Learning to focus?

by Jennifer
(Canada)

My 8 (9 this month) year old daughter and I have done a sensory questionnaire that was scored by an OT with a background in sensory stuff.


We are still waiting for the report but from what he's said, if I understand correctly, I am under stimulated and she is over stimulated... opposite ends of the scale but we have similar issues.

The 2 that affect us the most seems to be our trouble focusing and our frustrations. I was never taught the proper ways to deal with frustration so I just get angry, this means I am unable to teach her proper ways so she gets angry too.

Things were worse with her while she was on Concerta for ADHD. It helped her focus on her school work but caused many long, intense tantrums. I have taken her off the Concerta and she has returned to the girl I knew before the pills, but of course the focus is gone too.

What I want to know is how we can learn to focus?
We are going to be trying out yoga but at this point she doesn't seem interested in joining.

What else can we do?

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Mar 18, 2008
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Learning to Focus -- thoughts
by: Anonymous

I wonder whether you unconsciously need your daughter's overstimulation to keep you alert! And maybe she uses your more quiet, laid back way to keep herself grounded --- but that won't work outside of your relationship with each other! It is very difficult to "learn" to focus - not a "head" kind of issue - you need to use sensory diet activities to give your body and nervous system the input it needs (for you to be alert and for your daughter to be calm) ---

Mar 17, 2008
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Work With OT and Try Other Activities
by: Daniel Travis (SPD Adult SHARE)

Your OT should be able to guide you and your daughter toward activities that should be the most helpful for you. I am not an OT, but from what you've written, I believe that your problems may stem from an underlying vestibular dysfunction. I believe that if you try treating yourselves to activities that aid vestibular integration, you may receive some benefit in focus as well as praxis (if that is also a problem). There are great ideas for vestibular help on this website under 'Treatment Activities' (#5 'Vestibular Movement').

Yoga can be helpful, but your daughter may prefer other activities, such as swinging or using a trampoline or mini trampoline. Your OT may also choose to initiate the Wilbarger Protocol, as this can also improve vision. These activities are often simple and can be done at home. They are probably a lot less expensive than yoga classes, too (I've never been to yoga, so I don't know).

If you're staying with your OT for treatment, they should be able to tell you what will probably work the best, as well as how often and how long you should do it. I know mine would.

Visual focus issues, which I have myself, can easily lead to difficulty in school, on the job, while driving and pretty much anywhere else where good vision comes in handy (which may as well be everywhere, right?). Especially when it goes untreated, this can lead to poor motor planning and easily causes frustration. That is what makes this a pretty crucial element of SPD to treat.

Good luck. Thank you for posting.

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