Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: What Do We Mean by Attention Anyway?
When we talk about attention, we are talking about two different kinds of abilities: The ability to focus on a specific task put in front of us to do, such as school work, and the ability to pay attention in a more global sense to the world around us, to be able to pay attention to the buzz of the lights overhead, and the touch of the clothes on your skin, and the children playing outside of the classroom. These are two different kinds of attention.
One definition of "paying attention" is "sustaining and selecting to the right cue." One part of this definition is that the child has to pick the right thing to pay attention to. That's the "selecting" part of the definition.
A better word might be "filtering." The brain is supposed to filter out distractions, or stimuli which compete for our attention, but might not be important at that moment. Many children with attention problems pay attention to everything in the world around them equally, such as giving equal time to the touch of the clothes on their skin, the buzz of the lights overhead, the kids outside the classroom, and the math worksheet in front of them. This, of course, is a problem if he needs to be paying attention to only a math worksheet or a similar task.
Many children with Attention Disorders have trouble concentrating on the specific task in front of them, especially if they are working on something like school work or chores that are only moderately interesting, or not interesting at all. These kids have to be very motivated, very excited, very interested in what they're doing in order to pay attention.
This Is NOT My Child?
Now, you might be thinking, "This is not my kid. I have a kid who could play Nintendo, and be so focused that the house could burn down around him, and he'd never notice."
Well, that could be. A lot of these kids could do just exactly that. Nintendo is interesting, its challenging, and its fun. Kids get immediate feedback, they could play Nintendo for hours. But just put a math worksheet in front of them and see how different it is. They have a terrible time paying attention to something that's not interesting or that's not motivating, which accounts for about 85% of school work, and about 100% of chores.
Part of the problem with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a lack of FLEXIBILITY with attention. A person without ADHD has the ability to shift from attention that is focused on a specific task at hand to the kind of attention that is global many times in just a few seconds. At will those without ADHD can shift from reading a book, to scanning the room to know where our kids are and what they are doing, and then very quickly returning to focus on our reading. Without ADHD we have flexibility in our ability to focus. We can shift from specific focus to global focus at will and very quickly.
Individuals with ADHD do not have this same flexibility of focus. Those with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder have a very difficult time shifting from a global focus, such as they might have at recess or lunch break, to a specific focus that would be required when they return to the classroom to study math and work on the math worksheet in front of them.
This is why kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder could play Nintendo, be really focused on that task, and not notice the house burning down around them. Or you telling them to talk out the trash.
Paying Attention to the Right Thing
A second type of problem with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is sustaining attention to the task long enough to finish the task. We may call this "attention span." Many children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder may be able to focus attention to the correct task for a while, but then can't sustain it for very long. Their "attention span" is very short for their age. Unless kept highly motivated, these children have a very hard time staying focused long enough to finish the work that they start.
They are often seen as fidgety, easily distracted, and "day-dreamers." These are the people who may start five different projects, but fail to finish any of them. They may begin to clean their rooms, but after a short time become distracted by their toys or baseball cards and forget all about the job that they are supposed to be working on. Often children like this are not impulsive or hyperactive. They just appear to be "space-cadets," unfocused, or lazy.
Children with only the Inattentive Type of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder tend to be females (60% females to 40% males). They are the least likely Attention Deficit Disorder subgroup to receive any help for their condition, especially the boys with Inattentive ADHD. Kids who are just ADHD Inattentive Type are like space-cadets. They are in a brain fog. They are like Winnie the Pooh. They are often seen failing to pay close attention to details, or having trouble keeping their minds focused on a task, especially with school work or chores. They often don't seem to be listening. They are often disorganized.
They often will try to get out of doing their homework because it is just such a boring task. They are the kids that will spend two hours to complete a 20 minute homework assignment, and then fail to turn it in to the teacher the next day because they have lost it in their back pack or sent it to the Bermuda triangle of homework assignments.
Parents and teachers can learn more about the different types of ADHD, and specific treatment strategies for each type, by visiting the ADHD Information Library.
Douglas Cowan, Psy.D., is a family therapist who has been working with ADHD children and their families since 1986. He is the clinical director of the ADHD Information Library's family of seven web sites, including http://www.newideas.net, helping over 350,000 parents and teachers learn more about ADHD each year. Dr. Cowan also serves on the Medical Advisory Board of VAXA International of Tampa, FL., is President of the Board of Directors for KAXL 88.3 FM in central California, and is President of NewIdeas.net Incorporated.
