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CR 2-653 What Discourages ADHD Clients and What Empowers Them

Instructor: Terry Huff
Total time: 88 minutes
CEUs: 1.5
Conference Year: 2017


Course Description
Approximately 4.4% of the adult population has a diagnosis of ADHD, and yet ADHD researchers and experts believe that most adults with the disorder have not been diagnosed. That ADHD usually persists into adulthood was not officially recognized until the 1990's. Consequently, those who lived for years with undiagnosed ADHD, and their family members, had no way to understand why they were so different from their peers. Explanations of their particular challenges - difficulties with activating, sustaining attention and effort, estimating and tracking time, remembering, prioritizing, organizing, and regulating emotions - were spuriously associated with character, motivation, and intelligence. This session will highlight the subjective experience of adults with ADHD and its relevance to professional organizers. It will help you avoid inadvertently eliciting embarrassment and defensiveness, and help prevent resistance and premature termination by your ADHD clients. 

Learning Objectives
1. Why adults with ADHD are well-defended and sensitive to perceived judgment.
2. What content of communication from well-meaning professional organizers could risk stimulating feelings of shame associated with histories of criticism, underachievement, and strained relationships.
3. Why your ADHD clients may misperceive a planned collaborative process as an imposing process: anticipating an authoritarian judge of an incompetent client.
4. How to help ADHD clients accept their neurological difference and be able to start where they are.
5. How to validate strengths without sounding like a parent or teacher whom the student must please—recognizing your clients' resourcefulness, creativity, and playfulness.

Code Words 
Please be sure to listen for and record the code words given during the presentation. The instructor will explicitly verbalize code words periodically throughout the class (i.e. "The first code word is...") Note: Not all instructors give code words. If you do not hear any, please indicate "none given" on the course evaluation.