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Faster Than Normal - The ADHD Podcast

Having ADD or ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Hear from people all around the globe, from every walk of life, in every profession, from Rock Stars to CEOs, from Teachers to Politicians, who have learned how to unlock the gifts of their ADD and ADHD diagnosis, and use it to their personal and professional advantage, to build businesses, become millionaires, or simply better their lives.
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Now displaying: September, 2021
Sep 29, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

——

Cynthia Hammer was born in raised in Leominster, Massachusetts, about an hour west of Boston. Graduated college with her Master’s Degree in Social Work and has been married for 52 years, and has three wonderful sons. About a year after her middle son was diagnosed with ADD, the same pediatrician diagnosed Cynthia with ADD.  It was 1992 and she was 49 years old. After connecting with a few organizations, she founded the non-profit organization, ADD Resources, with a mission to help other adults with ADD learn about the condition and get diagnosed.  The organization sponsored yearly conferences with the most well-known ADHD clinicians as presenters—including Drs. Hallowell, Ratey, Dodson, and Amen along with Thomas Phelan and Thomas Brown, PhDs as well as sponsoring workshops for teachers and a special weekend for women with Sari Solden.  She left the organization in 2010 and trained to be an ADHD coach, but never got beyond offering her services pro bono. After some time away and inspired by the isolation imposed by Covid, she wrote a memoir about her life with ADD—“The Circular Staircase, Living with ADD.”  In getting reacquainted with ADHD research and literature for her memoir she learned that those with Inattentive ADHD continue to be significantly less-often diagnosed than those with Hyperactivity.  Wanting to change that she started a new non-profit in March, 2021 with a mission that children with Inattentive ADHD get diagnosed by age 8 and adults with Inattentive ADHD are readily and correctly diagnosed when they seek help. The new website is www.iadhd.org.  She is creating a social media presence, blogging, appearing on podcasts, and submitting articles for ADDitude magazine, spreading the message that Inattentive ADHD exists—it is different from ADHD with hyperactivity, and it is harmful to individuals when it goes undiagnosed. For ADHD Awareness month, which is October, people who share her commitment to spread awareness about Inattentive ADHD can download letters from her website to mail to school principals and physicians in their community.  They can find the letters by clicking on Spread Awareness. https://www.iadhd.org/adhd-awareness-month Today we learn more about how Cynthia continues to break social stereotypes and get folks the help they need -enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Cynthia Hammer discuss:  

1:55 - Intro and welcome Cynthia! 

2:57 - You got diagnosed at age 49. After you got diagnosed how did things go?

4:22 - On not believing she would have a ‘whole new life’, even though her doctor said she would.

5:04 - On her first ADHD “group meet”

6:53 - On how she started her first non-profit for ADHD  Ref: The Adult ADD Reader  Dr. Hallowell  

9:15 - Ref:  Driven To Distraction by Dr. Hallowell 

10:50 - Let’s talk about your recent memoir! “The Circular Staircase” (not yet published)  Ref: Reedsy website

14:30 - Ref Additude mag

15:29 - How can people find you? Her non-profit is at www.iADHD.org  and @iadhd.org on Facebook and you can find @CynthiaHammer9 on Twitter 

15:40 - Thank you Cynthia Hammer!  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. So please continue to do that, tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

15:55 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

My name is Peter Shankman. It is great to have you. It is a Tuesday here in New York and beautiful day, little warm, little hot, little Indian summer going on. It is very. I want to introduce our guest today I think you will enjoy; got someone who's born and raised in Leominster, Massachusetts, about an hour west of Boston. And after her middle son, she has three sons. After a middle son was diagnosed with ADD, the same pediatrician, diagnosed her with ADHD, whether they, it was 1982 and she was 49 years old. So. What do you do when you're ADHD and diagnosed at 49 years old, you start a non-profit. She created ADD Rescources https://www.iadhd.org It's a mission to help other adults with ADHD, learn about the condition and get diagnosed. They sponsor yearly conferences, including Dr. Hallowell, Randy Dodson, along with Thomas Brown, all the good ones, all the ones you read about in the books, all the ones whose books you've read. She left the organization in 2010. But then when COVID hit, she wrote a memoir there, a lot of stuff to cover here today. Welcome Cynthia Hammer, Cynthia. It is great to have you on the podcast. 

Thank you. 

So you got diagnosed at 49; prior to that what'd you think was going on? 

I really didn't take anything was going on.

Okay. So you just sort of lived your life and you're like, Hey, whatever, you know, this is, this is what it is. So after you got diagnosed did stuff started making a little more sense to you? 

Well, I can't say that because I was very, very sad to get diagnosed. And when I was diagnosed, actually it was after I got, um, evaluated where I worked. And my supervisor had a grandson with ADD. So she was the first one to suggest that to me. And because of my son had inattentive ADD, occasionally I said to myself, I do that. I do that, but I never took it seriously. But when she told me, she thought I had ADD, um, at the next appointment with the pediatrician, cause I'd go with my son; I said to Dr. Klonsky. I said, do you think I have ADD? And he said, you do. So then he took me on, I was his first adult patient and I started to take Ritalin. It made a big difference. And what he said to me was- I envy you, you're going to have a whole new life. And I didn't believe him because I was just so sad about having it. Um, but I say with time it was a whole new life. 

Tell me about it, why was it a new life? 

