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Zebra Stripes for ADHD
A monthly newsletter of stories tips and news for those concerned with ADHD, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder
Sarah Jane Keyser : ADHD Coach
Learning self awareness
"Good morning Joey", Mama Giraffe was browsing on her favorite leaves.
"What have you been doing since we last talked?"
"Well, I've been trying to do what you told me to do, Mama Giraffe. You asked me to look and listen to what other people were doing. But it's not easy. I keep forgetting. I try to watch and suddenly my mind is some where else. Then I would think L I O N! (see the first issue of Zebra Stripes for the story of the lion) and remember that I wasn't listening any more."
"That's wonderful Joey! Tell me what you did see and hear."
"Well sometimes I felt as if part of me was up in a tree watching everything happen as if it was a movie. I saw that Miss. Zebrette, my teacher, talks to Herbert in a nice kind way and she even stands close to him and scratches his neck. But when she talks to me she speaks harshly and threatens me with her hoof. People say its my imagination, but it isn't.
When she talks like that my brain goes dead and I get all choked up and say things that I know I shouldn't say, but the words just come out as though someone else was talking- not me."
"You've done very well, Joey, to see all that. So would you say that Miss Zebrette pushed your panic button?"
"Not panic, the lion pushed the panic button."
"Could we say that Miss Zebrette pushed your fight button, and the lion pushed your flight button?"
"Yeah, that's about right."
"Now may I ask you another question, Joey?"
"Yes, sure, Mama Giraffe. I like talking to you. You don't make me nervous".
"You now see that the way Miss Zebrette talks and acts with you affects the way you talk and act. How does the way you talk and act affect Miss Zebrette? "
Joey thoughtfully chewed a mouthful of grass. "Hmmm. Yes I know what you mean. I can see the way Herbert acts and talks, but I don't want to be like him- he's not real. But when I want to say something it just comes out all wrong."
"Joey, what do you think about asking Miss Zebrette to help you?"
"Oh no! She would think I was making fun of her."
"Well, then before our next talk, would you put your brain back up in the tree to watch yourself for a while?"
(to be continued)
Adult ADHD Awareness
ADHD is not just for children. The way you talk to people depends on many factors including familiarity and especially hierarchy. You don't talk to a superior the same was you talk to a peer or a subordinate. For people with ADHD adopting the right tone can be very difficult. They like to say it like it is; call a spade a spade; be authentic- I am the way I am.
I had a colleague, like Herbert, who said the right things in the right way to the manager. I heard her simpering and subservient, and I asked her how could she act like that? She said that in the past she had come to grief because she had fought so now she felt that work was a means to living and it wasn't worth fighting so she just played the game.
Zebra Tips : KISS...Keep It Simple Samantha
Organization is often a big problem for people with ADHD, including me.
I get organized and then the clutter grows back faster than the weeds after the rain. So I've been looking for ways to simplify the system. Here are some of the things I've done.
For more about me, Sarah Jane Keyser, About Sarah Jane
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