Episode 38

Understanding ADHD

Aired 04/12/2021

Anchor Light Therapy Collective founder Laura Richer interviews Special Guest Lesley Todaro. Lesley is the cofounder of the Hallowell Todaro ADHD center in Seattle. Lesley explains ADHD and offers expert advice and resources on how to support clients at any age with this diagnosis. This episode covers every aspect of this diagnosis from supporting kids attending a school system that wasn’t made for them to how couples therapy is different when ADHD is a factor. Most importantly Lesley shares how she helps clients discover and tap into the gifts associated with ADHD. If you or someone you love has ADHD this episode is for you!

Lesley Todero

Therapists in This Episode

07:59:43 The waters are rough out there, Laura. Huh, I had noticed, just kidding Michelle. Yes, it has been rough. It’s a good thing we’re in the business of smoothing the rough edges of our ever changing world.

07:59:54 Hi, I’m Laura Richard the owner of anchor light therapy collective in Seattle, Washington. And I’m Michelle Mooney, a licensed therapist that anchor light therapy collective.

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08:00:18 That’s why our show is called holding ground. We are here to hold space for you, your doubts, and your worries, no show you a way through every Monday listen live at 9am here on kk MW if you miss us you can find the streaming on all podcast platforms,

08:00:33 we are here holding ground for you.

08:00:39 Welcome to holding ground the show that brings you a little bit of everything in the world of therapy and positive mental health, we are here live on 11:50am talk radio every Monday morning at 9am, but you can stream the show anytime on your favorite

08:00:51 podcast platform. My name is Laura richer, I’m a psychotherapist and the founder of anchor light therapy collective in Seattle, Washington. Today I am so excited to introduce you to our guest, Leslie Todaro Leslie is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

08:01:04 and the co founder of the Halliwell to Daro ADHD center in Seattle.

08:01:12 She brings a strength based approach to her work with clients working with each client to help them understand and take advantage of the gifts that accompany their unique challenges.

08:01:21 It was the experience of facing some of these unique challenges in her own family that prompted Leslie to complete intensive postgraduate training with Dr.

08:01:30 Edward Halliwell dr Halliwell is a national leader in the field of ADHD research and treatment. So Leslie Welcome to the show. Thank you so much for joining us today.

08:01:40 You’re welcome. Of course.

08:01:42 So first of all I would love it if you could just share with our listeners a little bit more about you and how you came to focus on this work specializing in the diagnosis of ADHD.

08:01:54 Sure, I sort of fell into it. I’m obviously a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, but one of my children and my husband were both diagnosed with pretty severe ADHD, and I decided that I wanted to develop an expertise and really understand them.

08:02:12 I had really no intention of teaming up with Dr Halliwell and starting all of these centers.

08:02:19 but people with ADHD are very persuasive and very charming.

08:02:25 After about two years. He convinced me.

08:02:29 So we partnered and seven years later, here we are.

08:02:33 Wow, that’s fantastic. So I think this is such an important conversation to be having because ADHD is not an uncommon diagnosis, but I think there’s also a lot of misconceptions and maybe a lack of understanding about how a person with ADHD might percent,

08:02:49 I think sometimes we all feel a little bit ADHD because our attention is being pulled in so many directions or we might even think about the you know the eight year old boy who can’t sit still in the classroom and think of that is what ADHD looks like.

08:03:03 But I know that there’s so many other presentations, so I mean just even getting to basics what what is an ADHD diagnosis.

08:03:12 How do you make one or what is it, just what what it is at it, let’s start with what is ADHD.

08:03:19 So, ADHD is is sort of too many things but Dr Halliwell would love me to, to give you his tagline which is that people with ADHD have Ferrari brains with bicycle brakes.

08:03:34 So that’s you know that’s his way of describing it the other way is that people with ADHD produce less dopamine and norepinephrine, which are chemicals in the brain that are responsible for helping with executive function, and executive function are,

08:03:53 you know, lives in the frontal lobe of the brain and includes things like concentration time management, emotional regulation. There are many things that that are there.

08:04:04 And so, because people with ADHD have lower dopamine and norepinephrine and they’re not operating at the same level as somebody who doesn’t. in terms of of in lots of ways.

08:04:17 So, that’s actually what medication is used as counterintuitive as it is. It stimulates the production of those two chemicals to bring someone up the baseline.

08:04:31 So ADHD really isn’t as it sounds, it’s not an attention deficit, it’s actually just an attention. It’s a dysregulation of attention. Sometimes you have a ton of attention when you love something and the doping mean is surging, and sometimes you have

08:04:48 no attention when something is boring or not interesting to you.