Well, I went to the first ADD conference for adults. It was held in Ann Arbor, Michigan. And I'm sorry, probably it was about 1992. And when I came home, I decided to start a support group for adults with ADHD. So I went around and got, um, a hospital to give us a room and I got, um, flyers I put out in psychiatrist's office. And then when the group met, it didn't work out too well, because there was such a range. There always is a range of people with ADD and some of them were on dis um, Medicaid, or they weren't working and others were entrepreneurs and being very successful. So we'd have about 10 people at a meeting and then at the next meeting it would be different people. And so we never got to establish trust with each other and everyone was coming to tell their story from scratch. So then I decided, well, this isn't working and we switched and got a large auditorium, not, not large, but enough to hold like a hundred people. And I started, um, to have the meetings with a  professional in some area of ADD where people would want to learn more and we would, we're easily able to get people, psychiatrists and counselors, people in areas that impacted people with ADD to come and present. So that worked out much better. Although we still had problems of people in the audience wanting to interrupt the presenter to ask questions, and we took care of that. And then we'd have people in the audience that when it was question and answer, they would monologue a long time before they would ask the question. So it's still. It still took, um, some structure, but in that process of setting up the monthly meetings, I found other people with add that were functioning well enough to be helpers.  I guess at some point in there, I just decided to start a nonprofit and I can't remember why. But my mother had sent me $2,000. She never, ever done that before, and I just decided, and she lives in Massachusetts and I'm living in Washington state and I decided to use that money to start the nonprofit. So besides learning on my own, how to create the nonprofit, I found a book in the library that helped me to do that. Then. The other thought I had was to create a booklet called the adult ADD reader because instead of, I didn't the only book at the time that was out there was by Lynne Weiss. She was a PhD and her book was adults with ADHD. That was the first I'd heard of it. So we put it together, this adult ADD reader and I got approval. I don't know where I was getting the articles from, but I wrote to all the people like Dr. Hallowell, Dr. Ratey, got their permission to use their article in the adult reader. So it was like, A hundred page booklet with lots of articles it by all these professionals. And so then we started having a membership and with the membership, you could get the adult ADD reader and we created a lending library with, um, videos and books and back then it was audio tapes. And people, no matter where they lived, we would mail them materials and then they would mail them back. And at every meeting that we had, every month in person, people that were members, we had a Cardex and if they were members, they could borrow things from the lending library at the monthly meeting. And then from that, I don't think that cost much money, but we were going to move forward and have conferences. And the first one we had to come to speak was Dr. Hallowell. And he came to speak both at the auditorium where we had our monthly meetings and also at an auditorium in, uh, the junior college in our town. And it was so coincidental because that was the same week that, um, Dr. Hallowell was on the cover of time magazine. I think he had come out with, uh, Driven to Distraction. So that was kind of fun. And, and when Dr. Hal arrived, he said, uh, how much are you? How much are you charging? How much are you paying me? When I told him, he said, you should have asked for more. Oh, he should have asked for more. That's what I mean. Um, so I stayed in the position of the Director, I guess, for 15 years. And. Only for the last three years was I paid a salary because before that we weren't, we were making enough money to rent a room. I mean, yeah, an expanse, so we had two rooms for the office and I hired a secretary. And then in Washington state, they have a program where you can hire students that are on scholarship or students that are on financial assistance. And if you're a nonprofit, you can hire them and the state will pay 30, 70% of their salary. So we got, we got some, uh, and that's still available now. So we got a really good, um, student to come and help us in the office. And I think that there's always a good thing is to have that mix of the ADD people with some neuro-typical people. 

Let's talk for a second. Let's talk for a second about the memoir about, uh, ADD to circular staircase.

Well, I wrote it during COVID shut down and I know I never would have gotten it written if it hadn't been for the shutdown, but I just made a commitment to myself. I'd worked on it every day, which I did. And I, I have never written anything before. I mean, I wrote articles for the newsletter we had was add resources, but it was kind of, it was like, you know, new learning. It was really fun in a way to have all this new learning. And I found this website called Reedsy where you could, um, what to upload your, whatever you wrote. And there are all these parameters where it would improve your writing. It would show you where you use the same word too often, or show you, um, if you put in a, ‘so’, or ‘really’, or a very telling you that the new way of writing, you know, put those superlatives in there. It does, it really enhance things and changing from passive voice to active voice. Um, a lot of things like that. And so I kept thinking I was improving it. I was improving it and it ended up being about 60,000 words long. And I thought it was pretty good, but I thought I need someone who, um, is in this field. And I was reading online about this kind of editor and that kind of editor. It just sounded so confusing, but there was one website that recommended this other guy is a developmental editor. And so I hired him. And he read the manuscript and know the things like what, all the adventures that we had were like TV moves. So it's down the manuscript and 40,000 words. And he said it was, he was changing it so it was a story about my, my ADD. So the things that he didn't think were related to that were there, and I finished, we finished the manuscript in March and then. I sent it out to like 75 agents and publishers and no one responded except this one company that I'm still waiting to hear the associate decide by the end of September [2021]  And. Yeah, I, so I guess my new learning after this will be how to promote a self-published book. If they don't, they don't decide to publish it and if they do it's, um, It wouldn't come out for a year, you know? So I I'm, I'm just learning a lot about how this world works and attending sessions to learn about how to, how to proceed. That's. So in the meantime, 'cause I got back into learning about, ADD because of the writing, the memoir and just reading stuff to make sure my, what I was saying related to ADD was very true. I read an article, a blog, post, in Additude.mag by a girl who was 21. And she said that she's been told to just move on, after she got her diagnosis, but she said, I can't, I am just so angry. She was angry that even though people saw that she was struggling and she even, I guess, asked someone if she had ADD and they said, no, you you're too smart to have ADD; and so that just, just motivated me, I guess, to start a nonprofit with the focus on inattentive ADD. And so that's where I am today.

