View Full Version : Time Management Tools?


nd32479
06-11-09, 02:40 PM
My daughte has ADHD. She is 14 and takes Aderall to help manage it. She is not overly hyper but rather has issues with time management and organizational skills. She lives with her mother during the week and wth me on weekends.

Up until this past year she has done very well in school. However, as out of classroom work requirements have increase she has faulteed. I believe her ADHD is directly linked to her poor time management/ organizational skills. She will fail to complete and turn in homework, or forget to study for tests.

Now that she begins high school next year, it more important than ever she learns these skills. The school issues a "planner" to help the students wrtie down assignments. However, my daughter does not use it consistantly. While her mother is a very caring person, she does not actively and consistantly work with our daugther to ensure she uses the planner during the week. Her mother is of the opinion it is unrealistic to expect our daughter to use a planner because of her ADHD. So she has rejected my requests for her to encourage and ensure our daughter use the planner daily.

My daughter agrees with me she needs to learn to use a planner and use it consistantly. However, she lacks the focus to develop the habit on her own.

I would love for her to take a course to help develop/learn the basic skills to manage her ADHD. Ideally the course would include how to use tools such as planners/organizers to manage and organize her schedule.

I have search for such courses or programs. However, I have found nothing. This is very surprising to me.

I live in Davenport IA and would appreciate it if someone could direct me to a resource to help my daughter develop the time management / organizations skills.

Can anyone help?

Justtess
06-11-09, 03:25 PM
The school issues a "planner" to help the students wrtie down assignments. However, my daughter does not use it consistantly. ........So she has rejected my requests for her to encourage and ensure our daughter use the planner daily.


I love planners and agendas! I've tried to get my DS16 to use the school planner, bought a fancy one used in the office, even gave him his own white board organizer. Nada. I've issued great rewards $$$ if he could just write down his assignments in his planner for an entire month. I got about 4 entries :( I've issued consequence... no positive results except a grumpy teenager. He would even make excuses about the teacher not posting anything so there wasn't anything to copy. We found out later it was located 8' right in front of him as he sat in the front roll. :confused:


What made a difference? ... a blackberry. I don't know why, but he is able to fill out all of the calender and priority list features. I can even send him text reminders :)

Well, that worked until he lost it last week and I did not purchase insurance. He has 2 months to work this summer to purchase part of new BB.

Sometimes, when things do not run smoothly at home because of scheduling crisis (he underestimates how much time there is in a day) I will make him spend an hour completing a chart to show what is he going to use his time for each hour. He doesn't have to follow it as he had planned because I really wanted him to see how choosing to goof around for 4 hours takes away time for getting other things done that he planned.

ADHD Hunter
06-11-09, 04:21 PM
Her mother is of the opinion it is unrealistic to expect our daughter to use a planner because of her ADHD. So she has rejected my requests for her to encourage and ensure our daughter use the planner daily.

I am sure you probably don't need this, but it seems that it needs to be said: Your ex is implying that it is unrealistic for your daughter to have hope and it is unrealistic for your daughter to develop the tools she needs to survive and/or thrive. This sounds pretty lazy and pretty selfish on her part.

As a kid, I never could organize and had tremendous trouble writing. The thought organization was near impossible. Both my organizational and writing skills took off with computers. Computers allow for an easy shuffling and shifting of things like the written word and thoughts, "to-do" items in a list and schedule items in a calendar. A paper diary?? I could never do it. But in a computer the options for handling your thoughts are limitless.

There are new "netbooks" (Acer Aspire One (http://www.aceraspire0ne.com/Acer_Aspire_One_Netbooks.php?OVRAW=Acer%20Aspire%2 0One&sesource=G&gclid=CIPCko-Fg5sCFWNM5Qodglbpdw), Dell and HP) that are the size of a paperback, light, boot up quickly with battery life of a few hours. They cost about $300-400. Adding a "student" version of MS Office Professional 2007 (http://www.viosoftware.com/Office+2007/Office+2007+Professional+Academic.html) will run about $150, including the Outlook planner/calendar. If the school will allow her to use it (some actually encourage it), this could be a great, long-term option, that she could grow with.

Hope this helps!
Chris

Annwn
06-11-09, 06:09 PM
My daughte has ADHD. She is 14 and takes Aderall to help manage it. She is not overly hyper but rather has issues with time management and organizational skills. She lives with her mother during the week and wth me on weekends.

Up until this past year she has done very well in school. However, as out of classroom work requirements have increase she has faulteed. I believe her ADHD is directly linked to her poor time management/ organizational skills. She will fail to complete and turn in homework, or forget to study for tests.

