Google+ Elementary School Counselor blog, by Scott Ertl, Elementary School Counselor: September 2017

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Know anyone with a brain that goes faster than normal?

Peter Shankman shares how to view ADHD as a gift
instead of a curse.

Without a doubt, Peter Shankman is the fastest talker that I know. So it's a challenge to keep up with him since he has so much passion and desire to help others however he can.
Peter is an accomplished entrepreneur, keynote speaker, and author--but more importantly, he is a man on a mission to empower everyone to recognize their fullest potential and live it out each day. He especially wants people with ADHD, ADD, OCD, and autism to identify and build on their strengths. While it's important to know and overcome your limitations, it's more exciting and fun to engage your super powers into full force!

Different ≠ Wrong or Broken
Different = Amazing and Gifted

As a school counselor, I would often meet with teachers and parents to create behavioral plans to help students get organized, increase their self-awareness, and stay focused on raising their hand instead of blurting out in class. While those are good, Peter says that it's even more important to focus on identifying and building on their strengths

But what are their strengths? It's often just taking a new perspective on their weaknesses. While an impulsive child can be annoying, seeing them as "spontaneous" reframes their energy as a mental strength since we value kids who take the initiative. 
"Inventors aren't followers," Peter says, "They don't fear mistakes. They are risk-takers who enjoy the thrill of discovery and making breakthroughs."
We just need to help them see when to use their spontaneity--like in brainstorming ideas or creating multiple possibilities for solving a problem. At these times, they are like executives who need scribes to record the ideas to later assess on how to best execute them.

Impulsive → Spontaneous
Talkative → Communicative
Hyperactive → Energetic

I asked Peter how teachers and counselors can help kids succeed in school, he said, "Find the ways you are setting them up for failure--and stop. When you are getting the same poor results, remember that you are the adult and you can change what you do to get a better result." 

Students usually don't want to be bad. It's just easier for them to give up than to keep a sustained effort that goes unnoticed because "that's the way you should behave anyway."

3 quick ways to empower kids with ADHD in your class:
  1. Let them know in advance that you are going to call on them to answer the first reading comprehension question about a story they just read so they can be prepared.
  2. Ask them to be your helper and deliver a message to another teacher when they finish their work (correctly).
  3. Allow them to move in class instead of forcing them to sit still all day. They need a way to release their extra energy and anxiety without distracting others. Provide yoga balls, wiggle seats, Bouncy Bands, standing desks, or any other flexible seating options for them to do their best in class.
"Never let kids forget that they are awesome.
Build on their strengths so they can turn their stumbling blocks into stepping stones." 

~Peter Shankman

Want to hear more? Faster Than Normal is the #1 rated ADHD weekly podcast on iTunes. It focuses on sharing success stories from the likes of Seth Godin, Tony Robbins, JetBlue Founder David Neeleman, and many others who have ADHD and/or support those who do. Also, Peter has a Faster Than Normal book coming out in October 2017 that spells out the secrets to increasing productivity.