Parents tell me, “My son was born running. He bounces all over the place, but he does his schoolwork so slowly. What’s going on?”
The problem is with the white matter areas of the brain. In those with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and autism, their one common trait is abnormal white matter.
White matter plays a crucial role in communication between various regions of the brain. In all three conditions, the problem was with the connection between the right and left hemispheres.
For the ADHD population, it’s the white matter in the emotional system that causes behavior and executive functioning problems, specifically processing speed because the hemispheres take so long to talk to each other.
In the OCD population, it causes them to get "stuck". They're indecisive. They ruminate. They think, rethink and think again. They "double clutch" and overthink. Indecisiveness is related to hoarding. "I just can't decide if I can throw it away. I might need it someday." Now, you get the picture.
For those with autism, the white matter issue interferes with deciding on social reactions, anxiety and social interpretation.
Just because your kid moves at warp speed, when it comes to coordinating their brains for schoolwork or social interactions, they have a real reason for working at a snail’s pace. Be patient and get accommodations in school so that they can "show what they know".
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