ADHD Essentials

Pumpkin Spice ADHD, with Brendan Mahan your Autumnal Auteur

September 27, 2019

It’s that time of year again.  The leaves are turning, acorns litter the ground, the air is becoming chilly.  It’s the season of pumpkin spice!  It’s been around for years now, but it seems like people are still out of their minds about it.  

Why?  Why is pumpkin spice so exciting for so many people? Because it’s a special event. It adds an interesting twist to ordinary, commonplace things - like coffee, pancakes and muffins.  And, it’s only available for a little while. 

What does this have to do with ADHD?

The ADHD brain loves unique experiences and reward.  Pumpkin spice, because of it’s limited timeframe, is a unique experience. And for some, the unique flavor it adds to their food is a reward. People with ADHD need a little “pumpkin spice” every now and then to help motivate them. It adds an interesting twist to an activity that has become boring and uninteresting.  

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How to Use “Pumpkin Spice”

  • Best used to manage unique challenges or when the ADHD person is stuck
  • Make sure it is a positive reward.
  • Make sure it is unique.
  • Make sure it has a limited in time frame.
  • Communicate clearly that it will not happen again soon.

The pumpkin spice approach to motivation works best when unique challenges arise.  It can be very helpful when people with ADHD go through a period of increased difficulty with motivation or productivity.

Just like coffee shops and bakeries keep coming up with new uses for Autumn’s favorite flavoring, there are no limits to how pumpkin spice approach to motivation can be used.  I’ve shared a few examples.  Please let me know how you apply it.  I’d love to hear from you.

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