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Monday, May 29, 2017

7 Tips to Keep Teens With ADHD Safe Behind the Wheel

7 Tips to Keep Teens With ADHD Safe Behind the Wheel

Your teen is quickly approaching driving age, and you know you can’t keep him or her away from the steering wheel forever. But when your teen has ADHD, how do you prepare for safe driving? Here are seven tips for equipping your teen for life behind the wheel.

1. Banish Distractions

You know your teen has trouble staying focused during schoolwork and daily tasks, and you shouldn’t expect it to be any different in the driver’s seat. Maximize your child’s ability to stay focused while driving by making the car a distraction-free environment. That means no texting or calling, changing the music, eating, or fiddling with GPS while the car’s in motion. Since it’s hard to enforce these rules from home, equip the car with hands-free technology so it’s easy to pick a new band without looking away from the road. You could even utilize technology that blocks cell phone use while the car is running.

2. Limit Passengers

Many places limit how many passengers new drivers can have, but take it a step further by making a no-passengers rule for the first year, followed by a limit of one passenger at a time. This gives teens with ADHD time to master driving essentials before introducing any potential distractions. If your teen protests this rule, explain how driving with other teens and young adults increases the risk of a fatal accident eight times over — and that’s among all teen drivers, not just those with an attention deficit.

3. Keep it Simple

Forbidding texting and driving for a teen driver, especially one with ADHD, may seem obvious. However, there are other distractions that parents may overlook. The car itself could be distracting if it has a tech-rich dashboard or a cluttered interior. When shopping for a teen’s first car, opt for a model with a simple dash design and basic controls. Enforce a tidy interior at all times to prevent your teen from looking away from the road to reach for items.

4. Go Manual

Consider getting a manual transmission instead of automatic. While you may think an automatic transmission would be easier for a teen to master, there’s evidence that manual vehicles promote better driver concentration.

5. Prepare for Roadside Emergencies

Being a good driver isn’t just about following the rules of the road. To ensure your teen is truly prepared, equip him or her with a roadside emergency kit and talk about what to do in the event of an accident or breakdown. Stock the trunk with everything needed for changing a tire and jumping a battery, and show your teen how to use it. For extra peace of mind, enroll teen drivers in a roadside assistance plan. That way, you know your child is safe even if he or she can’t remember the steps to repair a flat tire.

6. Cover Basic Car Maintenance

Another essential part of a teen’s safe driving success plan? Keeping the vehicle perfectly roadworthy at all times. Talk to your teen about the importance of routine car maintenance and reinforce the lesson when scheduled maintenance like oil changes come due. Depending on your teen’s interests, teaching car maintenance you can do at home could be a helpful measure.

7. Monitor Medication

Teens with ADHD should never get behind the wheel without taking prescribed medication. While some families may prioritize taking medication during school hours and be more lax during downtime, consistent medication adherence is crucial for safe driving.

Getting a driver’s license is an exciting moment in a teen’s life. It’s a hallmark of freedom and a gateway to new worlds. However, it’s also a dangerous tool with risk directly tied to the concentration of its driver. If your teen has ADHD, take these measures to keep him or her as safe as possible on the road.

Mark Connor

Image via Pixabay

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Stuck in my ADHD world...

 I was diagnosed at 34 yo and up until then my wife would be asking what the hell is wrong with me. Fast forward 12 years and she still seems to think it's how I want to be, how I choose to be. Now that she's left me I'm back on my own in my own mess of a life struggling with ADHD, depression and anxiety. I'm getting through it but I am so stuck in all my feelings and psychic and physical clutter that I can just live in the mess and feel no urge to clean. It feels like I have no inspiration or hope for a better life, so what is the point? Every time I work really hard to get my life together I drain my energy and it just builds up again. I try to commit to things like doing the dishes every night before bed but I am just completely exhausted from having to live like this. 😥. The fact that my soon to be ex sees this as a problem with me, but sees it as a choice I am making, has done nothing but confirm my belief that something is wrong with me. I'm on a med that is helping but there's something I'm missing, either the skills I need to call upon, or to will to live, or the belief that I am worth the effort, when all I seem to face is the worthlessness of my efforts, the false belief that I choose to live like this, and the harrowing attempt at believing I am worth it. 

When I look at my mess I get so overwhelmed that I simply don't care anymore because no matter how hard I've tried to keep up and do the "right" thing, I fail.

Add this to the fact that my kids believe I am choosing this because of their mothers belief that I am, and the fact that my wife's new boyfriend will be coming to town to take my place in our bed, and I'm just completely utterly dismayed at myself and my situation.

Listening to the program the host used the term coming out. It is a lot like that. How will people react?

I am also in the process of coming out, really by my wife outing me to everyone, even though I am still in the questioning phase of my gender identity. 

It's just another "what the hell is wrong with you" moment.

So for me, I have been wondering what is wrong with me my whole life. And even having my own place to explore my questions I am still stuck in my ADHD World.

Regardless of what is true or false, I am struggling to put my life together and hope that my kids will remember that despite my disorganization and distractions that prevent me from completing things, that I am a kind, loving and giving father who has always been there for them despite my challenges.

Thanks for listening. I should have introduced myself when I moved so I could get some insight in what I can do to help me through this and get to a point where I can invite someone over without worrying about what a mess my life is.