Archive for the 'Sound' Category
If you’ve read Fidget to Focus, you know we’ve been telling people for years that listening to music while you do your homework really can help.
A newly published study examined this phenomenon in a controlled experiment. The results were most revealing.
In this study, inattentive schoolchildren performed significantly better when so-called white noise was played during class. However, the background noise had the opposite effect on normally attentive children, whose classroom performance deteriorated.
This may explain why it’s so hard for others to believe that some of us really can study better with our music on!
The citation for the study is:
Söderlund G, et al “The effects of background white noise on memory performance in inattentive school children.” Behav Brain Funct 2010; DOI: 10.1186/1744-9081-6-55.
You can find it here: http://www.behavioralandbrainfunctions.com/
And a summary here: http://www.medpagetoday.com/Pediatrics/ADHD-ADD/22481
So, what do you think? Can you study better when there’s background noise?1 comment
One thing Dr. Rotz and I dream of is that Fidget to Focus one day will be required reading for every elementary and high school teacher. Imagine how the school experience would change for all children if teachers understood the neuro-biological reason for fidgeting and and used fidgeting to enhance learning rather than trying to eliminate it! This month we got one step closer to that dream.
The Education Minnesota Professional Conference is Minnesota’s largest professional development event for educators. This year, Dr. Rotz was the keynote speaker. His presentation was well received by the hundreds of educators there, and at the bookstore Fidget to Focus sold out! For those who are interested, here’s the PowerPoint from his presentation: Fidget to Focus-Sensory System Impact on ADHD Minnesota
I finally gave into social pressure and have started hanging out in twitterland (you can follow me at twitter.com/SarahDWright). After feeling overwhelmed for a while, I am beginning to like it–partly because it’s a treasure hunt and I’m finding some great stuff. Like this online virtual “cone of silence” or, as the tweeter put it, “white noise for focus and serenity.”
Douglas Cootey (find him here: thesplinteredmind.blogspot.com and here: twitter.com/SplinteredMind) brought it to my attention. He mentioned he used simplynoise.com for focus and serenity. I checked it out and it’s great. Such a cool, simple idea. Try it the next time all the little sounds around you are driving you nuts and distracting you from concentrating. It just kind of erases all those little sounds right off your radar so you’re good to stay on track.
Let us know how it works for you!No comments
After the ADD Class on Fidget to Focus, my friend and fellow coach, Rick Prevatt, sent us these strategies that have worked for his clients:
- One client used to strap a light to his head, and go walking around the block at night. Said he could read it one time and remember it that way.
- I had clients that put something underneath one leg of the chair or desk at school so it was unbalanced, and they could rock it.
- Rocking in a rocking chair while studying works consistently with many people.
- Listening to books on tape while running or exercising works well too.
- One client would read out loud, but it was boring her and she couldn’t retain the info. When I listened to her, it bored me too. I had her then read it in a funny comical way, and she could remember and understand easily that way.
- Another person had problems focusing during test. I sent her a pen that had a level in it. She would balance the bubble in the middle, and it was just enough to allow her to focus easily.
I have trouble at two points in my sleep cycle: difficulty falling asleep and waking too early because my body is hyperactive and restless. In the latter case, I also feel bored with having slept so long already (but not nearly long enough!). It often feels like getting to sleep and staying sleep is a chore.
My fidget has to do with having pressure on my body to help me sleep. First, I sleep much better with very heavy blankets (in the summer, I turn the air conditioning up high to compensate). Second, my spouse notices when I get to the state where I need more help sleeping — not even being fully awake herself — and puts her feet and lower legs across my lower legs (about halfway down the calf), in effect, pinning my legs to the bed. This really helps! It’s like magic.
My other sleep fidget is to keep a talk radio on low all night, at a level where you have to strain a bit to make out the words.
Of course, getting to sleep also means good bedtime habits for ADDers — a different strategy than fidgets (and harder to do).
Your book has helped me so much and I often share the information with other ADDers, encouraging them to buy it.
