​Many who struggle with inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity can see their joy and curiosity restored through strengths-based coaching. My guest, Maureen Nolan, LAPC, NCC, MACC, is an ADHD Coach and Consultant. Her passion in therapy and in coaching is to guide students and adults living with ADHD to develop emotional structure and meaningful attention on what matters in their lives – business, education, fun, family, relationships – in all the ways a passionate life makes a difference. She is also the Atlanta area “Sanity School for Parents” trainer. During this episode we discuss the what, why, who and how basics of ADHD.

 A few key points highlighted during this episode:

  • 12% of the U. S. population struggle with this disorder; these individuals are distracted, inattentive and experience executive function challenges (disorganized in many places in their lives).
  • Undiagnosed ADHD is a social injustice; it is critical to be identified and treated; through assessments you can be identified and steps can be taken to meet you where you are; if you’re struggling with inattention, impulsivity or hyperactivity don’t delay, this is a simple first step that can change your life.
  • ​There is an overwhelming emotional impact for ADHD that is not treated.
  • If it is not identified and treated and it’s a chronic and severe case, it will be very difficult to recover ( this can impact your employment and relationships, lead to unwanted pregnancy, time spent in jail and other areas of your life).
  • If someone is having trouble not being successful, they don’t know any different; they don’t know that being inattentive and distracted is not normal.
  • It’s important to note that for the person living with ADHD, this becomes their standard.
  • One suggested solution is to make special education the standard rather than just a limited scope of classes when training educators; if educators can identify and work with ADHD students the whole classroom will function much better.
  • Maureen’s children were identified during their 8th and 9th grades; she had a particularly challenging time getting her son through school during this time; she was also identified, which speaks to her passion around helping other families navigate this difficult journey.

Parents, consider the following:

  • Children can start to withdraw and get depressed
  • Parents can also become isolated as well when their child is no longer considered cute or funny and other parents don’t want to invite them into their homes
  • Denial is first and normal reaction
  • When something makes you wake up, a next typical reaction is to look to the school system to take care of this – provide education and support; but the school system cannot manage the majority of these students – it’s just not physically or financially possible.
  • Taking a step back is recommended to see what you need to learn to support both you and your child.

To better understand students who have been identified with ADHD, know that:

  • People don’t want to live this way and it causes them a silent and invisible misery that nobody understands who hasn’t gone through it.
  • Many students haven’t come to understand that their brain hurts and that their body is uncomfortable.
  • It’s not who they are that is having trouble, it’s their brain; they can change their brain and change their lives.
  • This is not who they are, there is an organic reason that this is part of their felt sense, and they don’t have to live this way for the rest of their lives, they can begin to understand the emotions that are a reaction to a brain in pain.
  • When their brain hurts they try to find a way to make it feel better; unfortunately, opioids, medications that are illegal find their way to many of our students of all ages – they have easy access; there is a moment when they take the meditation or smoke when their brain goes, ahhhhh, and that is the last moment that their brain goes ahhh; they will then be in search of that ahhh that will never return.
  • ADHD students come loaded with talents, but they’ve forgotten that these are strengths; someone along the path has removed their experience of success; it is possible to return them to their natural joy and curiosity about how they can live in the world doing things that make them happy.
  • They have attention; positive conversations can help them embrace this.
  • ADHD is a chronic brain condition that can be managed and they can find a level of comfort that they absolutely may not have ever even known was possible.

Suggested Resources:

  • ADHD Atlanta
  • Active Minds
  •  ​Book:  You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!: The Classic Self-Help Book for Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo ​
  • Sanity School for Parents – a strengths-based coach approach – six classes to help you assist your children going forward, along with a strong support network.  “Raising a complex child is, well, complex. Parents’ default is to return to the skills of and memories of their own experiences as a child. A ‘connected’ society requires more emotional resilience. Just try to apply any out of date skills with children who are not like you in a busy world with unmanageable distractions of social media. Why isn’t my child motivated like I was? Or, uh, oh, my child behaves a lot like me. What can I do in collaboration with my spouse’s ideas to manage a sense of chaos and distress as I prepare my child for the realities of the world?” You’ll cover:
    • Lesson 1: Parenting Complex Kids With A Coach Approach
    • Lesson 2: Activate The Brain
    • Lesson 3: Parenting Positively
    • Lesson 4: Shifting Expectations
    • Lesson 5: Using Systems and Structures
    • Lesson 6: Putting Your Oxygen Mask On First

For more information about Maureen Nolan and her work with students and their families, visit MaureenNolan.net, contact her at maureen@maureennolan.net or call 404-713-0488.

Take a peek at RobbiCrawford.com where you’ll find a resource hub of freebies and paid services for students and families eager to play the college game better.

Sign up for an Introductory Consultation, available for students,  parents and caring advocates. Let’s discuss your biggest challenge right now and some next steps to get you moving in your desired direction. If you need additional support, we’ll create a plan tailored to your specific needs.

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I’ve invited Maureen back for a future conversation where we’ll take a deeper dive into this topic of adult students with ADHD. Are you a college student with ADHD? What are some of your questions? What are some of the challenges you face as a college student? We’d love to address your questions and challenges during the show and suggest a few possible solutions. ​Thanks!

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