Awesome. How can people find more about you? Do you have a website or are you a lot on social media somewhere? [15:29 - How can people find you? Her non-profit is at www.iADHD.org  and @iadhd.org on Facebook and you can find @CynthiaHammer9 on Twitter ]

Awesome. Well, we will definitely post that in the show notes. Cynthia, I really appreciate you taking the time to be on the podcast. All right guys, we're listening to fast, the normal as always. We love that you're here. Stay in touch and reach out @petershankman or @FasterNormal. And we will see you next week.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Sep 22, 2021

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

——

Morgan Dodson is a life coach for people with ADHD. She helps them go paperless, and digitally organize their lives into simple tools they can use forever, not Pinterest perfect strategies that fall flat after a few weeks. In 2018, she started a professional home organizing business, but after hiring her first life coach, losing seventy five pounds, stopping drinking, being diagnosed with ADHD, and overcoming her hyperthyroidism, she decided to become a coach herself. Ever since then she’s been working online with ADHD-ers from all over the world to simplify their lives by going paperless for the last time. Today we learn about her journey and how she’s now helping fellow ADHD’ers -enjoy!

In this episode Peter and Morgan Dodson discuss:  

2:35 - Intro and welcome Morgan! 

3:50 - How Morgan got her start and her back story

4:40 - How she started her own coaching business

5:40 - On the concept of using paperless systems to work your ADHD

6:44 - What to do when we can’t go paperless

9:35 - What else are you helping people with other than becoming paperless?

12:00 - On prioritizing 

12:23 - What are some of your other go-to tricks?  Ref:  Apps Trello  Asana  Notion

16:50 - How can people find you? https://www.morgandodsoncoaching.com Going Paperless with ADHD Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/show/3HaY1LdDbiJLjA6Jqo9pfq

Apple Podcast Link: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/id1543950427

Subscribe to Morgan’s email list HERE

[At the time of taping Morgan does not appear to be on any Social media other than @morgandodsoncoaching on Facebook]

17:04 - Thank you Morgan Dodson!  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. So please continue to do that, tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

 

17:35 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

I want to thank you for listening and for subscribing to Faster Than Normal! I also want to tell you that if you’re listening to this one, you probably listened to other episodes as well. Because of you all, we are the number one ADHD podcast on the internet!! And if you like us, you can sponsor an episode! Head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ It is a lot cheaper than you think. You'll reach... about 25k to 30,000 people in an episode and get your name out there, get your brand out there, your company out there, or just say thanks for all the interviews! We’ve brought you over 230 interviews of CEOs, celebrities, musicians, all kinds of rock stars all around the world from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Keith Krach from DocuSign, Danny Meyer, we've had Rachel Cotton, we've had  the band Shinedown, right? Tons and tons of interviews, and we keep bringing in new ones every week so head over to https://rally.io/creator/SHANK/ make it yours, we'd love to have you, thanks so much for listening!  Now to this week's episode, we hope you enjoy it!

 

Heeey- Faster Than Normal you're here, I'm here. Our guest is here. Everyone's here. Which for someone people with ADHD thing, you know, I'll take that as a win. My name is Peter Shankman. You are listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We love when you were here and it makes us very, very happy. It is a grey gloomy afternoon here in New York city, but we are persevering and pushing through my daughter is back in school. I'm hoping that will last. That gives us some freedom. Uh, I was all, we were all like, you know, worried about the tears this morning when I dropped her off. Not, not so much from her,, rather from me. Uh, uh, it turns out she was happy to get rid of me. So, you know, Hey, everyone wins. We are talking to Morgan Dodson this morning on America’s number 1 ADHD podcast. We're going to welcome to faster than normal. I will give you a, I'll give you a second to say hello, and they will give you, I'll give you the audience are your bio and all of that cool stuff going on there. So welcome to Faster Than Normal! 

Amazing. Sorry to hear that it's gloomy. I'm experiencing a very bright Southern Illinois day, so it's just starting to feel like fall down here. But, um, thank you for having me. I have to tell you first, a, um, a quick story years ago when I found your podcast. I remember just listening to one after another classic, you know, binge consuming, a podcast, ADHD style. And I said to myself, I will be on his podcast one day; and it was, it was, and I don't even remember, like if I was a coach at that time, but I just knew I would be here someday. I didn't know how, I didn't really know but here I am. So that's super fun, but, um, 

Manifesting your dreams. Well done. 

Exactly, exactly. Nailed it. So, yeah, so I'm sure you will have read my bio by now in the podcast, but my name is Morgan Dodson and I am a digital organization coach for people with ADHD. I would say if you will. I suspect you have ADHD or you have it, and you're anywhere on the planet with the internet and a pulse. I can coach you.

