Overcome Obstacles Instead of Being Overcome by Them

Overcome Obstacles Instead of Being Overcome by Them

Overcome Obstacles Instead of Being Overcome by Them

            A  4-part story of adversity, courage, hope and success for one TBI survivor

This is one of a four-part series of how one traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivor overcame obstacles to improve her quality of life when appropriate resources seemed out of reach.  These obstacles and challenges associated with TBI survivors include many skills associated with execution functions of the brain.  These skilled functions can be thought of as the command center of the brain that controls the cognitive processes such as decision-making, impulse control, attention, emotional regulation, and working memory.

Here is the first part of her story.

Healing is a continual process, but for this TBI Survivor, I made a choice to overcome obstacles instead of being overcome by them. Do not get me wrong, there have been, and still are some tough days, but with determination and a willingness to change, anything is possible.

What Happened…

Over eleven years ago, my life drastically changed on a fall day as I was driving to Steamboat Springs, Colorado in a snowstorm for a class.  We all know how Colorado weather can be; sunny one minute, a few miles down the road and a few minutes later, a complete whiteout has greeted you with full force. As I was making the final turn toward the West Summit of Rabbit Ears Pass, I noticed a vehicle fish-tailing on their side of the road and decided to pull as far right on the shoulder as I could hoping the car would pass, I could make a sarcastic comment about their driving, then be back on the way to class.

I did not make it to class but, I did survive a head-on collision with the side of the other driver’s vehicle.  Not only was life as I knew it changed but my ambitions for my career were crushed as well.

What changed?

Well, I went from being a semi-respected member of the community to the town joke.

Memory, balance, speech, processing, and cognitive issues made me different; insignificant in the minds of many who, instead of trying to understand the abrupt challenges in my life, people chose to judge and diagnose me to be someone I was not.  I lost friends, family members had no idea how to deal with me or communicate with me so, it was just easier for them to write me off as a “freak”.  People I called friends called me, “different, odd, awkward, and consistently inconsistent”.  Great on the self-esteem, I tell you (sarcastically speaking).

There were limited resources within the community I lived and the husband at the time, scared the crap out of me when he drove me to and from doctor appointments and surgeries. It took me over a year to get behind the wheel again.The marriage did not survive, but my mild traumatic brain injury was not the only reason.

Do you know what it is like to walk into the store or post office and see people whisper into one another’s ear while looking at you from the corner of their eye? Nah, they were definitely not talking about me, and they were so secretive, I had not noticed. Right…

I apparently hired a lawyer to represent my best interests but I don’t recall signing the paperwork, but when it was all said and done, I was hurt in the accident so they could benefit from my pain and suffering.  On one of the few encounters I remember with the lawyer’s Junior Associate (my mood swings and emotional dysregulation were too much for the real lawyer), it was mentioned that I should lose my home, be broke, and accept that I would never have worth-while employment for the rest of my life.

I guess if I had bought into what they were selling, they would have gotten more of my settlement, and they got most of it. That was just enough motivation for me to realize I did not want to be the person they decided I was going to be.  Boy, did I make a few sharks angry.  Who cares about what their words did to my self-esteem?

Oh yeah, being different means being insignificant, right?  Wrong!

One afternoon a year-and-a-half after my accident, I sat at my kitchen table in despair, crying, and thought I could not live the way I had being living anymore. I was afraid to drive, the help I was getting was minimal, and the then husband was about as available as a live operator in a computer-operated call center. I was ready to give up and had grown resigned to the idea of my disappointing new life, trying to find acceptance of my circumstances even though I struggled to accept the new me.

It was tough because I could still remember how I use to be, I just did not know how to reach that person.  We had been permanently disconnected. I sat at that kitchen table and surrendered and prayed.  Something had to give. Does anyone reading this understand where I am coming from or what I am talking about?

Within my next post, I will share about healing; Lisa style.

Until next time……

Lisa Marie Ansell, Guest Blogger

If you have anything to share please feel free to reach out to me at www.razcoaching.com  or www. coachingacademics.com. [email protected] Or follow my www.Instagram.com/razcoaching. I do daily mini blogs with tips of inspiration. I post almost every day.  There’s something in there for you that can help you with your focus for the day.

