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Sunday, June 8, 2014

CHADD

     My name is Justine Ruotolo. I have been an ADD/Life Coach for the past 18 years. I am a graduate of the Pepperdine University MFT program. I have an intense passion for what I do, helping children, adolescents, parents, and adults embrace their diagnosis of ADD, and understanding their gifts associated with their “Creative Mindset.”I was diagnosed 19 years ago, and it highlighted years of struggles that encompassed my life. It explained why I was labeled, in my childhood and adolescence years, stupid, lazy, procrastinator, and impulsive. These words developed a negative schema that followed me throughout my life. We were a family of ADD as my two boys ages 24 and 21 were diagnosed very young. 

My own negative memories of my childhood and adolescence helped me put the positive spin on their diagnosis, which in turn helped them seek out and develop their creativity. Over the past three years I have done difficult work to unblock the past, and embrace my own creativity. After experiencing trauma, I decided to turn it into positive growth. Through this work from the inside out, I learned how to accept my life, and develop self-awareness concerning my behaviors. I was able to take responsibility for my life, regulate my emotions, and reduce my stimulant medication from 30 mg to zero.I am on the board of CHADD (Children and adults with ADD), where I run support groups for parents and adults. It is in this venue that I share the work I did on myself with others. 

We work on staying in the moment (Mindfulness) and their growth is powerful. I work with parents helping them get their child or adolescent diagnosed. I attend school meetings for 504 plans and IEP’s negotiating accommodations in this setting. I have always been successful in school meetings because I present my involvement as a positive way of connecting the circle between the school, parents, and child or adolescent. I help the child/adolescent with organization, study skills, behavior and time management. I travel to their home, which helps with my own understanding of their environment, and the positives, and or negatives, involved. I work with the parents helping them learn the proper strategies involved in communicating with children and adolescents. The fact that I can utilize my own experience to help other embrace their gifts associated with ADD, makes what I do, a very happy part of my life.

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