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ADHD KIDS: Memoirs and Spacey Places

By Jackie Burrell
Monday, February 18th, 2008 at 6:00 am in Advice, Health & Safety.

Blake Taylor (photo by Kristopher Skinner)
In today’s Times, we talk with Blake Taylor, UC Berkeley freshman and author of “ADHD & Me: What I Learned from Lighting Fires at the Dinner Table,” a youthful memoir about his childhood with attention deficit disorder. ADHD is not a curse, says Blake, 18, it’s a gift, if you can learn to compensate for its disadvantages and take advantage of its blessings. Kids with ADHD tend to be curious and creative, to think outside the box, and become hyperfocused on things that interest them.

Among the resources that gave Blake and his family hope was “The Gift of ADHD” by Walnut Creek ADHD expert Lara Honos-Webb. Now, Honos-Webb has a new book out: “The Gift of ADHD Activity Book: 101 Ways to Turn Your Child’s Problems into Strengths.” And we’re excerpting a few of those right here.


“I have become convinced,” Honos-Webb writes in her introduction, “that most of the bad behavior of ADHD children can be solved by the same strategy … identifying the problem (and) adopting a problem-solving attitude, not a blaming one.” Instead of emphasizing consequences, work on “procedural learning,” she says, because learning a skill requires practice and everything – following directions, being organized, staying focused – is a skill.

“If you were trying to teach your child to ride a bike, you wouldn’t put him in time-out each time he fell,” she says. “You would show him what he needed to do differently, while providing emotional support and motivation to keep going. This approach can be applied to teaching your child appropriate behaviors, emotional intelligence and social skills.”

Instead, says Honos-Webb, give information, build skills, problem solve, use repetition, motivate and persist. Think of yourself as a coach.

Activity 1: The Hearty WHOOPS!
One of the most important things a coach can do is to motivate his child to keep going even when the child goofs up. You can practice this by having your child make silly mistakes and practicing an exaggerated “whoops!” response… Don’t waste your time trying to teach your child to be perfect. Don’t try to teach your child not to fail. Teach your child the healthy rebound – resilience… You don’t want to teach your child to be failure phobic. Play at failing and making a quick recovery. This way your child won’t be tempted to hold only small dreams to avoid failure. He also won’t be stopped when he does encounter failure.

Other activities include “The Magic Can,” a game that boosts organizational skills and helps tame the messes that are so characteristic of ADHD kids, the “Roving Reporter” to hone direction-following skills, and “Sacred Spacey Place,” which helps designate places where it’s important to focus and other places where a kid can just dream.

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6 Responses to “ADHD KIDS: Memoirs and Spacey Places”

  1. ADHD KIDS: Memoirs and Spacey Places at adhd advice.net Says:

    [...] the rest of this post and contact the author: here Filed under Uncategorized [...]

  2. ADHD Report» Blog Archive » ADHD KIDS: Memoirs and Spacey Places Says:

    [...] PharmacybizReally interesting read I found today:In today’s Times, we talk with Blake Taylor, UC Berkeley freshman and author of “ADHD & Me: What I Learned from Lighting Fires at the Dinner Table,” a youthful memoir about his childhood with attention deficit disorder. … [...]

  3. lily Says:

    What an interesting post you have here on attention deficit disorder. This can be cured though. I’ve tried on websites to help me with this problem and it really works! http://www.attention-deficit-disorder.net has really helped me and i can see an improvement in my condition already.

  4. Coach Damon , DrSporty Says:

    I really enjoyed this article, I am very happy many are coming out more about this. I as well know Dr. Lara and Her new book is coming out this october.
    Thanks Blake and everyone else for being yourself!
    Coach Damon Harper Soul Strength Productions at http://www.DrSporty.com

  5. De Silva Says:

    Iam in Sri Lanka my chiled 08 years old she speak
    only 2or 03 words she is going to school special unit
    and she is doing dancing she love to music Please help
    her to improve speking ability
    Have a nice day
    thank you
    shantha de silva

  6. ADHD Books Says:

    Great post, will book mark can come back. Hoping you stick with it and not let the blog go. Its hard to find good bloogers not days to follow.

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