Archive | Tips and Tools

School and Calendars Are ADHD BFF

What The Research Says About Calendars

Did you know that…

Carry a Calendar with You

Having and using a daily calendar has a major impact on whether students will meet their daily responsibilities like getting to appointments and completing homework and chores!

Researchers taught a group of high school student to have and to use a calendar. Prior to the study students were getting very few of their responsibilities done (0% to 37%).

First, the students were allowed to pick out the calendar they liked and then asked to carry it every day.

If they had their calendar with them when the researchers asked, they got a point. The students had to be able to carry their calendars 5 days in row before they were ready for the next phase of the study.

When they learned the habit of carrying their calendar, they were then taught to write down their daily schedule including school assignments, chores, and appointments. The researchers then did daily spot checks to see if students had their calendars and had written everything down.

They were expected to do both of these tasks 5 days in a row and were given two points for accomplishing these tasks.

In the third phase of the study the researchers counted how many of the responsibilities written in the calendar the students actually completed each day. In this phase of the study, all the students improved dramatically in meeting their responsibilities: they completed 80% to 100% of their responsibilities.

So, just owning, carrying, and writing in a daily calendar can dramatically improve your ability to do what you need to do and get to appointments.

You can conduct a similar study on yourself.

  • Pick out a time management tool that matches your needs and your style. There are so many choices beyond paper planners: PDAs, on line calendars, software calendars, etc.
  • Look at the week before you started carrying and using a calendar and count how many of your responsibilities you met.

Then follow the phases used in the study:

Phase 1: just remember to have your calendar with you each day. Give yourself a point if you did. Once you have kept your calendar with you for 5 days in a row you are ready for phase 2.

Phase 2: now practice keeping your calendar. Include your assignments, studying, social engagements, chores etc. Give yourself 2 points a day if you both, had your calendar and wrote everything in it. When you have done this 5 days in a row you are ready for phase 3

Phase 3: at the end of each day count up how many of your responsibilities you met. Calculate the percentage of things you accomplished by dividing the total number of responsibilities into the actual number of those you met. How much have you improved from before you began using a calendar?

What do you need to do to keep in the habit of having and using your calendar?

Consider making an agreement with a friend to check on one another or work with a staff member from the Learning Center.

Flores, D. M., & Schloss, P. J. (1995). The use of a daily calendar to increase responsibilities fulfilled by secondary students with… Remedial & Special Education, 16(1), 38.
Submitted to me by a client with calendar challenges. Reprinted in entirety.
Maureen Nolan, Your Attention Coach


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ADD – ADHD Coaching is a T.E.A.M. Experience





ADHD is a social diagnosis, meaning along with the diagnosis comes new relationships. When my son was diagnosed he was very social about it, raising his hand in class to share the good news with all his friends. That’s one kind of social that involves an already existing relationship group.

Along with an ADHD diagnosis other relationships are formed. There’s the psychiatrist who diagnosed the ADHD and may prescribe medications; the teacher/student relationship may change as the teacher comes to understand both the intent and the genesis of a student’s class behaviors; the therapist who works with the family; and the ADHD Coach who also works with the family and the client.

So, working Together, Everyone from the client to the coach Achieves Management.

What do you want managed?

Call Atlanta ADHD Coach Maureen Nolan, ACC for more information about TEAM Coaching at 404-713-0488.

by Atlanta ADD Coach, Maureen Nolan, ACC, Your Attention Coach

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Life with ADD is More Fun with Support!

Success with ADD Comes More Easily with Support Systems

The first major transition in my life was our family move to Atlanta, Ga. from Cleveland, OH when I was ten years old. My mother said I cried half-way through the several day drive. I left behind my cousins and friends and everything I knew and felt comfortable around to arrive in the American South of 1963; it was a land of accents and heat and summer rain storms and incomparable natural beauty and racial discrimination. I believe I became a ‘problem’ for the first time, fighting and feeling left out. I did not transition well.

If you are moving your children to a new location;

  • create immediate comfort with group play and sports organizations;
  • create leadership opportunities;
  • enroll your child in classes where he/she already excels for continued self-esteem.

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Mindfulness and Attention – Are They Compatible?

What Is Your Mind Full Of?

Attention is a state of grace and after losing my attention over and over again I want a better relationship with grace. Keeping my attention is like keeping God in my mind. What can be done to live in that attentional grace space?

Two years ago the Dalai Lama convened a symposium on mindfulness as a treatment for depression at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. It’s a short drive from my home, so I invited my sisters and daughter and together we attended the weekend event with some close friends all of whom live with ADHD or who work in the field of ADHD service.

Representatives of five major faiths presented their organized religious perspectives on mindfulness or meditation to the Dalai Lama.

Scientists presented papers to the Dalai Lama on studies on meditation and its impact on mindfulness.

The Dalai Lama was conversational, inquisitive, funny and friendly as the material was discussed in front of a few thousand attendees. He was serious in his investigation on the value of the Buddhist practice of mindfulness as a means towards health and wellness which impacts our ability to attend to what is important in our lives.

Practice Mindfulness for Anxiety Relief

Since then, I’ve recommended the practice of mindfulness to clients, teaching them on the spot how to live in the present moment because anxiety is an expression of future fear and extensive regret is related to living in the past. All we have is now.

When you have anxiety or regret that feels overwhelming, get two balls and juggle them slowly, back and forth from hand to hand. Do something you think is silly; anxiety and silliness cannot coexist in the same moment. Feel the position of your body – where is it? Where is your foot, your hand, your fingers? Tell yourself what you feel tactilely – how does the fabric you’re wearing feel? How does your hair feel? Pull yourself into the present moment and practice this mindfulness.

Tell me, how are you now? What do you want to pay attention to in the present moment?

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