Quick Tip

True or False: ADHD Kids Can’t Focus

Have you ever seen a normal, everyday person suddenly turn into Perry Mason or Matlock right in front of your eyes? “You claim your kid can't focus. Take a look at exhibit A! Your child playing her 17th, yes, ladies and gentlemen, 17th straight hour of Minecraft. I rest my case!” (Ok, 17 may be a slight exaggeration!) Well, the jury's back: ADHD is not about difficulty focusing. It's about difficulty regulating focus.

As we parents know - from spending a good amount of time weekly trying to wrestle our kids away from video games or YouTube – ADHD kids can focus. And then some! When they are hyper-focused, they concentrate with incredible intensity. The area of the brain that handles focus (Executive Function) is at odds: one part of the brain is saying, “I haven't eaten in 7 hours; I should get a snack,” or, “Oh, wait, I have homework.” The other part of the brain is saying, “Wow, look at what I just built! A creeper's coming!”

Guess which part of the brain is louder?! (Hint: not the first one!)

Our tip: Don't let outsiders put your kid, you, or your parenting on trial! You know the neurobiology of ADHD is complex – and Minecraft is a lot more fun and stimulating than chores! No wonder our ADHD kids focus so well on it! How do you help them increase their ability to focus? To maintain attention on things outside of video games? Building systems and structures can help them improve focus on the things they need to concentrate on (homework, chores, instructions) and teach them to regulate it for their more preferred activities!  They learn how to improve their focus in essential areas of life, and they still get to watch YouTube or play video games. It's a win-win for everyone.

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