So, uh, growing up, I didn't even know I had ADHD until age 22 when it kind of fell in my lap. Um, my therapist casually mentioned, Hey, I think you have ADHD. And I said, no, I don't. That's ridiculous. Cause I was so organized at the time. Right. So growing up. Kind of to navigate and kind of to compensate and accommodate my, my undiagnosed ADHD, which I thought just was the normal to have a very, very fast brain. Right. I would obsess if we organize everything because I was a hot mess. Right. Like even growing up, everything was so messy. Growing up and even into college, you know, I learned a thing or two about organizing. And after, after college I used none of my, my agricultural communications degree that I just graduated with and I started a professional home organizing business, which has evolved into what is today, which is just online. COVID. Right. So instead of going into people's houses, which was difficult because I could work with them and they would get the result of, you know, an organized kitchen or closet, but then it wouldn't even be maintained. You know, I'd come back a couple of weeks later and really be frustrated with them and maybe frustrated with themselves, but throughout my own journey, with, you know, therapy and then kind of outgrowing the therapy model, I found coaching life coaching and using those tools too of course, to learn about my ADHD and navigate all of that and to lose over 75 pounds and stop over drinking and completely change my whole life. So. I definitely believe in those tools after really having to change my mind about them. You know, I used to believe a life coaching that's cute. Right. Get a real job. Right. And so after being a product of that product, like I said, I had to change my mind. So here I am today and I help people with ADHD go paperless. And really we focus on three main areas of calendaring and following. Project management and all of the scheming and saving of all the things..

 I'm going to interrupt you just because I want to, I wanna make sure we cover as much as possible let's turn to the concept of paperless. Right? So one of the things that's given us is the ability to almost no, almost entirely go paperless. That, uh, one of the things I dread now in my life is actually one of the mailbox, right? I'm getting, you know, 99% of it. I live in an apartment, unfortunately in our building we have a recycle bin right next to the mailboxes because, you know, we dump all our junk down there. And maybe once a week I have to actually bring something upstairs. And then I look at it like, what the hell does this have to go? Right. I sit at my desk and do whatever. So paperless is a wonderful thought. It's a wonderful idea. You know, real-world scenario in a practical scenario, we can't all be paperless all the time. I'm sitting here looking at a tax bill, um, you know, a quarterly apartment tax bill that I have to pay and, and it doesn't, you can't go tax, you can't go paperless in New York state. Right. So talk about for a second as basically its competitors in many ways as possible. Talk about what we do or those points where we can’t. 

Yeah. And I think that's an important thing to mention too, right. Is like even in my life that living in very rural Southern Illinois, where I think a lot of places are lagging in the option to go paperless. Right. And I think it's important just to know that it's not about going paperless for paperless sake, right? It's about how can I save all the information in my life, all the data in my life, to where I have systems to maintain them. Right. Versus. You know, getting rid of paper, isn't the problem. I think it, a lot of times it comes down to a lack of systems problems. Right. And even for me, like, I still purposely keep a good amount of paper. Right. Like it's more about, do you know your reasons for keeping it and do you like them? Right. So always on my desk, I have this just boring and plain notepad that I dump ideas in and it's kind of just like my inbox. Right. And then I also journal on paper.  Right. And so I know how those tools give me value versus I wouldn't just, you know, not, you know, like without really considering my reasons for keeping lots of paper. Um, does that make sense? 

It's way more about, do you know your reasons, unlike your reasons, right. That, you know, a lot of people find is that they get used to a certain way. Like for instance, in, in, you know, most of the stuff that I do, I can go pay for this in so many ways. And then when something comes in that doesn't allow that when something comes into that, that, that messes with that. Uh, sort of rhythm. 

Yeah. Yeah. And I can relate to that too. Especially, you know, with the example of, you know, auto billing and even just having the bill emailed to you. Right. And it's like, oh, this is so annoying. Even for me, like my insurance, my health insurance is a cost share insurance. So it's not like, regular insurance. So they have to reimburse me with paper checks in the mail. It's like one of the few things I actually get in the mail now. And I'm, it literally does throw me off a little bit when you know, I'm budgeting or doing any kind of money things. Right. It's like it would, it would make too much sense. Right to do it electronically, but nonetheless, I think it's more, you know, for me about how can I accommodate this way of doing things that they have allowed for and not making it a problem that they do this right. Cause that could be mad at them and like begrudgingly cash, this check and, um, thank God for, you know, having a bank app that can let me deposit it. Right. You know, or it can just not make it a problem and, you know, I have everything else as digital as possible. And I know that that makes it easy for me. And also I can accommodate those other things that maybe hasn't quite caught up yet with the digital life that I want to live, you know?

Yeah, I think at the end of the day, it really is about balance and finding out, you know, sort of what works and how to make it work. What else, what else are you helping people with other than paperless? Because I know that as much as, as much of a bonus is to go, you know, to make your life easier and that there's still a lot more.

Yeah. Yeah. So we talk a lot about calendaring, right? There's kind of two sides to it of it's one thing to put some plans on the calendar, right. To map out all the things you want to do and get in any given day in any given week, but then it's a whole nother side of things to follow through. Right. I can't tell you how many times when I was trying to transition from my paper planner in college too and the grudgingly transfer from a paper planner to iCal right. A digital calendar and I'd have all the best laid out plans and then come time to do it, I could not get myself to do it. So a lot of the work is figuring out the right those reasons and those obstacles you have to yeah. Putting the plan on the calendar and then to follow through on it. That is a lot of what I coach on that. And then project management, right. Those are kind of like two sister skills of it's. One thing to put things on the calendar, but. To have a place organized enough kind of like your external brain where I can put my ideas in. And I know exactly where this kind of idea would go or this to-do list or this thing I need to buy. Right. And then having that kind of personal database to pull from, to then put your whole life on the calendar. And really, I love thinking about it. Like if I can map out any project or goal into doable chunks and put them on the doable calendar. And then if I can follow through on those things, even if they suck, even if they're like, I want to put my eyeballs out or it's scary. If I know I can overcome those obstacles and do anything on the calendar, like my dreams are as good as done. 

