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.