Attention issues are often times very complex and interesting. Here is a list of symptoms for ADHD:
Difficulty concentrating Disorganized
Easily distracted Rarely finish projects
Restless and fidgety Easily irritated (short fuse)
Impulsive actions Easily frustrated
Rapid mood swings Low self-esteem
Tendency for addictive behaviors Interrupt or intrude on others
Inconsistent work and effort Fails to listen
Poor sense of time Make careless mistakes
Easily overwhelmed Poor time management
Difficulty switching activities Enjoy high-risk behaviors
Feel “driven by a motor” Chronic lateness
Talk excessively Easily bored
Frequently lose things Poor employment history
Blurt out answers Feel anxious
Impatient in awaiting turn Often depressed
Forgetful in daily duties Poor eye contact
I have had clients check off every one of these symptoms – and still not have ADHD. Often times, other factors are causing these symptoms to occur. I can administer the TOVA test – Test Of Variable Attention which will give us a snapshot of HOW you pay attention. This, along with history gathering can guide us towards a clear picture of why the symptoms are occurring.
5 WAYS WE PAY ATTENTION
Attention is best described as the sustained focus of cognitive resources while filtering or ignoring extraneous (coming from outside) information. Attention is a very basic function that often is a precursor to many other neurological/cognitive functions. (Wikipedia)
Focused attention this is the ability to respond discretely to specific visual, auditory or tactile stimuli.
Sustained attention this refers to the ability to maintain a consistent behavioral response during continuous receptive activity. Ex: taking notes during a class.
Selective attention is simply the act of focusing on a particular object for a period of time, while simultaneously ignoring irrelevant information that is also occurring. Ex: continuing to talk to someone while gardeners are outside with blowers.
Alternating attention this means alternating your focus back and forth between two different tasks. Ex: Alternating between cooking and helping your child with their homework.
Divided attention is the highest level of attention and means dividing your attention between two or more tasks. Ex: Talking on the phone while getting dressed and helping kids with homework.