Right. I totally understand that. And that definitely make, you know, it makes it interesting to one of the things about ADHD. I find that is if you can block things out into small manageable chunks, as you start giving them. You know, the dope mean kicks and the adrenaline kicks in and you start wanting to do more of them. As the adrenaline and dopamine kicks in And so sometimes getting that big project done is as easy as just getting the first small one. 

Yeah. I mean, that makes a lot of sense. And I used to kind of begrudgingly like almost get mad at people who gave me that advice of eat the frog first thing in the morning. It's a no. Right. So even in the mornings, you know, on any given day, I will do certain small things kind of just to get them out of the way and to get some momentum going, but even with small goals or, or even big goals. Yeah. Like you said, like you kind of have to get the ball rolling in that way and do some small things and get that dopamine going. Y’know?

Definitely. What else do you advise people to do? I mean, what else, what else are some of your go-to tricks?  

Yeah. I mean the one main thing I always start clients with is, and I see this a lot too, because it also used to be me, right. Of people, whether, you know, in Facebook groups or people coming to me and saying, what apps should I use? Right. Like, what are the best apps for organizing or for ADHD in general? And I'm like, listen, You can digitize and organize your entire life. Even for us ADHD’ers. Right? We like the, we like the fancy apps. We like the ones that have all the bells and whistles. Right. But you can digitize your entire life into three simple apps and they don't have to cost a lot of money. Right. They could be free if you wanted them to. Right. So I always recommend, instead of kind of just looking at all the apps like a buffet, and then you can pick all the ones you want. Right. Just pick three. And I always recommend in three categories, right? You pick a calendar app. It literally doesn't matter which one. Right? Pick a project management app that is a little bit more robust than just the notes app on your phone. Right? Some popular ones are Trello, Asana notion, those kinds of ones, [[ Trello  Asana  Notion]] and then pick a place to store your files. Right? Some people love Google drive. I personally use Google drive. You know, you can use Dropbox. It literally doesn't matter, pick one in each of those categories. And then really the magic is A- you have to pull and kind of take inventory of all the other apps you have. Right. Okay. It turns out I've got three Dropbox accounts, two Google drives. Oh, I have this other, you know, Reminders list at like there's all kinds of apps we have stuff in. Taking that into account, consolidating into these three places, and then taking all of the physical paper and data you have and putting it in those three things. And I will tell you, like, this was magical for me to kind of finally figure out for myself, because if I'm going, looking for something, whether it's a file or a picture, it doesn't even matter. I'm not looking across 12 different apps. I know for sure it's at least in one of those three. Right. So then that completely constrains losing things. I can't tell you how little I lose things now, just because of that simple structure for it. And that, you know, that kind of protocol for laying things out.

I think one of the interesting things about, about, um, you know, what I've discovered in terms of keeping things online digitally is your work in the ecosystem you enjoy. Right? So for me, I'm, I'm both in Apple and Google. And so across my phone are spread out the apple and Google apps that allow me to get to whatever I need based on wherever I am, whatever I'm doing.  You know, it seems like, oh, use, use this one. I use that. And I'm like, well, if they don't live in the ecosystem, I'm already in, that's an extra step. Right. And what we're trying to do is eliminate those extra steps, right?

Yeah. And I think you brought up a good point. It's like, yeah, you have Apple stuff on your phone. I would guess you maybe have an iPhone. I do have an iPhone. I'm an Apple girl. Generally. I use I Cal. Right. But I also use a lot of different things that Google offers. And so not making it wrong if you're like in both camps. Right. And a lot of times I find that clients and I used to do this too. Right. So I'm totally guilty of it, of kind of using the indecision and the confusion about, oh my gosh, which apps should I choose? Which ones are right? Which ones are wrong? Like and using that as a distraction to not necessarily avoid digitizing things or organizing them. But I think it's more so about, I think unconsciously, our brains know if we are organized, if we can find things and have an organized to-do list, and we know we can put it on the calendar and follow up through our brains thinks that means we actually have to do things that might be scary or uncomfortable. And I think a lot of times we use the, the kind of distracting confusion of in, you know, not deciding on which apps to use or, or you pick them. And, oh my gosh, I don't know how to use it or let me go. Look up for hours on YouTube, right? I used to do this, like scrolling up and down YouTube, Pinterest, whatever of like, best way to use Evernote or what are, what are the best ways to lay it out? And really it's more about how can I use this system and make it simple. And then how can I get to work doing work that matters, right? That's what it's all about.

Definitely. Awesome. How can people find you if they wanna learn more? Yeah. So there's a couple of ways you can go and find my podcast going paperless with ADHD, and you can also go to my website, which is Morgan Dotson coaching. 

https://www.morgandodsoncoaching.com 

Going Paperless with ADHD Spotify Link: https://open.spotify.com/show/3HaY1LdDbiJLjA6Jqo9pfq 

Apple Podcast Link: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/id1543950427

Subscribe to Morgan’s email list here: https://morgandodsoncoaching.ck.page

 

Awesome guys, you’ve been listening to Morgan Dobson on www.FasterThanNormal.com My name is Peter Shankman. Thank you so much, Morgan. Thank you so much for taking the time and we will see you next week. We're going to have you back at some point in the future. Definitely. One-hundred percent! This was a lot of fun! Guys, ADHD is a gift, not a curse, you know, that make sure you are telling your friends about that. Make sure you were standing up for who you are, what you believe in and in who you are and understanding that you have the, both of you be the best you can be. Don't listen to what anyone else says, except for us because we know what we're talking about; ADHD is a gift, not a curse. We'll see you next week, byee!

