Thoughts on Clear Expectations with Brendan Mahan, M.Ed., M.S.

March 15, 2019

Today's episode is a quick and actionable one on setting clear expectations.  I hope you find it useful.


ADHD Essentials Links:

Finding Success in the Face of ADHD, OCD, and Tourette’s with Isaac, high school senior

March 8, 2019

Today, we’re talking to Isaac.  Isaac has ADHD, OCD, and Tourette’s.  And, as a senior in high school, Issac is the first person below the age of 18 that have been featured on the pod.  (Don’t worry, I got permission from his mom.) 

 As you’ll hear, he’s an incredible young man, who has overcome his varied challenges though hard work, resilience, ingenious strategies, and the support of his family and friends.  I greatly enjoyed talking to him.


In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • Goal Setting
  • The blending of impulsivity and compulsivity 
  • Tourette's Syndrome
  • Overcoming stigma
  • Isaac's college planning
  • The value of social support 
  • Being driven
  • Isaac's use of running to manage his symptoms 
  • The power of Self-Acceptance 


Shameless Plugs:  


Parental Self-Care with Louise Clarke

March 1, 2019

I really enjoyed talking to Louise Clarke of "Your Parenting Partner".  Lousie has a child with ADHD, and is also a parenting coach.  So, the conversation was an interesting one.

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • The power of parent coaching
  • Controlling our reactivity through self-care
  • Losing touch with our own needs because we're focused on everyone else
  • Role modeling self-care
  • Scheduling self-care
  • Busy weeks make it harder to show up for our kids
  • The frustration of parenting ADHD
  • The isolation of parenting ADHD
  • Louise's Son's ADHD project
  • Always be curious
  • Look for the unmet need in poor behavior
  • An expectation is a prediction of the future
  • Expect the process, not the outcome 


Guest Links:


Shameless Plugs:  


60: Getting Help for a Child in Crisis, and Being UnNormal with Kimberly Berry

February 22, 2019

Today, we’re talking to Kimberly Berry of Being UnNormal.

This episode has some hard parts.  I’m not going to lie to you. 

Kimberly Berry tells the tale of her struggles to get her daughter the help she needed after her ADHD and other mental health challenges led to a child in crisis.  Although it ends well, part of Kimberly’s story includes her 10 year-old daughter’s suicide attempts.  Luckily, medication, parental skill building, and good mental health care, as you’ll hear, have made a world of difference for them both.

I should note, that while Kimberly focuses on her daughter’s ADHD, her daughter also has a mood disorder diagnosis, and that certainly played a role in the crises they faced as well. 


Collection of Links to Resources for Kids in Crisis In The States, and Worldwide


In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • Being UnNormal's origin
  • ADHD misconceptions due to media simplification
  • If it was easy, don't you think I would have don it?
  • Learning to accept differences
  • Visual cues don't work if there' a visual processing disorder.
  • Challenges with getting help for a child in crisis
  • Handling childhood meltdowns with grace
  • The mission of Being UnNormal


Guest Links:

Find Kimberly Berry at


ADHD Essentials Links:


59: Planning for College with Linda Katz

February 15, 2019

Today, we’re talking to Linda Katz or Right Fit College Coaching.

Linda specializes in providing students with ADHD and similar learning disabilities with comprehensive college planning.  She helps them find the colleges that will best suit their interests and needs, and then helps them through the application process.

In today’s episode, we talk about the college application process, how important it is for our kids to try out the career they’re looking at before committing four years of study to it,  how to find just such an internship in high school, and how college is different from high school.


Shameless Plugs:  


Podcast Support:

  • Today’s Episode was edited by Jeffrey Gordon of Ideal Video Strategies.  Go to to learn more about their work.


Guest Links:


ADHD Essentials Links:

58: 8 Ways to Help Your Kids Manage Stress & Anxiety

February 8, 2019

In today's episode, I discuss 8 Ways to Help Your Kid Manage Their Stress and Anxiety.



In Advance

1.  Reduce sensory stimulation

2.  Set & Have Reasonable Expectations

3.  Be clear about your own escalation


(4-6) In the Moment

4.  Help them get grounded in reality

5.  Name emotions

6.  Reflective Listening

(7-8) In the Aftermath

7.  Forgive

8.  Fix


Shameless Plugs:  



57: A Good Relationship Pushes Us to Be a Better Person with Ari Tuckman, PsyD, MBA

February 1, 2019

Today, we’re talking to Ari Tuckman.