Can ADHD Be Mistaken for Autism?

Can ADHD Be Mistaken for Autism?

Can ADHD be mistaken for Autism?

Are some kids dealing with Autism misdiagnosed with ADHD?

Yes, absolutely!  There are overlapping conditions between the two.  Read on to read the full comparison by  The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM5)

How are these two disorders similar?

Many of the symptoms associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder are confused for ADHD, such as difficulty in settling down or focusing on something, ability to pay attention, impulsivity and social awkwardness.  These are the executive functioning skills: time management, organization, self-reflection, emotional regulation, and focus.

Yes, Autism and ADHD can look a lot similar as children with either has difficulty focusing. They have issues communicating; they might struggle with their schoolwork and so on. Although the two conditions share a lot of common symptoms, the two are very different conditions. Autism is a kind of developmental disorder that can impact language skills, social interactions, behavior and learning ability. ADHD affects the way the brain develops and grows. It is also possible at times that someone on the Autism spectrum is dealing with both, which would be called a comorbid condition.

So, how can we differentiate between the two conditions?

Look at the checklists below and compare and observe the behavior. All those dealing with autism struggle to focus on things that they dislike. For instance, if they don’t like to study, they cannot focus on reading for comprehension.  When they asked to read, they might fixate on things they like, such as watching a cartoon or playing their favorite game. Students dealing with ADHD lose interest in the initial phase and they try to avoid things asked to focus on. They can look similar.  The difference will be the severity in the autistic person and the other traits listed below.

You can also look at the way the person learns to communicate.

Although in both conditions, children struggle to communicate with others, those dealing with Autism are generally highly focused in their own world. They struggle to put words to their thoughts and fail to express their feelings. They also find it difficult to make eye contact with someone. On the other hand, a child dealing with ADHD can talk non-stop and can be very social. They can be talkative and challenging to stop them once they stop.

While an autism child loves to repeated events, those dealing with ADHD like to move onto the next interest. A child coping with Autism might like the consistent routine of things, whereas those with ADHD do not like to do the same thing over and over again. They like to explore new things often.

While these are samples that help differentiate between ADHD and Autism, there are many more characteristics considered before a diagnosis could occur.

The first and most important thing to do is to visit the doctor.  Let the expert decide what your child is going through if you suspect either condition. To diagnose ADHD, doctors generally look at the behavioral pattern of the child over time, for instance – not following the instructions, being forgetful, not listening to parents, fidgeting and so on. They ask for feedback from parents and teachers and draw a conclusion based on their observation and symptoms. The feedback for Autism is much more complicated.   Look below at the full DSM5 criteria the professional use to determine if it is ADHD or Autism.

 

Here are the full Diagnostic Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder from the www.cdc.gov site

  1. Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts, as manifested by the following, currently or by history (examples are illustrative, not exhaustive; see text):
    1. Deficits in social-emotional reciprocity, ranging, for example, from abnormal social approach and failure of normal back-and-forth conversation; to reduced sharing of interests, emotions, or affect; to failure to initiate or respond to social interactions.
    2. Deficits in nonverbal communicative behaviors used for social interaction, ranging, for example, from poorly integrated verbal and nonverbal communication; to abnormalities in eye contact and body language or deficits in understanding and use of gestures; to a total lack of facial expressions and nonverbal communication.
    3. Deficits in developing, maintaining, and understand relationships, ranging, for example, from difficulties adjusting behavior to suit various social contexts; to difficulties in sharing imaginative play or in making friends; to absence of interest in peers.

Specify current severity:

Severity is based on social communication impairments and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior.

  1. Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities, as manifested by at least two of the following, currently or by history (examples are illustrative, not exhaustive; see text):
    1. Stereotyped or repetitive motor movements, use of objects, or speech (e.g., simple motor stereotypes, lining up toys or flipping objects, echolalia, idiosyncratic phrases).
    2. Insistence on sameness, inflexible adherence to routines, or ritualized patterns of verbal or nonverbal behavior (e.g., extreme distress at small changes, difficulties with transitions, rigid thinking patterns, greeting rituals, need to take same route or eat same food every day).
    3. Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus (e.g., strong attachment to or preoccupation with unusual objects, excessively circumscribed or perseverative interests).
    4. Hyper- or hyperreactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspects of the environment (e.g. apparent indifference to pain/temperature, adverse response to specific sounds or textures, excessive smelling or touching of objects, visual fascination with lights or movement).

