About This Project

In the brilliant best seller, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell told us that anything we have spent at least 10,000 hours studying makes us an expert. With over  140,000 hours logged to date, living with, and loving a husband and now a son with ADHD, I’m well over the threshold of expert.

I’m not a doctor, I’m not a therapist or a scientist, I’m a wife and a mom. I’m a practitioner of the ADHD relationship. Not only have I logged the hours, I’ve put my heart and soul into these relationships.

Let me clarify, first I screwed them up a lot and then I started getting better.  Now that I’m getting better, I want share what’s working with you as well as save you some of the heartache and chaos that we’ve experienced.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ve also spent the last fourteen years as a consultant for FranklinCovey studying relationships and why people do what they do and why they don’t always do what we want them to do.

Key themes that we’ll cover on the website and in the book for a Not Wrong, Just Different view:

There are three common perspectives to the ADHD relationship.

1. It’s Not Real

You’ll know when you run into this one when you hear things like this:

ADD isn’t real, the pharmaceutical companies made it up to sell more drugs.  It’s caused by too much sugar, too much time playing video games, and my favorite belief from It’s Not Real ………..It’s the parent’s fault.  Not enough discipline, not enough spankings, not enough responsibility, too much sugar, too much TV, too many video games -blah blah blah.

2. The Fixer

 A fixer comes into the relationship to do just that….to fix it.  To fix the ADD, to fix the lack of organization, to fix the poor diet, to fix the trouble with the teacher.  Fill in the blank “to fix ____”.

There are two inherent problems with this perspective. 

The first problem with being a Fixer, it implies brokenness. By taking on this perspective, you have set your relationship up for an unintended consequence; you have told the person you love with ADD that they are broken.  You, the fixer, are here to fix their brokenness. Through your words and your actions and ………your good intentions, you will daily reinforce their brokenness through your desire to fix. 

3. Not Wrong Just Different

Finally, the most effective perspective for ADD relationships and my recommendation is to see them as Not Wrong, Just Different.  Each of us is different in the way we they process information, which in turn makes us different in the way we organize, decide, and relate.  We have neuro-differences, differences in the way our brain works.

The Problem and The Opportunity.

Here’s some good news about ADD.  It is not just a problem; there is also a great opportunity to capitalize on their gifts. 

 The Hurricane in their brain.

The hurricane is the immense amount of information that spins inside the ADD brain at record speed; a constant whirling of facts and data and thoughts and responses.

When they can’t focus and they can’t find their shoes and you’re looking right at them and they are looking back and still not hearing a word you are saying, that is the hurricane at work. 

The Scuba Diver

Good news, there is also an opportunity in this ADD brain. This opportunity lies in what we describe as the scuba diver of ADD.  This is just as exciting as the hurricane is frustrating.  Every ADD person I’ve ever met has one or two topics of interest that is so mesmerizing to them that these topics provide enough stimulation to not only slow the hurricane but to  take them down into this deep dive of exploration, like a scuba diver combing the ocean floor. Everything quiets around them and they have this powerful and amazing ability to tune out everything but their topic of interest. 

 

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