Anticipating Boggle


Jaws Music

Excerpted from my upcoming Boggle Book ©Madelyn Grifith-Haynie-all rights reserved.

All artwork on this page: courtesy of Phillip Martin

Remember the movie about the great hunt for the killer shark that turned a formerly peaceful resort town a living nightmare?

Remember the gradually building staccato music that warned the audience that something terrible was about to happen?

Not only did that musical build-up fail to make it any less startling when those great jaws suddenly loomed into view, it actually heightened the sense of anxiety and impending doom, making the appearance of that shark all the more frightening.

By the midpoint of the movie, people were squirming in their seats and holding their hands up ready to cover their faces with nothing more than the music itself, even when the visual was seemingly placid.

That Jaws music meant something dreadful was just about to happen.  The viewers had become sensitized to expect the worst from the first few notes of the theme.

Guess what? You have your own internal version of Jaws music sensitizing you to expect the worst as well.

You probably don’t consciously realize that you are poised for Boggle from the first moment that one of your early Boggle triggers is activated, but you certainly do experience a mounting sense of anxiety and dread in your body.

Just like our cave-forefather Og’s body was preparing to run like the wind from the moment he saw that first sabre tooth tiger on the horizon, you are now on high alert, fearful of what is likely to happen next unless that “Jaws music” STOPS.

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What Kind of World do you Want?



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Living into a Vision You Create

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part One of the What Kind of World Series

“Don’t be afraid to take a big step.
You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps.”
David Lloyd George

Allow me to introduce you to a conversation that can change your life.

It was introduced to me by Jim Lord, a visionary I have been following since about the time I created The Optimal Functioning Institute™ with the goal of inventing a new kind of training with a new coaching paradigm — one that would work better with a population near and dear to my heart.

“Imagine,”  Lord asks,
on the website dedicated to an inspiring book by the same name
(where you can download that REALLY inspiring $35.00 package for free),
if all the people who want to change the world knew they could.”

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Juggling Invisible Balls



By Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, A.C.T., MCC, SCAC
Part 2 of a 2-part article in a series of excerpts from my upcoming book,
TaskMaster™ – see article list below

Some Juggling is an INSIDE Job

 

Juggling invisible balls is my term for the conscious attempt to screen out persistent, irrelevant, or intrusive, off-task, background “noise.”

“Noise” refers to input from any modality (an area of information processing using our sensory apparatus);
“juggling” is a metaphor to help us understand the mechanism by which we handle life’s many demands.

In the previous TaskMaster Series article, Taking Your Functional Temperature, I introduced several analogies that help illuminate what’s going on “behind the scenes” to help explain WHY we struggle with focus — and WHY we struggle in ways that make it difficult-to-impossible to get things done.

If you haven’t read the previous article, I STRONGLY suggest you start there, or I doubt the content below will be as valuable to you as it could be.

In this second section, we’re going to take a closer look at some of the reasons why functioning can be so erratic.

As I said in the first part of this article, on an average day, you may well be able to handle a great many things that, on another day, you simply cannot.

  • It makes sense ONLY if you start becoming aware of – and counting – invisible balls, so that you can better predict your functioning level BEFORE you attempt to take on more than you can manage.
  • Part of the value of ADD Coaching is helping you develop the habit of taking your functional temperature to help you take on the type and number of tasks that will keep you stimulated but not overwhelmed.

You will find tasks easier to manage if you learn to think of your day as if, like Alice, you were faced with one long  juggling  performance for The Red Queen.

You may certainly plan what objects you TAKE to her palace, but you must determine the order of your performance in the moment, so that the objects don’t come crashing down around you to the tune of, “Off with your head!”

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ACO Conference 2012: reflections on my return


Amazing! Start saving NOW to BE there next year!

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

I just returned from speaking at the 5th Annual ADHD Coaches Organization [ACO] conference at the at the beautiful Crowne Plaza Hotel in Atlanta.  WHAT an experience!  

Congratulations to 2012 conference chair, Judith Champion, and her conference team, along with my gratitude for a simply stellar experience.  What a banquet!

I have to second Dr. Charles Parker’s comment in the post-conference article on his Corepsychblog, “If you are an ADHD coach and haven’t yet connected with the ACO  . . .  now is the time to get on it and get cracking.”

Silver and Gold

As always, I made new friends as I connected with long-time friends and colleagues. I also had the pleasure of seeing former students “all grown up,” giving those of us who are “old-timers” brand new inspiration.  I am still grinning ear-to-ear now that I am home and unpacked.

