Saturday, October 04, 2003

I am starting to overcome my fear of libraries. I used to associate libraries with fees - I called it the "book rental place". But now that I have a PDA, I can set an alarm to remind me to turn in my books. Free book rentals!

Lately I discovered that they have videos at the library, including one that I have been wanting to see, "Outside In." It's very good. I watched it with Ginger at her house. It features several adults with ADD. One of them is a school principal who is working on her second PhD, one of them is a professional speaker who jumps around and talks very excitedly while on stage. He looked like one happy guy. Kids, you might get paid to be hyperactive someday!

Ginger also had a video from the library, "Picture of Health: Adults with ADD." Picture of Health is a series of videos on different subjects. So she popped it in the VCR, and within minutes we were mocking it, a la "Science Fiction Theater". If you are looking for a good video to mock, I highly recommend it. It's an interviewer and a Psychiatrist who works with adults with ADD, and it's very boring but still has a lot of good info. That's why we didn't turn it off, but in order to keep paying attention, we had to switch over to "Science Fiction Theater" mode.

I have wondered why we do this so often. Without warning, we will turn against any boring material in order to focus on it. And I think we've found the answer. Here's a link to a more detailed explanation:

Dr Roland Rotz believes that fidgeting and other disruptive things that ADDers do are attempts at improving focus. That's right, there appears to be a logical explanation for all the fidgeting, gum chewing, leg bouncing, doodling, etc - it helps ADDers pay better attention! He calls it Simultaneous Sensory Stimulation Strategies.

This explains why I can get higher scores in computer solitaire if I am talking on the phone at the same time. What I hadn't considered was that perhaps I am able to pay better attention to the other person if I am also doing some other activity. The challenge is to find something that will enhance, not take away, from your attention level.

Anyway, I find it fascinating and plan to use this technique with abandon in the future. A license to fidget! What could be better?


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