All posts in Social-Emotional

ADHD and Motivation: Why It’s a Problem and What You Can Do

Why Kids with ADHD Find it So Hard to Keep Motivated in School and What You Can Do about It (

I am thrilled to introduce Sherry Cramer to you. Sherry is an educational therapist with over thirty years of experience working with exceptional students. She recently published a four-part series on motivation and ADHD in the Educational Therapist Journal. It was the best piece I’d ever read in the journal, but the publication is only accessible to Association members.

I wanted more educators and parents to read what she has to say, so I’m honored that she graciously agreed to guest post. Sherry is an educational therapist after my own heart; I hope you enjoy her article as much as I do. You’ll find it chock-full of concrete, actionable strategies to help students find, increase, and maintain motivation.

Please enjoy!



Enter Sherry

We all know them – kids with ADHD who are bright, energetic, and creative – yet struggle in school. They don’t enjoy learning. They prefer easier work. They give up easily.1 By all accounts, they lack motivation.

But why? Is it due to a bad attitude? Is it laziness? No, it’s in the wiring!

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What’s Holding You Back from Living Your Dreams?

What’s Holding You Back from Living Your Dreams? (

Can I tell you a secret?

Something I don’t tell clients or colleagues?

I’m 29.

That’s my unspeakable secret – I haven’t hit 30 yet.

I’ve been keeping this under wraps. I make a point of not sharing my age. If a student asks how old I am, I’ll answer, but my cheeks burn.

I’m afraid that if my age leaks out, I’ll lose credibility.

When I started my practice four years ago, I was terrified that no one would ever want to hire a 25-year-old. I was paralyzed to begin networking because other professionals would think I was a “cheeky upstart.”

It turns out that neither of those fears materialized.

As I’ve met more educators, I’ve come to realize that I’m not the only one who experiences feelings of not being competent or successful enough.

We all have our own way of saying, 'I’m not enough.'

Every day I get to talk to other teachers about their dreams: launching a private practice, publishing a book, or hiring an employee. I’ll be darned if nearly every person I encounter has their own reason why they think they’re not enough.

Have you heard something like this before? Maybe you’ve even said it yourself:

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How to Teach Students Who Are Too [Insert Emotion] to Learn, with Diana Kennedy (The Exceptional Educator, Ep. 2)

How To Teach Students Who Are Too [Insert Emotion] to Learn (

For a moment, I considered titling this episode, “How To Be A Cool Cucumber When Your Students Are Angry Apples.”

Too much fruit.

I don’t know about you, but remaining calm when a student is in pain is one of the most challenging parts of being an effective educator. And forget about actually teaching when a student goes nuclear.

Diana Kennedy

Diana Kennedy

To help us manage these common difficulties, I’d like to introduce you to my friend and colleague, Diana Kennedy. Diana is a fellow educational therapist who runs a thriving private practice in Marin County, California. She’s compassionate and playful, and one of the best educational therapists I know.

Listen to this episode and subscribe on iTunes or Stitcher or stream the episode below:

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Teaching Tools for Educational Specialists