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  • Writer's pictureAlley Dezenhouse Kelner


Hands up if you realized into adulthood that hyper focus is your super power?! 🙋🏻‍♀️🙋🏼‍♀️🙋🏽‍♀️🙋🏾‍♀️🙋🏿‍♀️

It is a common misconception that individuals with ADHD or ASD “can’t focus”; in fact, they can often focus too well—just maybe not on what you want them to be focusing on. Sounds like a you probably to me 😂 But in all seriousness, it can be challenging in a classroom without the "right" approach.

I've heard parents and teachers say things like "he/she can't have ADHD because he/she can focus SO WELL when motivated/interested and NOT AT ALL in absence of motivation/interest"; this mistakenly leads well intentioned individuals to thinking the lack of focus is a behavioural issue, even a choice or the result of inability/skill deficits. Understanding hyper focus can be important in understanding how to capture the right motivation; how to channel strengths and build skills in a classroom setting. Instead of trying to hinder hyper focus, or subject/interest specific fixations or passion (which, newsflash--later become our careers and expertise), let's use them to our advantage. As someone who was told to "pay attention" more than any other phrase throughout my entire educational career I can say for sure that "trying harder" isn't the issue here. The issue is having teachers who understand how a neurodivergent brain is wired and work WITH our brains, not AGAINST them.

Hyper focus got me through 4 degrees, built my business and a ton more; it's definitely my superpower. Teachers—channel this superpower instead of stifling it and you’ll be amazed at what happens.

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