Interview with ADHD Expert Doug Diller

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ADHD expert Doug Diller writes a wonderful ADHD blog about his life living with ADHD, raising three daughters and helping clients with ADHD create success plans. He uses the Time Timer daily and offered his suggestions for Time Timer fans.

Doug Diller Time Timer

1. Where did you first hear about the Time Timer?

My wife is a special ed teacher in Portland and she is the one who told me about it.

2. How did you introduce your daughter to the Time Timer?

She was 8 years old and getting very distracted when cleaning her room. After the Time Timer arrived I talked with her about how our brains sometimes lose track of time. I explained that it is common to get distracted especially when doing something you really don't enjoy. I told her that we were going to use the Timer to set short blocks of time where she could clean and then do something else. We started with 15 min and it really worked well.

3. Why do you think people with ADHD can often struggle so much with time?

ADHD people typically live in the "now" or "not now" world. Making that transition between the two is difficult. We are often fully engaged in the activity at hand and is therefore difficult to think about the next step.

4. What advice do you have for other ADHD Coaches who may begin using a Time Timer?

I would tell them to start with short 10-15 min chunks of time. Get people used to using the Time Timer. Additionally I would recommend that it be used when working on one specific task.

For example; it is more effective to set the Time Timer for 15 min and have student work on their math homework. Then reset it for 15 min and have them work on science. Rather then set it for 1 30 min and have them work on homework in general.

5. Do you pair the Time Timer with any other visual supports?

Not directly but in a way similar to the example I gave in question 4. I might set the Time Timer for 15 min and then tell my daughter to pick-up all the clothes on the floor. Then reset it and say now pick-up anything that is red.

Thanks Doug! Visit Doug's blog for ADHD tips.

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  • Heather Rogers