21 Easy Summer Potluck Ideas - Make-Ahead Summer Recipes The Pioneer Woman
7 savory porridge recipes, including grits, oats and polenta The Washington Post
Tart, savory and sunny: Here are Salon Food's top five lemon recipes to try and enjoy this spring - Salon
Tart, savory and sunny: Here are Salon Food's top five lemon recipes to try and enjoy this spring Salon
How to Check If a Recipe Is Actually 'Easy' Lifehacker
16 Best Cobbler Recipes - Easy Cobbler Desserts The Pioneer Woman
A recipe for mini phyllo quiches that the family can customize The Washington Post
COLUMN: 3 fun and easy spring recipes to make at home Indiana Daily Student
The 20 best Sunday lunch and dinner recipes The Guardian
The 35 BEST Tex-Mex Recipes GypsyPlate
17 New Dinner Recipes for Spring Yahoo Life
Recipe: Chicken Chilaquiles The Atlanta Journal Constitution
Chicken Recipes for the Whole Family | Seasonal Food and Country ... Lancaster Farming
10 Best Vegan Burrito Recipes - Insanely Good Insanely Good Recipes
The 35 BEST Chicken Cutlet Recipes GypsyPlate
21 Easy Crescent Roll Recipes - Ways to Use Crescent Roll Dough The Pioneer Woman
How to Veganize Your Favorite Recipes | HealthNews Healthnews.com
How to make the perfect nettle soup â€“ recipe The Guardian
Daily Top Recipes: From Carrot Cardamom Cake to Victorian ... One Green Planet
8 recipes to help you clean out the fridge The Washington Post
Grandpa's Favorite Sunday Supper Recipes Southern Living
12 Spring Recipes Our Food Staff Can't Wait to Make The New York Times
10 Dessert-Like Baked Oatmeal Recipes with Chocolate - One ... One Green Planet
7 recipes with leeks, including soup, dumplings and roasted chicken The Washington Post
14 Easy Breakfast Ideas to Jump-Start Your Mornings The New York Times
Braided Easter Bread Recipe Tasting Table
20 Easy Leftover Chicken Recipes You'll Get Excited To Make Eat This, Not That
The Best Morel Mushroom Recipes Outdoor Life
Cookbook review: 'A Cook's Book' by Nigel Slater The Atlanta Journal Constitution
Egg and Onion, a Passover Recipe by Way of Australia The New York Times
35 Best Passover Recipes Mashed
10 Brilliant Recipes That'll Make You a Better Cook The New York Times
10 Million Dollar Recipes That Are Worth Every Penny Taste of Home
Crisp Beef Sambuus, Honeycomb Bread and More Ramadan Recipes The New York Times
15 Plant-Based Chocolate Pie Recipes - One Green Planet One Green Planet
3 Mushroom Recipes for Tacos and Stews The New York Times
25 Popular Asian Breads (+ Easy Recipes) - Insanely Good Insanely Good Recipes
20+ High-Fiber Vegetarian Lunches EatingWell
25 Best Air Fryer Vegetable Recipes - Insanely Good Insanely Good Recipes
10+ Recipes to Make With Fresh Kale EatingWell
25 Best Heirloom Tomato Recipes to Enjoy - Insanely Good Insanely Good Recipes
8 recipes for 30-minute meals that result in speedy, tasty dinners The Washington Post
Chicken schnitzel, idli and cookies: Yotam Ottolenghiâ€™s recipes for cooking with semolina - The Guardian
Chicken schnitzel, idli and cookies: Yotam Ottolenghiâ€™s recipes for cooking with semolina The Guardian
Chaitra Navratri Day 9: Prasad recipes for Maa Siddhidatri Hindustan Times
Favorite Passover Recipes Cookbook - The Putnam County News ... Putnam County News and Recorder
20+ Three-Step Spring Pasta Dinner Recipes EatingWell
8 Plant-Based Red Pepper Hummus Recipes - One Green Planet One Green Planet
7 spring vegetable recipes to celebrate the season The Washington Post
I Tried Our 5 Most Popular Coffee Cake Recipes and This Is the One I'll Make Again and Again - Yahoo Life
I Tried Our 5 Most Popular Coffee Cake Recipes and This Is the One I'll Make Again and Again Yahoo Life
20 Simple Squash Blossom Recipes - Insanely Good Insanely Good Recipes
10 Plant-Based Recipes Naturally Sweetened With Lucuma - One ... One Green Planet
Grazing with Gary: Don't pass on these Passover recipes Gold Country Media
21 Best Rhubarb Recipes - What to Make With Rhubarb The Pioneer Woman
Brown Rice vs. White Rice: What's the Difference? Parade Magazine
Best Recipes To Cook - March 2023 BuzzFeed
10 recipes inspired by the Oscar nominees for best picture The Washington Post
7 recipes for Nowruz to make a fragrant feast on Persian New Year The Washington Post
This Farmers Market Frittata Recipe Will Never Let You Down The Wall Street Journal
Simple Noodle Soup Recipe â€“ Dakota Student UND The Dakota Student
Hereâ€™s How Ree Drummond Makes Her Two Favorite Grilled Cheese Recipes in an Air Fryer - Yahoo Life
Dean shares St Patrickâ€™s Day recipes WGN TV Chicago
Celebrate Pi Day with these 10 sweet and savory pie recipes The Washington Post
Grandma's Favorite Slow-Cooker Recipes Southern Living
Roasted potatoes are better crispy. Here's the best side dish recipe The Arizona Republic
A Smoky Egg Salad to Rule Them All The New York Times
Stop, Look, Listen! Steps to Better Parenting Communication
As a parent is seems that the majority of your day is spent trying to get your children to listen to what you are trying to teach them. Make them understand how to me a responsible child.