Specify current severity:

Severity is based on social communication impairments and restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior.

  1. Symptoms must be present in the early developmental period (but may not become fully manifest until social demands exceed limited capacities, or may be masked by learned strategies in later life).
  2. Symptoms cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of current functioning.
  3. These disturbances are not better explained by intellectual disability (intellectual developmental disorder) or global developmental delay. Intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorder frequently co-occur; to make comorbid diagnoses of autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability, social communication should be below that expected for general developmental level

 

DSM-5 Criteria for ADHD

People with ADHD show a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity–impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development:

 

  1. Inattention: Six or more symptoms of inattention for children up to age 16 years, or five or more for adolescents age 17 years and older and adults; symptoms of inattention have been present for at least 6 months, and they are inappropriate for developmental level:
    1. Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, at work, or with other activities.
    2. Often has trouble holding attention on tasks or play activities.
    3. Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
    4. Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (e.g., loses focus, side-tracked).
    5. Often has trouble organizing tasks and activities.
    6. Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to do tasks that require mental effort over a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
    7. Often loses things necessary for tasks and activities (e.g. school materials, pencils, books, tools, wallets, keys, paperwork, eyeglasses, mobile telephones).
    8. Is often easily distracted
    9. Is often forgetful in daily activities.
  2. Hyperactivity and Impulsivity: Six or more symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity for children up to age 16 years, or five or more for adolescents age 17 years and older and adults; symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have been present for at least 6 months to an extent that is disruptive and inappropriate for the person’s developmental level:
    1. Often fidgets with or taps hands or feet, or squirms in seat.
    2. Often leaves seat in situations when remaining seated is expected.
    3. Often runs about or climbs in situations where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may be limited to feeling restless).
    4. Often unable to play or take part in leisure activities quietly.
    5. Is often “on the go” acting as if “driven by a motor”.
    6. Often talks excessively.
    7. Often blurts out an answer before a question has been completed.
    8. Often has trouble waiting their turn.
    9. Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)
The accurate diagnosis of the condition starts when you start talking to the doctor about behavior, what he/she dislikes, what they struggle with.  Apart from the symptoms and behavioral patterns, some more tools and tests are conducted to understand what the client is dealing with.

Fortunately, there are many resources available today to help distinguish the two conditions and behavioral plan options to help live the most productive and fulfilled life.

If you have anything to share please feel free to reach out to me at www.razcoaching.com  or www. coachingacademics.com. [email protected] Or follow my www.Instagram.com/razcoaching. I do daily mini blogs with tips of inspiration. I post almost every day.  There’s something in there for you that can help you with your focus for the day.

 

10 Myths about choosing a career debunked

10 Myths about choosing a career debunked

10 Myths Debunked and your Negative Beliefs

Many beliefs can limit yourself in pursuing your career or lead you down a career path that is not a good match for you.  It is important to know yourself and the type of career you are considering and the requirements you need to be successful in the career.  You could get headed in the wrong direction for years if you hold onto some of these beliefs that do not match up with your personal characteristics, interests and dream.

10 Myths about choosing a career debunked

1.  All people who are good at music make successful musicians.

The problem with this kind of statement is that it leaves out many details it takes to be a musician.  There are skills needed to be successful.  As well as knowing how to play music, there is a commitment to practice or interpersonal skills to help promote the music and financial components for budgeting.

2.  All people who learn differently (LD) should go to vocational training programs

People who learn differently and have a strong support system, have gone on to have great careers as in business, science and entertainment industry. There is a learned gift developed by having to navigate life when you have a learning difference. It is the tenacity to work through problems, rebound from failure and celebrate the smaller step successes as they learn patience.   If the passion and desire to work toward the career goal is there, you can reach it.

3. All people with ADHD are creative and should own businesses.

While creativity is a hallmark trait used to describe people with ADHD, it doesn’t mean they have the operation skills to own a business.  The skills it takes to own a business include time management, long-range thinking, financial discipline, interpersonal skills and more.  It takes a lot of hard work and knowing when to pull in help through resources to run a successful business.

