By Debbie Ginsberg
Often a neuro-atypical individual deals with racing thoughts, inattentiveness, or day-dreaming, making it a challenge to follow lessons in school or know how to stay on task at home or at work.
Not well-understood by the neuro-typical population, this usually bright and creative group suffers in silence and at a great expense. They lose jobs, can’t keep their families intact, and often have children who are also neuro-atypical. If they can’t help themselves, how can they help their children? This is a very painful reality for too many.
OrganizeU4Life.com was created in response to one parent’s desire to have her neuro-atypical son work with an Orthodox Jewish professional organizer who could teach organizing and life-management skills.
OrganizeU4Life.com recognizes that when a person embodies a change and tactically feels his or her own adjustment to a modification, then the chance of successfully adapting to the new habit becomes part of a person’s daily activity. Hence the concept of teaching individuals in their own environment — whether it’s their home, their school, or at work.
Observing clients in their surroundings is significant. A thorough consultation only teaches us what the client remembers to answer. However, viewing the environment helps to open up discussion on issues that the client either forgot to mention or overlooked.
We put several similar symptoms under one diagnosis, mostly because it would be impossible to give each individual with his or her own set of combined neuro-atypical problems a separate diagnosis. However, many of our clients have comorbidity, the combination of several diagnoses, each of which can cause havoc in one’s life. OrganizeU4Life.com is acutely aware that what works for one person may not work for another.
To tell a neuro-atypical person, “Here’s what you have to do” isn’t as effective as bringing a system into the home, setting it up, and then teaching the client how to use the system. Lessons are repeated until we are all satisfied that the new habit is part of our client’s daily routine.
Let’s take filing as an example. Not being able to control mail and document management is one of the most common denominators among the ADHD population. One person might like to file by color-coding or by categorizing, and another prefers to file by alphabetical order. To date, we find the majority of our clients like to have things filed by category, but that’s the majority and so we listen to what will help our clients conquer their mail and document management challenges and set up a system that matches their needs. By teaching them how to start and how to actually file, we introduce step-by-step guidelines.
Other common challenges faced by our clients are problems with sleeping. Why one person can’t sleep may differ greatly from why the next person can’t sleep or stay asleep. By working backwards in the day, we determine what the individual needs to do to be able to get into bed on time for a good night’s sleep. Staying in bed and sleeping throughout the night is another struggle. We offer tips on how to stay in one’s bed, and we provide ways for clients to reduce the number of times they get out of bed or how to calm their racing minds. The real goal is to help our clients get up at the right time so they can be on time for work and school and have a productive day. These time-related issues are intertwined and must be dealt with as separate entities while recognizing the overall objective with the goal of reaching two results — having better sleep and being able to get to a destination on time.
Dealing with distractions and procrastination makes functioning and the ability to perform tasks a huge problem. We know that when a person has scheduled their day and can maintain a repetitive routine it will help to reduce distractions and procrastination. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Having a routine, which is the very thing that can help a person, can also be perceived as boring and therefore avoided. One methodology we use is to help pepper our client’s creativity throughout their day to enhance their routine.
On the subject of getting started, how can one get started when he doesn’t know how to begin something new? This is why OrganizeU4Life.com includes life management skills with our list of services. These skills incorporate all aspects of life and lessons that are specifically designed to teach the individual what he or she needs to know. My favorite story on this subject is based on a mom and her 12-year-old son. This young neuro-typical boy was asked by his mother to clean out his desk drawers. After 30 minutes, the mom walked into the room only to find her son sitting on his bed without his desk being cleaned out. The mom was very upset and asked her son, “What’s the matter with you? Didn’t you hear me ask you to clean out your drawers? Her son calmly replied, “Mom, I heard what you said, but I didn’t know how to do what you asked.” Somewhat surprised by his response, the mom showed him, step by step, how to clean out a desk, bringing in tools and introducing techniques for him to follow. Throughout his younger years, the mom recognized that this son needed to be taught everything and she never took his “knowing” for granted again. How much more so does this obstacle confront our friends and family in the ADHD community?
Through neuropsychology, we have learned that our brains have neuroplasticity. We can rewire our brain by learning new things — giving people an opportunity to overcome their past inabilities and learn to live more productive lives. This method is enhanced by Play Attention, a neuro-feedback brain game that changes cognitive behavior and increases one’s ability to focus, reducing hyperactivity and many other symptomologies associated with ADHD. OrganizeU4Life.com is a provider of the Play Attention brain game, and it is administered to further help our clients achieve permanent change in their brain.
OrganizeU4Life.com is a division of Uncluttered Domain, Inc.
Debbie Ginsberg can be reached at info@OrganizeU4Life.com or at 516-984-9365.