From Go Fast Kids to Calm Kids
How excited do kids get with the start of school approaching? Getting kids to go from the freedom of school holidays to move to that place of being settled and ready for school can be a challenge for some parents. Many children now days are identified as being ADD and ADHD I call these kids "go fasts" and the transition from holidays to school can be a bit more of a challenge for these kids.
Understanding Why Your Child Has Been Recommended for Testing
You have just received a call from your child's teacher explaining that she has noticed your child having difficulty in school. Your child is not understanding math or reading the way the other children do.
School Holiday Survival Guide
The school holidays are a great time for the kids, all those weeks of fun and games, no school, getting up late??but not for their parents! Summer vacation time can be just as much like hard work as the rest of the year. Trying to keep the kids entertained for six whole weeks can seem like a daunting task, so here are ten top tips to help you survive the summer holidays.
Keep the Little Ones Safe, Follow Pool Safety Guidelines
Pool safety should be on the minds of every parent out there. If you are lucky enough to own an above ground pool or inground pool, you know there are certain safety precautions you must take to protect your children and the children of your friends and neighbors.
Effects of Jealousy on Childs Personality
Dear friends here we will charge up our mind with the information of jealousy, Meaning of jealousy, causes of jealousy & effects of jealousy on personality.Meaning- Jealousy is an form of emotional stress.
Words of Wisdom for Single Parents
The cost of being a parent and raising a child in todays world is constantly increasing. The risk of your child becoming involved in problem behaviour is also greater.
Ten Terrific Ideas for Rainy Day Fun
It's been raining for a week and the kids and bored and restless. How do you cure those rainy day blahs? Try some of these parent tested and kid approved ideas and your children will be hoping for another rainy day when the sun finally peaks through.
I Dont Believe in ADHD
Financially Stable Kids - Prepared for College
We are all familiar with the stories that most students have when they finally get through those last days of college. Their financial states are in ruins, with accumulated credit card debt along with the student loans.
A Man and His Baby
When a couple steps forth with a baby in tow everything in life is stable and normal. People hold open doors, hard shopkeepers "chuck" and go all gooey before catching themselves and generally life is an easy ride.
How A Home Water Filter Can Reduce Your Child's Risk Of Learning Disabilities
Lead is one of the most dangerous toxins a person can be exposed to in his lifetime. Besides damage from radioactive or nuclear chemicals, significant exposure to lead can cause some of the most severe and even fatal health effects possible.
Parents - Create An Emotionally Healthy Connection With Your Child
"I could have helped you if I would have known, I'm your mother. I protect you against everybody in this world.
MORAL ARMORS Irrational Parenting, Part II
Handing Down Malignancy.Children may begin bright and eager to face the world, but are often inundated with the conditioning of their fear-ridden predecessors speaking of lost dreams-taken by no one in particular.
There are moments in a parent's or grandparent's life, when they receive validation for the way they are living, or, have lived, that life. These moments are usually quiet ones, with no fanfare celebrating the occasion.
Your Big Yellow Bus
The big yellow school bus is coming down my road again. The neighborhood kids seem happy.
Parenting Your Teenager: What Parents Say About Teens
What is hard for parentsLetting them learn from their mistakes.Trying not to fix their problems.
Teaching Respect And Values In Todays Society
The girl's jaw dropped in horror as the police officer spoke these words:"Don't go there. Have you any idea how many kids have been stabbed in the past year? They'll kill you as soon as look at you.
Exams Cause Stress For Parents Too
When it comes to exams, or indeed any academic work, parents feel that they should be encouraging their teen to try hard and do well. The problem is that in trying to achieve this, many parents end up causing stress either for themselves, their teen or both.
The Most Powerful Question a Parent Can Ask?
The question I have for you drives right to the heart of the matter. It could alter that tired, haggard feeling you have at the end of a day or weekend.
|home | site map|