4. All people with good grades become top professionals

People that inherently get good grades and don’t have to work hard in school may not have developed adequate coping skills needed to deal with the stress and obstacles. It can hinder themselves in striving for high professional success levels.

5. All people who are good with people should go into sales.

Excellent interpersonal skills are needed in the sales industry as well as a tough as nail attitude for rejection and failure.  If you are sensitive to rejection and struggle to motivate after a letdown, then sales can be a challenging field for you.

6.  All people who make career changes later in life are discriminated against.

People may fear what others may perceive with a late in life career change, but could they be curious and even envious?  YOU can be the trailblazer to model how it can be done for others.  Your perception may be at play in a situation like this.

7.  All people with good educational backgrounds do well in careers.

Education is just a piece of the puzzle that makes up what it takes to do well in a given career.   Education is another way to get an edge on your career, but the other factors are equally important.

8.  All people with special challenges can expect to achieve less in their lifetimes.

This is a great myth to bust as we can go through the list of people with challenges that have contributed enormously to our society.  Hellen Keller, Walt Disney, Albert Einstein, Keanue Reeves, just to name a few.

9.  All people who made career choice mistakes should start over

This is the time to pull together the lessons learned and see how it may apply to something within their career choice.  Within a career field, there are many options.  For example, If your dream was to be an actor because you love the creative aspect of films but found that you do not like the stress of memorizing lines,  look at closely related field within the film industry such as production management or scene development or  coaching.

10.  All people have one true career destiny.

It is unusual to find someone who has stayed within one career their whole life these days.  People have many options to work from home and this has opened up options for people to investigate free-lance fields that bring a variety of work options and paths to consider.  As we go through life, your needs and interests change.  Our society is accepting of new ways to employ people and judge their performance wherever they are based.  This lends itself to allowing people the freedom to pursue dreams that may not have been thought possible in the past.

Go for your potential in life!

by debunking these 10 Myths about choosing a career

There are many opinions out there for every statement made regarding a career path one might choose.  Do not limit your potential in life by believing everything at face value.  Look at the counter-argument like I did in the above scenarios. This type of critical response is a process to get in touch with your true inner beliefs.

If you have an interest and desire for a career path and see a personal limitation that would keep you from being successful, I encourage to go through the exercises of debunking the thought with an alternative view.  This could be the first step in gaining the courage to face a challenge with the attitude of how can I navigate in this career field WITH my limitation?  Is this an area I can work on to improve or do I need to find a modification or accommodation to be successful.  Turn to techniques that bringer you closer to realizing the dream career such visualization or enlisting someone that can help you develop strategies in your weaknesses.

Your determination and consistent pursuit of the career can happen.

One of the earliest documented stories that I am aware of dates back to the 1960s.  This was a period where people with disabilities where looked upon as defects and often hidden from the public by families out of shame and fear. Christy Brown, artist and author,     fought every day for something and struggled with his inner critic to motivate and persevere. He began his passion for painting and writing to escape his burden of daily living and earned enough from his work to earn a living.

His first published book was translated into 5 languages writing it on a typewriter using only his left toes. In the first chapter of the book, My Left Foot, Brown describes how he could not be truly happy in life if he viewed himself simply as a cripple.  He wanted more and created ways to make his dreams into realities despite not have arms not being able to walk.

He shattered these 10 Myths about choosing a career!

He says in a 1962 interview that it was when he was able to accept himself for who he was combined with the immense support of his family, that he was able to succeed in life.  He offers advice to other people with disabilities that, with the right support, you can overcome any challenge.  As he says, we all have challenges.  Perhaps it is simply a mindset that sets apart this remarkable early example of overcoming tremendous difficulties to reach a fulfilling career and life.

Christy Brown’s accomplishment included artists, internationally best selling author and poet.  This example of overcoming odds, fear, having courage and face stigmas and myth of people with disabilities in Dublin, Ireland, is quite remarkable at a time when people commonly institutionalized anyone with mental or physical disabilities. His life story may have set a precedent in other countries to shift their limiting beliefs of the capacity of people with disabilities as a collective force.  He is one of the first inspirations for any suffering with any type of challenge.

