Our Son’s Challenges With Hyperfixation

    One of the challenges that our son, who has inattentive ADHD, deals with is hyperfixation. In this blog post, I want to help you understand what hyperfixation is and what challenges our son and family face.

    What is Hyperfixation?

    Hyperfixation is best defined as an intense or prolonged interest in or an obsession with an activity, subject, or person. Simply put, a person who experiences hyperfixation has their attention completely absorbed and consumed by a particular activity or interest for an excessive or unhealthy amount of time.

    There are times where see see this behavior, or intense focus or obsession with an activity in our son. Our son tends to hyperfixate on video games. He will completely immerse and lose himself in a video game for hours on end. He tends to ignore or delay everything he needs to do when he starts hyperfixating and playing video games, and sometimes it takes a major effort to break him out of that hyperfixation. He has gotten better in recent years in many respects, but he still has his moments where we see him hyperfixate.

    Some common characteristics of hyperfixation that can manifest in many different situations are:

    • A person will begin a task and suddenly realize many hours have passed.
    • A person may ignore or not respond to others, making it extremely difficult to communicate with them and get their attention.
    • A person will be unaware of what is happening around them and may tune out things like people talking, the weather, and the time.
    • A person may ignore and/or delay their personal needs, such as eating or sleeping because they’re so focused on the task at hand.
    • A person may find that they have a hard time stopping or switching to a different activity.

    Hyperfixation can and will manifest itself differently from one person to another. Some get completely wrapped up in a hobby, while others engage in random activities like watching TV or scrolling through Pinterest.

    Benefits of Hyperfixation

    Wait, there are benefits and positive side effects to hyperfixation? Yes, there are many things can prove to be a benefit to those who deal with hyperfixation. These benefits of hyperfixation are only useful when focused on something productive.

    1. Intense Focus

    Those who have hyperfixation undergo a state of intense focus on their task or subject at hand. When this subject is positive, the attention given to it and only it can lead to doing things that no one else can do.

    When our son has focus, he can accomplish anything. It is amazing to see when he gets so wrapped up in a subject what he’s able to learn and do. I’m constantly in awe about what he can accomplish when he gains focus and puts his effort into it.

    2. Boundless Energy

    Those who have hyperfixation tend to disregard their bodies signs for fatigue or tiredness. The don’t get bored, but rather they just keep going and going.

    When our son hyperfixates he is just like this. It doesn’t matter what time it is, or how tired he may be, he just keeps going.

    3. High Productivity

    People who have hyperfixation can get a lot done in a little amount of time with no distractions, an intense focus, and boundless energy.

    Negative Symptoms of Hyperfixation

    There are also a lot of downsides and negative symptoms of hyperfixation. Some of these negative symptoms can lead to stress, grief, and problems not only for the person who is hyperfixating, but also for those who are trying to interact with them.

    1. Not Listening

    A common problem of hyperfixation is that a person will just not listen. Regardless of what you’re trying to say to them they end up completely ignore you. What’s really going on is that a person likely doesn’t even hear you. because they’re so focused on what they’re doing that they simply tune out everything else that’s going on around them.

    2. Distracted

    Even when a person is physically present, those who hyperfixate may tend to seem distracted or distant. This can easily be thought of as going through the motions but they’re in a completely different world.

    3. Unable to Pay Attention

    A person who hyperfixates may seem like they’re paying attention and listening to what you’re saying, but when you’re done talking to them, they don’t remember a thing you said.

    4. Not Doing Chores / Essential Tasks

    A person who hyperfixates will tend to put a lower priority on chores and tasks that need to be completed because it doesn’t align with their interests. This can be ignoring things like washing and folding laundry, to not wanting to bathe and shower.

    5. Being Late / Making Others Wait

    Because a person who hyperfixates gets so caught up in the activity their doing or focused on, when it’s time for them to stop and transition to something else, it becomes very hard to break out of the activity. People who struggle with this can say things like, “just five more minutes.”

  • ADHD

    School Strategies for an ADHD-Inattentive Child

    Children with ADHD struggle with attention and organization, challenging academic success. However, these children can succeed in the classroom with appropriate strategies and support from parents, educators, and the school community, as has been our experience, even though it hasn’t been easy. Here are a few strategies that help us with our ADHD-inattentive son.