08:04:54 attention when something is boring or not interesting to you. So why is it important for somebody to get a diagnosis, how does that support them in. In, maybe, learning more about this, this diagnosis or improving their symptoms.

08:05:06 Oh, it’s so important.

08:05:09 You know, although we’ll probably get to that underneath the challenges of ADHD is like enormous gifts.

08:05:17 You know ADHD can ruin somebody’s life.

08:05:21 You know if they can’t organize their life they can’t keep a job they can keep a relationship, because they forget to do lots of different things that are required to maintain just life as it is, it can be incredibly difficult, a child with ADHD, who

08:05:41 usually is quite a bit smarter than kids without it he usually has a really hard time understanding why they’ve been either told they’re so smart, or they feel that they’re smart and everything is really hard for the school or at home, there you know

08:06:03 if you were to count how many times you said the name of a child with ADHD in your home, asking them to do something change something pick something up, come to dinner.

08:06:16 It would probably be in the hundreds.

08:06:19 And it’s always something good to recognize.

08:06:22 Because believe the child notices how many times their names being said, versus someone else’s. So, what happens is, it happens at different ages, children or adolescents start to develop to lose self esteem, lack of confidence, they start to feel stupid.

08:06:44 They don’t understand why they once were so successful and things were so easy, and now they’re just so hard. And so it’s really important in terms of the trial being successful as they go through life.

08:06:59 And it’s important for the family and parents to understand what’s going on with an ADHD child, because many times their behavior is deemed defiant or done on purpose, or there are lots of negative attributes associated with it.

08:07:19 And the truth is it’s none of the above. Underneath that behavior is a fear of failure, and not being able to perform the way they have other in the past, or expected to, and it leads to can lead to major disruption in people’s homes.

08:07:37 So that’s a question that I had for you today is, are there some things maybe the education system does or even parents unintentionally they’re, they’re trying to parent their child with ADHD, but they’re, they’re doing things that maybe are like you

08:07:50 said saying their name so many time or correcting them so many times that actually in the long run are pretty harmful.

08:07:56 Yeah. Unfortunately there are quite a few and there are and they’re not done on purpose.

08:08:02 You know the work harder try harder, you’re lazy.

08:08:06 You know there’s a book called I think it’s called, I’m not lazy dumb or stupid I just have ADHD.

08:08:13 And so there is sort of this antiquated view that if you push through it.

08:08:19 You can do anything. And yes, some of these kids, push through something that may take a non ADHD kid an hour. It may take them for, and they’ll succeed, but there’s a price to pay for that.

08:08:34 So the attitude and stigma attached to having ADHD and sometimes you know, people don’t believe in ADHD, it’s not a religion.

08:08:45 It’s not something you believe in it’s just it’s just the chemical makeup of the brain. So there are a lot of, you know, detrimental things that can happen at home, unintentionally and sometimes because the belief system of the family.

08:09:01 Is that hard work is where it’s at. And then in the school system. predictively public schools, private schools as well. Teachers are not educated, unless they’ve taken, you know, professional development outside classes on how to teach a child that not

08:09:19 only has ADHD, but that learns differently. And when you have a class of 30 kids it’s it’s really hard to control the 10% of kids or more that learn differently and our other disruptive, or wiggly or aren’t paying attention, or whatever, one may say so,

08:09:40 there can be a lot of damage done by teachers who don’t quite understand what they’re looking at. And that being said, there are some incredible teachers who see it right away, speak to the parents about it and make all kinds of accommodations to help

08:09:57 the child be successful, but you have both.

08:10:00 So what are some things parents and teachers can do to create an environment that’s conducive to success for a child that has ADHD.

08:10:10 So parents won’t like to hear this, but what parents can do is expect nothing.

08:10:15 Okay, team needs to just let go of their expectations. Let go of the chores, let go of the list.

08:10:24 And let the child develop in an organic way, children with ADHD, the brain of a child with ADHD develops usually at a 30% slower pace in terms of the frontal lobe, it doesn’t close as early as others, nothing to do with how smart anybody is it just has

08:10:44 to do with development. So parents will always say to me, my kids seems so mature, they actually are. There’s 30% less mature than one would expect. So the expectations that people have around he should be doing this by now you know she should be able

08:10:56 to do that by now, none of that should even be thought about what you’d be thought about it sort of one at a time, what’s the most important thing that needs to happen.

08:11:14 And how can you calmly make that happen for that child, whether or not they empty the dishwasher is really not helping anybody because it caused the fight, it causes disruption in the household.

