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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!

Depression With ADHD

Posted on: May 29th, 2023

Many people already know that ADHD often comes with anxiety as a companion, but did you know that depression likes to join along too? According to verywellmind.com, depression is 10 times more likely in teens with ADHD and three times more likely in adults with ADHD. Warm and sunny weather is arriving, but depression is still a daily struggle.

For Starters

Assuming your depression is not triggered by this time of year (which can happen too), increased amounts of sunlight can help in your quest to feel better. What probably won’t help is more time watching TV or using the computer, which has shown links to depression. The symptoms can be hard to fight, but here are some steps that can get you started:

  • Make small goals and praise yourself for reaching them. You got out of bed? Cool. You got a shower? Even better. You got food? Look at you go!
  • Get some exercise- walking counts, even if it’s a loop around the house. 
  • Spend some time in nature. Look at a flower or a tree, maybe listen to birds or crickets. Scientists aren’t sure why, but nature helps us think and feel better.

What Else Can You Do?

Therapy is an important tool for supporting health. At Sound Health Counseling Solutions, we’ll help you figure out which parts of you are really you, and which parts are who depression thinks you are. Reach out today so we can help you get on track to being your best You!

Electronics in the Summer

Posted on: May 22nd, 2023

For many, screens were a new addition to life. For some, screens have been part of life. For the current school-age generation, screens were built into everyday life. Electronics may bring a sense of convenience that’s hard to beat. Remaining in communication with others can be easier. That electronic has a look and settings that the young person is used to, which brings familiarity. “But their face is glued to that screen!”


If summer camps, daycares, and sports teams are not in your budget, there are low cost and free options too:

  • Libraries have weekly programs
  • Local parks have activities
  • Malls and other facilities may have spaces where you can leave your kids to play while you get other things done (or have self-care time)
  • Family activity times

There is also something called a “Screen Diet”. Childrenshealth.com and mindfulschools.org offer suggestions for starting a screen diet.

  • Schedule screen time. No differently than scheduling other activities, this reinforces routine and can help your loved one to focus on the activity at hand, rather than asking for screen time.
  • Allow an age-appropriate amount of screen time.
  • Create areas in which screens or times in which screens are not permitted. 


Do you struggle to do any of those things as a parent due to your own work, energy, and stress? Try to not judge yourself, you have better things to do with your energy. Timers and alarms are your friends! Some internet providers offer apps that allow you to control internet access to devices in the house. There are apps that can control how long other apps are used. There are ways- you can do this. 

How to Get Help

Is your loved one struggling to handle these transitions and limits? At Sound Health Counseling Solutions, we use talk therapy, play therapy, music therapy, behavior modification, and other tools to help you and your loved one follow limits and manage unpleasant behaviors. Contact us today to see if we’re the right fit for you!

Standardized Testing

Posted on: May 15th, 2023

Standardized testing is a stressful time for many students. Trying to recall a school year’s worth of information first thing in the morning can be difficult. Plus, students are in a different classroom than usual, surrounded by peers they may not know, with the test being given by a teacher they may not know.

Right there are triggers are ADHD, generalized anxiety, testing anxiety, social anxiety, OCD, self-esteem issues, and self-confidence issues. It sounds overwhelming, but there is hope! A few intentional steps can set your loved one on the path to some peace of mind and success.

What You Can Do

  • Taking a few deep breaths before starting the test can help. Healthline.com explains that deep breathing causes the body to relax and spread a sense of calm through the brain. 
  • Counting breaths or counting how long you breathe in and out are two simple deep breathing strategies. 
  • Getting enough sleep may sound cliché to your student, but the National Institute of Health says that lack of sleep causes issues with learning, making decisions, memory recall and problem solving, focusing, and coping with changes. Those things are all important for taking a test.

Getting Help

Struggling to manage anxiety is common, but you don’t have to do it alone. Contact Sound Health Counseling Solutions today to get started on your journey to tackle anxiety!


Posted on: May 2nd, 2023

Routine routine routine. That’s been drilled into my head since I was a kid.  If I follow the routine, things generally go well.  Tasks are completed with less energy required or mistakes made.

But like most humans, we don’t live in a vacuum where things never change.  And for persons with ADHD, this can be further challenged because something delays the start of a routine. Something delays or prevents a step in a routine.  Something causes us not to want to follow the routine.  

When Routine Fails

A routine is helpful for ADHD because it makes necessary tasks more automatic. The problem is needing a backup plan, or a backup plan for your backup plan. What can we do if the things we use to build a routine don’t work?


According to Beth Main

  • Put something like daily medication on top of your cereal bowls, so that you have to deal with them in order to continue the routine
  • Put some in your glove box or stash spot at work. 

But what if your routine breaks or changes because it’s a weekend? Or the people you live with don’t follow your system and put the medications elsewhere? Maybe you overlook them because it’s easy to move them to get what you’re looking for and you’re not used to making them part of your routine. 

Beth also suggests keeping them in a medication organizer. The challenge? It’s time to refill the slots, but you don’t feel like doing it at that moment and then taking them from the bottle becomes the routine (and you might forget you took them).

Back-up Planning

ADHD coach Dr. Saskia Karg points out that:

  • We can get distracted from a habit
  • A habit can vanish
  • Building a habit requires a lot of effort
  • Inconsistency is almost certain.

Things that can help:

  • Set an alarm on a watch to remind yourself to take ADHD medication
  • Keep  ADHD medication in a work bag that is with you whether you’re at home or at work. 

The point is that by having more than one reminder, and more than one plan, this will enhance success for taking the medication. 

Get Help When You Need It

ADHD expert Dr. David Hallowell asks the question, “How exactly did you do/not do that?” What caused the system or routine to work or not work? 

If you are ready for a routine but need some support, contact Sound Health Counseling Solutions today!