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Coming Home on Repeat

Posted on: September 11th, 2023

Your loved one comes home from school or college. They drop their belongings on the floor and gravitate to their toys, their electronics, or the kitchen- or both. Or maybe your loved one comes home from a day of work and they still gravitate to electronics or the kitchen. When it comes to ADHD, these habits can happen at any age, and they frustrate their neurotypical loved ones. 

When I worked a job helping kids with ADHD manage their behaviors at home and in the community, it was a daily reminder for the kids to put their backpacks, shoes, and coats in the designated spots, take out their homework, start it and stay on task, and put their homework away before going to activities they enjoyed. As an adult, I come home on Fridays and often leave my lunchbox with my work bag, full of empty containers and a melted ice pack. I’ve written about setting routine before on this site and how it helps manage ADHD behaviors. If you did that, I’m proud of you! If you’re still frustrated, keep reading. 

The Routine

Someone with ADHD completing a routine of non-preferred tasks might be running on autopilot to get it done, they might do it to get what they want faster or avoid complaints from others, or they might be okay with doing it and be receiving guidance until it becomes a habit. The key is consistency.


Sure, those in the household are probably tired of repeating the reminders and steps every day, but this is important. Consistency teaches and reinforces expectations and guides behaviors. Verbal guidance of each task or a checklist with each task will alleviate ambiguity when it comes to what the person is responsible for, and maybe when they’re responsible for doing it. No matter their age, this strategy can be highly effective. Make sure the consequences are also clear- this aids with motivation. 


If a child or teen knows the routine but isn’t doing it, verbal reminders of tasks help, but reminders of consequences do too. If that isn’t enough, consistently using those consequences is important. The delay of a desired activity, the loss of a desired activity. For adults, if they don’t do what they need to do, they don’t have clean items to eat with, cook with, or wear- this can include if someone else sticks to not picking up their slack for them. If someone else in the household does the laundry and the teen or other adult doesn’t bring their dirty laundry as requested, their laundry doesn’t get washed and they need to figure out the consequences that naturally follow. 

What Else Can You Do?

If your loved one or household is struggling with these habits and you don’t know how to start or struggle to follow through, reach out to Sound Health Counseling Solutions today! We’ll work with you to create a personalized plan of action.

Medication and Counseling

Posted on: August 28th, 2023

Struggling at home with tantrums, not getting things done, battles of attention at school…should you medicate your child? Instead of “should” or “should not”, let’s look at the situation asking if the benefits outweigh the risks. For some parents this is an easy decision; their child or teen can’t function without medication. For other parents, there’s a fear of stunting growth, negative behavioral changes, appetite and weight changes, or fearing future addiction. There is also the consideration of stimulants and non-stimulants and what will work.

Sometimes, medication is unavoidable. However, some changes made by medication can also be made gradually with counseling. Your child’s therapist can teach your child, and you, strategies to manage self-control and focus, big feelings, and social skills.

If you want to try counseling before medication, or in addition to medication, reach out to Sound Health Counseling Solutions today!

Preparing For School

Posted on: August 9th, 2023

Summer is coming to an end. Your child has not dealt with homework and has not had to spend long periods of time sitting still. However, the school year is quickly approaching, and with it the deadlines, the rules, the expectations, and possibly social issues. What’s your game plan to help your child handle all of this? 

Academic Support

Does your child have a support plan, such as a 504 or IEP? If so, be sure to review that plan so your child’s needs are met when school is in session. A change in school environment, your child’s development, or both, impact how effective the accommodations are, so keeping the plan up-to-date and adjusted now will clear the path for success.

Emotional Support

Does your child have separation anxiety? Consider practicing to prepare for the transition back to school so that the process becomes familiar. Incorporate morning routines, if they were disrupted during the summer, and review expectations with your child. Oppositional behavior is often eased when expectations are set and consistently reinforced. Also, make communication a regular part of the day so that your child is comfortable sharing details with you.


It’s understandable if your child’s sleep routine changed during the summer. Begin to return to sleep routines so that your child is set up for adequate sleep. With screens being a temptation, have a plan for addressing this; it’s not unheard of for a child to sneak a screen into their room at night and stay up late.