08:11:29 And it’s, you know, the number one important thing in any relationship but particularly ADHD relationships is connection.

08:11:38 And the more connected you are to be your loved one who has ADHD or your child whoever it may be the greater success. You’ll see.

08:11:49 Okay, so really sounds like choosing your battles and I would imagine that might be reassuring to parents to knowing that they that they don’t have to manage their child in the same way or that that they are developing it’s just going to be at a different

08:12:01 rate.

08:12:04 Sometimes it, you know it is soothing to understand it, but it’s very difficult for parents as you know to change their ways. Yeah, raised a certain way they have their own belief system.

08:12:18 And it’s really really hard to let go of you know what your expectations are. And just, you know, allow your child to build joy and be happy and develop, and they will get there like parents are always worried that they’ll never leave their house and

08:12:33 now live in their basement and, yeah, some of his most successful people in the world have ADHD.

08:12:40 If you were to go online and and see who talks about it.

08:12:45 Most of the entrepreneurs and startup guys, many athletes, many singers many I mean many inventors, you know, because people with ADHD, think so far out of the box that they’re able to come up with ideas and make things happen, that others may not think

08:13:06 of.

08:13:07 And so that’s the gift that you’re talking about is that there’s also this great creativity associated with having ADHD.

08:13:15 It’s unbelievable and, you know, I don’t have an ADHD bone in my body so I’m always in awe of what I see people with ADHD, have the most the most curiosity, I’ve ever seen.

08:13:32 They can go online to look something up and three hours later they now understand the entire English monarchy.

08:13:40 And that’s really typical, and when I get to people they laugh just as you did because that’s what happens they slowed away into something that interests them.

08:13:50 And, you know, they land on who knows what.

08:13:55 And really great things can happen.

08:13:58 Yeah, and just knowing that I imagine can help parents support their kids in in hardest scene that that creativity and, and, you know, uplifting them and building their self confidence.

08:14:10 The best thing a parent can do is help a child find a passion or two or three whatever that may be, you know, frequently what you hear from parents, is you know that the amount of time there, particularly ADHD child but not necessarily just an ADHD child

08:14:30 wants to be on the computer or playing video games or, you know, all of these things that drive parents crazy.

08:14:38 You know, and rightfully so. But if your child has other passions, or can be steered in other directions, typically those video gaming attachments tend to lessen.

08:14:54 It doesn’t happen as early as parents would like, but, you know, passion for something else is the ticket.

08:15:03 So are there some co occurring disorders that occur frequently with ADHD I know often ADHD is associated with learning disabilities is that is that accurate or is that just a misinterpretation of the child and how their symptoms are presenting.

08:15:19 So, a child with ADHD, certainly doesn’t always have a learning disability, you know quote learning disability, what typically you will see if someone doesn’t know a full new thorough psych evaluation which, you know, explore as many things about a child,

08:15:38 you will find that a child has a much lower working memory, which is your ability to take in knowledge and use it at that moment, and they have typically slower processing speed.

08:16:09 in the 98th percentile. And you could see that same child with a working memory and the 2% child percentile. And so that makes it incredibly frustrating obviously because the child’s intellect is way ahead of their ability, their ability to perform.

08:16:18 And, you know, that’s difficult. It isn’t unusual to see a child with ADHD who has something like this scrappier which is a writing difference or dyslexia which which you know is a difference in sort of many things but there can be a co occurring disorders

08:16:37 in terms of learning, for sure, ADHD rarely lives alone, but you really can see an extremely bright child, who, you know, gets A’s in school doesn’t show up in any way, as lacking in school, sort of falls apart when they get home.

08:17:02 And, you know, there isn’t really an indicator on paper, that shows you that they have ADHD, which is why the true way to diagnose ADHD is spending, you know, an hour and a half or two hours with the child and or the family, listening to the history of

08:17:22 why I have people go back to the day the child was born and listen to you know what their learning style was like what their school experience was like what their social life was like, every aspect of their life is important, and it will, it will pop

08:17:38 out at you.

08:17:40 If it’s there. And then of course you go through the DSM which is just sort of something that book that many therapists used to look at criteria for different diagnoses.

08:17:54 And so, yes you go through the criteria to just sort of double check it. But, you know, all of those other things are, you know, tools, they’re not necessarily completely diagnostic.

08:18:09 I just want to add one more thing, just because ADHD frequently lives with anxiety and depression. And so it’s really important to suss out whether that anxiety and depression is a result of the ADHD, because who wouldn’t be anxious and depressed when

08:18:28 they can’t get done what they’re trying to get done.

