Think about all the distractions we face every day… distractions, such as another person tapping their pen or foot, a person walking by, or your own thoughts taking you away in a day dream. These things can cause a person to have difficulty concentrating. It’s hard for any person to stay completely focused and not be easily distracted on a task, but it can be unbelievably hard for anyone with a learning difficulty such as ADHD or Dyslexia. The popular belief is that a child who is prone to distractions or has difficulty concentrating, has a weakness in their ability to focus, however, our research has discovered that it is actually the Figure Ground Learning Process that controls this ability. Behind size, figure ground is the second most common weakness that we see in our client evaluations.
The process of figure ground is the ability to focus on the “figure” or the important stimuli against a background of competing stimuli. For most people, everything that is happening in front of us is subconsciously processed and we can choose what to focus on. For a child or adult with a weak figure ground, they struggle to control what their mind is focusing on and can cause them to have difficulty concentrating and become easily distracted. Imagine how hard school would be if you didn’t know where to focus your attention. In a typical classroom, there can be thousands of distractions every day.
A good analogy to understand this is to imagine your brain as a filing cabinet. Everything happening around you is subconsciously being organized and filed in your brain by importance. We have the ability to determine what’s important (Size) and focusing on what’s important amongst distraction (Figure Ground), which creates an ideal learning environment. Everything we learn is then filed in our filing cabinet (brain) and we can retrieve the information when necessary. For anyone struggling with a learning difficulty (ADHD, Dyslexia, Autism, or Asperger’s) it’s a life long struggle to figure out what is important and where to focus their attention. They are taking in all the information, but they do not know how to store the information in order to recall it later. This creates the scenario most parents of a child with learning difficulties are familiar with, a very intelligent child with poor grades in school.
Throughout our program we use exercises that create the neuron connections required for anyone to focus on what is important and maintain that focus amongst distractions, or how to concentrate. We believe the brain works exactly like a muscle and new neuron connections give you more “strength”. Just like working out a muscle, we start with basic exercises and gradually build. Once these new neuron connections are established they will continue to strengthen with practice. Our program has research showing that children who complete our six-month program continue to improve years after. So, once we build the new neuron connections, they will keep building strength in their neuron connections for life.
It’s not only children who struggle with distractions or have difficulty concentrating. We have done several corporate workshops and figure ground was one of the main problems many people face every day which makes them easily distracted. We heard many examples of people being constantly distracted throughout their workday and having no idea how to concentrate on their task at hand. It can make you become easily distracted, whether it’s somebody walking by and your brain immediately asking, “What are they doing?” or being bombarded with emails that distract you from completing other work. Also, a good number of employees usually work in close quarters with other employees and they are not being able to tune out those employees and focus on their own work. It’s easy to see how difficulty concentrating can be detrimental to productivity.
Distractions are unavoidable in life, but that doesn’t mean you or your child have to struggle with them. There is a solution and a happier life waiting.Please call and setup a free evaluation… it only takes one hour and is a small price to improve your child's life.