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What is ADD/ADHD?

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) are used to describe individuals who have difficulty staying on task. Those with the ADHD diagnosis usually have very high energy levels (they can’t sit still) and are often impulsive. Some people with ADD are also diagnosed as hypo-active. This means that they have very low energy levels and can appear to be lazy.

There are two main causes of this condition – boredom and confusion. People with ADD/ADHD are very intelligent and like dyslexics, are used to disorientating into their own world to be entertained as they usually find school and/or the real world boring. Often a dyslexic child will also appear to be ADD as they disorientate into their own world while they wait for the feeling of confusion to disappear. Because they spend a lot of time in their own world, they miss out on life lessons and classroom lessons. So ADD/ADHD can be the cause and a symptom of learning problems.

A person with ADD/ADHD can experience time either faster or slower than reality and their understanding of concepts like change and consequence can be flawed or missing. Without a solid understanding of change, our understanding of consequence cannot be concrete. Without this, concepts of cause, effect, before and after cannot be sure. Without an understanding of before and after, understanding of time cannot be attained, nor can concepts of sequence and how to create order be fully understood.

People with ADD/ADHD are picture thinkers. They convert language (both oral and written) into a picture or movie, process it and then act. If a negative instruction is given, they will often do the opposite to what is intended. That is because there are no automatic pictures for words like “no”, “not”, “don’t”, “never”. If a picture thinker is told “Don’t run”, the first thing that comes to mind is running, in their impulsivity or eagerness to please, they will implement that picture and do the opposite to what was instructed.

Picture these common instructions without the negative word, and then picture an alternative:

  • Don’t run — Just walk
  • Don’t drink and drive — Always drive sober
  • Never shake a baby — Always treat a baby gently
  • Don’t smoke — Only put stuff in your body that is good for it
  • Domestic violence – it’s not OK — Domestic violence is bad.

Even though there are non-picture words in the alternative wording, the picture created is that which we want to achieve. This makes it easier for the ADD/ADHD person to follow the instruction.

The Davis Attention Mastery Programme ensures that the individual has a solid understanding of the core concepts. Each of the concepts is also explored in the real world as all real learning is by experience. Situations that are problematic for an individual are discussed and modeled to assist them to self-discover alternative behaviours that will bring desirable outcomes.