Do you think you have an Attention Deficit Disorder? Did you know that there are different types of Attention Deficit Disorders and that is because people can suffer from deficits in attention due to a variety of causes. One cause is being a highly visual thinker. Perhaps, you can relate to this story.

On the first day of school, you hear your teacher say:

Other students begin to write eagerly. They complete the task effortlessly. Not you, as how could you if you don’t understand what she is saying. You are trying to form a picture in your mind to understand but before you can the words are gone. You feel alone, frustrated, anxious, and angry. Nobody seems to appreciate that you have trouble paying attention, processing and writing all at the same time. Soon the teacher has given up on you. You DON’T PAY ATTENTION. Your Attention Deficit Disorder has made you lazy, not interested, unmotivated or slow. For a student with normal verbal skills, the steps that lead to understanding a lesson or a social interaction can be quite automatic. But in the case of a highly visual thinker, there can be serious handicaps-processing their native language can seem as strange to them as these Russian words. What is so isolating is that everyone else in the class knows that the words mean.

Attention Problems Can Create Despair

How we react can help create success or failure. Our misunderstanding of the cause of the problem can condemn a visual person to a life of humiliation and marginalization. Then what began as an attention deficit disorder (ADD) can quickly become problems with anxiety, frustration, anger, withdrawal or sleep.

Causes Of Attention Problems

Human attention is how we connect our sense organs, particularly, our eyes and ears, to the brain. Attention deficit disorders have a variety of causes including a language delay, a stroke or the psychiatric condition. However, there is another category of persons who suffer from attention disorders. These persons are highly visual or what I call the Maverick Minds, which I detail in my book Maverick Mind.

The Florance Maverick Mind

I have devoted my life to research and treatment of Highly Visual Minds who have attention problems. They tend to have trouble socially or academically because visual thinking can become the enemy of verbal processing creating a multitude of symptoms in daily life. We measure these symptoms on our eBrain Analysis Of Risk, a 50 symptom inventory, a family history and a narrative interview. Visual thinkers with auditory attention problems are called Florance Mavericks. The symptoms of a language impaired Maverick and the psychiatric condition Attention Deficit Disorder can appear the same.

Solutions Begin At Home

David Satcher, MD, PhD, Assistant Secretary for Health and Surgeon General reported in 2001:“Growing numbers of children are suffering needlessly because the very institutions and systems that were created to take care of them are not meeting their emotional, behavioral, and developmental needs.” Satcher continued, “This begins with families. We need to help families understand that these problems are real, that they often can be prevented, and that effective training is available.”

New Insights Lead To Better Solutions

In my 37 years of practice, I have worked with attention disorders of the young and the elderly with preschoolers to medical students and executives. In my experience, when highly visual thinkers are correctly identified, they respond very rapidly. I work with families to teach attention skills at home and equip the parents to enable the children to transfer to school. We find that as parents learn new insights about how the human attention span works, they become excellent advocates for their children as well as good attention-trainers. We are teaching how to build the attention skills of the Maverick to prevent school failure and enhance the joy of communication.

Visit to watch our Maverick Movies, by Cheri L. Florance, Ph.D. Sign up for our complimentary Learning Library

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Visit to watch our Maverick Movies, by Chery L. Florance, Ph.D. Sign up for our complimentary Learning Library

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