10 Top Tips for coping with ADHD as an adult.

Exercise daily; exercise helps to decrease excess energy and helps with concentration and improves the ability to focus. It helps ease depression and anxiety.

Accept that you have ADHD but still need to find ways of managing it – society is not always very forgiving!

Find a peer group that accepts you.

Find time to relax and learn to breathe

Create a list of things to do, prioritise or get help prioritising. Restrict self to work down the list in order to avoid becoming overwhelmed

Set time limits for jobs that you undertake, if sense of time is unreliable, use a timer to assist

Break down or have your tasks broken down into small steps. Too much information can be too much

Use technology to organise your day. Set reminders

Learn about ADHD, understanding it can help you accept it and use certain traits to your advantage

Learn to meditate – anyone can do this , it just takes practice. White noise has also been found to be relaxing. Find something that suits you!

Resources on the Internet

Adoption Support Fund UK
www.adoptionsupportfund.co.uk

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – NHS.UK
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) – NHS.UK
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/autism/

SEND Code of Practice- British Dyslexia Association
www.bdadyslexia.org.uk

SEND Code of Practice: a summary | The Key for School Leaders
https://schoolleaders.thekeysupport.com › … › Managing SEN provision

Contact Information for other Organisations

Adoption Matters
www.adoptionmatters.org/

Attachment Aware Schools
attachmentawareschools.com

Coram
www.coram.org.uk/

IPSEA ( Independent Parental Special Education Support)
www.ipsea.org.uk/

PAC-UK:
www.pac-uk.org/

The Attachment & Trauma Network – ATN
https://www.attachmenttraumanetwork.org/

The Bowlby centre

Psychotherapy training centre

The National Autistic Society | – NAS
www.autism.org.uk/

Young Minds
https://youngminds.org.uk/find-help/conditions/adhd

Musings from Iceland.

My sister felt that I needed a rest, she took me to Iceland! The weather, I found, is just like home (Manchester) but more extreme. It rains, it is windy, it is grey, in February anyway! They do have snow, which we do not normally… The main difference being that whatever the elements throw at the island, the island and it’s inhabitants just adapt.

The Icelandic weather is just what it is, they don’t fight it or rail against it. They shrug, it is Iceland. At home we constantly complain about our weather, never accepting it, always striving for different. Hot is too hot, cold too cold, snow too deep. We are always surprised, ill equipped, not dressed for our reality.

In Iceland it is normal for things to be cancelled, to have to be rearranged because of the weather. Northern Lights tours are a case in point. They can be cancelled day after day and then rearranged,, meaning that 3 or 4 times the amount of people arrive to view this amazing spectacle. The tours adapt to meet capacity, without drama, everyone gets on the tour they paid for, eventually! The tour guides just shrug, for it is Iceland.

Planes are delayed, airports bunged with unhappy tourists. Bags are left in the baggage reclaim area, passengers told to walk around and find their bags that are just left on the floor.The Islanders take it in their stride, they assume the tourists will eventually work it out for themselves.

On night number 1, after getting thoroughly soaked due to forgetting to put on our waterproof trousers ( which we had in our bags at the hotel!), I lay awake at night in a lovely hotel, expecting to be kept awake by my sister who snores like a lumberjack, only  to be kept awake by club music until 4:30am.

We did enquire the next morning, if this disturbance was likely to be a one off but were met with the comment, ‘in Iceland, Friday & Saturday is Party night’. The shrug followed. We asked to move rooms and ended up on the quieter side of the hotel. No fuss.

I have found the visit to be illuminating. I love the Icelandic acceptance of their inevitable. Their connection to their elements is refreshing, grounding. They don’t fuss, enthuse or try too hard. They are polite, answer the question asked but do not see the need to embellish. Take us or leave us- we don’t mind.