10 Myths about choosing a career debunked!

If you have anything to share please feel free to reach out to me at www.razcoaching.com  or www. coachingacademics.com. [email protected] Or follow my www.Instagram.com/razcoaching. I do daily mini blogs with tips of inspiration. I post almost every day.  There’s something in there for you that can help you with your focus for the day.

How to Create My Online Planner in 6 Steps

How to Create My Online Planner in 6 Steps

How to Create My Online Planner in 6 Steps

I’d like to share with you a tool that I use with many of my clients. It’s an online planner. It’s a great tool if you need help with visual auditory and kinesthetic learning. It helps with motivation time management and just a great visual to get you started.

Each month the first step in using this planner is to create a Google spreadsheet. If you don’t have an account with Google, go ahead and make one. Once you have that account, then you will need to have all of your subjects or goals ahead of time so that you can put them across the top of the Google Sheet.

Once you complete this, color code them and then move on to the days the week on the left side of the spreadsheet. You’re going to put in the month and then below the month if you spell out the day of the week. Use the numeric number for the month date and year. If you highlight that box and drag it down, it will automatically populate all the days of the month. Once you do that, go ahead and save the document for the purpose of this. You can just say your name and you can say academic planner or you can say your name with planning goals. So that’s step 1.

Step 2:

Have all of your assignments due dates, tests, projects ready. You can find these in your syllabus or instructor’s website. Once you have those due dates. Go ahead and backfill them in. Start with the end in mind. Put in the due dates on the particular date that it’s due and then go ahead and put in homework assignments and anything else.

Step 3:

Now you have all of the assignments in and the big tests. What I’d like you to do now is to go through those important test dates, presentations, project deadlines and use the paint bucket tool at the top of the Google spreadsheet. You can click on it and choose the color palette. I like to use red just as a reminder since it stands out that it is an important due date. Go ahead and use that tool and highlight the cell that that particular date is due and color code it red.

Step 4:

What I’d like to do here is start with the end in mind and backtrack to chunk down the steps. It’s going to help you to be ready for that test presentation or project and make sure you’re giving yourself ample time. I like to tell students if you think that you’re over planning and giving yourself too much time, it’s not really true. Because what you’re doing is building in a what-if plan. You know life happens and you might not be feeling well or you might not be motivated on a particular day. If you have enough planning blocks set for that specific test or important project, then you have a little buffer built-in. So, it’s a good idea to just over plan and break down these steps into kind of micro, small chunks of blocks

 Step 5:

You should have everything entered.  What I like to do now is to go through and just bold out the subjects across the top.  Make sure the dates are bold and then I put in anything red in bold too.  It is really visually standing out for an important thing for you know you need to do. This is where the students really visually like this calendar.  As you are completing an assignment, your accountability is to yourself by color, coding it using the paint bucket. Highlight the cell light blue as you complete things.   The goal is to have as much blue on that page as you can possibly get.

Sometimes students like to even put their test scores on there too so they can go back and look at it in a different month and see that progress. Another thing you can do is to use the strikethrough key for missed work. Maybe you missed an assignment you were going to do but want to track it, so you’re going to use the strikethrough tool at the top. It’ll serve the purpose of letting you know that it was something that didn’t happen. It may be something you forgot to do and other times, it might be professors moving things around or occasionally they just abandoned things.

So, now you have the color-coding blue for completion or the strike-through if it’s a special circumstance and just didn’t happen and red for important things. Sometimes things are not always done, but they’re in progress. So on that we’re going to use the yellow bucket tool and highlight those so that you know you paid attention to it you’re on track. Still, you’re not quite done with it yet and you need to go through using this color-coding system will really help you know at a glance where you are what you need to get done and what your next step is supposed to be.

Step 6:

Now you’ve completed one month’s worth of work. Add a new month at the bottom of the spreadsheet by hitting the plus button rename it for the particular month you want to  copy and paste your subjects at the top.   Use the date populated that I discussed on the first step and start all over again!

Best of luck out there.

