Sort of a SITE-MAP

Scroll down right sidebar for direct links to 25 most recent posts ==>
====> Click HERE for The Master LinkList — a better way to find older posts on this site (by topic too!)
– repeated again below, btw

Last Addition below: Sunday, May 25, 2015 – 12:25 am Eastern

Links by type of article on 

with gratitude and props to artist/educator Phillip Martin
for allowing me to use the amazing artwork you’ll see
on a great many of the posts here —
CLICK HERE to read all about the incredible things HE’s up to!

Unfortunately for all of us, there doesn’t seem to be an automatic way to generate a site-map for you on this site with this template in WordPress.** Ay me!   So I set up my own version.

Scroll down and I’ve categorized links for you manually.

Below a bit of verbiage and a plea for help is my whenever-I-get-time-to-do-it attempt to organize some of the content to help you navigate to what you are most interested in reading.

PLEASE help me spread the word that my 25 years of reading and research
is posted here for free!

• Tweet  • Reblog  • Link  • Email  • Alert your Social Networks

It takes a village to educate a world

Read more of this post

ADD Overview V: Red Flag Warnings

CLICK HERE FOR the first article in this series

Red Flags

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Final article in a 5-Part Series 

NOTE: This is NOT an “Am I dealing with ADD/HD?” list.

These items are not the same thing as diagnostic criteria.

HOWEVER, if you are wondering if ADD or ADHD might be a factor in some of your life-long struggles (or those of a loved one), take a look at this list.

Keep in mind: an instance or three is NOT necessarily an indication of a problem, or a reason to suspect that your preferences (or those of a loved one) are maladaptive.

The presence of more than a few of the Red Flags, or a great many examples of one or more of the items below is, however, a signal to you that looking more closely at the possibility of an ADD/ADHD or EFD diagnosis might be warranted.

Remember that you can always check out the sidebar
for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

Read more of this post

ADD Overview IV: Hyperarousal

Hyperarousal: a cognitive “idle” set too high!

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Fourth article in a 5-Part Series

Another darling Phillip Martin illustration!

Have you ever had a car that seemed to want to drive itself?

You know, like when you’re stopped at a traffic light on a perfectly flat road you have to keep your foot on the break pedal or the car will move forward, even if you don’t touch the accelerator?

And heaven help us all if you DO touch the accelerator!

That’s what mechanics call an “idle set too high.”  

That darn car is set
too darn ready to respond!

Fortunately, any half decent mechanic can quickly and easily recalibrate your car.

UNfortunately, even the best doctor in the entire universe can’t recalibrate your brain.  But YOU can.  That’s part of what the articles on this site are designed to help you do.

BUT FIRST you must become aware of what you’re facing.

The first step on the road to change is making the unconscious conscious.

  • We start by “rounding up the usual suspects” and naming them.
  • When we name unconscious behaviors, they immediately begin to lose their power.
  • We can’t change anything we can’t identify and NAME.

Read more of this post

ABOUT Values & The Goose Story

What’s with the Geese?

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

An early logo for my first company, The Optimal Functioning Institute™ - with the company name inside a "V" formed by geese flying in formation

The graphic above these words is a very early logo put together by WebValence webmaster Marty Crouch for a coach curriculum I had spent several years developing and was about to debut: the first ADD-specific coach training program in the world (and the only one for many years.)

I founded The Optimal Functioning Institute™ on the principles that Dr. Harry Clarke Noyes articulates in The Goose Story, a free-verse poem about the importance of community.  In The Goose Story, Noyes compares and contrasts human behaviors to those of a flock of geese, starting with an impressive explanation as to why you always see them flying in V-formation.

The reason I was so taken with this story is a story of its own: how I became aware of the importance of a strong personal foundation and of values-based goals. This post attempts to give you a little bit of background.

