What is Attention Deficit Disorder?
In motion, full of activity, squirmy, unfocused, distracted, vagued-out, spacy, out of control... how many more descriptions have we all heard of ADD and ADHD? The under-lying observation is that there is a unique locus of control. It is a mystery who is operating this body, making these choices, and dashing about without obvious purpose. But, of course, the operator is in place. He or she is just making choices which are responses to the stimuli that are most attractive in his/her environment. The fact that these stimuli are not priorities in the classroom setting, in getting ready to go to school in the morning, or in starting a work task confounds the individual with ADD/HD.
It is the goal of every individual to be in control. It is uncomfortable to be out of control and out of synchrony with our expectations. The child, youth, and adult all seek to be in control and experience the comfort of order and organization. There is a true discomfort that accompanies lack of control. Although many individuals with ADD/HD have been unable to experience the feeling of control. They have no comparison to understand the feeling of having power over their choices.
We have all had ADD moments or periods. Just recently I was ill with the flu and was attempting to put items away in the kitchen. I was miserable and distracted by a fever and pain in my body. I became aware that I was walking around with the same item in my hand and four times had headed for the shelf to put it away but had been distracted each time from my goal. It felt as though I was spinning in the middle of the kitchen and not getting any where. My thought at that moment was, Good grief, if someone sees me doing this they will tell me I have ADD. I have watched too many individuals with attention issues attempt to accomplish some task not to recognize the symptoms!
So it is really all about control. It is the ability to ignore some stimuli and focus on others (control stimulus response). It is the ability to feel stillness in our bodies so that movement does not distract us from concentrating (control physical response). It is the ability to feel a peacefulness in our minds so that we can open ourselves to listening and thinking (control of thoughts).
There are excellent tools available for measuring the various components of attention. During the past thirty years we have used a tool developed by Dr. Lawrence Greenberg called the Test of Variables of Attention. It has been especially useful in providing us with the opportunity to observe attention focus in action. In our DVDs Attention for Learning and Attention Training we share the observations which have become pertinent for resolving issues of attention. For many individuals, learning to eat to support their brain performance makes a major difference. The DVD Eating to Maximize Brain Performance shares important principles for improving focus.
RESOLVING ISSUES OF ATTENTION DISORDER
Attention deficit disorder....it is really all about control. It is the ability to ignore some stimuli and focus on others (control stimulus response). It is the ability to feel stillness in our bodies so that movement does not distract us from concentrating (control physical response). It is the ability to feel a peacefulness in our minds so that we can open ourselves to listening and thinking (control of thoughts).
Learn to recognize the symptoms of attention disabilities which are shared in DVD 103 Attention for Learning. The four primary variables which impact on attention include: inattention, impulsivity, speed of response, and variability in functioning. These are the key skills which are very recognizable and respond effectively to intervention. First, we have to identify which of these are impacting on attention. The hidden symptom is often a delay or an increase in speed of response to stimuli. Learn about it by participating in this training session.
Once we have a profile of the type of inattention that is being experienced we can move into training and eating to increase attention skills. These are illustrated in the next two DVDs in the series 104 Attention Training and 105 Eating to Maximize Brain Performance. You will learn that eating protein for breakfast and lunch can make a major difference in your control of your physical responses as well as bring peaceful control in our brains. You can find exercises to increase length of attention and suggestions for developing the control over the stimuli in your environment. That is what it is all about - taking back the control of response to stimuli, control of our bodies, and maintaining control of our minds.
#103 Attention for Learning
Establish your understanding of the elements which constitute good attention. It may be far more complex than we think for your students to pay attention. There are at least four variables which impact on attention that can be developed once we learn to recognize them. One variable is the speed of response or response time. Learn how this major variable impacts on everything from learning to read to thinking clearly.
#104 Attention Training
Medication or alternative choices may be effective but every one who has experienced attention problems needs to change their processing skills and learn to focus their attention. It does not automatically happen just because of a pill. It is critical to learn how to use our attention, increase our time on task, and recognize when we have a shift in attention. These are exercises for all ages.
#105 Eating to Maximize Brain Performance
Food promotes learning and poor food choices may be stressing learning and attention. Understand the importance of a balance of nutritional elements (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) in our diets and the impact on attention skills and memory expansion. Special recipes that promote brain function are included in your Eating: Sourcebook.
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