- Silvia (from email)No comments
A reader pointed us at this resource: http://www.iserenity.com/
iSerenity – “ambient sound environments at your desktop for relaxation and solitude. 31 sound and image environments to choose from, and counting.” In addition to things you’d expect, like water or waves, there’s a library, pencils on paper, a cat purring, a restaurant, etc.
Check it out. Let us know what you think!No comments
PhD/writing fidget: Dragon Naturally Speaking Voice Recognition Software is a lifesaver for many of us with ADHD. I’ve got a number of academic publications under my belt and I’m very comfortable with the writing process, but I get overwhelmed with all the information and data at a certain point and then I can’t write. My perfectionism kicks in and I feel I can’t write anything until I know everything about a topic and until all the possible information is organized perfectly. Ha! Then I had a Eureka moment. Although I couldn’t write my paper, I could explain it very concisely, logically, and powerfully to a listener within about 10 minutes. Wow! So I got the idea to give the same explanation to a tape recorder, and transcribe it. This led me to purchase Dragon NS software. I use it mostly for my first draft.
PhD/writing fidget: Along similar lines, I often organize my journal articles and thesis as though I had to give an hour-long presentation on them, using Power Point. It’s really great! I know I need an introductory slide, then I need one slide for background on the problem, one for the objectives of the study, one for the methodology, and a couple for the results, ending with one concluding slide. Bingo, there’s my outline! All those zillions of thoughts and ideas have been boiled down to the basic points. What helps is that you can use interesting backgrounds and visuals for Power Point. I think that’s also a fidget. But the real fidget is to fake myself into preparing an oral presentation, while in effect really writing a paper. I’ll even “rehearse” my presentation out loud — that’s often how I get it boiled down into the slides themselves.
Writing fidget: I love using wild and wacky fonts and colours when doing boring writing tasks. Then I just convert everything back to some boring font in black before sending it out.
Wall colour: I work much better in a home office with a stimulating wall colour. For me, the best “work” wall colour seems to be a very bright and intense apple-green. I also have brightly coloured accessories, such as a bright orange file box, etc. It seems to wake my brain up.
Thinking/writing fidget: Although I use all the pre-writing techniques (free-writing, mindmapping, etc.), there comes a point when I need to put it all out of my mind and go for a long bike ride (summer) or walk. I take my laptop on the bike, or at least a pen and paper — and all of a sudden, everything will clarify, so I’ll stop moving and madly type or scribble it all down. Then I’ll move some more, although by then, I’m usually anxious to get back home and capitalize on the creative burst of clarifying mental energy that came from doing the activity.
Cafe: I think you talked about this in your book, but I take my laptop or Palm Pilot with wireless keyboard to a cafe, along with a task that has been hard for me to focus on in my home office. The change of environment really seems to help me focus on the task I’ve brought along.
Moving my work location: I love the summers (I live in Montreal where the winters are long), because I have lots more choice about how and where to work. I might start at my desktop in the morning, while still in my PJs. Then I’ll take a break, shower, breakfast. My next location is outside — for two years it was the back gallery of an old flat that faced onto a busy street, and I became known as “the lady who works on the balcony with her laptop” — and I could watch the neighbourhood pass by while I worked. After lunch, I’d put the laptop onto my bike and cycle to a nearby grassroots community cafe, which I called “my second office.” They had free wireless access and excellent coffee and an eccentric mix of community activists and students. I’d work there for a few hours, then go home. Change of environment seems to really help me work.
Working on the Metro (subway): I’ve learned that some of my best thinking happens in the 10 minutes or so that it takes me to get downtown on the Metro. I mostly use this time for brainstorming and outlining, using my Palm Pilot to get down my thoughts in point form. I think it’s not only the novel environment, but also the time limited nature of the journey — very short in terms of working time but very looooonnnnggg for someone with ADD who has nothing to do on the trip. So I break my boredom and break the back of a “stuck” task at the same time.
I hope these are helpful to someone else. Feel free to use them in your book.
- Silvia (from email)1 comment