Attention deficit hyperactive disorders are developmental disorders resulting from neurochemical dysfunction in areas of  the brain responsible for the regulatory and executive functions.  Serious long term social, emotional and academic or vocational problems arise when AD/HD is not identified and treated early. 

People with ADHD have major problems with focused attention.

FOCAL ATTENTION is required for:

  • Processing symbols – letters, numbers, words
  • Sequencing – lineal not whole
  • Categorizing – taking things out of context
  • Analysing – breaking things into parts
  • Organization – structuring time & space
  • Understanding the structure, form and symbols of language
  • Rote learning – symbols in sequence
  • Learning out of context - looking at parts and not the whole
  • Goal directed engagement - structured problem solving
  • Verbal thinking
  • Perfectionism - critical focal attention
  • Focusing in detail on what is already known


Many children with deficits in focal attention can have strengths in tasks that require broad attention.  The list below highlights the cognitive strengths of many children with ADHD and many visual spatial learners.

BROAD ATTENTION is required for:

  • Receiving new information – does not focus on what is already known
  • Understanding the big picture
  • Self understanding in social contexts
  • Creativity – expression of reality
  • Immersion -  unstructured engagement in time and space
  • Problem solving – the  gestalt factor ,non structured
  • Non verbal thinking – higher order
  • Generating  possibilities intuitively  - non goal directed
  • Unfolding perfection – ability to play with other possibilities
  • Understanding metaphor, nuance, implicit information and signals
  • Empathy - at the heart of comprehension
  • Engagement with change – internal and external change required for all learning
  • Unifying divided parts  -  this is what makes knowledge useful
  • Non verbal communication – 90% of communication


Psychiatrist: Dr Ian McGilchristThe Master and his Emissary

A Starjump assessment will identify whether your child needs to be referred on for a medical assessment for ADHD.