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Gifted ADHD Children

Difficulty with scanning the environment

Hello, I am new, thanks for your posts and input.  I have an 11 year old boy with ADHD, he is on 27 mg of Concerta and it helps him focus on school work but still he has mild-moderate trouble with impulse control. 

My son has trouble visually scanning a room or area to find an item.  He was looking for a sponge at the sink and it was right in front of him.  It helps to reduce the clutter, but it is just really a pronounced problem he has had since he was small.  He also never thinks to look under things when searching for items. 

He doesn’t have any trouble with other visual scanning, he is fine with reading and is better than average with eye-hand coordination. 

I have tried to find information on visual scanning and ADHD but it’s all about reading.  Anyone else have this problem and have you found strategies to help?  Thank you!


Thank you for posting on this issue!  Your description perfectly fits my 9 year old daughter, and I have also found nothing, except as related to reading.  I hope someone has input.  If I run across anything, I will post it.

Posted by Coco123 on Mar 23, 2014 at 4:30am

And the only strategy I’ve also found, thus far, is reducing clutter.

Posted by Coco123 on Mar 23, 2014 at 4:34am

Sounds like our 11 year old son - wait, did I write this? smile

We have run into the term “visual processing disorder,” and part of that can be a figure ground discrimination problem. This is when someone has a problem discriminating a shape or printed character from its background. I think it may be the same thing that makes it hard for our son to find his shoes when they are in the middle of the living room in front of him.

It was recommended that we take him to a behavioral optometrist, and when we did found that he also had difficulty with other elements of his sight. Doc prescribed eye exercises and glasses. We got the glasses and tried the eye exercises. He stopped wearing the glasses within a month and doing the exercises became such a point of contention that I gave up. You have to pick your battles. And there are so many…

Thanks for posting!

Posted by Rosemary on Mar 23, 2014 at 11:28am

all men have that smile.

you might want to also search for “executive dysfunction”, big picture processing/ situational awareness seem to be a common thread with some ADHD kids.

Posted by cwe_atl on Mar 23, 2014 at 6:37pm

I hear you.  My 13 year old (mild ADD & gifted) is just finally beginning to learn to look for things under and behind (think coffee table, refrigerator, etc.).  I think it’s one of those things they need to acquire my rote memory.  Mine is a college-level reader, but sometimes has those visual scanning issues.  We chalk it up to how her brain works (but her mild auditory processing issues are more noticeable).  Everyone needs to learn to compensate somewhat for their deficits; it’s not like there’s some OT program we can have them do.

As mentioned above, definitely get an eval by a developmental optometrist (strangely, the ophthalmologists don’t “believe” in this therapy, which I personally know of having helped a couple of kids).  I had both my kids checked out.

Posted by Katherine85 on Mar 23, 2014 at 11:48pm is the website of the developmental optometrist we go to.  It’s got a good section on vision therapy.  My friend’s daughter went through about 8 months of vision therapy and it has made a world of difference .

Posted by whizinc on Mar 24, 2014 at 8:43am

hmm, my son, who is 16 is like this too… Totally disorganized and spacey and can’t find a thing when he is looking for it. His best strategy is getting me, his mom, to look for it for him. But seriously, he is getting slightly better. We laugh about it. My mom was very absent minded so I guess I am used to it. He is very aware that this is an issue for him and is working on strategies—like asking friends to help.
I think the best thing is for them to understand themselves so they feel like they can get some control over it… We never tried therapies, but it sounds like this might be a positive route to take.

Posted by oursideofthestreet on Apr 11, 2014 at 4:03am

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