08:18:32 And so you have to see if that’s living on its own, or when you treat the ADHD, that starts to go away.

08:18:42 Which is why your head toward the ADHD first.

08:18:46 Yeah, that’s so interesting I’ve had a handful of clients in my practice and I don’t work with people who have an ADHD diagnosis, typically, I would refer them for an evaluation, but I have had some adult women that I’ve worked with over the years, who

08:19:01 come in presenting with anxiety maybe they’ve started having panic attacks or.

08:19:06 And there, and they are high functioning women they have corporate jobs they’ve completed college, but an adult life it starts to kind of catch up with them so when you see an adult.

08:19:17 That has not received a diagnosis and has not been treated. What do you notice that, then maybe why have they gone undiagnosed for such a long time.

08:19:27 Because some people are incredibly high functioning and have learned to compensate for the difficulties they have.

08:19:36 And, you know, they’ll come in as a very put together, successful person which they are. But when you dig deeper, you’ll find you know a doctor who has, you know notes that are due from months ago, or an executive who has piles and piles and piles of

08:19:57 stuff on their desk, and they’re unable to tackle it or they can’t run their home in the way they would like to or keep their child schedules intact.

08:20:07 The way they would like to So, it, it, it shows up in many different ways. And then when they receive the diagnosis.

08:20:17 You know there are different responses, you know there’s some morning involved in oh my god I have worked this hard my whole life and I didn’t have to.

08:20:28 And you know that can take some time to process. And then there’s some joy in that there’s an answer to why I just can’t handle doing these things.

08:20:43 Women are the least, the most under diagnosed population that we have.

08:20:57 So do men and women present differently with their symptoms. Usually, So there. There are three types of ADHD.

08:21:01 One is the inattentive type, which means that you have trouble focusing you’re very distracted.

08:21:10 You’re fidgety you have trouble, taking on things that you know are going to be really hard.

08:21:17 People complain that you don’t listen when they’re talking to you.

08:21:35 They’re sort of a group of nine criteria that sort of makeup what’s called the inattentive type.

08:21:30 And then there are nine other criteria, which are, you know, kids climbing all over things interrupting topic talkative. Never waiting their turn.

08:21:43 Can’t stay seated, those kinds of things that people think of as the eight year old boy who can stay seated.

08:21:50 So you can have them together which is called combined type, or you can have each of them alone. I’ve only seen I think two people who only have hyperactive type.

08:22:03 So typically, a boy, and this is really starting to decrease.

08:22:10 A boy will have combined type, because he’s the only one, and a girl will be diagnosed with inattentive type because she’s dreamy and looking out the window and not really focusing and not really doing her work, but yet smart enough to turn in what she

08:22:31 needs to turn it in class to not be noticed. And so, girls tend to really fall through the cracks, unless they have combined type, which some girls do.

08:22:45 And then they’re noticed the same way we typically think ADHD is noticed.

08:22:49 So those girls who are just maybe dreamy looking out the window could be perceived as shy or or something other than than having ADHD or like the like the women you just described, they can be perceived as anxious.

08:23:03 Yeah.

08:23:04 And, you know, that actually isn’t their true diagnosis that’s that’s a subset of what’s really going on with them that they don’t understand. Right.

08:23:14 Well this is all such great information, I think we’ll take a quick break now and when we come back we’re going to talk a little bit more about the effects of ADHD on romantic relationships marriage and other family dynamics, so stay tuned you’re listening

08:23:28 to holding ground on kk and w.

08:23:40 job for the first one, it’s about 24. Okay, perfect. This is fantastic.

08:23:47 Is it going okay yeah doing great and there’s so much information in this I’m excited to have this on my website as a resource for people who have questions because I am not an expert in this topic and so I but I do get a lot of questions about it.

08:24:00 I like to have some information out there that people can use. Right.

08:24:04 And I’ve been listening intently because one of my boys have twins. They’re 10 and Ethan has some ADHD issues too, so we actually are with a specialist at their school and stuff like that and all the things you’re saying or just like Yep, that’s my sister

08:24:29 a teacher and I will I’m excited to share this with her too because the public school system is so hard on kids who are either on the spectrum or have ADHD it’s really sad. It’s really hard. Yeah, I mean there are things you can try to do.

08:24:33 But it’s really hard to edit it can be really sad. Yeah, yeah.

08:24:39 Am I talking too much, is it No I this is great I I wanted you to talk away You’re the expert so this is exactly what I was hoping for, I think it’s fantastic.

