The word disability is often associated with physical challenges like blindness or having to use a wheelchair but it’s important to remember that not all disabilities can be seen. In fact, most of them, cannot! Invisible disabilities, such as mental health or communication disorders, make up 70% of all disabilities and 96% of people who have disabilities fall into this category. If you are one of the millions of Americans who struggle with an invisible disability, you know that it comes with a unique set of challenges.
BrainHackers interviewed three “invisible disability” experts to get their perspective and advice. They shared helpful tips for coping with Autism, Anxiety, & ADHD.
***BRAIN HACK FOR KIDS WITH AUTISM OR ADHD:
Clear Your Mental Desktop with a “Save for Later Box”
According to Jeanne Beard, the founder of National Autism Academy, hyperfixation is a common issue for kids who have Autism and ADHD. If they encounter a problem, they become stuck on it and can’t let go of it. One way to combat this hyperfixation is by using a “save for later box.” When a child has a problem or an issue that they can’t let go of, they write it down and put it in the “save for later box.” Similar to the stoic concept of keeping a journal, this allows them to clear their mental desktop so they can better focus on the other tasks at hand.
“The physicality of the box makes it an especially effective tool for children. It gives them a safe place to hold ideas and allows them to relax,” says Beard.
ABOUT JEANNIE BEARD:
Founder, National Autism Academy and author of “Autism & The Rest Of Us”, Jeanne has decades of experience in the trenches with Asperger’s Syndrome and autism spectrum disorders, and the people diagnosed with them.
In addition to her essential life experience creating functional, nurturing and balanced relationships with those on the spectrum, Jeanne was mentored by clinical expert Timothy Wahlberg, PhD during the writing of his clinical guide “Finding the Gray: Understanding and Thriving in the Black and White World of Autism and Asperger’s.” Through her incredible insight into the thoughts, experiences and challenges of those on the spectrum AND of the rest of us, Jeanne builds a bridge to hope and a better future for us all.
Jeanne is the devoted mother of 2 sons, one diagnosed with Asperger’s, one with ADHD. A graduate of both Northwestern University and Dale Carnegie training, Jeanne is a successful Vice President of Sales for a Chicago-based printing company with a 25 year tenure.
As Jeanne grew in her understanding of life with autism, her personal mission became supporting other parents by providing the help she needed and couldn’t find. Jeanne is so sure that this information will change your life that she created the National Autism Academy to provide the platform to share this incredibly valuable information with you from the comfort of your home, and with the flexibility you need to fit it into your schedule.
Thoughts on ADHD and Stigma
The stigma of ADHD often causes anxiety for those that have it. The label itself can cause people to overreact. Any time someone is out of the norm, it is easy for a group to single that person out. People with ADHD worry others will see the label and not the person. This perceived fear can have a huge impact on their personality. They can become angry, short-tempered, or withdrawn. This results in performance anxiety, test anxiety, etc. Anytime there is anxiety, the brain function shifts to your emotional brain and your ability to problem-solve goes down.
****BRAIN HACK FOR ANXIETY:
Get to the Root of the Issue
According to Emotional IQ and anxiety expert, Mariann Adams, understanding your emotional quotient is an important part of coping with ADHD and anxiety.
Anxiety exists when there is a real physical or safety issue.
“The enemy is NOT the anxiety. The anxiety is a symptom of the real issue,” says Adams. The solution is to trace the anxiety back to the cause. While you may feel it is an emotional issue, the root may be a physical safety issue. A person having anxiety over speaking to a group may appear to have an emotional issue, but a poor performance could adversely affect their job. Losing their livelihood becomes a physical safety issue affecting where and how they live.
“Realize the fear is coming from the possibility that the situation will not come out OK. Don’t ignore, explore. Pick apart the situation. Think of the components of the thing that scares you, and try to tackle those parts first,” says Mariann.
ABOUT MARIANN ADAMS:
Emotional IQ and Anxiety Expert at aplusperformingarts.com.
Mariann R. Adams is an Emotional IQ Expert. She does business consulting, workshops, lecturers, media interviews, private on-line coaching, and is an author of three books including Boost Core Power and Bust Anxiety.
She has been heard across 135 countries teaching how to enhance ability through emotional awareness, emotional IQ, and anxiety elimination. Additionally, she has toured the United States performing, and has 35 years experience teaching.
She is in a PhD Clinical Psychology program at California Southern University, specializing in Emotional IQ and enhancing ability through understanding the effect of emotion on the brain and body. She teaches the psychology, physiology, and neuroscience of outcome-based anxiety (such as performance anxiety, sports anxiety, relationship anxiety, test anxiety, educational anxiety, and business anxiety). She received her Masters in Education at Eastern Oregon University specializing in Educational Anxiety and Music/Dance/Theater. She received her Bachelors from Brigham Young University in Education/Music, and was a singer/dancer in the acclaimed Young Ambassadors performance group.
Her honors include the New York FD Special Commendation, the Brigham Young University Alumni Distinguished Service Award, and the Oregon Mother of Achievement Award.
-Thoughts on Autism-
According, to autism expert, Dr. Rajalakshmi Kandaswamy, Autistic people are very sensitive and benefit from practicing coping skills interacting with the outside world. One exercise addresses a lack of eye contact with parents. Parental energy can be too overwhelming for the child to make eye contact. Kandaswamy uses Skype sessions to channel energy and promote self-healing. The child is instructed to place their hands on parts of their body to focus their energy essentially inducing a meditative state.
“Autism is an Energy Sensitive State of Being. At the lower frequencies, the Symptoms dominate. At the higher frequencies the Gifts and Talents Bloom,” says Kandaswamy.
****BRAIN HACKS FOR AUTISM:
Using the power of Conscious Deep Breathing to center and ground their energies so the person with the label of ADD/ADHD can focus with more ease and with greater consistency. Using breathing as an epigenetic tool has been explained in detail in this article published in a scientific journal.
Article: ‘The Art of Breathing as an Epigenetic Tool in Reversing the Limiting Symptoms of Autism: Myths and Benefits’
Channel the Power of Sound
Using sound frequencies to leverage the power of energy alignment in ADD is a tool that can be applied anywhere and anytime with ease. The details of the same are explained in this article published in a scientific journal. Here too, the label is irrelevant ( autism, ADD, ADHD etc) as the results are the same in all these conditions.
Article: ‘Application of Sound Frequencies as an Epigenetic Tool in Reversing the Limiting Symptoms of Autism’
Channel the Power of Scent
Aromatherapy can be used as a very simple and powerful tool to help clear the energy disturbances in ADD/ADHD that cause the splitting of energies in these conditions. Aromatherapy needs to be customized to each individual with ADD/ADHD after getting the Energy Assessments and report for each individual. This can be done applying Intent Healing™.