Read more of this post

The Goose Story

Click HERE for Part One: ABOUT Values and the Goose Story

The Goose Story
by Dr. Harry Clarke Noyes

Next fall,
when you see Geese
heading South for the Winter,
flying along in V formation,
you might consider
what science has discovered
as to why they fly that way:

Read more of this post

ADD Overview III: Associated Features

Associated Features: NOBODY has ’em ALL!

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Third article in a 5-Part Series

” There ain’t no IS about ADD! “

Common ADD behaviors and problems may be mild or they may be severe; they can vary by situation or environment, or be present chronically.

Some ADDers are able to concentrate when they are highly interested in (or excited by) an activity.  Others may have difficulty focusing under any circumstances.

Amplified stimulation brought about by risk or danger may increase or decrease an ADDer’s ability to focus — some ADDers look for stimulation, while others avoid it.

ADDers can be withdrawn and antisocial, or they can be overly social and unable to be alone. Some are reticent to share their thoughts and opinions, some can’t stop themselves from saying whatever they think.

ALL we can say for sure is that there is “impairment” in various arenas that are relatively unimpaired in non-ADDers. These “impairments” may be a direct result of ADD or may result from related adjustment difficulties.

I use “ADD” to include AD/HD etc. See ADD or ADHD: What’s in a Name? for why.

ADDers think so far “out of the box,” many of us have to be reminded there IS a box!

Never forget that an ADD diagnosis is a matter of degree of impairment
relative to the “norm”

  • How many of the Characteristics, Associated Features & Challenges are present?
  • How often do they rear their ugly heads?
  • How strongly do they manifest whenever they show up?
  • How long have they (or something like them) been showing up?
  • How disabling are they to the individual’s life trajectory?

Read more of this post

ADD Overview II: Identifying Traits

 Remember – links on this site are dark grey to reduce distraction potential
while you’re reading. They turn red on mouseover.

I use “ADD” to include AD/HD etc. Check out What’s in a Name for why.

ADD Characteristics & Identifying Traits

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Second article in a 5-Part Series

Not necessarily diagnosic - but what it looks like in life

You might find it a bit easier to understand how ADD impacts the lives of the individuals who have been diagnosed as you read through this list and the ones to follow.

Other than the introductory post, ADD Overview 101, I offer the Overview series of posts in list format, so that you can “go down the lists and check things off.”

For some of you, that will help “unpack” what you might have tried to read in the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual or on other websites.  

I also want to offer a few “quickie overviews” to serve as a summary of what you will find in various books and articles about ADD.  

  • While not part of the “official” diagnostic criteria, and certainly not a complete list of ADD characteristics and traits, the features listed below are found in most ADDers.  
  • Most of them are not specific symptoms of the disorder itself.
  • Rather, they are the manifestations of the symptoms, and are often more easily identifiable.

By no means do I mean to imply that these traits are found exclusively in individuals with ADD, although ADDers seem to have more than a fair share of  them, compared to the rest of the population.

It is important to remember that
an ADD *diagnosis* is a matter of degree:

  • How many of these “ADD traits” are present?
  • How often do they rear their ugly heads?
  • How strongly do they manifest whenever they show up?
  • How long have they been showing up?
  • How disabling are they to the individual’s life trajectory?

Read more of this post

Distinguishing Can’t from Won’t


by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
In support of the ADD Coaching Skills Series

A fundamental concept underlying the manner in which I coach individuals with attentional spectrum deficits is a result of the distinction between “can’t” and “won’t.”

Distinguishing articulates the differences between words as they apply functionally

When we distinguish one word from another, we bring to conscious awareness the reality that, while the denotation of two words – the surface, dictionary meaning – might be effectively equivalent, the connotations are quite different.

Connotation – subtext and common usage within sub-groups – always rides along with the denotative (dictionary) meaning of a word, whether or not we intend the emotional “spin,” or whether or not we are aware of it consciously.

A Distinction, as it applies to the coaching relationship,  is a psycho-spiritual subtlety of language, used consciously for the express purpose of facilitating psychological and spiritual growth.

