At the right place, at the right time, and under the right circumstances, a person with ADD can pay attention. Generally, when this occurs, the individual is highly motivated and has strengths in the skills required to participate successfully in the task at hand.
Sometimes, the intrinsic characteristics of the object or event to which a person with ADD is trying to pay attention are so powerful that they act as magnets that draw out every ounce of attention. Television, the computer, and hand-held electronic games are the most common examples of such seductive magnets in everyday life. Paying attention to TV is a relatively passive act when compared to paying attention to Mom’s lecture about how to behave with the babysitter or the science teacher’s complex description of a chemical reaction.
Sometimes apparently efficient attention in a person with ADD is deceptive. He has simply learned to act attentive. His eyes and ears may be open and his head may be nodding acknowledgement, but he is not tuning in to the fine details of what is happening; in this way, he often misses the richness of the experience. It is only through formal assessment that we can determine the extent to which a person has really paid attention.
Patients of all shapes, ages, and sizes come to The Being Well Center and Dr. Craig Liden for diagnoses and treatment plans they can trust. Can we help you too? Visit The Being Well Center for more information about Dr. Liden’s services.
Our current blog series is excerpted from Dr. Liden’s best-selling book, Pay Attention!: Answers to Common Questions About the Diagnosis and Treatment of Attention Deficit Disorder.