The Prince Albert Branch of the Learning Disabilities of Saskatchewan (LDAS) presents article six in a series of helping people with ADHD, or those involved with people who have ADHD such as parents, partners, and coworkers, to live more successfully.
ADHD is often marked by inattentive behaviors, impulsivity, or hyperactivity, amongst other symptoms. People with ADHD tend to perform tasks inconsistently from day to day and are unable to meet the requirements to complete the task at hand, thus creating much frustration and conflict for themselves and those around them. They are often prescribed medication to reduce the negative effects of their symptoms on their lives. Unfortunately there are no cures for ADHD, just management of the symptoms. For about two thirds of children with ADHD, the symptoms continue on into adulthood with maturity and experience, reducing some of the more obvious symptoms.
Today we will introduce the Executive Function skill of self-monitoring. That is the ability for an individual to effectively self-evaluate how well he or she is performing a task or getting along with others. Self-feedback is important in all aspects of life to guide and modify situations on a continual basis. Self-monitoring also helps to minimize unexpected or ‘surprise’ results that are unwanted or unintended. This is an important skill for both children and adults to develop.
Some strategies to assist people with ADHD to develop or assist their self-monitoring skills are developing checklists to ensure they are completing all the steps in a task or procedure. It is critical that when checking items off, the answer or result is either yes or no! There is no in between. The individual must also know how to do the activity with a clear picture of what the finished outcome looks like. Some people will find that some form of time reminder will help achieve consistent performances. It is useful for some people to have timers that signal the passage of time leading to completion time. Knowing 5 or 10 minutes has passed by in an hour long project can be useful in judging progress or budgeting time effectively. When one is learning self-monitoring you must focus on one task or activity at a time. Remember it takes time and much practice to learn and use new skills and strategies. Be patient. Remember improvement is more valuable than perfection.
If you or a person who is impacted by effects of a person with ADHD and want to improve the efficiency of their interactions with the individual with ADHD, you are invited to the LDAS PA Branch ADHD support group that meets every second Wednesday evening from 7:30 to 9:00 pm at 1106 Central Ave. Please phone the LDAS office to pre-register 306-922-1071. Coaching is available for children and adults. You can also phone the office to arrange a meeting with LDAS staff to develop a one on one coaching plan to meet your individual needs.
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