Edge Foundation Blog > Archive for May, 2009

Tell us how Edge has helped you!

Edge has set up an audio feedback line so you can tell us how we are doing.

Just call (214) 615-6505, enter extension 2908, and start talking. We are currently seeking stories to post on the Edge Foundation website. So if you have a story about how Edge or an Edge coach has helped you, please give us a call. Please understand that when you leave a message on the line, you are giving us permission to quote you. However, it’s just your voice on the line, and your name will not be attributed to your recording. Thanks for sharing your stories with Edge.

For Students Peggy Dolane 28 May 2009 1 Comment

ADHD and Sleep

Parents know that helping their children learn to sleep through the night is more challenging when a child has ADHD.  Why?  Children with ADHD have twice the rate of insomnia and sleep disturbances as people who don’t have ADHD.

ADHD students need to take their sleep seriously

So falling or staying asleep is already hard if you have ADHD.  Add to that the natural sleep cycle for teens (2 a.m. – 10 a.m.) doesn’t mesh with the time that the world expects them to start their days.  Students with ADHD are often even more sleep deprived than their peers.  Sleep deprivation both mimics and makes ADHD symptoms worse.  So if you have ADHD taking charge of your sleep habits is even more important.

Sleep hygiene, what’s that?

 

We usually think about keeping clean when we see the term hygiene.  But did you know it also refers to the science that deals with the preservation of health?  Sleep hygiene is the habits you put in place to keep yourself healthy with adequate sleep.  An ADHD coach can help you figure out what you are doing to mess with your own sleep cycles.  Here are a few ideas to try.

  • Don’t nap during the day.
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol before bed.
  • Exercise regularly, but earlier in the day.
  • Don’t eat a lot before bedtime.
  • Establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Turn off the DS, TV, internet or Wii at least an hour before your bedtime.
  • Associate your bed with sleep. Don’t do other things like read, check email, text or watch TV in bed.
  • Make sure your room is not too hot, or too bright.
  • Make sure that the sleep environment is pleasant and relaxing. The bed should be comfortable, the room should not be too hot or cold, or too bright.
  • Don’t sleep with your pet. They can wake you up at night making it hard to fall back asleep.
  • Here’s a really fun way to look at your sleep environment and make it easier to sleep:   http://www.shuteye.com/sleep-tools/snooze-improver.aspx

For other ideas on sleep hygiene visit:  Sleep Foundation

 

Other ADHD and sleep links:

Other steps to try for insomnia treatment

Sleep facts and stats

A good overview of signs of sleep deprivation in children compared to ADHD symptoms

Diagnosing sleep disorder when you have ADHD

Have you figured out how to get your sleep on track?  Share your stories with us.

ADHD from A to Z &For Parents &For Students &How To's and Tips Peggy Dolane 23 May 2009 3 Comments

Jodi Sleeper Triplet’s speaks about ADHD coaching

Edge Foundation is pleased to showcase a recent video featuring our coaching instructor, Jodi Sleeper-Triplett. In it Jodi talks about her vision for ADHD coaching including:

  • why Edge Foundation coach training is unique,
  • how coaching helps kids with ADHD take charge of their lives, and
  • how ADHD coaching can help students with ADHD acheive their dreams.

This video is a great starting place for anyone who wants to learn more about how ADHD coaching works.


Edge in the News &For Coaches &For Parents &For Students Edge Foundation 15 May 2009 4 Comments

Edge Foundation welcomes new board members

Edge would like to welcome 5 new board members:  Dick Riordan, Dr. Barry Alberstein, Bill Grinstein, Robert M. Tudisco, and Greg Farrell.  Each of these men brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our board and we are excited to have them on board.

Our new board members’ experience includes national leadership in CHADD, exemplary commitment to excellence in education – especially for children with learning differences, legal advocacy for people with ADHD, clinical practice in psychology, and savvy business knowhow that will be instructive to Edge as we grow our organization.  Just from that quick description you know that Edge will be getting tons of good advice, direction and support from these committed individuals.

You can find out more information about each of them on Inside Edge Board of Directors page And while you are there, you can also check out our coaching instructors,  ( Jodi Sleeper-Triplet, Loretta Spindel and Russell Clover) and our staff (Neil Peterson, Sarah Wright and Denise von Pressetin).

Edge Foundation has tremendous human capital at hand.  We know these newest team members will be instrumental in bringing our vision, ADHD coaching for all students who need it, to life.

Edge in the News Edge Foundation 12 May 2009 No Comments

Ask the coach: spring fever

Dear Coach,
When spring is in the air, It’s impossible to concentrate. Help I’m falling behind!
Signed,
Sunny

Dear Sunny,
There’s no denying it. Everyone feels like goofing off on a warm, sunny day. Unfortunately responsibilities of school, work and home don’t stop when the weather gets nice. Here are some ideas you can use to keep yourself on track:

Work with your urge to procrastinate

  • Work at night when the call to be outdoors and playing isn’t so compelling.
  • Do a moderate amount of vigorous outdoor exercise, then study.
  • Take your studying outdoors – some of the time. It’s not as efficient, but at least you’re working rather than looking out the window.
  • And next year, plan for spring fever by taking a heavy load in the winter and a lighter load in the spring.

