Over the past several years, I’ve gotten more vocal about how I think and process information.It’s funny how we converse freely about what we think, but how we think rarely comes up. As a result, we end up accepting deviations from within our personal thought patterns as something everyone deals with from time to time.
One thing that’s always happened to me is the sensation of my brain getting “stuck”. It’s like I can absorb information, process it and generate thought based off if it to a certain point. Once the limit is reached, my mind feels like it stalls, and I can’t progress to the next step.
It happens with words on a fairly regular basis, especially in verbal expression. The faster I need to come up with words, the fewer I can recall. I’ve noticed it in my writing, too, but that gets taken care of in later edits.
However, it also happens with tasks or while shopping. Unless I tick items off of a list, I’m likely to go back to the same task in my head again and again, until I see it crossed off.
This weekend, I came across a compilation of the F.A.T. City Workshop videos. The one on processing, shown below, caught my attention.
This video makes me think perhaps that “stuck brain” sensation is the old information processing problem that made sometimes school tough for me.
It would make sense, right? A conversation’s going at a comfortable pace for everyone else, but I can’t keep up because the flow of information is too fast for me. I have to get things one, two and three done before the end of the day, but the steps in each must be carried out properly to do them, and thing three gets left out because the steps in one and two took too long for me to figure out.
Granted, I’m not having as much difficulty as I was when I was a kid, but the issue is still there. As an adult, I thankfully have the ability to formulate my own schedule, manage my own time and make use of accommodative tools as needed.
One of my big compensatory tools is carrying out complicated or urgent tasks first, and leaving the less urgent, simple tasks for later. If I don’t get those simple tasks done that day, I can try again the next day, or when my to-do list is shorter.
Kids, of course, don’t necessarily have that luxury. They need to figure out how to keep up with the pace their teachers set. When not given proper accommodations, like recording lectures or suggestions like the one Rick makes in the video, kids must catch up in any way they can. That might mean spending more hours on homework than their peers, staying after class if the teacher is available or even summer school. When those don’t work, they may eventually give up, and who can blame them?
That leads to all sorts of frustration on everyone’s part, mistaken diagnosis and perhaps unneeded medication. So, it’s certainly something that’s worth further study, and should be addressed as early as possible.