If you have anything to share please feel free to reach out to me at www.razcoaching.com  or www. coachingacademics.com. [email protected] Or follow my www.Instagram.com/razcoaching. I do daily mini blogs with tips of inspiration. I post almost every day.  There’s something in there for you that can help you with your focus for the day.

 

5 Online School Survival Tips

5 Online School Survival Tips

5 Online School Survival Tip

We are in some really challenging times. The way we go about our life is changing minute by minute.

Are you finding yourself in new roles?

You might have just become a teacher or an academic coach and a home health care provider. Things that you didn’t typically think that would be in your repertoire but now are forced upon you by these new changes. Rightfully so, we need to be responsible citizens.

You might be feeling overwhelmed, confused and frustrated.

I want to ease some of that frustration and fear of what you are now being strapped with. If you are having to help a college student or a public school student at home, I will be able to offer you some advice.

This is what I do for a living every day.  For over 10 years, I have helped hundreds of students to be successful in their academic life and career planning. Specifically, I work with clients in organizing, time management, task initiation, planning, prioritizing and keeping them accountable. These are what we call the areas of executive functions.

How is this online format going to work?

Maybe they’ve had a class online before and it wasn’t successful for them. These can be triggers and barriers to their academic success in the coming weeks. So, I want to give you five online school survival tips to help get you started.

You got this!

I often tell my clients or parents of students that I work with what I do is very systematic and it can be done by anybody. The difference is that I’m a third party. So sometimes, when there are internal conflicts or triggers within families, it’s nice to have that third party. I know from firsthand because I certainly paid it forward within my own family and I would still do that today if needed.

So let’s get down to these strategies.

Advocate

I want to make this quick for you. When you start online schooling, it’s essential to be your own best advocate.  It’s important that you self-advocate if you’re not understanding something and need clarity. You need to reach out to your instructors.   You’re in charge of letting people know what you need best.

Now for a younger student, this is where the parent has to be intuitive. But it’s important to advocate and it’s going to take a while to get used to.

Start off with writing out what you need or what your student needs to be a successful online student. Share it with somebody that is helping you transition into this new learning environment.

Resources

Second of all, there are many resources in this day and age.  We are so lucky that we have resources such as online tutoring programs. A lot of the schools probably are going to be offering those. There’s online counseling you can seek as well. Just like myself, It’s really something that can be done through Skype Zoom or Facetime. It’s very common these days.

Make sure that you know what your resources are.

If you’re going to be struggling in one particular subject area and you know that you are going to need help, ask questions about available resources. And that goes back to being your own best advocate.

Goals

Goals are super important to set when you have a lot of unstructured time. When I’m working with clients that have online classes, the biggest pitfall for them is not setting weekly and daily goals. That’s a crucial part of what I do. They need to see what’s in front of them and what they want to get done each day and week.

When the instructors give you what they want you to do, take the initiative to set goals and structure your day accordingly. An example of setting goals might be: if your instructors are giving you weekly to-dos on a Sunday evening or Monday, start the week off with a goal-setting session. What is it that you need to accomplish by that Friday and budget your time accordingly for each class. Structure it so that you have built-in time for breaks lunches and tutoring time if you need that.

If you take the time to set the goals that will give you purpose each day and a focus which is an added bonus. Right now, I’m seeing a lot of students pretty bored even though they’re kind of excited to not be in classes. They may have a list of some things they can do around the house, but they’re not supposed to be outside interacting with other people in very large groups. There is only so much downtime they can have. And we really need a purpose and something to do for our mental health. Lay this out with them on a planner with each class and budget that time accordingly.   Map it out so that they have a purpose each day.  Match it with the weekly plan from the instructor.   Your student is going to have a daily purpose now.

Read The Instructions

It’s essential to look at the instructions and read the syllabus.  Now as easy and common sense as that sounds, I can’t tell you how many students that I work with that don’t read the instructions. They don’t look at the rubrics. They’re not following the syllabus.

The instructors are going to be communicating a lot via email and possibly sending documents for you to read and follow. If you have a student challenged with some of the executive functions, take the time during goal-setting to go over the syllabus for the week. Check the rubric if they’re doing a project so that they understand what is expected of them. This is an independence skill that even college students struggle with at times. They don’t take that time to just follow through to make sure that what they think the professor or teacher wants is actually what they think they need to do. There are often times when they’re mismatched. I cannot stress enough to take the time to read the materials.