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

Sep 15, 2021

I wanna give a shout out to NANOVi an NG3 corporate entity who is sponsoring this episode! They make this amazing device that allows my cells to regenerate and get better after hard workouts and much quicker than normal. You simply put it on, breathe into it, for about 10, 15 minutes and it harmonically changes the cells in your body- it is pretty cool! When you think about harmonically changing your cells you might think about The Fly; yeah, This is nothing like That. It actually just makes you feel a little bit better, a little bit faster. Like, I did a 75 mile bike ride and training for the Ironman this past weekend and used it when I got home. I used it again this morning and I feel amazing. So thank you to https://eng3corp.com/lls/ for sponsoring this episode!

——

Dr. Read is a very experienced Consultant Psychiatrist, with 30 years experience in NHS, most recently as Lead for ADHD at a large London teaching trust. She has many years of experience with neurodiversity, both in ADHD / ADD and ASD, and their many comorbidities.

Dr. Read is also a trained individual and family psychotherapist, particularly specializing in Cognitive Analytic Therapy. Her psychodynamic and cognitive understanding and strategies really help in the journey of self understanding, and formulating a treatment plan that will actually work! Dr. Read has a special interest in rejection sensitivity and other emotional issues which are so often part of these conditions. Last, but certainly not least, Dr. Read has ADHD herself, as do her children. Her advice, support and experience to parents is first hand, reflecting the often difficult family journey she has taken, with many difficulties, and many successes along the way. Dr. Read's lived experience of ADHD means that her treatment plans are from the inside… She lives in London where we find her on this rainy Thursday morning. Her private practice, ADHD Consultancy, specializes in neurodiversity. She’s been through it and is doing the good work- enjoy!

 

In this episode Peter and Dr. Read discuss:  

1:55 - Intro and welcome Dr. Helen Read!  Ref: Comorbidity

3:20 - How did you get involved in ADHD/Neurodiversity research, treatment & education?

9:00 - How do parents become better advocates for their kids?

11:22 - How is the UK in terms of embracing the awesome things about ADHD and Neurodiversity?

13:00 - How do you educate/re-educate parents about misconceptions/falsehoods & bad info about Neurodiversity in general?

15:58 - How can people find you? www.ADHDConsultancy.co.uk and on @ADHDconsultancy on Twitter and Facebook

17:05 - Thank you Dr. Helen Read!  Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. So please continue to do that, tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all, we’d love to know.  Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I'm www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via peter@shankman.com or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse! 

17:29 - Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits

 

TRANSCRIPT: 

I wanna give a shout out to NANOVi an NG3 corporate entity is sponsoring this episode and you can find a link to them in the show notes. They make this amazing device that allows my cells to regenerate and get better after hard workouts, much, much quicker than normal. You simply put it on, breathe into it, uh, for about 10, 15 minutes and it harmonically, it changes the cells in your body. Uh, it is pretty cool. When you think about harmonically changing the cells you think about that will be the fly. This is nothing like that. It actually just makes you feel a little bit better, a little bit faster. I did a 75 mile bike ride and training for the Ironman this past weekend. I used it when I got home. I use it again this morning and I feel amazing. So thank you to https://eng3corp.com/lls/ for sponsoring this episode!

Hey everyone. Welcome to another episode of Faster Than Normal. My name is Peter Shankman. I'm thrilled that you're here! It is a gray and gross a Thursday morning here in New York city. But that's okay because by the time this airs, hopefully it will be sunny. Again, it was the first day of third grade for my daughter. I dropped her off at school. And in essence, I guess the rain was good because it hit the tears. Obviously I'm talking about my tears, not her. She was thrilled to be rid of me. So thrilled that you guys are here. It's another episode today. We're going across the pond as it were. We were talking to Dr. Helen Reed. Arlene is a consultant psychiatrist, 30 years experience in the NHS. Most recently as Lee. For ADHD at a very large London teaching trust, tons of experience with neurodiversity, both ADHD ADD and ASD. And there are many co-morbidities I just learned I was 48 years old last year when I learned the word comorbidities and I learned it, of course, because of COVID. Um, Dr. Read is also a trained individual and family psychotherapist, particularly specializing in cognitive analytic therapy or CAT or psychodynamic and cognitive understanding of strategies, helping the journey of self understanding formulation and treatment treatment treatment plan that will actually work. She has a special interest in rejection sensitivity. We're going to touch on that because I have a feeling that I have that other emotional issues. And literally, as I said that my dog had got up and walked away. Oh my God. I'm not even kidding. Dr. Read, welcome to Faster Than Normal, fantastic to have you! 

Thank you so much for having me on. Um, wow. Uh, it's very, it's a great honor to be on the protocols and of course. It's a talk to someone who's such a leading light in the fields of ADHD difference, not deficit. Um, as I understand your approach to be an, I would say I'm all about that as a general principle.

Difference, not deficit. That is our headline. No question about it. Oh and the dog came back. So I feel better.  How did you get involved? How, what, what's your background? How did you start in this? Tell us, tell us. 

Uh, well, uh, I started as a doctor, 

I mean in regards to ADD, ADHD, that aspect of it. 