08:24:46 Okay, so we’re ready to hit back the other one there. Let’s Yep. All right. Stand by.

08:25:07 Welcome back to holding ground I’m your host psychotherapist literature and today I’m joined by Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Leslie Todaro, who is the co founder of the Halliwell to Daro ADHD center in Seattle.

08:25:20 And if you’re just tuning in, we’re talking about anything and everything related to the diagnosis of ADHD, Leslie is an absolute expert when it comes to treating ADHD and if you would like to learn more about her or other resources for treatment.

08:25:33 You can find out more at Halliwell tomorrow.com. So Leslie, I imagine that whenever a client receives any type of diagnosis, including ADHD that can really impact the entire family system.

08:25:47 What are some of the effects that ADHD can have on a marriage, if one or both of the partners has ADHD.

08:25:57 So there are lots of effects so what happens is there’s something sort of called the ADHD honeymoon, which Melissa Orloff who’s great resource for couples who are struggling with ADHD in their marriage.

08:26:14 But they’re, they’re sort of a honeymoon that you know you’re attracted to one another.

08:26:20 Typically, at least from my own observation, ADHD signs anxiety.

08:26:26 So, the, the ADHD person loves the fact that that person with anxiety tends to have things structured and controlled and dealing with whatever has to be dealt with in their life.

08:26:40 And the person with ADHD is really fun and spontaneous and, you know, maybe takes more risks than someone with anxiety would would do otherwise. And so it’s incredibly appealing until either they have kids or life starts to hit them full force, and then

08:27:00 unfortunately they begin to dislike those features that they want slobs.

08:27:07 And so the way it shows up is the, the partner with out ADHD starts to treat the one that does have ADHD. As a child, and they’ll frequently refer to them as another child, and they will parent them nag them, put them down, not understand why the person

08:27:33 with ADHD just can’t remember, even with a calendar to do the things that they need to do. It’s really, you know, it’s super hard, and as you would imagine can cause enormous problems.

08:27:49 And so by the time they get to me.

08:27:54 There they typically don’t like each other very much.

08:27:57 They may love each other and want to stay together, but what happens is people with ADHD can can at times not notice important social cues.

08:28:11 They don’t notice when they have said something that may have hurt somebody.

08:28:16 Or said something in a way that was mistakenly taken as condescending or not kind. And so one of the first things you really have to work on is the non ADHD person, not taking things personally, understanding that more communication has to happen.

08:28:40 Things like did you mean to be condescending. What did you mean by that comment, as does the person with ADHD, because the person with ADHD has been raised, since God knows what age, being criticized and told that everything they’re doing is wrong.

08:28:59 So their criticism meter is always on high alert and so many, many things feel like a criticism. So you have to establish a trust, where the non ADHD person can can say that was no way of criticism.

08:29:19 Please believe me, or, that was a criticism, and let’s talk about it, and vice versa. So that at least you’re on the same page and understanding what the other person is it where the other person is coming from.

08:29:36 It also shows up because there’s quite commonly, a very uneven balance in who parents who who runs the house, who takes care of meals.

08:29:50 Typical everyday stuff.

08:29:53 The person without ADHD will find themselves doing the vast majority of those things, and becoming really really resentful of the person who isn’t so when one is diagnosed with ADHD, it, you know, an excuse is not entered, but an explanation is entered

08:30:16 into the relationship. And then you can work with treating the ADHD, which is vital.

08:30:23 If you don’t treat the ADHD, you’re not going to be able to move forward successfully in your marriage. And then, you know, going into counseling, understanding what it means to both of you.

08:30:37 You know I always say to clients that my, my end result is that they actually can start to laugh at it.

08:30:45 You know, when my son leaves a trail of popcorn from the basement, up to the top floor.

08:30:52 I can smile. Now, instead of, you know, calling him down and making him pick up every piece of popcorn, or when my husband is lost, regardless of what our net, you know, location device says, you know, and I can say my god I would hate to be you.

08:31:12 Yeah.

08:31:13 You know, he can laugh. And so that’s, that’s where you want to get, because that’s going to help you live life very differently than the life of constant criticism.

08:31:25 So just being able to laugh a little bit and not take everything personally knowing that that that it’s not personal.

08:31:32 Mostly it is not personal. Yeah, it may become small as the marriage degenerates, and they really don’t like one another, it can become personal, but underneath that is really.

08:31:50 Please understand me. please be kind to me.

08:31:55 You know, that type of that type of thought is really is really what’s under the nastiness, the same with kids when they when they defy you they’re really saying I’m afraid I can’t do this unless I’m good at it.