Time To Organize with a planner

I do know there are a lot of instructors out there that are using individual Web sites that can be pretty confusing. So if you feel frustrated with too many instructional sites to coordinate, come up with a plan to take charge of your time and get organized with a planner.

I have a systematic way that I do it. Have all of your subjects across the top of your planner with the due dates set and then backfill it with how you are going to get it done.   Start with the end in mind. For example, if there is a project or a test, put that on planner and color code it red, so it stands out. I do it by the month and by the week with students so they can be very clear on what it is that’s important and then backfill it. The next step is to plan how you are going to meet that goal of the test,  paper, or project and backfill each step to make the work manageable.

Accountability

It is super important to hold them accountable each day. Not only are we taking charge of the time by getting organized, but they will also know what’s expected of them. The accountability I recommend is for whoever’s in charge of overseeing student work, whether it be an elementary, high school or college student, look at the progress at the end of the day. I have my clients color code a completed task as blue to show it completed.

I cannot stress accountability as a critical factor in your student’s success enough. In our distracted lives, we tend to forget to follow through on things. We set these goals. We are organized but we don’t follow through to make sure that it got done. In our current situation, most parents are juggling working out of their home, taking care of their family, trying to get groceries and maybe taking care of an elderly person. There’s a lot of stress and there’s a lot going on.

What I recommend and I do myself is to put reminders in my phone. I ask my clients to set reminders in their phones as well. The accountability check-ins at the end of the day improve academic success. Have some kind of reward in place when it does get done.   Make it something they can do like gaming or binge-watching a movie series are ideas.

The accountability is what’s going to make them feel accomplished every day. If the student does not get done or meets a daily goal, you’ve got the flexibility to be at home and plenty of time to complete it.

I hope that these tips helped you.

  1. Advocate for yourself
  2. Resources: make sure you’ve got them in place
  3. Goals: Set them each week
  4. Read the syllabus: make sure you understand what the instructors want (rubric)
  5. Take charge of your time and get organized with accountability.

 

If you do these five things, you will set yourself up during these challenging times for success.   You might just help your student become an independent learner by doing the work on his or her own.

Once you follow this for a few weeks, they will get into a routine and it will begin to flow.

It’s going to be a different home environment but you can get into this flow and be successful. This is a time when we really need to embrace our duties. Things are changing day by day but you can put into place a routine at home that your students can adjust to quickly.

 

Best of luck out there.

If you have anything to share please feel free to reach out to me at www.razcoaching.com  or www. coachingacademics.com. [email protected] Or follow my www.Instagram.com/razcoaching. I do daily mini blogs with tips of inspiration. I post almost every day.  There’s something in there for you that can help you with your focus for the day.

Coronavirus Pandemic: ADHD Perspective

Coronavirus Pandemic: ADHD Perspective

Coronavirus Pandemic: ADHD Perspective

Can Your ADHD hyper-focus help in the midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic?

We really need all the creatives and out of the box thinkers right now.

As I went to the grocery store yesterday, I noticed that the shelves were getting empty very quickly. Panic began to set in that I needed to join the masses and make sure I had enough canned soups and toilet paper. My thoughts were,  how are we going to regulate the use of this toilet paper within the household and make sure that we can make it last?!

I started getting into panic thinking and reading a lot of the social media out there and the news. It made it hard focusing on my work. When we have a crisis in our life, it can consume us. I felt that it was bringing me down and feeling a little lethargic as I moved through the day.

My own life was becoming to fall down around me as I was looking forward to my son’s baseball game this weekend. It would have been nice to get out of the house to be in an environment I thought would have been relatively safe from the COVID-19 Coronavirus. Our local schools canceled all the baseball games following suit with the national sports. At that point, I really felt the gravity of our situation.

It started to give me anxiety.

I was feeling a little down and not motivated to do what I usually do: creating a lot of blogs, instagram posts and podcasts.  Should we halt everything and put everything on hold?  I certainly felt frozen and confused.