So it was basically, it was my eldest son being diagnosed actually with autism um, 21 years ago when he was three and it was such a shock to me, it was unexpected, he didn't seem kind of that child, as I understood it to be at that time, you know, he was chatty, intelligent, loving, all that sort of thing. But, um, he was referred by the nursery and part of the assessment was a speech and language therapy, uh, appointment. And she said to me, then she said, he's a lovely talker, but he often can't understand quite a bit of what you're saying, you know, he receptive language processing issues. And, and really from that moment on, I was thrown into neurodiversity because I don't know how it is over in the states, but in the UK, I think particularly what we used to call high functioning-Although I know people don't always like that label- there's not a lot available despite good will all around. So, you know, you're, you're, you're well on your own kind of trying to get what your child needs. And we knew, I knew that he was bright, but he couldn't understand what was happening in the classroom. And so what to do. And it was really as that journey that I really came across, um, the whole language processing issue. That seems to go across neurodiversity for an awful lot of people, which is quite a surprise finding. But anyway, that was how I thought that, you know, we need to get this child, some ADHD medication, my personal decision from that point of view so that he could really tune into what's going on. And actually, you know, his first day on Ritalin when he was 11 and you know, not only about medication, but in, in my son's case, it made a very, very big difference was when he came home from school and he said, mum, I can understand what the teachers are saying. And I can understand what the other kids are saying- And, you know, I, I knew it would help, but I didn't, wasn't prepared for that much of a difference. Um, and it made me think, gosh, you know, there's so much in this. And of course the process of getting that Ritalin involved, um, having the second diagnosis of ADHD, which, you know, is, is it, I don't know what you guys think, but I don't feel it's entirely separate from ADHD though clearly. It's not exactly the same thing, but you know, he, um, with the support, you know, it's a constant fight. So I think in this country, and from what I hear about the U S it's not so different and it's a constant fight to get them what they need to represent their points of view and all that sorts of thing. So I emerged quite battle scarred, but you know, my son. You know, it got a, two-one degree in law and these are very successful, very charming, very handsome, very lovely young man today. And, you know, bless his heart. It would have been too difficult for him. I think he obviously would have done well. He's a great guy, but I just think that, you know, the specific thing about being in the school room, you know, about having to deal with a very auditory curriculum about having to focus when it's boring, we all know what that's like. And all of that kind of really mitigates against our children. Sometimes, either achieving their potential, which I guess is what it's all about. So from there, um, That's what got me started. And, uh, I, I, up until that point I'd been really particularly interested in psychotherapy, particularly with more crisis kind of groups, women's power, you know, and anywhere where the action was, that's where I tended to be. And, you know, I loved that work, but I did find, you know, with my own therapy and also with the therapy that I was giving to my patients, you can get so far with it, but often times we were ending up with, uh,  I can compassionately see why I might be finding things difficult because of certain aspects of my childhood, but hey, I'm just watching myself compassionately, continuing to screw up and exactly the same way. So I sort of thought that there's gotta be more to it here you know, it can't just be explained by such difficulties as it to be. I don't know anyone that hasn't had some difficulties in their childhood, although clearly there are differences in degree, but you know, it's the human condition to have a less than perfect life, I think at all stages. And particularly if you’re neurodiverse um, so I think I was looking for something more and I couldn't help noticing the overlap. So y’know you get to know your patients and we're talking about depression. We're talking about anxiety, job problems, life problems, relationships, all these kinds of things, but you know, then you get to, well at school, I could never focus. You know, I was disappointing. My exam results were disappointing, I’d dropped out of university. You know, I couldn't do what I wanted to do. I've had many false starts with my kids. You know, these things, you just hear time and time again and at some point the penny sort of dropped you know; hey, this isn't different from ADHD. And you know, sometimes. It dropped that I had ADHD myself, um, obviously as, as a very successful person, but you know, like many people will say, um, who have, you know, the experience of being what they call high functioning. It's not about not being able to do things it's about having to work harder, smarter, you know, you always have to get up in the morning before the neurotypical people and have it all planned out on a whiteboard, et cetera, et cetera, you know? 

Let me, let me, let me stop you just for a second and ask the question. One of the things you mentioned, um, it sounds like you, uh, became a champion for your son at a very early age, and you were advocating for him for the needs, for his needs and for the things that he required, you know, in, in, uh, the U S at least the concept of advocating, it's not as.. I mean, it's starting to get there. Right. But parents don't often have the tools or the, the knowledge to advocate for what their child needs once their child is diagnosed. You know, what are your thoughts on that in terms of how do parents become better advocates for their kids? 

Well, uh,  it's worth knowing that, um, this is a slightly difficult thing to say, and I don't want to upset anybody, but it's not remotely unusual, um, for a child with ADHD to have, um, some family history and it's remarkably common for one or other, or even both of the parents to be diagnosed. Sometimes it's about either recognizing; he may be just like everyone else in the family, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have problems. So I think a lot of the journey is accepting it ourselves because you know, the cohorts of people who I was going through the same experience with all those years ago, you know, some of them got with the program, others were like, you know, he doesn't do it at home. You know, he's not like that all the time. No, no, no. He can do better than that. Almost like they were arguing giving their kids out of any possible support that they might get. And I feel that, that, um, it's not really that it's very understandable. Obviously it's clearly understandable, but it isn't always very helpful for children if we ask ourselves are in denial about how difficult things can be for them, particularly in the classroom. So I think first of all, we got to know. We've got to read out. We've got to become knowledgeable about this and try not to be defensive. I mean, it's hard, isn't it? When someone says you're a little precious lamb, your little genius, you know, your, your precious child could possibly have a thing going on with them. The natural thing is to go, no, they don't. They’re just like me. No, they don't. But I think we probably need to get beyond that. If they're struggling, obviously, if they're not struggling, we don't need to advocate for them, but if they are struggling, they need our help and they need our help to probably get the help that they need because if we don't know what they need, how on Earth is anyone else going to where they need? 