Be accountable

  • Get a study buddy and make an agreement that you’ll each get so much done in the next few hours. Knowing you’ve made a commitment to someone else really helps. It’s the power of accountability.
  • Whatever you do not take a incomplete. Do whatever you have to do to finish a course. Or you may never finish it at all.

Schedule your study time

  • Apply the principal of exercise intervals to studying. Instead of alternating sprinting and walking, alternate study and play. Set a timer and work hard for 30 or 60 minutes then play for the next interval of minutes. Then do it again. Just be sure you quit playing as readily as you quit working!
  • Plan to procrastinate. Know when your deadlines are and how much time the tasks will take, and then do them when nothing else on the list is more important to get done because the deadline is NOW.

Study smarter not harder

  • Know which classes will cut you slack so you can put energy into the ones that won’t.
  • Know when you’ve hit the point of diminishing returns. If you’ve worked for 5 hours and know that’s enough to get an A- on the paper and it will take 5 more hours to get an A but there’s other work that needs to be done, move on!

If you have a question you’d like our resident ADHD coach to answer, feel free to add it to the comments and we’ll try to answer it in a future post.

Ask the Coach &For Students &How To's and Tips Edge Foundation 11 May 2009 No Comments

High school seniors: plan now so you don’t crash and burn this fall

Going to college when you have ADHD is challenging.  It’s nice to see that people are starting to talk about it. Two recent articles, 18 Critical Factors For Successful Post-Secondary Transition by Joan Azarava, and Learning Disabilities: Stepping Up to the Challenge in the New York Times, both give good advice about how to make the move to living away from home and adapting to the rigors of a more challenging academic environment.

ADHD students don’t need tutors as much as they need coaches

What struck us at the Edge Foundation, however, is that neither article mentioned personal coaching.  High school students have built-in structure and accountability living under their parent’s watchful eye.  In the free-wheeling life of college, however, students face a set of very predictable challenges.  Challenges that going to the tutoring center or getting extended time on their tests will not address.

As Edge Foundation founding board member, Dr. Patricia Quinn points out,  ”While most colleges provide services for students with disabilities, these programs often are not a good match for students with ADHD. While some students with ADHD may need tutoring because they have gaps in their academic skills, or note takers because they have trouble listening in a large lecture, these services do not address the basic problems students with ADHD experience in forming routines and developing a schedule to keep up with their work.” Coaching Students with ADHD: Issues and Answers (Quinn, Ratey, and Maitland, 2000)

For most college students with ADHD the problems are not so much in knowing what to do, but in getting it done. As one student said, “I know how to plan. My problem is very simple; I just don’t follow my plans. I need help making sure that I do what I say I am going to do instead of procrastinating and getting sidetracked by other things.”

ADHD college survival skills are not taught in the learning center

Ms. Azarva rightfully points out the need for students to learn how to persevere, delay gratification, and set up organizational systems that work for them. “The sooner you work on these three things, the easier college will be.”

However, these are exactly the things students with ADHD are weakest in. These skills are not taught at the learning center. These skills are best taught by a personal coach who thoroughly understands ADHD.

Most colleges don’t offer personal coaches

There are over 4000 colleges and universities in the U.S. Of these, only a few dozen offer personal coaching to their students. Yet more and more are finding that personal coaching is the critical piece that’s been missing for their ADHD students. One Director of Student Services found that he and his staff were spending most of their time helping students with ADHD manage themselves and their academics. When he learned about the effectiveness of ADHD coaching techniques, he did his research, got a grant, and put his entire staff through training. That community college is one of the very few colleges or universities nationwide that provide personal coaching for their students with ADHD. If you work with an Edge Coach, your options of where to go to college and have access to coaching open up considerably.

Find a ADHD coach now, so you are ready to go in the fall

One of the nice things about Edge Coaches is they all work on the phone. This takes transportation right out of the equation. You can start working with your coach over the summer and, because you don’t meet in an office, you can “take your coach with you” when you go off to school. You get to your appointments just by picking up the phone, so there’s no commute and you can easily fit your appointments into your schedule. And, by virtue of a phone/email relationship, you stay in much closer touch with your coach than you would if you had to go to an office. This extra contact can make all the difference in being able to stay on top of things.

Think about getting started even before you leave for college. Those first few weeks are guaranteed to be overwhelming, and your coach can help you stay on track. The numbers show that in college it’s surprisingly easy for students with ADHD to fall behind. Getting your first term grades and finding you’ve tanked is a Christmas present no one wants to get. So, start thinking now about getting ready for the fall.  Look into getting an Edge Coach to help you keep it all together.

ADHD from A to Z &For Parents &For Students Edge Foundation 03 May 2009 No Comments