I woke up this morning and thought, “No!” What we need is the very people that I speak to, the very people that I work with. We need all our creativity and need everybody to help. Because we are really a one-world economy now.

We need to think outside of the box outside of our homes, outside of our towns and the country. There is a responsibility to the world to get through this.

I came across this quote from a professor from a university, Leonard Sweep, and it really struck me.

“The future is not something we enter. It is something we create.”

What can we do to create a future when we’re just reacting, and we’re closing things down?

I feel like we are kind of like a mouse in one of those cages where you’re you’re going down a ramp, and somebody puts a block down that stops you. You turn around and you find another block placed.

As Americans, we cherish our freedom. We cherish our ability to move around freely to do what we want to do. This is what we pride ourselves in. We are being shut down and being confined to our homes.

Driving around my community, I feel anxious. Even going to the grocery store to buy essentials is stressful. Disinfecting my hands and cart and feeling awkward with my fears, I enter the battleground at the grocery store. I leave feeling embarrassed that I’m walking out with a 24 pack of toilet paper, but grateful I snagged one. But obviously, that’s the smart thing to do. I just want to be home, but yet I’m restless. These are strange conflicted times.

I’ve got that restless entrepreneurial spirit and this makes it hard. I like to get out and exercise and am still going to the gym, but I’m reading in the news that people are getting sick in the gyms, so they’re starting to shut them down.

I’m thinking holy cow, you know what does this mean for me?  So, this inspired me to write that it’s time for us; the out of the box thinkers; the creative people to start tapping into that inner superpower and hyper-focus during this challenging time.

Now, my own hyper-focus has been on the news and the devastation. I want to understand the impact of what is going on right now.

We’re in a time that calls for us to tap into our inner creative energy to help us navigate through our current world crisis. We don’t want to shut down our thinking of solutions.

Remember,

The future is not something we enter, but  is something we create.

How do we handle the situation?

And respond to the duty to protect our vulnerable?

Go about our daily business while minimizing this hysteria?

This is a very tragic situation. And I have full trust that it’s going to get solved, but we’re in it for a while. Meanwhile, it is wreaking havoc on our world and how we live and work.

We are facing a lot of changes in our routines and how we work.

Could it be a possibility for a positive change?

Can this movement of social distancing and relying on our technology to stay informed and even fed in some areas be something positive and productive?

What do you do when you have all this extra time on your hands?

I’m talking about the extra time you have from canceled sporting events, travel plans, work commute. It really is going to free up some of your time. We can just sit around and read the news, watch the TV and just consume media and feel frozen in life. This is what I am guilty of this last week!

Or, we can shift it.

I often talk about taking a walk in the woods on a lunch break or before you go to work or when you get home to decompress. Since this is a time when you need to distance yourself, Social distancing, you could use it for your personal benefit.

Can you go for a walk around your neighborhood?

Go to a park and go for that walk slowly through the woods?

Use this quieter time to practice being mindful?

Put that energy into something that is going to help you through this or something in the near future?

Or, is there something you’ve been wanting to reflect on and realign your life?

Maybe it’s a career or academic goal. Or, it’s perhaps an interpersonal goal. But this could be an opportunity to really reflect within. Start to tap into some of that creative energy.

You could have a solution for something in your community that is a real problem. It could be a health care issue that you have this great idea for that you can use this time to contemplate. Many inventions come out of problem-solving a current issue. Well, we currently have a lot of problems to solve in a global world. What does our world need right now?

And this change in your day-to-day life can just be what sparks something positive or we can choose to wallow in our grief, anxiety and fears.

If you are healthy and taking the mandatory precautions, heed this advice!

Be proactive in your extra time while social distancing and tap into your creative spirit. You might just change your life for the better or someone else’s!

Let your creative ADHD brain process our current world dilemma and get proactive.

If you have something to share, please comment.

How can we CREATIVELY steer our lives NOW in the most sensible direction for when COVID-19 does pass?

Raz Coaching specializes in helping people with executive function challenges find careers they love and land them. Read more at www.razcoaching.com/about. Or sign up for the weekly blog or purchase my new book Happiness+Passion+Purpose. Exercises and strategies you can put to use immediately. AND follow at instagram.com/razcoaching for daily motivations