Now that she begins high school next year, it more important than ever she learns these skills. The school issues a "planner" to help the students wrtie down assignments. However, my daughter does not use it consistantly. While her mother is a very caring person, she does not actively and consistantly work with our daugther to ensure she uses the planner during the week. Her mother is of the opinion it is unrealistic to expect our daughter to use a planner because of her ADHD. So she has rejected my requests for her to encourage and ensure our daughter use the planner daily.

My daughter agrees with me she needs to learn to use a planner and use it consistantly. However, she lacks the focus to develop the habit on her own.

I would love for her to take a course to help develop/learn the basic skills to manage her ADHD. Ideally the course would include how to use tools such as planners/organizers to manage and organize her schedule.

I have search for such courses or programs. However, I have found nothing. This is very surprising to me.

I live in Davenport IA and would appreciate it if someone could direct me to a resource to help my daughter develop the time management / organizations skills.

Can anyone help?

Your situation is very typical in that you seem to be making a very fundamental mistake in how you view your daughters ADHD. Your "beliefs" are simply wrong.

Pure ADHD does not keep people from learning. I guarantee your daughter knows how to use the planner and the sooner you stop treating her like she is ignorant, the better. Your daughter knows she is supposed to write things in it, then refer to it and execute based on what is written down. If you want to make it simpler or more complex by adding "system", it will not matter.

http://www.greatschools.net/pdfs/2200_7-barktran.pdf?date=4-12-05

Read the whole thing, especially from page 20 on when it talks about Executive function and if nothing else, read page 27:


AD/HD and the Point of Performance

What does it all mean? What does this model do for you? Compared to the attention-deficit view of AD/HD, what would this view do for understanding and for treatment? First and foremost it tells you something absolutely essential to understanding this disorder and its management. AD/HD does not interfere with knowledge. It is not a skill deficit. It is not a learning disability. AD/HD disrupts the performance of knowledge, not the knowledge itself.

Why is that important? It’s important for this reason: You do not do skill training to help people with AD/HD. Stop treating them as if they’re stupid. Stop treating them as if they don’t know anything. “Oh, you can’t sit still? I’ll teach you. Oh you can’t do time management? I’ll teach you. Oh, you don’t have any friends? We’ll do social skills training. Listen to how we approach this disorder. We view it as a deficit and I can correct it by teaching you the right things to do.” That’s pedagogy. That’s knowledge. AD/HD has nothing to do with that. You can teach them all you want to. They won’t use what you teach them. Because that is where the failure lies. The executive system doesn’t acquire knowledge. It applies it. It takes what you know and uses it in getting along with other people for your social effectiveness.

So AD/HD is a disorder of doing what you know, not of knowing what to do. It’s a disorder of performance, and that raises a very important phrase. The point of performance. Where is the point of performance for that particular behavior you’re trying to change? If an AD/HD child is friendless, does it mean you put him in a social skills group on Saturday morning at your private practice with eight other kids he’s never going to see again the rest of his life? Is that the point of performance for a social skill? No. It’s every day at that school with that peer group he has to live with. This model makes it very clear. Treatment must be at the point of performance or it doesn’t work.

Read the whole thing. Read it a few times, then take another look at your approach.

Justtess
06-11-09, 07:27 PM
ADHD Hunter - I really like the netbooks. The cost isn't too bad also. I found my teen using outlook on my PC and it even color codes time blocks. (I think it helps him visually see the time more realistically (?)

nd32479 - my teen attended an ADHD camp for teens which also tried to collect data for their research. He learned various academic and time management strategies and skills (most of which I know he had recieved in school) Perhaps it was the environment or comibination with like minded students, the instructors were able to address specific issues where I feel wasn't properly addressed in for him to comprehend and practice. In one activity, they were to pick and plan their college courses for a semester and then create an agenda to show where they needed to be and how much time it would take.

He didn't learn to completely manage his time effectively, however, it did give him better time sense. It also extinguished a lot of fustration and arguments when he couldn't believe I insisted he comply with the house daily chores and expectations instead of waiting for tomorrow that never came. (things he did when he was 10yrs old with reminding) When he was able to see a chart that showed him when the sun went down and that would mean he would have to pick them up with a flashlight, he had a better understanding of the value of some of our reminders and some control over deciding when to do things later has consequence.

I'm thinking about one of the accomodations in his college future would be to ask for the AOE's office to offer some type of reminder service and counseling. He is still far from managing this on his own effectively... but it is getting better.