As usual, ADD Coaches came from across the United States and, as expected, many of our Canadian colleagues made the trip.

The surprise was attendance from as far away as Stockholm, Germany and Shanghai, eager to add their voices to the mix and to ask for our help bringing ADD Coaching to their countries.

As the founder of the world’s first ADD-specific coaching curriculum and co-founder of the ADD Coaching field itself, I was and am overwhelmed with gratitude for the beautiful garden that is growing now from seeds I planted decades ago.  I stand amazed at all the “new varieties” being developed all over the world — without my having to lift a single shovel!

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Taking Your Functional Temperature



By Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, A.C.T., MCC, SCAC
Part 1 of a 2-part article in a series of excerpts from my upcoming book,
TaskMaster™ – see article list below

Functional Temperature

artwork courtesy of artist/educator Phillip Martin

Some days I don’t wanna’

When I look at my wide and wonderful list of things I DO want to do, it seems the items I must do to keep a roof over my head, food on my table (and some semblance of organization and order in my life) are seldom the items that make me drool.

I often fantasize about what I’d do if I were to win the lottery, so I know, without stopping to think, exactly what I’d do first: I’d prepay everything for a decade or so!

Next, I’d throw a couple of years of generous support to a would-rather-be-a-stay-at-home Mom to add me to her list of charges.

THAT would allow me to coach and train, and write, and jump on the speaker’s circuit to advocate and educate for NOTHING — following my bliss every single second of every single day — freed from the constraints of capitalist imperatives.

Alas! Since I would probably need to drive someplace to purchase a ticket to said lottery (and my car is currently feeling too lazy to run), I doubt I’m likely to experience said windfall any time soon.

So if anybody knows somebody in that 1% who’s in
a philanthropic mood, send ’em my way.  

Until then I, like you, must figure out an effective way to bob and weave between the tasks that allow me to make a living and the activities that make life worth living.

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Sherlocking Task Anxiety


By Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, A.C.T., MCC, SCAC Another in a series of articles from my upcoming book, TaskMaster™ – see article list below

Task Anxiety 101 – part 2

Watson, we need to review

The three most recent segments introduced a unique connection between bribery and intentionality, linking it to reward and acknowledgment. I introduced the connection between inner three-year-olds and the cookie concept, a real-world application of the importance of reward and acknowledgment to ongoing accomplishment.

IF you’ve been playing along . . .

In the TaskMaster™ Series Introduction and in Task Anxiety Awareness, you made some lists.

One is a List of Ten — activities you find yourself doing INSTEAD whenever you attempt to complete a task, or in response to an attempt to initiate a task.

  • This is a list of any ten of the things that YOU do that leaves you chronically behind and befuddled.
  • Many of you had self-identified with that not-very-helpful “chronic procrastinator” label as a result.
  • I encouraged you to reframe those tasks as “avoidance” activities: avoiding task anxiety.

You also have a List of Five Feelings.

I asked you to think of a specific example in your life where you tried to listen to “logical” advice from those who did not take the time to understand the parameters of your problem before stepping in to suggest their “simple solutions.”

  • I asked you to recall how you felt when you attempted to take that “logical” advice (or even thought about taking it), especially when accompanied by a failure to reach a goal or complete a task.
  • I suggested you write down at least five descriptive feeling words, then walked you through four paired-awareness exercises, shuffling the paired words around a bit to see if any new insights bubbled up from your unconscious.

Now, dear Watson, let’s connect some dots!

Building to Boggle


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Deja Vu all over again

Excerpted from my upcoming Boggle Book ©Madelyn Grifith-Haynie-all rights reserved.

Sherlocking Boggle Build-up

In this section you will begin to pay attention to the unique way that YOU build to the Boggle point.

Unless you are brand-spanking-new to the idea of ADD, you probably already know some of your Boggle triggers.

However, unless you have been dealing with the ADD brain-style for quite a while, I doubt that you realize how many there are, or the unique way in which certain combinations can be deadly!

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Remembrance of Selves Past


A not-so-new form of
Self-advocacy

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
In support of the Walking A Mile in Another’s Shoes
and the ADD & Memory Series

Practically all of us here in Alphabet City have struggled to overcome what the neuropsychs call “short-term memory deficits.”  It hits the rest of the population as they grow older.

Not only does that make it tough to run our lives, day to day, it also has a negative effect on what we are able to remember about our pasts.