Keeping Track

Posted on: July 26th, 2023

Stressed about having a lot of things to do? Struggling with trying to remember everything? Burning out over doing both of those things while also thinking about how to do what needs to be done? I suggest listing things out. You have a list to fall back on in case you forget things, and it can help a lot with anxiety. You have a list to aid with processing a set of tasks, broken down into smaller amounts. If you have ADHD, you are probably rolling your eyes by now.

But What About…

The idea of having ADHD and maintaining a to-do list is complicated. 

  • Remembering to create a list
  • Remembering the list exists
  • Remembering to use the list
  • Remembering to maintain the list

If you do not have ADHD, those tasks may seem straightforward and obvious. To someone with ADHD, the existence of the list is its own hurdle. 

It’s Not That Simple

The next set of hurdles to overcome:

  • Paper list or digital?
  • Where to keep it?
  • How to design it
  • How to remember it


If non-digital is preferred, a paper method can be used; a notebook, a classic tab of tearable lists, laminated lists, a photo frame with a dry erase marker, or a dry erase board are some ideas. If digital is preferred, there are many apps available, some with reminder settings, some with attached calendars, or the simple note app built into the phone. Find a way to create a routine that includes checking the list. You might not maintain this routine, but it will help remind you that the list exists and to use it. Get in the habit of actually using the list. 

I know someone who uses the notes app on their phone. I know another who uses a paper with a list design on it and this is kept on their bedside table. I personally use a to-do list app that’s connected on my phone and computer. The system isn’t perfect (I still forget sometimes), but I have a lot less stress because I am less likely to forget something and I can break tasks down into steps.

What Else You Can Do

Managing ADHD is a daily set of tasks, and there are often speedbumps. You might need extra guidance, and that’s okay. Reach out to Sound Health Counseling today to get help managing your ADHD.


Posted on: July 19th, 2023

ADHD often brings with it two things that are on opposite ends of the spectrum; hyperfocus and inattention. How does this make sense? The ADHD brain can become easily distracted, but it can also hyperfocus on an activity. If you are a parent, redirection of your children often falls on you, though there are alternatives to this. If you are an adult, redirection of yourself often falls on you, a friend, family member, partner, coworker, etc. There are ways to make the process easier, and sometimes more fun.


Teachers use them, some families use them, counselors use them. Timers have flexible use and there are a variety available. A timer can specify when an activity is finished and to transition. Specific songs can play this role also. The Pomodoro timer was developed with productivity and breaks in mind- you can hyperfocus and automatically know when to take a break. A timer can also be set for periods to remind you to refocus on what you are doing in case of distraction. 

Ease of Use

If you have a system for staying on track with attention, make sure it’s easy to use- easy to set up and reset. Spending time setting up the system can itself become a distraction, unless the creation of that setup becomes its own project before use. Putting effort into that project could provide motivation to then use the system. If the system is not user-friendly, then a person with ADHD is unlikely to use it. They’ll get tired of dealing with it and possibly stop bothering with their work because there is no longer a means of redirection. 

What More Can You Do?

These suggestions are things we would tell our own clients, but they are still general. For help with your specific situation and improving focus and redirection, contact Sound Health Counseling Solutions today!


Posted on: July 12th, 2023

I still remember that moment; trying to put my shoes on a wire rack and they kept falling off. I got so frustrated that I resorted to throwing a shoe at the rack . Fortunately, a family member was there and helped me calm down. Since then, I have helped kids overcome their frustration intolerance, guiding them to calm down when they start complaining, crying, slamming, or throwing. By the way, in Organizing Solutions for People With ADHD, Susan Pinsky recommends against wire shoe racks due to the very issue I dealt with. Instead, she suggests getting a solid shelf- I did, and it made a world of difference.


The ADHD brain doesn’t handle frustration well. Being stuck on something that isn’t working, when you enjoy the activity, gets upsetting and uses up our energy for thinking. Being stuck when the activity isn’t enjoyable evaporates motivation and makes us want to walk away. Then there’s the anger, irritability, yelling, crying, and even throwing things that others in proximity of the person are stuck dealing with.