ADHD Hunter
06-12-09, 05:46 AM
As much as Barkley feels that that those with ADHD are smart and do not need to be taught things like time management, this notion oversimplifies the situation. A child who is inherently at a disadvantage when it comes to staying organized, still needs first contact with organizational principles, tools and techniques. Tools like Outlook do make a difference for all people - AD(H)Dr's and NT's alike. Their introduction makes options available that would not exist otherwise.

There is something about the immediate satisfaction/gratification that comes with editing in a digital media, as opposed to paper planners when they are becoming crossed out notes and scribbled references out of place.

The camp sounds like it was a great opportunity for your son. We are working on something similar for our son. As far as strong support at college goes, I plan on at least looking into Landmark College for the added support and understanding they appear to provide. I am having little faith in traditional schooling, as it stands now.

Annwn
06-12-09, 04:22 PM
In theory, I agree that a netbook PC could help, but in practice, it is a large expense for something that could easily be set down and misplaced and promptly stolen. That is assuming the school would let her carry it which I highly doubt due to concerns with uncontrolled computer access such as file trading, viruses, cheating, porn, being stolen, distracting, etc. Then you have the problem of battery life, forgetting to charge it, boot times, etc.

If they would let her use something, I would think a PDA/iphone or the ipod touch might be better. Ultimately, the specific technology is not that important.

My point was that the OP was taking the position that she appeared to not know how to write down assignments and follow through. While that is certainly possible, the larger problem is simply remembering to do it and doing it sufficiently every day - and then following through on the back end when she gets home.

So even if there is room for learning, a large portion of this disorder is in execution, not in learning and he sounds like he is setting up the situation in a way that when she "fails" to be organized, it is because she hasn't "learned" how.

I am going to also take issue with your blanket statement about "all people" and "Outlook". I have been intensly interested in computers since the 1970s (I was 7) and I like to do just about everything on them. I was also an Enterprise Messaging Admin and I have expert experience on Outlook and Exchange. I don't love or dislike them, but I find that there is nothing inherently rewarding or enjoyable about them that compels me to use them to stay organized. I have taken plenty of classed and seminars on organization, but at the end of the day, it is hard to remember to do it and enter the data. This is not for lack of learning.

ditzydreamer
06-12-09, 05:01 PM
I am sure you probably don't need this, but it seems that it needs to be said: Your ex is implying that it is unrealistic for your daughter to have hope and it is unrealistic for your daughter to develop the tools she needs to survive and/or thrive. This sounds pretty lazy and pretty selfish on her part....

Sorry... have to disagree here, unless the mother herself uses an agenda/planner everyday with success, in which case she may still see it as unrealistic, because it may very well be unrealistic. I think she may have just given up on the agenda since she is the one who has the daughter during the week...and I highly doubt that she's implying that the daughter has no hope, or can't develop tools for success. Maybe she gave up trying to remind her daughter because she can't remember to remind her?? Could the mom be a little ADD too?
My second daughter loses hers constantly, even though we have a place for it by the door. I can't remember to remind her to keep it there, but we're still working on it. But I'm certainly not selfish or lazy...and I'm not giving up on my daughter, but I will ditch the agenda thing if it doesn't work for her before I spend too much energy trying to force it...

Personally, I was never able to use those, and even if I was using it for a while, I'd end up losing it and having to start over. I have a hard time actually just getting to today's date when signing my daughter's agenda because I want to see what the answer is to that day's riddle...those school agendas (if they're anything like ours) are full of distractions. Little games, puzzles, riddles, etc.

I agree with the suggestions on trying an electronic organizer (blackberry or palm pilot if you don't want her to use a cell phone) and let her help choose one with features she finds important. It's way "cooler" for teens, as she might be more interested in using technology rather than paper/pen. I have a palm pilot and I definitely use it more than I ever used any standard paper agenda just because it's more fun to use...and I can color-code my schedule (which makes me very happy) and hook it up to my computer with a USB cable and have everything transfered to my desktop calendar right there! Also, I can schedule reminders with alarms on it...something you can't do with a regular agenda... ;)

Sorry I didn't really answer the question about resources you were looking for...hope this helps anyway...

ADHD Hunter
06-12-09, 09:13 PM
In theory, I agree that a netbook PC could help, but in practice, it is a large expense for something that could easily be set down and misplaced and promptly stolen.

So a Blackberry is more like a cinder block that can't be lost or stolen? Cost? Forgetting the purchase price of a Blackberry and needed accessories, a year's service run's over $500 for data and a minimum of another of $350 for the phone service (both are required). Starting to see the Aspire as a bargain.

