If you are one of the roughly 10 million U.S. adults with ADHD, it can be a constant challenge to stay focused and on task. You might easily lose track of conversations or forget what you were working on. Or fail to pay attention to important details and make mistakes. But this isn’t an oversight on your part. An inability to focus is a prominent symptom of ADHD. Here are some strategies to help you maintain your attention and focus.
The interventions for ADHD that are most often discussed are medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, coaching, support groups, and/or changes in the home, work, or school environments. Other tools can include exercise, meditation, a healthy diet, and good sleep. One intervention that is not typically highlighted is music therapy. Research suggests that music could benefit someone with ADHD, by increasing dopamine levels) and thereby improving attention and executive functioning skills.
Children with ADHD and learning differences often struggle with intense emotions, poor social skills, and low self-esteem. Art therapy uses drawing, painting, and sculpting to improve well-being and confidence in kids. It is based on the premise that self-expression can be used to address emotional problems, develop interpersonal skills, manage behavior, reduce stress, and increase self-awareness.
Many highly successful entrepreneurs such as Sir Richard Branson, Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad, and JetBlue founder David Neeleman, have been diagnosed with ADHD or other conditions that result in executive function challenges. Some will even tell you that they are successful largely because of the “diagnosis,” not in spite of it. The results of some new research appears to agree with them.
Hyperfocus is the ability to zero in intensely on an interesting project or activity for hours at a time. For adults with ADHD, hyperfocus can be a problem in the workplace. It can manifest as not getting paperwork done because it was boring, missing meetings because they became absorbed in doing something more interesting, or failing to meet a deadline because other activities had captured their attention. Though hyperfocus is often a liability, it can be an asset. If you have ADHD, having a strategy to leverage your ability to hyperfocus can be important.
Research indicates that college students with ADHD have a greater chance of failing and having to retake classes, getting lower grade point averages, and leaving college without graduating than students without ADHD. Despite the challenges, there are strategies that can help make the transition to college from high school easier and more successful.
While there is no evidence to support the idea that video games cause ADHD, there are concerns that extensive video game play can exacerbate the symptoms of ADHD. Once you understand the special attraction of video games for kids with ADHD, there are steps you can take to prevent this entertaining distraction from becoming a potentially harmful addiction for your child.
As children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) grow older and enter adolescence, some of the outward signs of their condition may decrease. Although they may be less active and have more control over impulsive behavior, many middle school and high school students continue to experience problems with focus and attention in the classroom. Issues related to poor concentration and distractibility may intensify, affecting their grades and their ability to learn. Without intervention, many teenagers with ADHD develop poor self-esteem, difficulties in relationships and substance abuse problems.
VHow is it possible that someone with ADHD can focus for hours on something that’s interesting? It’s a common misconception that people with Attention Deficit have a deficit of attention. It would be more accurate to say we have trouble paying attention appropriately. Here are seven strategies to help you manage ADHD hyper-focus.