A Voyage of Discovery of our Sensory Systems - ADHD in Adults
- It seems every day that we are reading or hearing about someone in the public eye receiving a diagnosis for ADHD.
- Why do we think this is happening?
- Is it possible that we have an epidemic of ADHD?
We don't think so. We think more likely, that during COVID, when people had to stay at home, with very little distraction, that they had time and space to think about their lives. They were often in close proximity to loved ones and it was a time of introspection for everyone. It's more than possible that during this time of reflection and isolation, many people began to question how they functioned. And these questions led them to researching online, and hence, to seeking a diagnosis. All of this is perfectly understandable. However, we believe there is a crucial element that is being missed here. And that is how our sensory systems function and the impact it has when they don't function well for us and are not well-integrated.
We advocate looking into the body before looking into the mind and that is because how our body performs influences how our minds, well actually our brains, perform. It's a two-way street, body and brain, brain and body.
Why is the performance of the sensory systems so fundamental to our behaviour as well as our performance and our emotional state? How can they affect our education and socialisation? Our sensory systems feed our brains with information that can be used, ignored or discarded, and you can be both over and under-sensitive on a single sense. Let's take for example the auditory sense:
- covering or blocking ears
- jumping at loud, unexpected sounds
- missing some or parts of conversation
- speaking with a lisp
- leaving the group conversation, because it's over-loading and difficult to follow
How can these behaviours affect our performance? How can they be related to ADHD? Is this really what ADHD is?
These sorts of sensory difficulties can mean that our sensory systems are overloaded and can cause us to 'zone-out' or 'shut-down' when it all gets too much. For some, the enforced isolation of COVID may have been a relief from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and that contrast was what showed the individual that something wasn't quite right.
Simple non-invasive therapies may help. We certainly don't have all the answers, not by a long shot, but thousands of people over the years have been convinced that we have helped improve their sensory functioning and in turn their performance to live their lives more comfortably.
Years ago, I came to the conclusion that as a Dyslexia specialist, diagnosing for Dyslexia did not tell me what is actually 'wrong' with that person and more pertinently their functioning. Rather, I decided to look at the underlying causes that might give rise to a diagnosis. I found that by looking specifically at the senses and reflexes, it gave me a better understanding of how an individual operated and more importantly how they might be helped! I believe that still holds true today and is just as pertinent for ADHD.
ADHD isn't a new epidemic in adults. It's just that those adults are now more in touch with their body and seeking answers. We're here to try and help them do that.