That is assuming the school would let her carry it which I highly doubt due to concerns with uncontrolled computer access such as file trading, viruses, cheating, porn, being stolen, distracting, etc.

Umm - I think I pointed out that the school may or may not allow the computers. Most primary schools, on the other hand, do not permit phones of any kind for the same reasons you suggest.

Then you have the problem of battery life, forgetting to charge it, boot times, etc.

Yup - covered that too.

Ultimately, the specific technology is not that important.

So why is it that we are engaged in this?

My point was that the OP was taking the position that she appeared to not know how to write down assignments and follow through. While that is certainly possible, the larger problem is simply remembering to do it and doing it sufficiently every day - and then following through on the back end when she gets home.

However, my daughter does not use it consistantly.

I am going to also take issue with your blanket statement about "all people" and "Outlook". I have been intensly interested in computers since the 1970s (I was 7) and I like to do just about everything on them. I was also an Enterprise Messaging Admin and I have expert experience on Outlook and Exchange. I don't love or dislike them, but I find that there is nothing inherently rewarding or enjoyable about them that compels me to use them to stay organized.

"Tools help people (with or without ADHD)" - Seems like a generalization that has fit since the wheel. I stated that it's availability increased options for handling info. Never promised enjoyment.

I am sorry if this is coming off as hostile, but it has been a long couple of days with little sleep. I have appreciated your dialogue in other threads we have shared, but your rebuttal is coming off as an attack in its own right, with a fragile argument to back it up.

ADHD Hunter
06-12-09, 09:19 PM
I can't remember to remind her to keep it there, but we're still working on it. But I'm certainly not selfish or lazy...and I'm not giving up on my daughter, but I will ditch the agenda thing if it doesn't work for her before I spend too much energy trying to force it...

The key here is you are trying. He had indicated that his ex would not even encourage her. You are trying while being pragmatic. No fault there whatsoever.

I still stand by the idea that, to the degree his depiction is accurate, she is not providing the nurturing her daughter deserves.

Justtess
06-12-09, 10:37 PM
However, she lacks the focus to develop the habit on her own.

Before my son became a teenager, he would comply and do most things I asked. Now, we discuss (in a non threatening way -- I am learning). I ask him what he plans to do to get all of his work completed and turned in on time. Then I check back with him later in the week to see if his plan is working for him --- while I check his grades online.

Next year, I think the teachers are required to fill out some sort of assignment chart that can be presented in a calendar form. It will say what is due this day, this week, this month, and word or pdf files can be attached. It sounds great.

Sandy4957
06-12-09, 11:52 PM
I love, love, LOVE Outlook synced with my smartphone. I could not live without it now that I have it. I use recurring tasks, recurring appointments, automatic reminders, etc. My first thought on reading the OP's question was to get the kid a smartphone. Then the info. is also on the home computer, and with MS Office it can even be uploaded to an online calendar.

There's a guy named Irwin Karp who puts together organizational Continuing Legal Education courses who taught me the most important thing that I've learned about using planners, etc. He insists that you have to include personal tasks in your planner. It can't just be work (or in this case, school) because, as he puts it, you have to spend the time on personal tasks and you therefore have to budget for them.

indy
06-13-09, 05:10 PM
i don't think you're being fair to the OP here. i was much the same in high school and so was my brother. we both have adhd. i had a planner, as did my brother, and while i can only speak for myself, i simply did not understand how it would be a good tool for me while i was a teen. i knew i was supposed to write my homework down in it but then i would leave it at school or forget to look in it after dinner. it eventually became useless to me and i'd abandon it for the rest of the school year. basically, i relied heavily on teachers reminders that we had a test coming up and by phoning my friends at night to find out what were were supposed to do for homework. teens (especially young teens) live in the now and planning ahead is very difficult, even for a teen without adhd. i personally think your comment was rude. what this dad is expressing is a valid concern and he seems to understand adhd well enough. he was able to describe the symptoms i have/had in his daughter.

OP: the only "courses" i know of that teach organizational skills/study skills like that are offered at colleges and universities. a shame, as teens could use that help too. try finding a time management seminar offered at your local college next september and ask if your teen daughter may attend. tell them she is considering attending that school if she can learn to organizer herself in order to get the grades to get in. they are usually one-day events and might help her tremendously.

Annwn
06-15-09, 04:00 AM
I am sorry if this is coming off as hostile, but it has been a long couple of days with little sleep. I have appreciated your dialogue in other threads we have shared, but your rebuttal is coming off as an attack in its own right, with a fragile argument to back it up.

No offense or sense of attack was intended, or taken. I don't think I did a very good job of making my point here but my philosophy is that spirited or even adversarial discussions have a way of refining ideas. However, I don't think I really held up my end in my earlier posting.

Here are my points, as distilled as I can think to make them:

1. ADHD people, especially the young, tend to lose things.
2. Whatever device she uses to capture data should be easily replaced if (when?) lost.
3. I relate to the idea of computer interfaces being more stimulation than paper and as such, they require less mental effort to use, but the potential for loss, in my opinion, outweighs this benefit
4. Even though I saw it happening, I let myself get caught up in the technology when:

5. My real point was to highlight that while the teaching of a system is likely necessary, having very frequent supervision and enough structure to get her to execute the capture phase of organization on a consistent basis is likely to be the main, ongoing challenge.

I was the kid who never kept track of or did his homework. "they" tried "everything" including putting me on a very tight program to make sure I was accountable to write down every assignment for every class and have it signed off by every teacher every day (to my supreme humiliation).

This system was about the only thing that really worked but it only worked as long as it was in place. At a certain point, either my parents or more frequently, the teacher would let up. Usually it was someone acting on the belief that having done it long enough, I should have "learned" or creates "habits" to sustain the tracking behavior. I think this is one reason I react so strongly to Dr. Barkleys analogy that you would not put up a wheel chair ramp for 30 days then take it down after everyone had an ample chance to learn to lead a more normal life.

Once the authoritarian pressure let up, I was back to my old ways only by now, I had "proven" how (fill in the blank) I was to the counselor and teacher (although my parents really tried everything).

The fact is, people thought that because the system only worked when it was actively being enforced, they thought this was proof that it was not working and would eventually discard it. Nobody ever thought "hey, it works, lets keep on doing this stuff".

Annwn
06-15-09, 04:07 AM
i don't think you're being fair to the OP here.

...

i personally think your comment was rude. what this dad is expressing is a valid concern and he seems to understand adhd well enough. he was able to describe the symptoms i have/had in his daughter.


Well, based on what you said and ADHD Hunter said, I reread my earlier posts and I have to agree that I was rude and over the line. I was trying to make a point, but I think the only point I made was about how I was treating someone else.

nd32479, please accept my apology.

stef
06-15-09, 06:03 AM
hmm.... 14? no way would I have taken any adult's suggestions at 14! no matter how good they were and how unhappy I was because I had problems with organization. the only thing that remotely worked for me, was my own system. (ha I'm still kind of this way. "OK Fine flylady, but maybe I don't want a clean sink!")

I'm just saying, use a lot of diplomacy, it's a very difficult age. maybe let her alone in the stationary department with some money? (she must buy planners or whatever -but whatever she wants and no suggestions and no remarks afterwards). maybe just the "right" notebook or planner might help...

TriciaJ
07-05-09, 09:50 PM
My son is only 9 and is very challenged when it comes to organizational skills and time management. He is considerably younger that your daughter and for us, a whiteboard with daily tasks and homework reminders works well. I have noticed, though, that he seems to treat electronic devices with much more care and ease than paper notebooks and the like. So...I think that those that suggested an electronic mechanism of time management and organization might really be on to something if you think that might help her. My son adores video games and the point and click sort of motion is really great for him. Writing things on paper is exhausting for him but the ease of the whiteboard works well for him.

I hope you find what will work for her. I have to say, though, as an aside...I absolutely think that ADHD impacts one's ability to learn. It is not a lost cause though. See what methods you think might resonate with her.

Good luck!

~Tricia

FrazzleDazzle
07-18-09, 05:31 PM
This is a very difficult struggle, and I fully appreciate the situation of the OP. Without full cooperation of the "team" success of any system weakens. With that said, paper/pencil agendas may have worked in the paper/pencil days, but technology is a lot more fun, effective, and customizable these days, and doesn't have to be expensive. If the child is on a 504/IEP plan and techie gadgets are approved for use, it may be worth the cost and effort to give it a go.

My son got to borrow an ipod touch towards the end of last school year, and he actually used it to his advantage after years of turning his nose up at the agenda. So, this summer he has an ipod touch of his own, and I have an iphone, and we are both enjoying using the calenders and notes apps, and my son has expressed a strong desire to continue to use them during the school year as well.

Inner Motivation also plays a key in the success of any method used, so really praise the positives when they are used.