ADHD Awareness: Sari Solden, M.S., a nationally recognized expert on ADD, will present a talk entitled, Embrace Your Strengths and Your Struggles: The Key to Creating a Meaningful Life with ADHD, on October 26, 2012, from 12 to 1:30 pm, at the Rackham Auditorium. The presentation is free and open to the public and is of interest to students as well as faculty, staff and members of the community.
“I have trouble keeping my focus. I procrastinate or I jump from one topic to another.” These are comments I hear after presenting study skills workshops for Rackham graduate students. Some of the workshops are on advanced reading and study skills, some are about time and task management, and others involve test taking. Often, the students who are making these comments are those who are twice exceptional: that is, they have special intellectual gifts, but also have some disabling condition such as ADD, ADHD, or a learning disability. Their abilities lie outside the norms at both ends of the bell curve.
Many such students (or staff or faculty) have previously experienced a great deal of academic success thanks to their inherent talents, but now may be experiencing frustration because they are having trouble staying on task and meeting program expectations. Why would this happen all of a sudden? The problem is that the academic standards and requirements of graduate school-- coupled with the loss of a family support system and the rigors of adult life–can overwhelm their former coping mechanisms. Their intellectual gifts no longer compensate for the difficulties they experience due to an undiagnosed or inadequately managed attention or learning problem.
Those who dealt with ADD/ADHD as children may assume that they have overcome or outgrown their condition through the maturing process. Others may wonder if they have ADD or ADHD, but dismiss the thought because of their “smarts’ and past successes. However, graduate programs present unique challenges to twice-exceptional students. They are expected to accomplish huge amounts of higher quality work on deadline, as well as to play differing adult roles and handle multiple responsibilities, all of which requires advanced time and task management skills. The workload and expense of graduate school can cause financial difficulties, put extra pressure on relationships and take a toll on physical and emotional well-being. Under these conditions, the subtle but pervasive effects of ADD/ADHD need to be addressed so that the potential of twice exceptional persons can be fully realized. It is important for students (as well as staff and faculty) to become aware of the symptoms and difficulties presented by ADD or ADHD. Anyone experiencing short attention span, distractibility and hyperactivity, should seek out evaluation and support.
Whether you suspect that you have an attention or learning issue, or are already working to meet those challenges, you’ll want to attend a seminar by Sari Solden, M.S., a nationally recognized expert in the field. In recognition of National ADHD Awareness Week, the University of Michigan is sponsoring Sari’s presentation: Embrace Your Strengths and Your Struggles: The Key to Creating a Meaningful Life with ADHD, on October 26, 2012, from 12 to 1:30 pm, at the Rackham Auditorium. The presentation is free and open to the public. Sari will bring her knowledge and clinical expertise to bear on how a bright, creative person with ADD/ADHD can meet school, work and life challenges.
Sari Solden, M.S.., is a psychotherapist in private practice in Ann Arbor, MI. She is the author of Women with Attention Deficit Disorder and Journeys through ADDulthood. Sari is a past recipient of ADDA's award for outstanding service by a helping professional. Her areas of specialization include inattentive ADHD, women's issues, as well as the long- term counseling issues for adults not diagnosed until adulthood. Sari currently hosts and presents on www.ADDJourneys.com, her online community for adults with ADHD. For more information contact me at email@example.com.
Geraldine Markel, Ph.D., is an academic coach and principal of Managing Your Mind Coaching & Seminars. She provides advanced reading and study skills and also works with students and adults who have attention or learning problems. Her newest book, A Study Tip a Day Gets You an A: 365 Secrets of Study Success is available as a free app through the App store or iTunes.
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