ADHD and Small Group Studies

 

When you have ADHD sometimes paying full attention during small group studies can be a real challenge. Despite being interested in the topic and discussion, the mind can easily wonder. Being in a smaller setting makes it even more noticeable to others when you are not paying attention.

I have completed over 10 Beth Moore bible studies, but I can’t handle watching her videos; some of which are over an hour long. I lose focus less than 15 minutes into her talking. Thankfully I have her workbooks to keep me on track with taking notes. I find that it is much easier for me to watch her videos on my own during the week where I can stop them and take breaks instead of watching her talk continuously for over 60 minutes.

I’ve also been part of small groups where we take turns reading chapters directly from the bible or a book; this type of small group does not work well for me as I become impatient and then struggle with the urge to read ahead.

Our struggles are individual and varied, however, you’ll know you’re having trouble in your small group if you experience the following:

-Daydreaming

-Forgetting what it is you had intended to say in the midst of your discussion

-Interrupting others while they are talking

-Impatiently waiting your turn

-Fidgeting

-Reading your bible or small group curriculum instead of watching the DVD that is playing

-Growing easily bored with the topic your peers are discussing

Disclosure is important, if you trust your small group leader or facilitator, let him/her know ahead of time that you have trouble with Executive Functioning as a result of ADHD. Share with your facilitator some of the habits you might display so they know that you are not doing these things consciously or intentionally. When people don’t know about ADHD it can be easy for them to dismiss your symptoms as disrespectful or inconsiderate. You don’t have to share your diagnosis with others in the group, but I find that if they understand your challenges, it helps to decrease misunderstandings.

There are ways to help manage your symptoms during small group sessions:

Time: Consider what times of the week and days are best for you. Maybe it is better for your to meet in the morning instead of an evening session where you are more likely to be tired, and your medication is starting to wear off. Are your times together long and drawn out, or is it short, yet effective?

Be mindful of the study format: Does this group prefer book-only studies? Are they DVD oriented? Are there workbooks where you can do personal study during the week or take notes while you are with the group?

Physical Environment: Where is the group meeting? In a home, a coffee shop, or in a church facility? Consider any additional distractions such as pets, small children, or customers if you meet in an eating establishment.  If these types of environments don’t work well for you, consider finding another location.

The people: Yes, as Christians we are to get along, but that does not always happen. With ADHD, it is easy to become irritable, withdrawn, easily frustrated, and emotionally distant. If you don’t mix well with the others in the group there is nothing wrong with seeking out a small group with peers who you have more in common with or get along with. ADHD in adults is still misunderstood within our North American culture, and if those in the small group are not considerate and understanding of your symptoms you will have a difficult time with being in a community with these individuals. If those you are in a close group with are not accepting of you, it will make it a challenge for you to learn and grow in your Christian walk.

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No New Year ADHD Resolutions

Welcome to 2015! The holidays are over and our schedules and routines have returned to normal. For those of us with ADHD, the Christmas season can easily become an overwhelming time of disorganization, adjusting to schedule changes, and having our already fragile executive functions challenged. The New Year finally arrives and we are bombarded with adverts, websites, blogs (mine included) and magazines promising to help us make massive life changes this year and forever.

It has been my experience that new year’s resolutions are not a good option for those with ADHD.

Resolution is defined as:

“: the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc.: the act of resolving something”

Resolving: “the act of analyzing a complex notion into simpler ones; the act of answering (solving); the act of determining”. (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

ADHD is not something that can be “solved”. I along with many others who struggle with their executive functioning skills would be more than happy to resolve to no longer have ADHD and follow the plan, take the medication, or have the surgery that would forever rid us of this struggle. I’ve never heard of someone making a New Year’s resolution to stop having ADHD; you’d be foolish to attempt this impossible feat.

NYR unattainable

A more realistic way to approach the beginning of 2015 would be making time to do some self-analysis. Ask yourself some key questions about your past year and as you do this invite the spirit of the LORD to help guide you towards an honest reflection. The management of ADHD symptoms can’t be reviewed and addressed in a similar fashion to those who make meaningless resolutions. People who make New Year’s resolutions can afford to fail at them or even forget what they were a few weeks later; they can do this because their resolutions don’t matter, however, our ADHD does matter.

I don’t want to write what has already been written, so instead I will share a link with you from Laurette Willis of PraiseMoves. Her post is addressed for 2014, but there is no time limit on what she has written; it applied last year and it is still applicable in 2015.

Willis follows what she refers to as SMART-ER Goals.

S-Seek God

M-Make a Commitment

A-Ask

R-(w) Rite: the vision

T-Thank God in Advance

E-Expect

R-Receive  

http://praisemoves.com/2013/12/your-smart-er-goals-for-2014/

http://praisemoves.com/goals.pdf

Well… Happy 2015! My hope is that you will have continued growth in your utilization of your faith in God as a resource for managing your ADHD symptoms. Medication helps with brain function, our faith helps us with our spiritual self. These are two areas that don’t need to be at odds with each other. Wishing you a year filled with growth and transformation in your life. Hopefully over the next 50 weeks you will find something of value on my faith based ADHD themed blog that will be of help to you. Peace.

resolution joke