Educational And Career Counseling And Coping Skills For A Person With ADD

Attention Deficit DisorderStudies show that therapy and / or counseling to help those afflicted with ADD learn coping skills and adaptive behaviors enhances their quality of life.

Here are some main issues that often need to be faced in the job/career and school arena for the person with ADD, and how to handle them.


Distractions from both dealing with boredom and over-stimulation can both be important challenging issues in the workplace.

Boredom can lead to distracted thoughts, daydreaming – which leads to loss of time and work production.

And over-stimulation can lead to hyper-alert mode, resulting in overactive imaginations and distracting thoughts, resulting in lack of focus and attention to the job.

Some boredom busters include: break up tasks into smaller more manageable chunks, take breaks and water-cooler trips, and ask for more challenging work.

Some over-stimulation busters include: forget “multi-tasking,” do one thing at a time; when possible, use tools like email and voicemail so that emails and calls do not interrupt your routine, allowing you to focus more on tasks at hand.

Then only respond to them twice a shift. Jot down notes to help sort out ideas that pop into your mind. See your manger, teacher or advisor about handling chaotic noise, space and other hectic work-related and school-related issues – maybe offer to use earphones, move to a less crowded area or transfer to a different class.

Impulsive and Hyperactive Behaviors

Dealing with impulsive and hyperactive behaviors are managed better if the job or lengthy class is not an inactive, sedentary position. However, if the job is something like sitting at a computer all day, or your weekend course lasts half a day, set your watch timer and try to get up and about for at least 5-minutes every hour.

Stretch your legs, go get a drink, etc. And enjoy active breaks and lunch periods. Pack your lunch so that you can walk to a nearby park to eat instead of standing in a lunch line somewhere. And run to the post office, mailbox or student bookstore during a break.

To handle impulsive behaviors, jot down notes in a daily planner or journal about what happens, triggering the behaviors. Then when you are calmer and things are less chaotic, take a look at your notes and get with your ADD healthcare team (friends, support network, doctor, etc.) to come up with alternative behavioral solutions for facing the issue next time around.

Make sure to touch base and see if you are following your recommended ADD treatment plan, too. Are you taking the recommended dosage of medication? Are you getting enough rest? You need to take care of yourself, don’t forget!

Time, Memory and Organizational Management

No need to go it alone! Get help with managing time, thoughts and things. Carry around a small notebook with a calendar insert and pencil, and USE them. Jot down to-do’s, log deadlines, tests and meetings, jot down notes for tomorrow, etc.

For more help, try a planning system from the local office supply store or check online for planning pages to download and make your own planner system. Ask your local or school librarian for help finding organization and planning books, videos, cassettes and other resources.

And there’s no need to reinvent the wheel, either! Use what works for others. Ask for recommendations from family, friends, teachers, neighbors and co-workers. For better timing, set your watch or timed email alert to notify you to upcoming changes or scheduled events.

Managing Large and / or Long-term Projects

Get help! Ask you manager or teacher to help you break down the project into smaller steps of chunks. Maybe you work with a temporary helper, too, or team up with a fellow classmate?

And see about finding better ways to handle the tasks- maybe use subfolders to help organize materials more clearly, print out hard copies of online documents for marking up purposes and seek advice from more experienced workers or students, for starters.

Problems with Co-workers, Clients or Students

Have difficulties dealing with tough clients? Dealing with tough co-workers or immature students? Working with and being around people day in and day out can be challenging in itself.

Check out books on how to handle difficult people and how to handle workplace issues. Find and attend relationship-building workshops. Try different settings. For example, maybe work in a department with less contact would be better, maybe even a home office setting.

Check with supervisors and your advisor to see what options are available. And check with others in the industry, like through organizations that your company or major is associated with, and see what other workers do. Maybe you can job-share or present your own alternative solution written out and well planned in advance.



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