08:32:12 I’m not going to do it in front of someone else.

08:32:15 And so there’s always something underneath it. and that’s what you have to get to.

08:32:21 So what do you have you had a couple come to your office who is whose relationship is in a really tough spot. And they were able to repair it what kind of traits Do you notice in the people that are able to do that work and make those repairs that maybe

08:32:38 feel almost impossible when they first come in to see you. Yes, I have had many couples who have come in who I can’t believe we’re still married.

08:32:47 And I think that what happens is they slowly start to understand where it started and where they came from, and where it came from. There has to be an underlying, you know, real love and desire to stay married or, you know, obviously it’s not going to

08:33:07 work. But people, the people that tend to open up and own their own stuff and start to understand the others are the people who really really make headway.

08:33:22 I mean, watching marriages change that.

08:33:26 I just can’t even believe it’s happening. Yeah, is really what makes this kind of work.

08:33:35 You know, I don’t know what the word is but

08:33:42 I’m losing what the word is but but fulfilling and inspiring and inspiring Yeah, I’m in covert I find that finding words at times is called

08:33:54 anyway yes, it’s really fulfilling and inspiring and the truth is, with adults and kids to us sometimes, when someone is is interested in being medicated, you can see a change in 20 minutes.

08:34:12 And it’s really like an OH MY GOD moment.

08:34:16 It’s incredible.

08:34:17 I’ve heard people describe that as that they’ve been trying to function without glasses on their whole lives and then they put glasses on and they can actually see that medication can have that quick of an impact.

08:34:27 Yes, and I use that analogy for people who are very much against medication which I completely understand.

08:34:37 There is so much information out there that is so wrong.

08:34:44 And so misleading and scares people so much that the thought of medication, you know they’d come in saying, absolutely not. Yeah.

08:34:55 You know, but the truth is, I’ll say to them. Okay, take your glasses off.

08:34:58 And let’s have the rest of the session, without your glasses and tell me how that fields, and people can relate to that.

08:35:08 So are there are there different options with medication I know some people sometimes feel adverse to like stimulant medications they have some fear about negative side effects is there are there different options for people who, who maybe don’t want

08:35:21 to take a stimulant.

08:35:24 Um, yes there are There are two options.

08:35:29 One is called intuitive or want the scene and another one is called Strattera.

08:35:36 Sometimes people use Wellbutrin as sort of a second line, ADHD treatment.

08:35:44 There the jury’s out as to whether or not it, it actually works for ADHD.

08:35:49 Those are the three, I’m not a medication expert by any stretch but I see it all the time so I understand it.

08:35:57 But the truth is there are so many stimulant medications out there now that you should be able to take medication, and have no side effects, other than potential loss of appetite.

08:36:14 And that’s it. And you are yourself, you don’t lose your sparkle.

08:36:19 You just go about life, saying, huh.

08:36:25 I got this done today that was interesting.

08:36:26 And that’s what the goal of meditation is. So, you know, yes, people can write off stimulants and try those that aren’t, and at times find success, but not as often.

08:36:41 Not as often. Well, and I think that’s so important to to talk about that there are many different options I think I’ve come across clients were like yeah I tried Adderall and I didn’t like it so I’m not going to try medication ever again and in fact

08:36:52 there’s a lot of options right there are many and there are many combinations of options.

08:37:00 And you know the truth is, that’s why you go to somebody who really understands ADHD medication.

08:37:07 Because there are so many that, you know, we want to get to the place where everybody’s happy. Yeah, so I know it your center it what is so cool about your center is that you kind of are a one stop shop that you have medication management there as well

08:37:24 as therapy. Why is it important for clients to maybe consider using both of those as part of their treatment.

08:37:31 Yeah, so we’re a one stop shop in, in many ways, we do therapy we do coaching we do parent coaching we do medication. We do family therapy.

08:37:43 We have all kinds of groups, parent groups, DVD groups, you know, now we’re holding lots of groups for to help parents with their kids with online school now is just such an awful time for marriage, and especially a parent of a child with ADHD, and it’s,

08:38:07 it’s hard for a child, I mean, with ADHD to stare at a screen and focus for seven hours a day.

08:38:16 That’s really tough.

08:38:18 So what do you recommend to those parents it’s so hard for parents right now because they have all this information about that not wanting your kids to have too much screen time but now they’re in school required to do screen time seven hours a day, and

08:38:30 you don’t want them to play too many video games but at the same time they kind of have nothing else to do what kind of what kind of tips are you giving parents to manage during this time.

08:38:40 Um, you know, it depends what grade the child’s in.

