Why ADD Kids Have An Advantage When It Comes To Memorizing
When I sit down and think of ways to make connections between two things, I'm flooded with ideas. In fact, I don't even have to think of them. They just come. Maybe it's a sound or something I see that suddenly takes my mind somewhere.
It's automatic and has been going on my whole life. I'm sure it has a lot to do with my ADD and it was a pretty big problem until someone showed me how to take advantage of it. You see, us "ADDers" have our minds in 5th gear from the moment we wake up.
We get distracted easily because we see or hear something that reminds us of something else. And then, in a flash, we take off (mentally that is) until we find our way back. Of course, that's not a good thing when you are trying to sit still for a test or have a conversation with another person. Yet, this amazing ability to connect what we see or hear with something else can be harnessed and used to our advantage. Especially, when we memorize.
Naturally, someone has to point this out to us in order for it to make sense. So, here's what I suggest you do with your ADD child, or your ADD self. When it's time to remember something (i.
e. memorize it), let your mind go as it normally does and then take notice of the connection it brings home. Much like a dog that takes off and then returns with a gift for its owner. That gift is how the mind wants to remember that piece of information. Be thankful.
You now have a direct line to remember it later on. When it comes to memorizing, it's all about the direct lines your mind constructs to the information it has stored. It makes associations between the new information that needs to be learned and old information already in long term memory. Some of the most powerful memory strategies rely entirely on associating new information with old. Some kids have to be taught to make these associations.
ADDers have been doing it their whole life. No one told me this when I was in school. So, I made associations alright. Probably, a million a minute. I just never understood that I could channel this force into something constructive.
Now, as a parent and teacher, I offer advice to my kids and students on how to grab hold of information and store it for another time. Have a little chat with your ADD child and let them know they are ahead of the pack. If they can harness that amazing power they have inside their brains, they will be just fine.
Jim Sarris is a veteran teacher and author of two books on memorizing: Comic Mnemonics for Spanish Verbs and Memorizing Made Easy, a book/DVD that helps kids with LD/ADD and other learning problems memorize more easily. No struggles, no hassles, no headaches. For a free report and more information, visit Better grades today.
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