- How is your approach different from the other ADD self-help books I’ve already read?
- What do you mean by fidgeting?
- I always thought that fidgeting was bad. Now you’re saying it’s good?
- Why doesn’t everyone know about this?
How is your approach different from the other ADD self-help books I’ve already read?
We address an unseen, often unacknowledged part of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), that is the “constant fleeing from boredom” that Dr. John Bailey, Director of the Center of Attention & Learning in Mobile, Alabama considers to be a hallmark of ADD. We advocate an innovative approach that opens up a whole new realm of strategies for living successfully with ADD. These strategies complement any treatment or intervention that you may already be doing for your ADD, and are easy to learn and implement.
What do you mean by fidgeting?
By fidgeting, we mean any simultaneous sensory-motor stimulation strategy. Those of us with ADD are living with a brain that is at its best with a higher level of stimulation than is an average or typical brain. We use fidgets to have enough going on that our brains remain comfortably activated, which in turn allows us pay attention to what we need to pay attention to. For instance, walking while talking. The talking isn’t enough on its own to keep us fully engaged, but if we walk and talk, we can stay with the conversation a lot longer. Or doodling our notes while listening to a lecture. Or listening to music while doing our homework. Or chewing gum while taking a test. We consider all of these to be fidgets that help people focus.
I always thought that fidgeting was bad. Now you’re saying it’s good?
We don’t believe that all fidgeting is good. We do believe that fidgeting, rather than being part of “the ADD pathology”, is a perfectly natural adaptation to living with a brain that is at its best with a higher level of stimulation than is a typical brain. In advocating fidgeting, we do not advocate disruptive behavior. To be a good fidget it must not only work for you, it must also be appropriate for the situation and respectful of those around you. It is not a good fidget if it helps you focus, but distracts everyone else! Rather than carte blanche to fidget however and whenever you want, we advocate effective, respectful fidgeting; a concept we explain in the book.
Why doesn’t everyone know about this?
Because the concept is very counter intuitive. It defies common sense. How doing more than one thing at once help with concentration and focus? How can it be that it actually improves our ability to pay attention? It has only been through the collection of hundreds of stories, as individuals talked about what works for them, that we’ve begun to see this body–brain connection and how it works in people with ADD. Recent advances in neuroscience are showing us why this makes sense from a biological point of view, and what’s going on neurologically when we fidget. We explain more of this in the book.