08:38:43 If there are really young kid.

08:38:47 You know I tell parents not to take school that seriously, you know, teach the child what you know the core curriculum is so they don’t fall behind and of course have them attend school.

08:39:00 As much as they’re willing or want to so they can socialize, somewhat, but you know I tend to tell them not to parents not to really sweat it.

08:39:11 That, you know, they’ll catch up I assume school systems understand that kids are going to be at all different levels when they come back. This isn’t going to be like Hi How are you, let’s start school today.

08:39:25 You know, I think the post traumatic stress, it’s going to happen with kids, parents, frontline workers, you name it. I don’t even think we’ve begun to see the fallout of that happening, as we’re living it.

08:39:43 So, you know, I tell parents, sort of the same thing I do, generally, is to step back.

08:39:52 And, you know, try to make it as easy and as pleasant as possible.

08:39:57 Let your kid walk around, let them watch TV for a minute in between classes, let you know insist that they go outside. If it’s not raining in the sunlight.

08:40:10 You know, have them get some exercise, do other things that are equally as important.

08:40:17 And, you know, if, if you can let go again.

08:40:22 Having your ADHD child sit in front of the screen all day and try to learn.

08:40:28 It won’t be as successful as if you let your child walk around the house with a computer, you know, just let them do, and be in different places. I know people like to have a workstation.

08:40:42 And that works really well with kids who are organized and, you know, can plan their way through the day. But it doesn’t really always work with kids who can’t.

08:40:54 So be flexible.

08:40:56 Some parents that I work with a higher tutors to make sure that the kid is you know where they where they should be at grade level, just to make sure that they’re not going to fall behind.

08:41:09 If they can afford it.

08:41:12 You know we have homework groups, different kinds of groups for kids to be able to organize their work and get it done.

08:41:22 So, you know, there are ways to try and help your child. I mean, I’ve heard statistics like a third of certain public high schools in the city.

08:41:35 A third of the children are failing.

08:41:40 You know, that’s so not okay and so many ways.

08:41:44 And, you know, then college entrance right now is, is so uncomfortable and bizarre. So you have it at every level.

08:41:56 Kids are just going through so much right now and I love what you’re saying to parents I think it helps everyone a little bit to say like it doesn’t have to be perfect right now that we’re all doing the best that we can.

08:42:05 And then that can be okay too.

08:42:07 Yes, and I know parents are really concerned about future education but you know every college knows that there’s a pandemic. Yeah.

08:42:16 This is not a secret.

08:42:17 So, it will be interesting to see how grades and scores and things will be looked at in college as colleges decide who they’re who they’re going to admit and who they’re not.

08:42:33 Yeah.

08:42:35 So, when I would imagine for parents, me and maybe if neither of the parent has a diagnosis of ADHD and then they have a child with ADHD, that it is it beneficial for them to do their own therapy or their, their own counseling because I would imagine

08:42:49 they’re going to be issues that that come up for them as well in this process.

08:42:53 Yes, um, you know, if it’s possible for them. And I realized that all of these things are can be costly and really difficult to attain.

08:43:05 We do have a support group that’s either free or I don’t know maybe $25 I don’t know it’s it’s definitely affordable.

08:43:15 Where you at least can talk to other parents, but parent coaching is is a gift to the world.

08:43:23 Understanding your child.

08:43:26 You know, really understanding your child, and how parenting them how to best parent them and have, how to have the best relationship you can is is so important, and typically you will find that one of those parents does have ADHD or someone in their

08:43:47 family does it’s the most heritable.

08:43:51 I don’t like to call it a mental health trade because it, it really doesn’t have to be, but it is the most heritable.

08:43:58 There is.

08:44:00 So that’s interesting, do you treat kids who, through that process the parent learns that they actually have ADHD as well. Yes. Okay.

08:44:08 Very, very interesting. Well I know you brought up cost which, you know, that is a factor for people are there any, and that support group is that can people find that at your website if they want more information about your support group.

08:44:22 Yes, everything’s on our website. Fantastic. Are there any other resources that you’re aware of for people who don’t have access to private practice therapy I mean even if it’s just like really great books that you would recommend.

08:44:35 Yeah, so I mean of course I’m biased, I would, I would read how dr Halliwell his first book which is called driven to distraction.

08:44:45 It’s very, sort of, front loaded, and, you know, easy reading, and there are lots of aha moments.

08:44:52 He’s written 20 other books in between.

08:44:56 But he’s recently come out with ADHD 2.0.

08:45:01 And it goes a lot more into sort of the neurology of or the neuroscience of what’s going on, and explains ADHD in. In, I think a much more sophisticated way.

