Those ADD / ADHD stereotypes ain’t necessarily so!
Today I want to talk about assumptions.
I was inspired by a comment last week from a reader whose attention was distracted by the formatting in the blog, and who assumed most other ADD / ADHD Adults would dislike it as well. I was surprised by that assumption, since I had always heard differently. I realized that I was guilty of assuming that most with ADD / ADHD would find formatting more reader-friendly.
So rather than continue with my assumption, I decided to check it out. I posed a survey question to my readers about the use of formatting: whether bold face, italics and color made text more reader-friendly for you. (Thank you for your response; I especially appreciated all the thoughtful comments and suggestions!)
Here are the answers in order of preference:
- 47% like bit of formatting
- 44% LOVE formatting
- 6% don’t notice it
- 2% HATE it
- 1% dislike it
I think the preference of my readers was strong enough to give me a clear mandate to continue my formatting.
But that got me thinking about assumptions in general, and how they aren’t always right. Especially when it comes to ADD / ADHD Adults and our attention span.
Short attention span? Not when we’re interested!
We all know that stereotype / assumption that people with ADD have a short attention span. And it’s true. We DO have a shorter attention span. Except when we’re really interested, we get totally focused and lose all track of time.
When I first started giving Thrive with ADD virtual classes in 2002 over the phone, the general assumption was that they shouldn’t go longer than 45 minutes. Everyone thought an ADHD audience wouldn’t be able to pay attention longer than that.
The problem was, I wanted to give solutions that went in-depth, so that people could leave the class and really understand how they could get the strategies they learned to work for them. And I wanted people to be able to ask questions. It just wasn’t possible to reach that level of understanding in 45 minutes.
So I thumbed by nose at the general assumptions and scheduled my classes for 90 minutes.
And a funny thing happened. With Q&A, they often ran over 90 minutes because the more we got going, the more questions people had. And the class would still be going strong sometimes at 11:00 at night. Because when people got really interested, they didn’t want to leave without getting the answer.
Virtual ADHD Conference – New In-Depth Master Classes
October 7-10, 2013
The Virtual ADHD Conference is in its sixth year, and this time they’re going to a new format of fewer speakers and longer classes. I applaud them for bucking the assumption that our ADD attention span is necessarily short.
I’ll be giving a two-hour Master Class on “Obstacles to Time Management.” I’m really looking forward to this longer format, getting to dig in on this topic with people who really care about solving one of the most pervasive challenges facing most ADD / ADHD Adults. And I encourage you to ditch any assumption that you’re doomed to have a lifelong problem with lateness and managing time.
I’ll be writing more about the Conference soon. But – heads up – registration is open, and early bird pricing is in effect.