ADHD Distinctions

ADHD Education

ADDentifiers are words that seem similar in meaning but when articulated identify the shifts the ADHDer is missing.

ADDentifiers describe the lower level of functioning and encourage the client to move up to the next level of ADDentification.

Interrupting is a negative habit or activity that stops the flow of a speakers communication or message. The ADHDer interrupts the speaker because of a desire to communicate or an impulsive thought triggered by something the speaker has said. This thought may be totally unrelated to the speaker's subject matter.

Clarifying is the temporary interruption, at the appropriate moment, in order to improve understanding and comprehension of the speakers intended message.

A dogged ADHDer has a determined course of action despite a sound rationale or belief in the action. They may be dogged in the determination of stubbornness or to prove a point.

When a ADHDer is devoted, they utilize their positive energy to accomplish their mission or objectives. They are devoted due to a strong belief and motivation in a cause or belief.


Doing things right is a behavior that promotes procrastination. i.e. "If I can't do it perfectly or be the best at what I am going to do, I won't do it at all." This type of internalizing impedes any type of progress or action.

When an ADHDer completes projects, accomplishes goals and tasks, without worrying about the consequences or doing it perfectly( black or white thinking), they are getting things done. By completing tasks they feel satisfied and learn from the momentum they have created. 

Don't worry about doing things right, just get things done!! You'll feel better.

When a ADHDer boggles (sensory overload), he/she looses all sensory function and literally freezes, finding it difficult to conduct any type of mental activity.

When an ADHDer is stuck , their sense or senses are temporarily halted. However, the ADHDer has developed a system or strategy to overcome this sensory block and is able to proceed via implementation of the correct solution.

Organization is the filing function of the ADHDer 's brain and can only be effectively utilized with a system that appeals to the ADHDer.

A System is a group of techniques (distinctions, affirmations, shifts), action steps, or programs (time steps, task master, impulsivity rundown) specifically designed to overcome a problem area or weakness (Procrastination, impulsivity, anger, forgetfulness, self-esteem) and assist the ADHDer in managing the deficiency. In a System , a determined, motivated attitude by the ADHDer is essential. The System is the strategy that is utilized to improve the organization skill of the ADHDer.

Understanding is comprehension from the mind without the emotion and endorsement.

Compassion is the ability to understand, endorse and perceive from the heart, mind and soul. It is a natural skill developed from knowing who you are and feeling totally comfortable with yourself. When you are compassionate, you understand, feel and exude emotions of what the ADHDer is going through in their life.

Understand says you're listening. Compassion says you understand and care.

Image is the impression or view others have of the ADHDer. The ADHDer's image by the community, the company they work with, may be that of an upbeat, positive, intelligent human being.

On the other hand, the ADHDer's self-esteem may actually be that of low-energy, negative, failure. Self-esteem refers to the image or visual picture ADHDer's have of themselves. Many ADHDers have a low self-esteem from years of being told they were underachievers. Always use positive communications with an ADHDer, they love it and are unaccustomed to it.

8. CAN'T vs. WON'T:
Can't really means an ADHDer can't do something in the way a person who has Polio can't walk or a person who is blind can't see. The Can't is a physical or neurological handicap that unfortunately produces the can't.

Won't is a reaction that an ADHDer provides when they probably would do something, but they won't because of an inherently learned ADD weakness (black &white thinking, procrastination, poor self-esteem). Won't is the defeatist attitude that the ADD individual has convinced themselves they are incapable of accomplishing a specific task or activity. They don't allow themselves to think about the possibility of success and assimilate won't into their everyday vocabulary. Won't means they can be convinced with effort (proper systems, languaging, distinctions, advising challenging, listening, success stories, identifying).

The challenge for the ADD coach is to find out what the ADD client Can't do, so time and effort are not wasted trying to develop systems that will never be utilized.

Commanding is communication via a directive or order which specifically states the task to be accomplished and their responsibilities. A Command is a message of control used to exhibit the Communicators power. It does not create a feeling of partnership or trust.

Delegating is the ability to communicate specific instructions with a positive attitude and message that motivates the ADHDer to complete a task or goal. When Delegation is implemented properly it can empower the individual ADHDer. It engenders a feeling of confidence in the ADHDer's ability to deliver and succeed. Delegation is a message intended to put the control with the receiver of the message, which says, " I have confidence and trust that you will do this assignment."

Finishing a task for an ADHDer, is their perception of having completed the project.. In reality, there are still elements that are left undone or hanging for someone else to come back and complete. When an ADHDer completes a project, task or goal, it is done and finished in its entirety. The whole assignment is completed and the ADHDer will not have to go back to finish the job, or even think about it.

Velocity is the speed at which ADHDers react to situations and/or events in their lives. Their velocity is due to the impulsivity that ADHDers inherently have as a result of a deficiency in the neurotransmitter activity of the prefrontal cortex. Velocity of a quick reaction occurs due to the ADHDer's unique wiring.

Direction is a focused response that the ADHDer learns to implement based on sound rationale and information gathering that allows "thinking" time for a controlled rational response. That control restores the ADHDer to utilize their mental energy to provide a specific direction for their actions. Velocity occurs as a reaction. Direction occurs as a response based on sound information, planning and a specific focused goal.

12. GULP vs. SIP:
For Entrepreneurs, gulping is a dangerous way to run a business. Gulping is a pattern of behavior that results in an entrepreneur's inability to make rational/logical decisions as it relates to their business. If the business were a glass of water, the entrepreneur's enthusiasm and impulsivity would create such a huge thirst that he would want to GULP all the water to quench his thirst immediately. Once that water has been gulped the business has depleted it's entire reserve.

It is better for the Entrepreneur to Sip his glass of water, savoring each sip and monitoring and protecting his reserve. This also allows the Entrepreneur the ability to develop a business based on a rationale plan rather that an impulsive reaction. The chances for success and enjoyment are greater when the Entrepreneur sips rather than gulps.

Dreaming is the beginning stages of the creation of the Entrepreneurial vision dreaming starts off as a page dream of fantasy of the things that the entrepreneur loves and has a passion for. It is created and stored in the subconscious mind but begins with a dominant thought in the resting state of the ADHDer. Vision takes the dream and makes it reality. It manifests itself through the conscience mind and it is a synthesis of the Entrepreneurs dreams, values, passion, desire and the life they want to live. By articulating their Vision on paper as a means to creating a business that meets the life of their dreams, the business starts to take shape in the real world and can be communicated to the people who will help make the vision a reality.

Written and developed by David Giwerc, MCC