Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has achieved a social stigma that negatively affects those who wrestle with the condition on a daily basis—regularly adolescent boys, since that group has long been the target population for diagnosing and treating ADHD. New research is being done now that equalizes the gender disproportion, thus leading toward more diagnoses in adult women who were previously overlooked. (Hey, that’s me!) Thus, I have compiled the following resources in order to discover ways of better managing my own ADHD, and I hope that they prove helpful for all who venture upon this list—particularly adults, teens, and parents of children with the disorder. Please feel free to suggest additions and/or revisions through my contact page! Also, check out other relevant resources at my General Mental Health resources page.
2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter
2e stands for “twice-exceptional, a term often used to describe kids who are exceptional because they are gifted and because they have learning disabilities, learning disorders, attention difficulties, or just plain learning differences.” The newsletter began in 2003 and is electronically published on a bi-weekly basis. Features of the 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter include: “articles on giftedness, learning differences, and the combination of the two; profiles of experts, organizations, and resources for 2e children; columns that offer insight into living and working with twice-exceptional children; research findings, trends, news, and events; conference coverage; book reviews and recommendations; and quotes that offer insight into who these children are and what they have the potential to be.” Subscriptions cost $35 for one year or $60 for two, and you may download sample issues here.
ADD Coaching provides phone coaching for a monthly fee of $375 – $425 per month, and the coaches offer a free intro call “to get acquainted with your background, your challenges and strengths, [and] the goals and timeline you have in mind.” To discover your coaching needs, take a look at this page for a survey. You may also wish to search for coaching providers in your area, depending on your budget and personal preferences.
ADD Consults is a website run by ADHD coach Terry Matlen, MSW, and is geared toward “helping women with ADD get unstuck and on track.” Offerings include ADHD resources, a directory, a forum, consulting services, and a blog. (Also, see Terry’s book in the list below!)
ADD Journeys with Sari Solden
ADD Journeys with Sari Solden (an author and psychotherapist who has ADHD) is a website that gives “support and understanding for adults with ADD.” In addition to ADD resources, a shop, and two blogs, those who have signed up for free membership have access to the following: “exclusive video and audio programming with and by Sari; ‘Sari in Your Ear’ [podcast downloads]; ‘Ask Sari’ AV postcards; live discussions; discussion forums; special interest groups; and access to Sari’s content for live presentations.”
ADDitude: Strategies and Support for ADHD & LD
ADDitude is touted as “the leading destination for families and adults living with ADHD and learning disabilities.” It began as a magazine in 1998 by journalist Ellen Kingsley and is still going strong with a plethora of free and available information on their website. It also features a community forum called ADDConnect. Some of their articles are found in the section below.
ADDvance: Answers to Your Questions about ADD (ADHD)
ADHD & You
Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA)
Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD)
Living a Distracted Life: One Family’s Adventures with ADHD
This Everyday Health column is written by Lisa Aro, a woman whose husband and five of six children have all been diagnosed with ADHD. She now “[shares] their story with the world in hopes of educating and inspiring others who struggle with ADHD.” See one of her articles below.
Living with ADD
Nancy Ratey: Strategic Life Coach
National Resource Center on ADHD
SourceForge is a collection of free open source software and “is the largest, most trusted destination for open source software discovery and development on the web.” Under the Home & Education Software page, you can find a variety of programs that may (or may not) benefit your productivity and organization…but anything is worth a try, right? One program that is helpful for organizing your thoughts is FreeMind, which I have listed in the tools section below.
16+ Life Organization Tips for ADHD Adults
by Judith Kolberg from ADDitude
The 30 Best Apps for ADHD Minds
by Eric Tivers from ADDitude
The 32 Most Innovative Online Educational Tools to Use in 2015
by Noodle Staff from Noodle
The Adderall and ADHD Controversy Is Different When You’re a Woman
by Maria Yagoda from Jezebel
ADHD Is Different for Women
by Maria Yagoda from The Atlantic
ADHD Sleep Problems: How to Rest Better Tonight!
by William Dodson, M.D. from ADDitude
Diagnosing and Treating Women with ADHD
by Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D. from CHAAD
Fidgeting Strategies that Help People with ADHD Focus
by Margarita Tartakovsky from PsychCentral
How Girls with ADHD Are Different
by Rae Jacobson from The Child Mind Institute
Like Sitting in a Room With Thousands of TVs: Inside the ADHD Brain
by Lisa Aro from Everyday Health
Secrets of the ADHD Brain
by William Dodson, M.D. from ADDitude
100 Questions & Answers About Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Women and Girls
by Dr. Patricia O. Quinn, M.D.
ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life
by Judith Kolberg and Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D.
The ADHD Workbook for Kids: Helping Children Gain Self-Confidence, Social Skills, and Self-Control
by Lawrence Shapiro, Ph.D.
Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder
by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., and John J. Ratey, M.D.
The Disorganized Mind: Coaching Your ADHD Brain to Take Control of Your Time, Tasks, and Talents
by Nancy A. Ratey, Ed.M., MCC
Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood
Revised Edition; by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., and John J. Ratey, M.D.
Healing ADD: The Breakthrough Program that Allows You to See and Heal the 7 Types of ADD
Revised Edition; by Daniel G. Amen, M.D.
Journeys Through ADDulthood: Discover a New Sense of Identity and Meaning with Attention Deficit Disorder
by Sari Solden, M.S., LMFT
Making a Good Brain Great
by Daniel G. Amen, M.D.
One Thing at a Time: 100 Simple Ways to Live Clutter-Free Every Day
by Cindy Glovinsky, LMSW, ACSW
The Queen of Distraction: How Women with ADHD Can Conquer Chaos, Find Focus, and Get More Done
by Terry Matlen, MSW, and Sari Solden, M.S., LMFT
Superparenting for ADD: An Innovative Approach to Raising Your Distracted Child
by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., and Peter S. Jensen, M.D.
Taking Charge of ADHD: The Complete and Authoritative Guide for Parents
Third Edition; by Russell A. Barkley
Women with Attention Deficit Disorder: Embrace Your Differences and Transform Your Life
by Sari Solden, M.S., LMFT
You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy?!: The Classic Self-Help Book for Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder
by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo
The Magic Blanket
According to The Magic Blanket website, “Recent studies have shown that deep pressure touch, the type of proprioceptive input generated from a weighted blanket, releases serotonin in the brain … which in turn naturally calms and relaxes the body, promoting sleep and stress relief. This effect has already had tremendous success helping to calm children and adults with sensory integration disorder, autism, Rett syndrome, Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, PTSD, and restless leg syndrome.” Weighted blankets are sold all over the Internet, but some things that I especially like about The Magic Blanket and its website are the wide variety of sizes and fabrics available, guidelines to choosing an appropriate weight, and the ability to purchase and return non-custom blankets. Even so, you may wish to make your own blanket since commercial ones are normally on the expensive side.
☞ NOTE: It is best to consult an occupational therapist before purchase.
Passion Planner is described as “the one place for all your thoughts” and “the life coach that fits in your backpack” (in either compact or classic sizes). It includes space for these monthly/weekly sections: 1) a journal, 2) an appointment calendar with 30-minute time slots, 3) a gratitude log, 4) weekly and daily focuses, 5) personal and work to-do lists, 6) motivational quotes, 7) a goal setting guide, and 8) a sketchbook. Check out this page for more information, and if you’d like to see what the planner looks like and try it out for free, you can print undated PDF pages or print the entire Passion Planner 2015 as a PDF.
For iOS only
30/30 is a free iOS task manager. Tasks—which are customizable by label, time, icon, and color—can be easily manipulated solely by user gesture, and the app keeps you honest by displaying both the time remaining for tasks and the completed duration of the list. The app also features “iCloud sync, multiple lists, and [a] virtually unlimited number of tasks.”
For Windows and Mac
Anti-Social is software that blocks distracting websites of your choosing for a specified amount of time; five-minute increments allow flexibility and up to 13 hours of blocked time. It can only be turned off by computer restart and comes with full customer support and a 60-day money back guarantee. Even though it requires a one-time fee of $15, this program is well worth it if you are often distracted by social networking or certain other websites while trying to complete tasks!