How has the, how is the UK in terms of embracing ADHD and looking at it as, not necessarily as a, as a curse, but rather as a gift? 

Uh, I would say no where probably, I, I don't know. I think, um, I, I think as a docter, it's it interesting, and I do have some neurodiverse people in my clinic. I have more doctors in my clinic than some people would think could be there, but you know, doctors with ADHD in the UK tend to keep a very low profile I'm out there. You know, my patients know that I have ADHD myself and they appreciate that because they, that they must say appreciate the inside feel for what everyone's going to say. But I think generally, no, it's a condition with the doctors. You know, the patients, you know, you sit back and I will tell you how I am going to cure you of this terrible thing that you have going on, which means that you'll never achieve anything. It's terrible though. Y’know I was just reading the other day, a very, I'm going to say it. It's the Royal College of Psychiatrists. If you ever feel like going on there and having a look article about ADHD, it's like:  “Go on and give yourself a pat on the back. Nope. Really? Because you are trying and it doesn't matter if you can't do anything, don’t worry, you sit back, stop shitting yourself”.  Do you know, I just want to go and punch someone when I read that stuff, because that's not where it's at I don't think, you know, maybe it's for some people, but that's not where it's at for me, my family, my patients, you know, and, and no patients I've ever met; that's where it's at. You know, everybody wants to move forward. Everyone's fighting. Yeah. 

That brings up a great question. What are you telling parents who are getting this sort of information into their brain? How are you, how would you explain to them sort of, you know, what are next steps for them? How do you convince them, you know, hey it's okay- your child is not broken, here's what we can do! 

Yeah, well, I mean, I am now I left the NHS, Peter, in 2020 in may it really just because, uh, it's, it's, it's quite difficult, you know, when you sort of become aware of this kind of thing and, and, and, and, and really what we should be doing with ADHD versus what we actually do with it. There's the Gulf is so wide that it becomes quite difficult, I think, to sort of practice in that context. So I did set my own private practice up, um, and that took off immediately, uh, and is very successful fortunately, and, um, not just because of me, because there's such a need, you know, I mean, it's, it's desperate over in this country, how it is. So the people who come here, I don't see a lot of children. I tend to see children of my patients and I as over fifteens now because I can't treat kids, but because you know, Th the ideas that I have about treatment are not 100% in line with current medical thinking. And clearly I don't want to get myself into any sort of situations with, uh, people who just don't get this stuff, which I think to be fair is anyone who doesn't have ADHD. I don't know how you can get it if you don't have ADHD. I just don't think that people understand how we feel when we can't function. So what do I say to parents? When, of course they're coming anyway, they were approaching me. So they already have quite a lot of this under their belt. And they're looking for diagnosis. They're looking for help. They're the fortunate ones because they can afford to pay. And, you know, unfortunately I do what I can for other people, but yeah. It's really hard because it's a tough battle. So, you know, I don't think that you can convince someone else that they, or their child, or their spouse or whatever that they have, ADHD. It’s kind of a journey that people need to come to a little bit by themselves. And I think that goes to parents, it goes for spouses, it goes for everybody really. Because in as much as like either you can look at me and say, yeah, there's ADHD there- she has the symptoms; you can also look at me and say, oh, well, she's very lazy you know, you know, she's probably a bit thick, you know, maybe that's why she has to work harder. You know, perhaps she's just, you know, not bothered to organize so properly, and that's why she has to have things be written on the white board, you know, you could see what you want to see ready with ADHD I t's quite, um, in a way nebulous. And I think it's nebulous because you're talking about a different kind of personality rather than a person with something wrong with them. But clearly there is a mismatch between what we need the world to be like and what it actually is like, and that causes significant disadvantage, I think and nowhere more so than at school and in education. Does that answer the question? I might've rambled on a bit. 

A hundred percent. That was perfect. We're we're bumping up on time. How can people find, uh, find you? How would you find more about you and where can they find you? 

Well, my company is called ADHDConsultancy so if you went to Google, www dot ADHD, consultancy.co.uk. Um, so one way I am on Twitter, unfortunately I've certainly forgotten exactly what my Twitter handle is cause it's quite a new one because I locked myself out of my old one and I finally discovered to be registered, but it's basically, if you put my name in Dr. Helen read, that's basically what my new Twitter handle is. [15:58 - How can people find you? www.ADHDConsultancy.co.uk and on @ADHDconsultancy on Twitter and Facebook]

So I'm on there. Um, and, uh, yeah, I'm not hard to find just drop me an email. Um, and you and I love to hear from people, particularly people in the U S is, you know, I look with envy, um, on your situation over there. It seems to me that you're so far ahead of us in terms of, of exactly what you're speaking about this movement of, you know, don't abort us just make some reasonable adjustments first, just accept that you can be intelligent unsuccessful with ADHD. Doesn't mean that everybody is, but, you know, try not to make things so difficult for us I think is, is what I would really say. 

Exactly. Well, awesome. Thank you so much for your time, Dr. Read. We really appreciate it. Great to have you. We'd love to have you back again in several months. 

Guys, as always, even listening to faster than normal, and we appreciate that you're here. Uh, you can find us as www.FasterThanNormal.com and I'm @petershankman. We will see you next week and we will remind you that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. We'll talk to you soon. Stay well, stay safe.

Credits: You've been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We're available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I'm your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you've heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We'll see you next week. 

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