08:45:16 And then there are many, many other resources attitude magazine is terrific.

08:45:21 I, I know on our website. Also we have many other resources for people to go to.

08:45:28 And then if you, you know and I know that this is such a hard thing to say, But, you know, if you really cannot afford it.

08:45:38 Learning how to manage the school district would be the best money one could ever spend, because it’s, it’s, it’s such an animal that people just don’t understand, unless they have to use it, and legally the school system has to abide by whatever combinations

08:46:01 have been recommended, or you know whatever a child needs to sort of even the playing field. That being said, it can be really hard to get a school to to adhere to these accommodations, but you know this, the the louder, you are the more response you

08:46:20 get. Yeah. And that would be a place where parents can take advantage of what the school resources are, and there will be some.

08:46:31 Even the school guidance counselor.

08:46:34 I know one of our.

08:46:41 One of the therapists that actually was started the center with me is a is a guidance counselor at one of the high schools in Seattle, and she sees many kids, and is completely equipped to handle their ADHD.

08:46:53 So, you know, there are there are other means.

08:46:58 To be able, and the, the, the one thing I wanted to say about the why I insisted we have a wraparound operation is not because I want everybody to come to us.

08:47:10 It’s because the six month waiting list when a parent is in crisis. Yeah, the one year waiting list when your child needs in neuro psych.

08:47:21 You know, when people call usually they’re at with them. And having, you know, having to be told that they, they have to wait, is, is, I just think cool.

08:47:34 And so it feels like absolute defeat in those moments. It’s awful. And so, you know, being able to say, you know, yes, you can continue and get all the services you need in a timely fashion, where we all talk to each other, no matter how many of us there

08:47:52 are.

08:47:53 We collaborate seems to me to be a better choice, but I never get in the way of an already established therapeutic relationship that successful, or anything else that successful we just are we add on.

08:48:11 But the one thing we don’t do is send people out just with a prescription.

08:48:18 You, the more you pile on the more success, you’re going to have, and being medicated makes it easier for you to be successful. Other with coaching or therapeutically or whatever you need.

08:48:33 But, sending a child out with just a prescription is, you know, just a piece of the puzzle.

08:48:40 Well, I would imagine there’d be a lot, besides the medication being super helpful though that there, that they could learn in terms of coping skills and and ways to better understand their diagnosis that you can’t get just for medication.

08:48:52 Yeah, so, and there and again there are many people who really do not want medication and that’s totally fine.

08:48:59 There’s, there are coaching there’s psycho education, there, there are you know all kinds of tools that they can learn, and try to, you know, learn the compensatory mechanisms they need to sort of bypass things that are harder for them, then they should

08:49:17 be.

08:49:19 Is that effective for some people to just use therapy instead of medication.

08:49:25 Sometimes, okay, sometimes.

08:49:28 Yeah, I’m not. I would say not the majority but I think that it’s absolutely possible.

08:49:39 So I have we are just about out of time but I wanted to go back to one thing you said because I think this is so important for parents who maybe don’t have access to, like I said, private practice therapy is you’d mentioned going to the school system

08:49:50 to getting help. What does that look like would you ask the school system to like do an IEP evaluation for your child or what would you recommend to a parent that wants to get started in accessing those resources.

08:50:02 So I would recommend that the child be evaluated by the school system. Okay. And then, the school system that evaluation will come with recommendations of accommodations or things to make learning easier for your child.

08:50:18 And then follow up, follow up with each teacher that they’re actually using the IP or five or four. And for parents who don’t understand what that is, they’re just personal they’re, they’re really just personalized learning plans for your child and they

08:50:36 can be behavioral or they can be academic, but it really is touching base with every teacher, reminding them that your child has these combinations are they adhering to them.

08:50:49 And, and, you know, by just bothering them, even though you feel like a bother.

08:50:56 You’re just advocating for your child.

08:50:58 Yeah, so that you can set them up for success so that they can thrive in an environment that’s not really created for them necessarily know the environment is definitely not created for them.

08:51:09 Yeah, you know, places where the environment is created for them as well as many other kids I mean, you know, every child learns differently, but there are school systems that can bend and twist and wind and make that happen and then there are others

08:51:26 that just sort of push it to the side and stay with that traditional more rigid approach to academics, which is not going to work for everybody.

08:51:38 Well, that is all the time we have for today thank you Leslie, I am so excited to share this with our listeners are such fantastic information. And again, if you want to find out more about Leslie or other resources for anyone who has an ADHD diagnosis,