The lack of need to seek identity and belonging runs through their core. Perhaps because they know who they are. Icelandic culture is their DNA and can be traced back through the centuries. They have ancestry, a clear sense of where they began and where they will end. The island around the city of Reykjavik is not pretty. The buildings are often brutalism personified, being made of concrete and metal. They serve a purpose, no frills. The feeling is one of being on the last outpost of civilisation, the last stop before the frozen north. It feels alien and life affirming at the same time.

The food is of the region, Minky whale, Puffin and a lot of fish. It is clean, fresh and does not try to be what it is not.

I leave here, when eventually we are cleared to leave on the plane (7 hours later), with a refreshed palate, realising that happiness for me lies in:

1. Starting to accept things sometimes are just what they are.
2. Stop trying so hard to change things by sheer force of will.
3. Open up to new adventures
4 Avoid tourists if possible (& snoring lumberjacks or at least pack ear defenders) and shrug…

I really must take care of myself….

I have always been told, in a somewhat patronising manner, that I need to take care of myself. I am a parent of a young man who is now 15 who we adopted at the age of 2 1/2. Everyone believes that this is young and therefore how traumatised can a child be?

The reality is very different, to the extent that I wrote a book about him! I wrote ‘Loving Eric, a personal a story about Adoption, Attachment, Autism & ADHD.’ to help others learn from our world, educate professionals and help other parents feel less alone. I wrote it because things had improved for our son but recent weeks have proven once again, that with a child this complex the road ahead is always bumpy.

Attachment and Autism can present in similar ways. Where one ends and the other begins for our son, I may never truly know. Essentially, for young people such as these, change is bad, it is scary. Since starting into the educational system,the pattern for us has been that by the summer term of every year, Eric has just about adjusted to the change in school years. He is normally more mellow, able to engage and learn. Hope is born. Summer holidays are normally calm (ish), but a few weeks before the September return to school the anxiety begins to build.

This year I was lulled into a false sense of security, the normal obstacles of a new term were navigated well, until they weren’t! The last few weeks have been like groundhog day. Constant emails back and forth to school, constant skirmishes with other students, all too frequently ending up with Eric coming off worse on many levels, including being hit. This leads onto fear of going to school and thus a spike in anxiety. The anxiety triggers the ‘autistic’ thinking, trapping Eric in a loop of repetitive behaviour, that sadly results in exactly the same outcome, that of feeling isolated, lonely and eradicating his already low self esteem.

A lovely girl I know well described this ‘autistic thinking’ as being in a concrete room, with no way out, no door, and the walls are just getting closer together, squashing her in their rigidity. This analogy has helped me understand how impossible it feels for the trapped individual. We, the ones not in the concrete box must therefore help them to find their own way out, we must drill through the concrete to build them a door, shore up the walls to prevent them from bearing down on them.

Constructing a door for Eric means that I have to try and enter his world. Why is he spiralling? Why does he feel unsafe? How can we put things in place to make him feel that he can escape the confines that his complexity has created for him? This involves negotiation with school, exploring the behaviours, being curious, because the behaviours are his means of communication.

Recently I have witnessed adults without additional needs, facing major change at work and they equally have not coped well. They are wanting to leave, walk away, refuse to do as they are asked by those in charge. They protest, they moan, they kick against their world. Perhaps my son is not acting that differently to them in many respects, but lacks their subtlety when he tells us how he feels. The main difference being that they are adults and can be self determining. They can seek new jobs. Eric must stay in full tim education until he is 18, he cannot change his situational reality. The only thing he can change is his outlook, develop new coping strategies, become less ‘Eric’. Easily said, dauntingly hard to manage.

However, that being said, for me the parent, and many others like me, it is an exhausting, relentless process. I am the target of the anger most of the time but I am also the key. The spiral down tires me out, makes feel a sense of panic about his future, I catastrophise and fail to see that this too shall pass. Things will improve but not without intervention.

So, getting back to my initial comment, I must now take care of myself in order that I can take care of my son and my family. I need to reflect on what makes me feel good about myself and be more creative. I need to relax my shoulders because they are currently residing up near to my ears….now, any ideas anyone ??

 

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