Erectile Dysfunction Of The Mind.

In a recent study of study of 117 high IQ children and adolescents with ADD. (Note:  ADD is used to refer to both ADD and ADHD). All of these very bright students were struggling in school and often also in social relationships because of their ADD-related problems.

When asked How can someone focus very well on playing a sport, video games, drawing, or making music and not be able to focus enough on almost anything else?

One of the answers was “ADD is like having erectile dysfunction of the mind. If the task is something that really interests you, you’re up for it and can perform. If it’s not something that turns you on, you can’t get it up and you’re not able to perform.”

We have all experienced this situation, according to this study:

The most mystifying aspect of ADD is that everyone who has this disorder is able to focus very well on a few specific types of tasks, even though they have great difficulty in focusing effectively on almost everything else. All of the students in this study reported that they had no difficulty in exercising executive functions very well for a few specific activities. For some it was participating in a sport or making art or music. For others, focus came easily for repairing car engines, cooking, using the computer, or designing websites.

When asked to explain why they could focus on those few specific activities, but not on other tasks they recognized as important, the students typically responded by saying: “If it’s something that really interests me, I can focus. If it’s not really interesting to me, I just can’t focus, even when I know it’s important and I really need to do it.”

Read the full article from Thomas E. Brown, Ph.D., associate director of the Yale Clinic for Attention and Related Disorders, Department of Psychiatry here.

What techniques can you use to compensate?

Students with ADHD often compensate for and accommodate the disability by:

  • developing awareness of cognitive strengths and weaknesses
  • balancing and reducing course loads
  • using appropriate testing accommodations, most often a quiet testing area, extended time
  • using technology, computer technology, timers, etc.
  • writing good notes or recording presentations
  • Finding different teachers or tutors that can teach in a style more appropriate to your needs.

Adults might have things easier because they can often find work that fits their particular strengths but potential landmines are there and need to be acknowledged.

  • developing awareness of cognitive strengths and weaknesses and developing systems for dealing with them
  • hiring others to do what you can’t or wont do.
  • using technology, computer technology, timers, etc.
  • writing good notes or recording presentations
  • balancing and reducing work loads
  • scheduling tasks you try to avoid

What are some of the techniques you use?

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