Band Parents

Band Parents

Friday, June 23, 2006

Fidgeting and Focusing- An ADHD Post

This is an ADHD-related post. I started to read a new book. It’s Titled Fidget to Focus : Outwit Your Boredom: Sensory Strategies for Living with ADD. I figured it would be helpful to me as well as my Hyper-tween or HT. He’s my 11 year-old son who was diagnosed with ADHD at the tender age of 4.

Anyways this book talks about how some people do better at listening to long lectures, books on tape, etc while they are doing something else. The anecdotes include a grad student who had her textbooks on tapes and found she was able to listen to them and retain more of the information when she played her Nintendo (with the sound off) at the same time.

I guess I used those strategies myself. In college lectures I’d write epic letters to my friend in Texas (of course not all of them got sent). Last year I took a Professional Certification exam (I am now a Project Management Professional). I mostly studied for it while I was working out. I had a packet of condensed notes (a study aid introduced to me by my 7th and 8th grade History teacher more than 25 years ago). I studied this while on the treadmill or the stationary bike. I memorized things while pacing. I was always able to study for exams in front of the TV.

I’ve been trying to teach HT some of this stuff. But he hyper focuses in front of the TV. The rest of the world fades away. I’ve tried to allow him to write his spelling words (3 x each) while watching TV. It does not work for him.

In his IEP sessions, teachers have discussed letting him have “Fidgets”, like a foam squeeze toy. Then they came to the agreement that he’d tear the foam apart and make a mess. A teacher a year ago practically begged me not to buy his pens that clicked. He makes them into toys and constantly clicks them, annoying the entire class.

But in the world of ADHD, the brain adapts quickly and new techniques must be developed and rotated into practice. So I go on trying to find ways to help my “Do I want to hug him or duct tape him to the wall today” HT.