THE ADHD BRAIN

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EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONS

These are a set of mental processes that we use in order to achieve a goal. They are key in planning, making decisions, organising ourselves. Executive functions help us to control our emotions and impulses, switch between attention from one task to another and learn from our mistakes.   They are learnable skills and they depend on three main processes:

  • Working memory - the ability to retain information and use it to guide decision making and behaviour.

  • Inhibitory control - the ability to manage ones impulses and natural or habitual responses in order to achieve a goal.

  • Cognitive flexibility - the ability to switch between thinking about different things, adjusting perspectives and priorities in response to changing circumstances.


These are self-regulating skills that allow people to complete tasks, resist distractions and impulses and focus on a particular activity until it is accomplished.  We are not born with them but do have the potential to develop them through participation in appropriate social and learning activities.  Children with ADHD exhibit poor executive functioning - they seem unable to mange themselves or their time properly.  They lose things, get overwhelmed by simple tasks and are late; late for lessons, late with homework, late starting assignments.  This leads to them being thought of as either lazy, stupid or difficult (or a mixture of all three).  ADHD children are usually none of those things - it just looks like it!  These difficulties can persist into adulthood and affect important life choices. The key thing is that it can be managed.

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THE ROLE OF ANXIETY

Anxiety, for the most part, features prominently in the the life of someone with ADHD. This can manifest in a myriad of ways, but is often connected to slower processing, faster brain or reduced working memory.  


Increased anxiety can often lead to a loss of confidence and consequent reduction in performance.  


Anxiety can also result in perfectionism which invariably hinders progress and increases anxiety. 


We acknowledge that this is a complex topic, often only treatable by medical professionals.  Through our knowledge and empathetic approach able to offer suggestions which might help. 

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PROCRASTINATION

Procrastination is putting off doing something about important goals, tasks, or projects even when you know you will be worse off as a result. It might be due to waiting for the perfect moment or the perfect plan or because you are afraid it will not turn out exactly right. Maybe there appear to be just so many obstacles and challenges that it is not worth starting.  You might be waiting to see the whole picture or, if you can see the whole picture, you cannot see where to start.  It is all just too much.


Boredom is the enemy.  People with ADHD love tasks with high novelty and low repetition, anything that is repetitive and has a goal that you do not care about is extremely hard to start.


We can help find ways to break down and get going on challenging tasks.

 

“Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

Voltaire

 

CONTACT US

Find out more and arrange a free initial telephone conversation about to how we might be able to help.  We can arrange home, school or office visits, or for those further afield, we can offer video-coaching sessions.

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