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Hyperfocus is a common but misunderstood symptom of attention deficit in children and adults who concentrate intently on one thing for an extended period of time.


It’s no secret that children and adults with attention deficit disorder (ADHD) struggle to focus on tasks they find boring. But the flip side is also true: ADDers can focus so intently on things that do interest them that they become oblivious to the world around them.

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Examples of Hyperfocus

· Children might play a video game or watch TV for hours instead of going to a movie or hanging out with a friend.
· Adults might shop or surf the Internet instead of talking with their spouse or taking out the dog.

“People who think that ADD means having a short attention span misunderstand what ADD is,” says Kathleen Nadeau, Ph.D., a psychologist in Silver Spring, Maryland, and author of ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life. “People with ADD have a disregulated attention system.”

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