Distinguishing hones functioning as well as thinking.

  • It sharpens listening, language and coaching skills.
  • It helps to form vital neurological connections, ” brain-links” in a way that expands your knowledge base exponentially — rather than in the linear fashion in which we are accustomed to learning.
  • It’s a brain-game that helps build positive-minded neural-net — weakening the bonds of “old tapes” so that we can shape new futures.

My goal, whenever I select a distinction and let my brain loose to blog about it, is “to seed a shift in come-from” — to illuminate cherished opinions and unconscious habits of thought, hoping to inspire a reframing of underlying assumptions. 

Can’t vs. Won’t

I want to shine a light on the necessity of accepting the behavioral characteristics of ADD/EFDers as part of the ADD/EFD diagnosis.  

For far too long, neurological ADD/EFD challenges have been assigned to the provinces of behavior or psycho-analysis. The distinction between can’t and won’t lies totally within the province of volition.

Accepting the idea that a person could sincerely try and fail due to dynamics completely divorced from underlying psychological conflicts is fundamental: as long as we look for blocks or conflicts, our view of behavior is indelibly skewed in a way that predisposes us to find them.

Remember – links on this site are dark grey to reduce distraction potential
while you’re reading. They turn red on mouseover.

Read more of this post

ADD/EFD Overview 101

Remember – links on this site are dark grey to reduce distraction potential
while you’re reading. They turn red on mouseover
Hover before clicking for more info

I use “ADD” to include AD/HD, ADHD etc. Check out What’s in a Name for why.

ADD/EFD BASICS: A Brief Overview

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
First article in a 5-Part  Series

Brain graphic surrounded by the following terms in various colors: disinhibition, hyperactivity, forgetfulness, inattention, distractedness, disorganization

If you are one of the many ADD/EFDers who struggles to stay focused when you read . . .

You may find that the beginning of this article is a little more slow going than most of the articles on this site — unfamiliar technical terms are always a bear!  

If you can possibly read through it, the information will be worth your effort — if only to have a bit of science to throw back at those opinionated nay-sayers who pooh-pooh the existence of ADD or EFD as valid diagnoses.

It will also help you hold your own in response to hearing or reading some idiot popping off with sound-bite logic-that-isn’t, like: “ADD is not caused by a Ritalin deficiency.”

The information “builds on itself” – the reading gets easier as you go — and I do my best to explain terms in “plain English” — well, plain-ISH, anyway!!

The rest of the articles in this series aren’t “tech-talky” – so if you CAN’T get through THIS one, don’t let it keep you from clicking through to the others.

Click HERE for the next article in this series

For those who read easily: There are tons of links to additional information on this post (dark gray, remember, so they’re not distracting while you’re trying to read what’s here) – scroll your mouse over the page and the links will almost jump out at you.  Hover for a moment before clicking and a bit of info will appear. (BTW- ALL links on THIS page will open in a NEW window or tab)

NOW, what’s up with ADD/EFD, anyway

Read more of this post


Shifting Your Come-From

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
An ADD Coaching Basic Skill


Photo of a keyboard on which the shift key has been doctored to read "paradigm shift"

Clever photo courtesy of askpang via Flickr

In the Coaching world, the term “come-from” is used to refer to and describe the point of view and basic assumptions underlying any particular individual’s language or behavior — his or her world view, you might say.

Come-from is one of the most important underlying concepts in coaching.

Why?  Because where you stand to view the scenery determines what you are ABLE to see.

We humans seem to like to keep score, collecting “evidence” to validate our core beliefs.

  • It isn’t just that we see what we look for.
  • Come-from alters perception.
  • We interpret what we see based on our come-from — what psychologists call “confirmation bias.”


The term “shift,” or “paradigm shift,” as languaged by Stephen Covey in Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, refers to a change in perspective.