There’s a technique from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) by Marsha Linehan called REST:

  • Relax: walk away so you can reset and think clearly. If you can’t walk away, count to 10 or use another relaxation strategy.
  • Evaluate: is anyone in danger? Is anyone dying? What’s really going on in this situation?
  • Set a plan: think your way through what to do next. This can be rather difficult with ADHD, especially for children, but it forces the individual to take the time to consider their next steps before acting.
  • Take action: put the plan into motion.

A similar technique that particularly works with young children is called being a STAR (credit to a preschool teacher):

  • Stop
  • Take a breath
  • and
  • Relax

Needing Help

Frustration is inevitable in life, but managing it is doable, even with ADHD. If you or a loved one are struggling, reach out to Sound Health Counseling Solutions today to find out how we can help you manage ADHD and frustration.

Bridge the Gap

Posted on: July 5th, 2023

You have a lot you want to achieve, but overcoming obstacles is sometimes impeded by the “Wall of Awful” or gaps in the “Motivation Bridge”. When you get started on a project, you start to notice the increasing list of small things involved, and that in itself becomes overwhelming. So, what can you do? Start small. 

Society puts pressure on being productive and getting a lot done. But that ideology is based on a neurotypical brain, which those with ADHD don’t have. A lot can be accomplished, but projects are a web of tasks in an ADHD brain, not a list (usually). The following are some examples of how to start small:


  • Start with one shelf, bin, or box, no matter how small. 
  • Decide what to do with the objects inside. ADHD can make deciding where to start a very difficult thing, so if the child is struggling to decide, pick something for them to start with. Even a single block to put in a bin will encourage the child to not become frustrated. Turn it into a counting or race game if they’re resistant.


  • For cleaning, the examples above can still apply- remember, start small.
  • For homework, list out the things that need to be done in writing. The list can be a helpful reference for knowing what needs to be done, reducing anxiety over trying to remember. Work with the teen to decide what they are going to start with. Have them break the writing prompts and math problems into chunks to focus on at a time. 


The suggestions for adults are the same, with the additional idea of not being afraid to ask for some help or guidance. As I write this post, I remember when I needed to organize a room and unpack my suitcase from a trip. Should I organize the room so the space is prepared for the contents of the suitcase, or do I empty the suitcase to consolidate the to-do list? I stood there, frozen, because I couldn’t decide. A family member told me where to start, and my anxiety instantly lowered. 

Remember to celebrate that things are getting done. If you need a 5-minute break or some praise after sorting through a shoebox, then do what works for you. At least you got something done. Finishing everything could take longer, but the alternative is fighting your brain and we already know how that ends.

What Next?

Attempting these ideas might help in theory, but you and your loved ones are individuals with your own needs and obstacles. At Sound Health Counseling Solutions, we’re here to help you manage ADHD. Reach out today to get started!

So You Have ADHD…

Posted on: June 26th, 2023

So you’ve been diagnosed with ADHD…now what? So your loved one has been diagnosed with ADHD…now what? I was diagnosed at age 24 with Predominantly-Inattentive-type ADHD. My family didn’t know what to think at the time, especially because they had only known ADHD to be the condition that causes a person to not be able to sit still and get in trouble a lot at school as a kid, and that wasn’t me. But after my diagnosis, things changed for the better, over time.


Your experiences are valid and there is an entire community of people waiting to support you. There are support groups on just about every social media platform and video tutorials eager to help. You should keep these things in mind:

  • Just as it takes you time to adjust to a world of neurotypical family members, it will take your family members time to adjust to your needs. 
  • ADHD is an explanation, not an excuse. You might need more reminders and redirection than others, but you are still responsible for acting and should be held accountable.
  • Forgive yourself for forgetting, but learn from it and do better. Change what isn’t working. 
  • Acknowledge the frustration of others. The diagnosis might give you validation and information, but it doesn’t relieve the struggle. Your family will appreciate that you recognize their feelings too.

My Loved One Has ADHD

Your experiences are valid, and there is an entire community of people waiting to support you. ADHD isn’t a one-lane, one-sided existence. You are there too, and you deal with the person’s ADHD- there is support for you too.