    Create a Structured Environment

    Children with ADHD often benefit from a structured environment. Establish a consistent routine at home that includes specific times for studying, completing homework, and engaging in extracurricular activities. In the classroom, teachers can provide visual aids, such as daily schedules, to help the child anticipate tasks and transitions. Organizational tools like color-coded folders or assignment notebooks can also aid in keeping track of assignments and due dates.

    Break Tasks into Manageable Chunks

    Large tasks can overwhelm children with ADHD, leading to procrastination or avoidance. This is especially true with our son. If he feels a task is too large, he will delay and procrastinate completing the task. Encourage breaking down assignments into smaller, more manageable steps. This approach allows the child to focus on one task at a time, reducing anxiety and increasing productivity. Teachers can provide clear instructions and divide assignments into smaller components, providing frequent check-ins and guidance.

    Utilize Multisensory Learning

    Engaging multiple senses can enhance attention and retention for children with ADHD-Inattentive. Incorporate visual aids, hands-on activities, and interactive technologies in the learning process. For instance, using colored markers or highlighting important information can help improve focus. Educators can integrate multimedia resources, such as educational videos or interactive software, to make lessons more engaging and accessible.

    Implement Behavior Management Strategies

    Behavior management techniques can foster positive learning environments for children with ADHD. Encourage the use of reward systems, where the child earns points or privileges for completing tasks or demonstrating desired behaviors. Collaborate with teachers to establish consistent expectations and consequences, ensuring a structured approach to discipline. Praising and reinforcing the child’s efforts and progress can boost their self-esteem and motivation.


    Supporting a child with ADHD-Inattentive in their academic journey requires a collaborative effort from parents, teachers, and the school community. By creating a structured environment, breaking tasks into manageable chunks, and implementing behavior management strategies, we can empower these children to thrive in the classroom and reach their full potential.

    Remember, every child with ADHD is unique, so it’s essential to tailor interventions and strategies to their needs and strengths. With patience, understanding, and consistent support, we can positively impact their educational experience.

  • Tactile Defensiveness

    Helping a Child with Tactile Defensiveness Overcome Eating Challenges

    Tactile defensiveness can pose significant challenges for children when it comes to eating. Sensory sensitivities can make mealtimes overwhelming and stressful. However, with patience, understanding, and a strategic approach, parents and caregivers can help their children overcome tactile defensiveness and develop a healthier relationship with food.

    Understanding Tactile Defensiveness

    Tactile defensiveness, or tactile hypersensitivity, is a condition where individuals experience an overreaction to certain tactile stimuli. For children with tactile defensiveness, the textures, temperatures, and physical sensations associated with food can trigger aversive responses, making eating a daunting task. It is important to remember that each child’s experience is unique, and their aversions may vary.

    Create a Calm and Supportive Environment

    Creating a calm and supportive environment during mealtimes is crucial for helping a child with tactile defensiveness. Reduce distractions, such as loud noises or bright lights, that may heighten their sensory overload. Establish a predictable routine and provide clear expectations. Encourage positive associations with food by incorporating enjoyable activities or storytelling into mealtimes.

    Gradual Exposure to New Foods

    Introducing new foods gradually is key to helping a child with tactile defensiveness expand their palate. Start with small portions of unfamiliar foods and pair them with preferred items. Please encourage them to gradually explore the new food with their senses, allowing them to touch, smell, and interact with it without pressure to eat. Celebrate any progress made, regardless of how small it may seem.

    Food Texture Modifications

    Food textures can be particularly challenging for children with tactile defensiveness. Modifying the textures of certain foods can help make them more manageable. Pureeing or blending foods to create smoother textures or offering crunchy alternatives like vegetable sticks instead of raw fruits can provide more tolerable options for children with tactile sensitivities.

    Consulting with Occupational Therapists

    Occupational therapists specializing in sensory processing can provide valuable guidance and strategies tailored to your child’s needs. They can offer techniques to desensitize their tactile sensitivity over time and suggest activities to improve sensory integration. Collaborating with these professionals can significantly enhance your child’s progress and overall well-being.

    Helping a child with tactile defensiveness overcome eating challenges requires patience, understanding, and a supportive approach. By creating a calm environment, gradually introducing new foods, and seeking professional assistance, parents can empower their children to develop healthier relationships with food.