Since one’s memories become the fabric of one’s sense of self, self-esteem can only be battered by the trade winds of today if you have no reliable sense of past to keep you moored.

It also makes it difficult to explain ourselves, our decisions, and our conclusions – even to ourselves!

Many of you who battled with teachers who accused you of cheating because you had the answer but couldn’t “show your work” know just what I mean by that statement.

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ABOUT ADD Comorbidities


Cormorbid or Co-occuring?

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

Wait!  Doesn’t comorbid mean
co-occuring?

Not exactly. Comorbidity refers to a specific KIND of “co-occurance.”

A comorbid disorder refers to additional conditions or syndromes or disorders frequently found in a specific diagnostic population.

In other words, we’re talking about accompanying conditions that are not part of the diagnostic criteria for the “main” condition, but are frequently seen in that particular population of individuals.

From a behavioral standpoint, these additional conditions occur sometimes with similar or overlapping symptoms, and sometimes they show up with additional symptoms – those not necessarily seen in those with the original or “base” diagnosis.

The overlap may reflect a causal relationship between the two diagnoses, and they may relect an underlying vulnerability in common, but the important concept is that they co-occur more frequently in our “target population” than in population norms otherwise, and to a statistically significant degree.

So, even if an entire hotel full of ADDers happens to be diabetic as well, we still would not say their diagnosis was ADD with comorbid diabetes, because the two conditions haven’t been proven to occur in tandem any more frequently than the incidence of diabetes in the general (non-ADD or “vanilla”) population.

So, in this example, the two conditions are co-occuring, NOT comorbid, even though it may not look that way to anyone staying in this particular hotel!

Muddying the waters further, the statistics change depending on which end of the diagnostic telescope you look through. For example, up to 60% percent of children with tic disorders also have ADD, but nowhere near 60% of ADDers have tic disorders.

The high possibility of comorbidities is yet another good reason to make sure you get an excellent differential diagnosis — but the articles in the Comorbidities Series are going to look at some of the diagnoses that frequenly hitch-hike along with ADD through another lens: SUCCESS!

Developing person-specific work-arounds and interventions to help you achieve that blessed state of Optimal Functioning that I believe is our birthright comes through identifying, understanding, and learning to work with and work around ALL of the “mix-ins” in your particular flavor of ADD.

“Learning to drive the very brain you were born with
– even if it’s taken a few hits in the meantime!”™

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Boggle: Cooperation & Support


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Dealing with Others

Excerpted from my upcoming Boggle Book ©Madelyn Grifith-Haynie-all rights reserved.

Reasonable Accommodations

Whether you have been doing the work or not, simply by reading the articles in the Boggle series, you have begun the process of taking responsibility for your ADD in some brand new ways.

Congratulations.

A major tool is the Boggle Space. Are you ready to add it to your toolchest?

My partner will have a fit if I try to claim a space all my own.

Let’s face it — in order to set up a Boggle Space that will work for us, we will be asking for some accommodations from our loved ones.

But aren’t we already? 

Living with a loved one with ADD places a lot of demands on the rest of the family.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you don’t want to ask for one more thing. What you are requesting is an accommodation that will lessen the other demands your ADD will place upon everyone in your life.

You do have to find a way to initiate the conversation, however, and that can be daunting, I know.

The steps of the following communication technique have been useful for some of my clients.  Adapt the language to your personal style.  Combine steps, if it makes more sense to you, but make sure you don’t skip any of the steps in the process.

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Alphabet Soup


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EFD, ADD, ADHD, HRT, MBD – WTF?

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

Hold onto your hats everybody, there is discussion afoot toward yet another renaming of ADD (currently “officially” ADHD) — and the front-runner seems to be (at the moment, at least), EFD.

I wouldn’t block consensus on EFD.

However, as illuminated in an earlier article on this site [ADD – What’s in a Name?], I don’t have a problem with the acronym “ADD” — as long as we focus on the disorder of THE ATTENDING MECHANISM and the Dynamics of Attending.

In other words, the essential point, for me, is that, for whatever reason, ADD is an impairment in the extent of one’s ability to pay attention, STOP paying attention, and/or to get back on track after an interruption or distraction.

  1. Focusing on the intended object;
  2. Sustaining the focus;
  3. Shifting focus AT WILL

Underlying each of the Dynamics is the same impaired element of cognition common to all of the Executive Functioning Disorders: VOLITION.

That’s INTENTIONALITY, boys and girls – being able to drive your own brain and run your own life, rather than being at the effect of chronic oopses and mishaps.

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