  • Learn, but don’t beat yourself up over misconceptions. You knew what you knew, now you’re learning more. Guilt doesn’t help you or your loved one. Move forward together.
  • ADHD is an explanation, not an excuse. Yes, you might need more patience and have to repeat things to your loved one more than others, but also hold them accountable. Natural consequences are okay. 
  • Forgive them for forgetting, but expect them to do better.
  • Your frustration is valid. The person with ADHD is not living in a bubble.

What Else Can I Do?

Managing ADHD often requires additional support. At Sound Health Counseling, we help you create a system that works for you and your family. Contact us today to get started!


Posted on: June 12th, 2023

Putting it off, avoiding the task, “I’ll do it later”. If you have ADHD or know someone who does, then you know this story. The sense of time for ADHD brains has been described as “now” and “not now”. If it’s something the person doesn’t want to do, they might try to put off doing it. If the person is doing something else already that they don’t want to interrupt, they might try to put off the interruption. This turns into a snowball effect of arguments, missed deadlines, forgetting things, etc.


There is accountability to be had. ADHD doesn’t have to be fought all the time, it can be worked with. If you don’t want to go full throttle and do the entire “thing” at one time, here’s what you can do to make things easier:

  • Have a task list, paper, digital, or whatever- even if that means having the laundry separated into different piles to put away.
  • In various moments, pick something from the list, or the laundry pile, to put away or do. Does it take longer for the entire “thing” to get done? Sure, but you’re still making progress. 
  • If you need to clean your room and there’s a dish that needs to go to the kitchen, take that one dish out the moment you notice it or when you go to leave your room. The whole room isn’t done, but it’s one part. One less thing to do. 


ADHD is widely known to cause self-confidence and self-esteem problems. Healthline, CHADD, verywellmind, and ADDitude all explain how forgetfulness, distraction, and being prone to boredom lead those with ADHD to feel lazy, selfish, and incompetent. Things go without being done. Psychologist Sharon Saline, PsyD, emphasizes, “The goal is how can you accept the brain that you have and work with it.” By doing even small parts at a time, the tasks get done. As something gets done, that’s an accomplishment to embrace. You CAN do it! It just takes doing things differently. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Need Help?

These strategies take practice, and ADHD is something that must be coped with every day. Professional help can get you on track, help you stay on track, and work with you to create a plan for success. Reach out to Sound Health Counseling Solutions today to find out how we can help you manage your ADHD.


Posted on: June 6th, 2023

“ADHD” and “organization”, should those words even be in the same sentence? I have ADHD and I know several people with ADHD. No matter the age, organization seems to be a difficulty in at least one area; the avalanche in the closet, the black hole under the bed, the side-thought shelf, or the drawer where nothing actually belongs but is still there. ADHD and organization can be in the same sentence if we think of organization as a process instead of a goal. 

What Do You Mean?

Spring cleaning, seasonal item transitions, returning home from a college dorm, summer break, and whatever else could cause clutter- there is a way to handle it. It’s a process to practice, not a miracle cure. It may require some compromise and will require patience from neurotypical members of the household, but it can be sustainable. 

  • “Everything has its place”, but that place can’t always be out-of-sight, nor can it always look pretty. Susan C. Pinsky warns in her book “Organizing Solutions For People With ADHD”, that a storage or transition bin or area that looks pretty can easily be overlooked because it blends into the environment. Don’t be afraid to put a label on it either. Identify drawers, bins, shelves, etcetera if that helps.
  • “They are supposed to do it anyway”, but the struggle to get it done can be so much more difficult than you think, so a little bit of recognition can go a long way. In some of her videos, Jessica McCabe from How to ADHD talks about recognizing even small steps. If only 1-3 items have been put in place, instead of, “You have a long way to go” or “Okay, keep going”, try, “Cool, keep it up”, “Good job, you got started”. 

Short-term memory and trains of thought are easily derailed in someone with ADHD, so making space for unusual solutions and taking time for encouragement is appreciated and can help the person stay on track (because the praise is also a reminder). 

Need Help?

Everyone is different, and that includes everyone with ADHD. It’s easy to give general suggestions, but you might need a more personalized approach. Contact Sound Health Counseling Solutions today to get started on managing ADHD!