A shift involves a change in context that alters how you perceive events, communications, and behaviors.

It also alters your feelings, behavior, and language in the process.

Shifting relies on language, and lies within the province of language, but it would be a big mistake to view it as merely a trick of language.

Read more of this post

RSA Animate – Changing Education Paradigms INDEED!

Clever but seriously flawed

“An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile,
hoping it will eat him last.”

~ Winston Churchill

So what’s my beef with
Sir Ken Robinson???

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Royal Society of Art’s figurehead, “world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of RSA’s Benjamin Franklin award,” as it says in the description under at least one of his cleverly animated lectures on education, posted on YouTube.

His content is out of integrity
with what he says he stands for.

Black and white, perhaps, but misinformation in my area of expertise makes me question the sincerity of his quest as well as the validity of the rest of the items in his presentation.

Read more of this post

Naming the Game

The Name of the Game Determines the Rules

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
An article in the Intentionality Series

Line drawing of a woman advancing up a hill wearing a hard hat, mops & brooms over one shoulder, dustpan in hand, arm raise; over her head, in outlined letters, it says CHARGE!Trying to Get Things DONE

I tell my clients that part of the problem we have accomplishing specific tasks is a direct result of how we Name the Game.


For example:

If the Name of the Game is clean-up-the-house, our mental To-Do list can include anything — from “defrost freezer” to “launder all slipcovers & bedding” to “remove, wash and wax ceiling fan blades.”

Lordy Mercy, as they say in the South, just shoot me now!

“Clean-up-the-house” is far too large a task to conceptualize without Boggle, making it all the more difficult for us to activate to take any steps at all.  So we usually don’t.

We agonize over our procrastination problem instead.

Since we have given our conscious mind little beyond a vague idea of what we mean by clean-up-the-house, our subconscious mind is clueless.  Round and round our brain it spins, seeking out all the bits and pieces filed under “cleaning,” “not clean” and “house.” Endlessly!

If we ARE somehow able to get ourselves going, broom, mop, and hardhat at the ready, most of us boggle somewhere early in the task, then wallow in the despair that comes from failing, yet again, to accomplish what we set out to do.

Then we agonize over our “follow-through” problem.

Read more of this post

Happy New Year’s Resolution to YOU

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Resolutions? Have I lost my MIND?!

Drawing of a hand, arm, quill pen and paper, under the words New Year Resolutions - as if in handwriting.It isn’t even Thanksgiving yet.  Miles from Halloween, even, last time I looked.  New Years?  Resolutions?


In my experience, in the United States at least, September is the time we think about changes in ways that empower us to actually make some: new school year, new binder, new clothes, new locker, new life. In a rare fit of temporal consciousness, I notice that we have just entered the month of August. September is one short month away, if I remember the calendar correctly.

Time to get busy with some change-management.

A therapist I know has this to say about change:

“Everybody wants things to be different, but nobody wants anything to change.”

He doesn’t add, “especially anything about THEM” – but I have always believed that’s what he was really talking about: the devil you know, and all that.

What IS it about change that makes us cringe?  

Read more of this post

Why Tips and Tricks Fail

Many Sizes, Many Solutions
(and w-a-y too many books!)

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
In support of The Challenges Inventory™ Series

Cartoon graphic of a male presenter pointing to a chart with the heading, The Solution• Here’s a helpful hint!
• Hey, this will fix it!
• Read THIS particular book.
• Use THAT particular system 

It wouldn’t be a problem if you’d only DO IT . . .
• THIS way
• THAT way
• Some OTHER way
— and follow directions this time! —


AND THEN, when you still have your problem, it’s YOUR fault because you didn’t do it “right” —

  • You didn’t do it long enough . . .
  • You didn’t want to badly enough . . .
  • You didn’t align your thoughts with your actions . . .
  • You didn’t say “mother-may-I, pretty-please” before you started!!

Read more of this post

%d bloggers like this: