By Lee Gehrls, Volunteer Resource Development Coordinator
May is a great month. Spring rolls into summer and it’s the end of the school year! That means celebrating graduations. We’re rolling out a new way of celebrating your graduate’s success – read to the end to learn more.
Graduation is an important milestone in one’s life. It’s a time when friends and family come together to celebrate their student’s success and let them know how proud they are of them. However, for students with ADHD, the end of school can be the end of a difficult year. Maybe a year of struggles.
ADHD & Recognizing Success
One of the characteristics of people who have ADHD is that they don’t stop to celebrate their successes – big or small. Most of the time, they don’t even recognize success when it occurs. If you are a parent of a student with ADHD or adult living with ADHD it’s important to stop, take a moment to recognize your successes, and celebrate them!
Marla Cummins who is an ADHD Coach and Productivity Consultant wrote “ADHD and Celebrating Successes – It’s Good for You!” in 2012. She talks about how celebrating your “victories” benefits your self-esteem and motivation and gets you through the tough times. Plus celebrating is fun. She even quotes two well-known experts in the field of ADHD, Ned Hallowell, M.D., and John Ratey, M.D. who in their book Delivered from Distraction say “…it is important to allow the victorious moments to get into your system so that they can sustain and nourish you.”
Years ago when my husband and I started the St. Cloud ADD Support Group we decided we always wanted the meetings to end on a positive note. We didn’t have the ADHD research and educational resources we have today. We knew that some nights the meetings could get heavy depending on how everyone’s month went and we wanted to end on positive thoughts.
One of the moms in the group showed all of us the importance of celebrating an ADHD child’s successes. She would tell us how something big or little happened at home or at school and that was the focus of their success party.
I remember she told us how they sang and danced around the kitchen table and that if anyone had been standing outside her back door they would have thought they were nuts. It was wonderful to see how the whole group perked up when she shared her celebration story.
ADHD Coach Jacqueline Sinfield, the founder of Untapped Brilliance, blogged “Celebrate Every Achievement”. She points out an important observation, “…how easy it is for adults with ADHD to both minimize their achievements – “Well, anyone could have done it.” – and to focus on what they haven’t, didn’t, couldn’t do, rather than on what they DID do.” She gives examples of negative thinking and then shows readers how to turn that thinking into positive thoughts. There are examples of “rewards” for big or small successes. At the end of the blog, she gives you five action steps to help you learn how to celebrate.
Let’s Celebrate Your Student’s Success Together
So, by all means, continue with your graduation celebration plans but allow me to make an extra suggestion.
Our nonprofit would like to start a new tradition in our service area that allows anyone to recognize the ADHD graduate in their life. You can make a donation in honor of that student and send them a heartfelt note congratulating him or her on their accomplishment.
Graduating is a tremendous success for those with ADHD. Letting your special student know you are proud of them and that you support them can do wonders in helping them gear up for the next challenge in their life. It’s ok to congratulate the family or the parents too. If you are the parents, grandparents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, or good friends of a graduating student who has ADHD, a note of recognition and congratulations may be one of the best gifts you could ever give them.
Donations in honor of your ADHD Graduate may be made from May 20-June 8, 2019. Go to our >> Graduation eCard Page << and write your message. Be sure to fill out the information section. Then click on the donate button and complete that process. Click on submit and your message is on its way. Please allow 72 hours for your message to be delivered.
Thank you for your support.
We encourage you to take a few minutes to read the two resources which appear in the above blog:
“ADHD and Celebrating Successes” – It’s Good for You!, Marla Cummins, May 17, 2012
“Celebrate Every Achievement”, Jacqueline Sinfield, Untapped Brilliance,
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