Dr. Tuckman is a psychologist in private practice, specializing in diagnosing and treating children, teens, and adults with ADHD, anxiety, and depression. He has appeared on CNN, National Public Radio, The New York TimesUSA Today, The Washington Post and The Boston Globe. And now, he’s on the Pod! 

In today’s episode, we talk relationship skills.  The episode focuses on marital and parent/child relationships, but the concepts discussed apply to all of them.  And we dig deep, discussing the roles effort, shame, problem-solving, communication and even asymmetrical information play in our relationships.  I really enjoyed doing this episode, and think you’ll enjoy listening just as much.


Guest Links:


Shameless Plugs:  


In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • Happiest ADHD couples felt that their partner put in good effort on managing ADHD
  • The importance of communication
  • Prioritizing relationship & partner needs bodes well for a relationship
  • If it’s easy for me, but hard for you, I might not give you enough credit for doing it.
  • Why scapegoating ADHD is a bad plan
  • Bob Brooks’ Islands of Competence
  • The narrative of imbalance
  • “Is this how it needs to be?  Do we have better options?”
  • Demystifying the perils of doing the dishes
  • Why we rate our effort as higher than that of others
  • Changing our questions/assumptions
  • The anxiety of not doing your job.
  • “We can’t expect our partner to behave better than we do”
  • “Giving the other person your dilemma”
  • Emotional self-regulation is the key to healthy relationships
  • Strategies for having hard conversations
  • A good relationship is one that pushes us to be a better person
  • Modeling self-advocacy & flexible problem-solving
  • Communicate honestly.  Listen respectfully. Work together.

56: ADHD, Small Not-For-Profit Private Schools, and the Muslim American Experience with Dr. Noor Ali, Principal of Al Hamra Academy

January 25, 2019

Dr. Noor Ali is the principal of Al Hamra Academy, a private K-8 Islamic School.  Al Hamra. Noor has long been an advocate for students with special needs, and brings her strong advocacy, and thoughtful manner to the pod!

In today’s episode, we talk about the intersections and commonalities between the Muslim and ADHD experiences, the importance of celebrating your child’s diagnosis, the special education challenges faced by small faith-based schools, and how a child is like an interactive canvas. 


Guest Links:


Shameless Plugs:  



In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • Noor's experience with ADHD in the Islamic Community
  • Bringing parents to the idea of ADHD
  • Why it can be easier to blame the child than to pursue a diagnosis
  • Getting advanced degrees is possible with ADHD & Dyslexia
  • Micro-aggressions and feeling like your experience is irrelevant to the mainstream
  • 10 year old Muslim girl gets death threats at school
  • How Ramadan & Afternoon Prayer could single out Muslim students,
  • Why it’s important to teach about these cultural differences
  • Special Education in a private school vs. a public school
  • Coaching parents
  • Universal Design
  • Teaching is hard, meaningful work
  • Mentorships foster resilience

55: Stress Management with Jason Dulac, M.Ed., M.S.

January 18, 2019

Today, we’re talking to Jason Dulac.

 Jason is a mental health counselor, and expert in stress management, having taught about it at the college level.  He’s also an old friend.  We’ve worked together as both teachers, and as mental health clinicians.

In today’s episode, we talk about the physical nature of stress, various levels of stress management ranging from short term Band-Aids to  more long-term approaches, and I even share a story about the time I was assaulted in Whole Foods.


ADHD Essentials Links:

54: Being Outrageous to Keep Their Attention, with Lauren Mahan, teacher. (Special Guest Appearances by Nathan and Gavin Mahan)

January 11, 2019

Lauren Mahan is a fourth-grade teacher in Massachusetts, and my sister! That’s right, I’m celebrating the anniversary of the pod with family!  And since Nathan and Gavin are in fourth grade this year, and Lauren is their aunt, we had them sit in on the interview, and contribute their thoughts.  You’ll hear about 4th grade from both sides of the teacher desk.  (As well as on top of it!) 

In Today’s Episode We Discuss:

  • Why teaching every kid like they have ADHD works
  • How costumes affect the classroom
  • The influence of Ms. Frizzle
  • Showing your work
  • "Sideways Stories from Wayside School"
  • Writing on desks in math
  • Teaching on tables
  • ADHD is more than one fire to put out
  • Teaching sarcasm and fidgets
  • The importance of recess
  • The power of class pets
  • ADHD & Anxiety
  • If the kids didn't learn it, you didn't teach it


ADHD Essentials Links: