ADHD As A Difference In Cognition, Not A Disorder: by Stephen Tonti (TEDx Talk)

This is the first TEDx (or TED anything) that I have seen on ADHD. Fantastic. Thank you Stephen Tonti, Carnegie Mellon student, for broadening the discussion table in the TED world to invite ADHD to the range of topics makin a buzzzzZzzzz.. as those TED’s and its younger cousin TEDx so effectively do.

A great (multimedia) addition to the discourse on ADHD as a difference in cognition – one very major aspect of our being… (though not to forget the other aspects of affect, spirituality/existential, biological, neurological, etc etc..)

Stephen does a fine fine job of speaking to this difference in cognition as an alternative lens to the deficit view of ADHD

Oh..and he is oh so animated and wildly entertaining – obviously… given the guy admits to having ADHD.. and (thankfully) it shows ;-)

My Story: Struggle, Resilience, Learning Styles & Adult ADHD

So, I’m back on the blog after a hiatus (yes grad school activates much of my adhd tendencies).

I know I don’t usually post chunks of text, but I’ll do it this one time.. and perhaps you will understand why (especially if you are on “the spectrum”)…

One of my assignments for grad school included taking a learning styles questionnaire. OH. MY. GOD.I’ve copied my responses/reflections here. A link to the quiz is pasted after this post.

Multiple IntelligencesMy “Assignment # 2 Post:

1.) My test results revealed that I am primarily an auditory-tactile learner, as well a global thinker. This comes as a huge external affirmation of what I have suspected and been struggling to articulate my whole life. My prior professional and education experience has included a deep frustration with linguistic means of expression, linear/verbal writing (such as papers, dissertations, etc), motoric restlessness (long hours at desks), high sensitivity to my aural and tactile environments. I continue to experience sensory overwhelm and need to process information in dialogue, interpersonally, in order to enjoy learning and have concentration and patience to complete assignments.

The emotional effect of taking this learning styles assessment brings up a lot for me. Frustration and relief, exaltation and anger, hope and hopelessness. I am so excited to have this information because now I can adapt the way I work and make decisions in life that will more clearly advocate my needs in educational and professional settings.

2.) Part of the frustration I am reliving is that my experience in K-12 and universities didn’t take learning differences into account. If I was unable to focus it was because I had a “disciplinary problem”, I constantly was being suspended, was shamed for forgetting assignments or lacking motivation to complete them. This has resulted in a lifetime of self shaming and rebellion, which has huge ramifications for emotional, spiritual, physical, relationship, employment, educational, and familial stability. It’s hard to even find the words right now (surprise).

3.) In my doctoral program (Clinical Psychology), I have struggled immensely with the volume of reading assigned. This led to late assignments, self hatred, behaviorally isolating from peers, friends, family, even therapists (due to deep shame).

In my third year, I got assessed and diagnosed with ADHD. I eventually took a year off of doctoral studies, due to extreme mental and emotional exhaustion. During this time I enrolled in 3 music schools (clearly I do not lack motivation). This helped me to realize my unique gifts in auditory and tactile environments vs. a “learning disability.”

My coping tools and process looked like the following:

  • First and foremost, I dyed my hair pink, blue, and purple (all natural of course, ADHDers are sensitive to chemicals)
  • I forked out a lotta cash (loans) for mental health professionals, coaches
  • Obsessively researched books and reference materials
  • Joined local support group and forums
  • Created a multi-media rich blog on Adult ADHD
  • Produced my own sound therapy specific to regulate my attentional difficulties and support my auditory learning style and help with what I call “auditory hygiene”
  • Had deep heart to heart conversations with family members and friends and lovers about the impact of this on my relationships and how I can ask for their support
  • Applied for tutoring services via funding by both Federal Government and my graduate school
  • Completed astronomical amounts of paperwork to advocate for services I needed
  • Built a team of educated, savvy, supporters and professionals to help reconfigure my learning strategies in ways that adequately support my learning (dis)abilities
  • There are plenty other things I will not list, but I will most definitely be writing a book in the near future (yes, audio options will be available, as well as pull-outs, charts, graphs, and tactile exercises ;-)

4.) YES. My accomplishments are in a wide variety of disciplines (lack of focus = interdisciplinary versatility and skills). I have decided to complete my PsyD (I returned to grad school), and will combine training in psychology, music production, sound healing, homeopathic medicine, holistic nutrition, and energy medicine to produce my dissertation. I am also in the process of developing an app for sound healing and mental health. I have developed an incredible community of bright minds and hearts who are also on the “ADHD” spectrum to collaborate in think tanks and hack spaces for developing products and services that are sensitive to various learning styles (utilizing both mainstream and holistic paradigms and tools).

Here is the link to the quiz:


Here is the link to my fabulous multi-dimensional spectrum-friendly ADHD consultant:

Emily Shurr (LinkedIn)

Sound therapy & sound as energy

Amazing. Yes.

Sound Sense the Wellness Blog

Most people hear the word sound and assume ‘music’.  They don’t immediately think of ‘energy’.  Within the context of energy medicine, sound is simply the vibration or frequency of specific energetic movements usually at the atomic, quantum, or cellular level. So while music contains, embeds, and revolves around all particulars of sound vibration, in the context of sound-based therapy, especially as used within The Davis Model of Sound Intervention℠, sound is more energy than music.


Sound energy is all around you.  Most likely you can ‘hear’ the sounds that are within the frequency range to which the ear responds.  Your ear supports hearing as a sensory response.  However, sound in the form of energetic movement at the minutest vibrational frequency is more a response that your brain interprets and understands.


Sound therapy, and more specifically sound-based therapy, uses the vibrational energy of sound with special equipment, specific programs…

View original post 291 more words

ADHD = watching all the channels at once… suprasensory?

Thoughts on the Unconscious: Lacan vs. Stern

“In traditional psychoanalytic theory, the unconscious is a reservoir of past meaningful experience. The unconscious is already structured in the mind — it might even be structured like a language, as Lacan claims. We can in fact represent the unconscious content in language — if we would allow it. But we’ve erected barriers between the unconscious and consciousness, protecting us from thoughts and memories we’d rather not acknowledge. However, the unconscious is always shaping our desires, feelings and behaviors — it’s the true source of our motivations even if we don’t realize it. The work of traditional psychoanalysis is to “tame” the unconscious by bringing it into conscious awareness, where it can be incorporated into the controlling ego. In Lacanian analysis the work is to allow the unconscious to be recognized as a part of the self by giving it voice in verbal language.”

“Stern contends that the unconscious is not prestructured. Thoughts and memories are scattered across the neural network in a loose and fluid matrix. The process of bringing this material into consciousness is specifically to impose structure and meaning on it. Because this is so, the same unconscious materials can be consciously assembled in a variety of different ways and assigned different meanings. It’s not that this experience was once structured in a particular way and that the structure has been erased by the unconscious. Rather, the unconscious is the realm of “unformulated experience.”

A re-blogged post (from) via All Thought Is Unconscious.

Romantic Enactments… from Lovers to Partners [in Thought]

“[These] enactments take time to fall into place and become habitual, which is one reason for the immense sense of freedom and excitement we experience at the beginning of a new relationship. We are raw and open at the beginning, and the themes of oedipal struggle occupy us fully, intensely, and spontaneously. The relatedness is not yet patterned, as it will be. (I think she likes me! She’s incredibly exciting, and it’s so wonderful that she seems excited by me! Does she like my hair? Is she angry with me? Does she love me? Maybe she really wants to be with him.)

The hopes, fears, exultations, and despairs at the beginning of a relationship have a special intensity; but as painful as those first weeks and months can be, they are also one of the most exciting parts of life. Lovers are less intimate at the beginning than they will be later on, but ironically, they also can be less defended. Their openness to being affected by hurt or admiration (for instance) may be greater than it will become. They are freer to be completely delighted with each other. They know each less well, love each other much less deeply, and yet in certain respects are perhaps most thoroughly available to each other.

But what happens to that ongoing struggle, to involvement and change and engagement, as we come to depend on sameness, on the enactments that develop over time? Struggle dims. There is less and less change, life stays closer to the baseline. We reassure ourselves that the other’s mind is completely mapped. We become locked into patterns of enactment.”


Stern, Donnel B. (2009-09-03). Partners in Thought: Working with Unformulated Experience, Dissociation, and Enactment (Psychoanalysis in a New Key Book Series) (pp. 155-156). Taylor & Francis. Kindle Edition.

*AMAZING* Interview with Cyndi Dale Part I – ADHD and Energetic Boundaries

Drones of Feelings – ambient textures to support the flow of tears

Ambient sonic textures I composed in a state of acknowledging and releasing loss, movement through grief, and longing dissolve.

12-tone Pythagorean Tuning Scale.

Concert Pitch of    A = 432.10

How I use it:

  • To support the flow of tears.

Mother Earth – sound therapy for relaxation


A short ambient sound therapy track that I wrote in the spirit of the global awakening that we are currently witnessing here on our planet. New dimensional realities are opening to remind us Who we Are, opening our hearts to our Cosmic Intelligence and Divine Oneness.


Cosmically tuned to the Earth Year Frequency & Heart Chakra (via the book “The Cosmic Octave” by Hans Cousto).

Concert Pitch of A = 432.10. The Earth represents the Heart Chakra amidst the other celestial bodies of our solar system.

Tuning System of 12 Tone Pythagorean scale (a derivative of Just Intonation Scale, which is what birds and humans naturally sing in acapella, representing the scale of the harmonic series).


How I use it

When I need a quick reminder to let go of the strivings and struggles on this 3rd Dimensional plane of existence – to reconnect to the vastness of the cosmos.


Dedicated to Mother Earth, my mother “Mutti”, and all mothers  e v e r y w h e r e.

“ADHD is not a disorder of knowing what to do . . .

Amy Robinson

rad neural networks

Youth Of A Nation:Bent not Broke

Not all wounds are visible

JMD's PhD and ADHD

A lot of ADHD moments that make up a whole. I think? hehehe

Karl Heinz Jeron

I rather create experiences than objects

Hiking Photography

Beautiful photos of hiking and other outdoor adventures.

Visual Word Audio

A repository of interesting media.

The Thesis Whisperer

Just like the horse whisperer - but with more pages

Shirah Vollmer MD

The Musings of Dr. Vollmer

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