ADHD & Finances with Pete the Planner, Part 1

Last week, I posted a video about Finances, Marriage and ADHD that I had recorded a few weeks back. Recognizing that we are currently in the season of spending, I thought it might a good idea to delve a bit more into the subject of ADHD and finances.

Given how everything about the Holiday season screams BUY! BUY! BUY! and how us impulsive ADHDers often give in to that message, much to the frustration of other family members it seemed like a good idea to call in an expert! Pete, who is an all-round great guy AND who also lives right down the road with me, was the perfect person to share some great thoughts and tips about budgeting, saving and making the most of your dollars not just during the holiday season, but throughout the year. Here’s the first of four videos with Pete that I’d like to share with you. Check out Pete’s website for more info and some great resources on how to take control of your finances!

Help! I Married someone with ADHD! [Finances}

Got one more video to share with you today from my video series about ADHD and relationships. (Check out videos #1, #2 and #3.) Today, I want to talk about money, marriage, getting organized and minimizing conflict! That’s right, that tricky subject that even those without ADHD or an ADHD spouse can get a bit uncomfortable about.

Many couples disagree about money – how it should be saved or spent, and things can be even worse when you throw in ADHD with it’s characteristics of impulsivity and disorganization. So what are some ways that couples can work together to make sure that their financial life gets and stays on track? In the video, I share a few different tips to help get you moving in the right direction.

Still I’m not exactly a financial expert so I invited Indy’s best known financial guru, Pete The Planner, to come and share even more tips about saving, spending and what us ADDers can do differently when it comes to money to help us stay away from overspending. I’ll be posting those videos next week!

The Teacher That Made all the Difference

One thing I really love to do, is to celebrate the folks who made a difference in my life, especially the teachers that I had growing up.

In this video clip from a recent event, I talk about the importance of engagement. Not like, I’m going to get married soon, engagement, but the kind where you capture someone’s attention and keep their interest in whatever project or activity is on hand. In my case, my teacher’s “the project” was trying to get me & keep me interested in school and focus on my strengths instead of my weaknesses. It was no easy task, but my teacher persevered and ultimately I was able to reap the rewards of the efforts she inspired me to put forth with my schooling. Thanks Ms. Thielberg!

With my kids in school now, it’s not hard to see how a teacher can make it or break it, especially for those children who are not into school, don’t enjoy academics, or struggle with some aspect of learning. So if your kids have great teachers, don’t take it for granted!  In this season of gratitude, show your appreciation and let them know that they are making a difference!

Recently stumbled on this video on Youtube and loved it! Not only is it well put together and creative, but its message is also right on as far as the role that ADD’ers play in this world. Very inspiring! Thanks to Andrea of The Art of ADD for conceiving it and putting it out for us to enjoy and share!

I’m Not Normal. I’m Special!

About 10-12 years ago, when I was in the thick of learning all about ADHD and why I’d always been a little (okay, a lot!) different from the other kids, I came up with this quote which I then stuck on a bunch of t-shirts. The shirts sold like crazy at summer camps and youth events which made me realize that I was definitely not alone in feeling “different” and also that telling kids, and adults, that it was perfectly okay to be different was something all these people really needed to hear.

So, if you’re that person that doesn’t quite fit in, take heart! First, keep telling yourself that it’s good to be your own person and second, find your passion. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing and what’s “in” right now. You have talents. I know this, because, EVERYONE has at least one thing they’re good at. Figure out what that is, and pursue it! Doesn’t matter if your “thing” doesn’t fit into the “doctor, lawyer, 9-5” cliche. Believe me!

I love it when I’m sitting next to someone on a plane en route to my next speaking engagement and they ask me, “So what do you do?” I give them a crazy look, coupled with a long pause, and just as they start getting nervous that they’ve started a conversation with a mentally unstable person, I say, “I draw with chalk.” At which point, they become fully convinced that I’m a lunatic, but I go on to explain and about five minutes later, they start looking less frightened and a lot more curious and dare I say, wistful? How did I get into being a speaker? What’s the biggest group I’ve been in front of? What’s the coolest place I’ve spoken at? Have I ever been booed off the stage? 😉 My point is that I could have chosen a traditional career, but instead I pursued after the things that I was good at, art and being a ham, and here’s where it brought me. Hasn’t been a cake walk by any means, by would I have done anything differently given the chance? No way!


Come to my FREE Seminar! ADHD 101 for Parents!

As many of you know, October is ADHD Awareness month, as well as Dyslexia Awareness month so I thought it’d be a good idea if I held a seminar for parents of kids with ADHD. The event is not restricted to just parents; If you’re a teacher who has ADHD students or an adult with ADHD, you’re welcome to attend!

I will do a short presentation sharing a bit about my background and then open it up for your most pressing questions. If you’d like to submit questions ahead of time, please leave them in the comments. Hope to see you there!