For Windows, Mac, iOS, Android
Evernote utilizes “one workspace” in that all types of writing (or notes) can be created and sorted by subject (or notebook), tags, and location. In addition, its interface is extremely flexible across devices: 1) handwritten notes and photos can be easily captured and added into your digital notes, 2) webpages can be saved as notes with one-click when using the Evernote Web Clipper, 3) emails can be saved as notes by sending them to your Evernote email address, and 4) audio and video notes can be created. The best part of this is that it is entirely FREE! Premium and business accounts are available for a low monthly fee, but the core features of this program are really all you need.
For Internet, iOS, Android
focus@will is “a new neuroscience based music service that helps you focus, reduce distractions, and retain information when working, studying, writing, and reading. … The focus@will system makes it easier for you to get into the concentration flow, and then keeps you there.” Users may choose from 10+ channels played at three energy levels—low, medium, and high—and can time and track sessions. A 30-day free trial is available without credit card, and Pro Memberships start at $5.99 per month. It is definitely worth a try!
For Windows and Mac
FreeMind is a free open source mind-mapping tool that helps users brainstorm, organize, and make connections; this is especially helpful for ADHD minds since it is easy for us to jump from one thought to another and later forget previous thoughts that weren’t written down. FreeMind is also great for visual learners. For more information, see this page (cannot download there).
For Windows, Mac, Android
Developed by the same company that created Anti-Social, Freedom is software that completely blocks the Internet for a specified amount of time (in five-minute increments for up to 13 hours). It can only be turned off by computer restart and comes with full customer support and a 60-day money back guarantee. If you need to keep yourself offline but cannot resist the impulse to check out that new Google Doodle, $10 would certainly be money well spent.
If This Then That (IFTTT) *
For Internet, iOS, Android
IFTTT is a free app that enables you to connect other apps and products for a more seamless digital experience; this is done through the use of “recipes.” Recipes cause one app to affect another in some way. For example, a recipe that I use and really like is this: “If I post a picture to Instagram, then post it as a native Twitter picture.” This recipe actually displays the Instagram picture in the tweet (something that Twitter disabled long ago) and with no extra effort on my part since all IFTTT recipes run in the background. Even the weather or sun position can change your lighting if you have IFTT and Wi-Fi connected products—nifty! Users can browse and customize many other handy recipes, or they can be created from scratch.
☞ NOTE: Here are some of my other favorite IFTTT recipes: find your lost phone by email; when your Facebook profile picture changes, so does your Twitter profile picture; receive a daily digest email of the top apps that have gone free in the Apple App Store; and escape awkward situations by sending an email and then receiving an incoming call.
For Mac and iOS
Similar to the Evernote program, Notability allows users to create notes, organize them by subject, and audio record within the notes themselves; that’s pretty much where the similarities end, though. Notability also incorporates handwritten annotation (a premium Evernote feature) into its interface, and it works quite well. Having the ability to import PDF documents directly into the app and annotate on them by hand is an easy way to save paper and money! If your main concern is simply typing up notes while audio recording, however, I would recommend Evernote over Notability, particularly since you can use tags with the former. But if you have an iPad and plan to annotate more than type, Notability is worth the $2.99. Otherwise, the iPhone app is really only useful for reviewing notes, and the Mac app (which is $5.99) is not conducive to annotation by design.
For Windows, Mac, Android
RescueTime is described as “time management software for staying productive and happy in the modern workplace.” It isn’t just for those with professional careers, though; anyone can benefit from this program, especially people with ADHD! RescueTime enables its users to do the following: 1) view detailed reports that show the amount of time spent on applications and websites; 2) receive weekly email summaries for planning future productivity goals; 3) set goals to track and improve productivity; and 4) attain a “productivity score” based on your activities. All of these features are free, but you can gain additional benefits by upgrading to Premium for $9 per month (which includes a website blocker).
☞ NOTE: Websites will not show up in reports if you use Firefox or old/beta/development versions of Chrome. RescueTime provides fixes for this here.
For Internet and iPad
Unstuck is a free “in-the-moment digital coach that’s ready every time [you’re] feeling stuck.” It is explained especially well with cute interactive visuals on this page. The developers also sell Unstuck Tip Card Decks—Conjure Your Creativity, Stop Your Procrastination, Boost Your Productivity, and Stop Your Negative Thinking—for $25 each. In addition, you can sign up for Unstuck Advice emails to receive information that includes articles from their Tumblr.
* = tool available as an app
° = tool only available as an app