One of our children, our son, deals with ADHD. These posts talk about our experience with him as he faces his challenges and what we've learned and would like to share to help others continue moving forward. Maybe our experiences can be of benefit to you.

  • ADHD

    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

    My Son Has Inattentive ADHD

    My son has Inattentive ADHD. Inattentive ADHD is a subtype of ADHD in which a person has a hard time focusing and paying attention, and doesn’t show the hyperactive behavior normal associated with ADHD. As I have come to understand my son and his diagnosis, I see that often kids with this type of ADHD are overlooked because they’re not hyperactive or causing disruptions.

    One of my goals in writing this blog is to share the experience of what our family goes through with ADHD. I’ve written a lot about tactile defensiveness already, and today, I wanted to focus on ADHD. I’ll be honest, I don’t know where to begin with this topic. I feel like it is such a vast topic. I also know there are many of you that are dealing with the same challenges that I am. I don’t claim to be a professional on dealing with ADHD, but I’ve learned a lot in our challenges that I want to share. Everything I write about ADHD is from my own experiences working with my son.

    Uncovering His ADHD Diagnosis

    My son started showing signs that something was off in the first grade. Since he was our first child, we didn’t notice anything different. We didn’t think anything was wrong until his first grade teacher mentioned that he had a hard time following directions. We took it under advisement and continued to watch him, but we didn’t do anything that year because I still wasn’t sure if he was different from his peers.

    In second grade, his teacher mentioned something about his ability to follow directions to us again, and that is when we decided that we needed to take him to the doctor to have him tested. My son was diagnosed with ADHD when he was in second grade. We had a lot of help from his teacher that year, and she was very supportive and we loved her for it!

    When he’s unable to focus, you can think of it as he has a million thoughts running through his mind at once, and each one takes his mind on a different track of thought. He may be able to maintain focus for bit, but there are a lot of other thoughts competing for his attention.

    After he was diagnosed, it was apparent to my husband and I that he needed a little help to be able to focus in school so we decided that we would put him on medication. You can read our experience on Should You Medicate Your Child for ADHD?

    It has been a long journey over the years. We have been through a lot of challenges with him. There has also been some good times as well. Even through all the challenges I wouldn’t change it for anything.

    There are so many challenges and experiences that come with an ADHD diagnosis. I am planning to break down a lot of the things I have learned along the way, and things I struggle with. To continue to read about our experiences with ADHD, please subscribe below.

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    I would also love to hear from any one that is has a child that has ADHD and how you have managed it. Please, come on this journey with me!

  • 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.

  • ADHD,  Tactile Defensiveness

    What We Tried to Stop Our Son’s Chewing Habit

    Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via these links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclaimers for more information.

    When my son was in elementary school, he started having a problem chewing little pieces of paper. I am honestly not sure if it was because of his tactile defensiveness or if it was from his ADHD, but it was constant and becoming a problem.

    He would chew little pieces of paper and then put them on the floor. Then get a new one and do the same thing. By the time school was over for the day, he had tiny pieces of paper all over the floor underneath his desk.

    The first grade that I remember his habit being a problem was in the second grade. His second-grade teacher is the one who brought this habit to my attention. We tried different things that school year to help him stop doing it. Here’s what we tried to stop our son’s chewing habit.

    His teacher allowed him to chew gum in class, but that didn’t work because he would spit the gum out and not in the garbage can. We also tried sending him to school with Tic Tacs that he could suck on. This didn’t work because he would eat them and didn’t suck on them.

    Since neither worked and his teacher didn’t want him chewing on paper, he started chewing on pencils. Once again, at the end of the day, he would have little pieces of wood pencils on the floor underneath his desk.

    By the end of second grade, we could not solve the problem, and when he got to third grade, it was still a problem.

    His third-grade teacher did not like him chewing on paper. This is the year that we were introduced to sensory chewing necklaces. These can be found easily on using a search term like, Sensory Chew Necklaces.

    A sensory chewing necklace has a round rubber medallion that they wear, and when they get the urge to chew, they can chew on the medallion.

    Our son tried this for a week, but then he got embarrassed and stopped wearing it to school. I’m guessing the kids said something to him. You can buy sensory chewing necklaces with a block that looks like a Lego. I thought that would be perfect because he loves Legos, but he was still embarrassed to wear it.

    When that didn’t work, we discovered chewable pencil toppers. We found a pencil topper that looked like a Lego. That worked pretty well for him for quite some time. Until he either lost them or they got stolen from him.

    Starting in fourth grade, his teachers didn’t care. They said it isn’t a big deal if the vacuum can pick up the little pieces of paper.

    He did get made fun of when he was in fifth grade, and that is when he started to hide it a little bit more. He still was chewing paper, but rather than dropping them on the floor, he would put them into his pockets. Lucky me, when I did his laundry, I would find all of these little tiny, tiny wads of paper in his pockets.

    Now that he is sixteen, he still chews on things, but not like he used to. We have accepted that he likes to chew on different things, and we wouldn’t change him for anything.

    Hopefully, this helps anyone with a child who likes to chew on things. Even though the sensory chew toys didn’t work for us, it is very possible they could work for you. There are so many more options out there for sensory than there used to be. It takes patience with some trial and error to find the right strategy for your child!!

  • ADHD,  Family

    Can a Teenager With ADHD Drive?

    As soon as my son was diagnosed with ADHD-Inattentive type, my brain had so many questions. One of those questions that always came back to me was whether he could learn to drive, having ADHD.

    Can a teenager with ADHD drive? In short, yes! But let me tell you about our experience.

    My son turned sixteen a couple of months ago, and I will tell you that the last year has been a whirlwind.

    Surprisingly, my son is getting his driver’s license was a lot of work. I think some of it is because he is my oldest, so getting a driver’s license was a new experience for both of us. It was a year’s worth of work for both of us. He had to take the test to get his learner’s permit, drive many hours, take a Driver’s Education course, and take a lot of drives with an instructor.

    Before he got started, I always thought that his ADHD was going to be a problem. He wouldn’t be able to pay attention in class or while driving. This was very far from what happened.

    He got his learner’s permit very quickly. He just had to take a written test. Getting him to drive the car was the hardest part. And it wasn’t the ADHD that ended up being the problem. He ended up having a great deal of anxiety. Every time he drove, he worried about getting into an accident and wrecking the car.

    Even as he got more experience with driving, he has struggled to get over his anxiety. From the beginning, he never enjoyed driving, so getting him to commit to driving was always a battle. Once he got his license and realized how much more freedom he had, his anxiety went down.

    In the end, and with much celebration, my son received his license. It was a lot of work to get there, but every child is different, and every child’s ADHD is different. Can a teenager with ADHD drive? In my experience, I know that if you have a child with ADHD, it is possible for them to drive someday. It may not be easy, but they can do it. Just give them lots of encouragement and be patient.