get it. So let’s move then into Well, if being the parent you wish you had isn’t solid advice, what the heck do I do instead?
 
Well, let me give you a little snippet from my own life because not only do I have ADHD, and dyslexia and bunch of other challenges, my three sons have forms of autism and ADHD.

I had the same fantasies that a lot of parents do, where my kid was going to be athletic when I wasn’t, my kid was going to be smart. Because their mother and I were both college graduates, I had this wonderfully elaborate and very low maintenance story that I told myself about how smooth things were going to go.

Because this was my child, I was somehow going to be more enlightened than the rest. And peers that I had there were already parents, they smirked at me, they shook their heads. They said, “Man, you don’t know what you’re talking about, you have no idea what you’re getting yourself into.”

I was arrogant, and naive enough to think that they were wrong. And as it turns out, they were absolutely right.

 
It’s, not a measure of success. To be the parent you wish you’d had. The measure of success is can you allow yourself to become the parent, your children need you to be.

Because let’s say it being a parent, it’s not the opportunity to recycle what you already know, to just find some kid with an empty head and pour everything you already know, into them and say, here’s my fatherly wisdom, now go forth into the world and make a difference.

That’s not how it works.

How it works is your kid throws a bunch of stuff at you you’ve never encountered before, takes you way outside your comfort zone helps you feel stupid, like you don’t know what you’re doing.

And now you have to talk to your mother or your friend that has kids, or whoever it is it has the information you need. So they can help you grow as a person. And as parents.

Parenting is first and foremost, a growth opportunity.

You need to show up teachable.

 
The best parent is teachable.

 
They are a student of their child’s experience. Which means that they listen. They pay attention. They question everything, starting with their own assumptions, perceptions, projections, you name it.

If you are the self appointed “right” person in the house, meaning you’re the one that’s right, because you have the authority, you have all these reasons that make you think that your perception of things is the most superior. I promise you, you do not have immaculate perception like you believe you do.

You have the same flawed way of looking at the world that everybody else does, you have prejudices, bias, all kinds of filters that get in the way of learning who your child is.

And by becoming aware of those things. And knowing that they are in the way you can take them into consideration.

And you can learn to address them as they show up. As opposed to insisting that your perspective on things is the most correct.

And your child’s job is to submit, tell you that you’re right, do everything they’re told when they’re told to do it. And that’s their job.

Now, yes, we want obedient kids. But we also want kids that are resourceful, and resilient, and good problem solvers.

And we can help them do that. If we’re too busy trying to make them have the childhood we wish we’d had, instead of teaching them how to spot the opportunities in their own childhood.

So thinking about your child’s needs right now. What does your child need?

 
Like I said, they need you to be teachable.

They need your patience. They need you to be empowered. Because when you’re raising kids with special needs, you’re dealing with a very self centered, ignorant world that likes sameness, conformity, predictability, 
familiarity, and our kids are different.

 
Our kids are in a position to teach the world that diversity is what’s King. Diversity is a measure of success, not something to be threatened by. Being empowered means you are ready, willing, and confident and speaking up for what your kids need. And you can model it to them as well. So they become strong self advocates.

You also need to be very curious, like I said, be a student of your child’s experience, ask a lot of questions.

Why are they doing that? Why are they behaving that way? Why did my child say such awful things to me?

Maybe she’s hurting a lot more deeply than I ever imagined. I need to give her a good listening to instead of lecturing her on how inappropriate her behavior was, and how she can’t treat people like that, or it’s going to ruin her life.

It’s tempting to give a lecture when a child talks to you in a way that’s quote, “offensive” to you.

But 10 timeouts, is never going to accomplish what one good listening to can accomplish. Learn to be a student of your child, learn to become the parent, they need you to be, grow into a better, more flexible, more wonderful person than you ever imagined you can become.

A child comes into this world that must learn how to fly on their own strengths and make their own contribution in this world.

That’s my response to the idea that being the parent you wish you had was a good idea.

I hope that you consider my point of view, feel free to reject it if it doesn’t work for you. These are just my thoughts. It’s based on my experience. And you have any questions or any comments you want to add to this, feel free to message me here.

And I’d be happy to have a conversation with you. And if there’s somebody you know that could benefit from this message, please share.