Help! I married Someone with ADHD! {Communication #2}

Here’s another video that addresses a very common problem that occurs in most relationships where one of the partners has ADHD – communication difficulties. I share a few more tips about how to have more meaningful and effective communication between you and your ADHD spouse (or you and your non-ADHD spouse). Check out the first video on the subject, HERE!

I put my Child on ADHD medication. Am I bad parent?

When it comes to medicating children with ADHD, I’m completely neutral. I don’t endorse it and I don’t condemn it. Over the years of conversing with hundreds of kids and parents, as well as trying a variety of treatments including meds myself, and keeping up with the controversy, I’ve determined that the only way to find out if giving your child ADHD medication is going to help them is to try it. I do think that medication should be one of the last things on your list of interventions. Cognitive therapy, behavioral modifications, accommodations at home and school, education for everyone in your family as well as your child’s teachers should all be implemented in varying degrees before you ask for that prescription.

Keep in mind that each child is different. What works for one, will not work for another. And to make things even more complex, don’t forget about the possibility that your child might have more than ADHD going on – she might have ADHD, Dyslexia and ODD for example. Doctors call that “comorbidity” – a word that I actively dislike…something about that word “morbid”. By the way “comorbidity” means that there is more than one disorder present in your child and that these disorders co-exist together. All that to say is that it’s important to have an experienced mental health professional who ideally specializes in kids in your court. This person should be able to give you all the facts and all your options. And there are a LOT of options! As always, the key to navigating your child’s treatment successfully, is YOUR education. You need to become an expert. Thankfully, there are a ton of resources – books, videos, conferences, parent support groups – available to you, so please take advantage!

ADHD: Is it a Disorder or a Gift?

I’ve been reading a great book by Drs. Lara Honos-Webb & Scott Shannon called The Gift of ADHD: To Transform Your Child’s Problems into Strengths and I really like the message the writers have to share. While the medical community will likely always treat ADHD (and associated learning disabilities) as a disorder, as parents our goal should be to help our kids recognize that ADHD doesn’t have to mean that they are “broken” as much as “different”. And while being different is always a challenge when you’re a kid, I think you can agree that it can also be a pretty significant advantage in the right setting. So. Please encourage your child (and yourself if you have ADHD), with the idea that having ADHD means being different, but not at all, broken.

Broadcast of my personal story on Focus on the Family

Focus on the Family, Living with ADD
Original air date, August 2004; Rebroadcast in August 2013.

In 2004 (WOW!! almost 10 years ago!!), Focus on the Family contacted me about sharing my story with their listeners. I sent them a live recording of my signature message, Simply Special. The show was re-broadcast this August. My presentation is quite outdated – there’s so much more to my story now, but it’s still a great listen for those feeling discouraged about being different or not quite fitting in with the norm. The show is about 26 minutes long. I hope you are encouraged. Feel free to leave me comments and questions and I’ll do my best to answer!

HELP! I Married someone with ADHD! {Communication #1}

Continuing on with my “HELP! I married someone with ADHD”, series (see intro post HERE), I want to stress the importance that listening & hearing plays in any relationship. It’s a well known fact that spouses of people with ADHD often feel like their partner does not listen to them. This may or may not be the actual reality, but there are some things you can do, both partners, to improve your time of conversation. I share some of those in the video. Check it out!

HELP! I Married someone with ADHD! {Staying organized}

If you pay attention to mainstream media and what it has to say about ADHD, you could easily assume that ADHD somehow disappears once you turn 18. Completely untrue! ADHD is not something that you “grow out of” and it very much persists into adulthood.

The big difference between kids and adults with ADHD is that usually by the time you’re out of college, you will have learned a myriad of coping skills and mechanisms (that you didn’t have as a kid) that help disguise the fact that you have it. If you were diagnosed as a kid, then some of these coping skills were taught to you intentionally, if you managed to get through school without being diagnosed (which is probably the majority of those who have ADHD and are forty and older), then you learned how to cope on your own. Either way, you’re no longer bouncing in your seat, screaming out answers at meetings, flinging Milk Duds at the back of someone’s head at the movies (or maybe you are?? In which case, we need to have a chat!). And that’s great! Learning how to manage some of those negative ADHD traits is vitally important if you want to get ahead in life. And it’s likely that most of your co-workers, acquaintances and even friends have no idea that you are an adult with ADHD. Sure, you’re a little quirky and always late, but you’re also funny, outgoing and full of great ideas. ADHD is probably not the first word that comes to mind when people think of you. HOWEVER. If do have ADHD, there is absolutely no way to disguise this fact from your significant other, especially if you’ve been in the relationship for an extended period of time.

I’ve been married for almost 20 years and let me just say that it’s been quite the adventure for both my wife and I. So I wanted to share some of the things I’ve learned and talk about some of the struggles in hopes that it helps you in your relationship. I’ll be working my way through topics like Finances, Communication, Parenting, Intimacy, In-Laws, and others, as well as trying to answer any questions that you want to ask.