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Success vs. Stress, including Fear of Failure and Memory Problems

A few keys to success in school (for people with or without A.D.D.):

We need to concentrate on taking notes in classes, and possibly use a digital recorder to record some classes. (That makes a tremendous difference for many of my A.D.D. students, because they can "go back and listen" to things they missed when distractions occurred.) Examples of distractions include when other students are moving or making noises, worries or concerns**, being hungry, needing to go to the restroom, looking for a pen or pencil, or needing to sharpen a pencil, etc. There are many sources of distractions. Even **fear of failure** can be a distraction!

What about memory problems?

Actually all of us have trouble with remembering from time to time--it's part of being human, right? Heck, even computers have memory problems occasionally, so it seems that some degree of "forgetfulness" is basically a universal condition.

Some good news for A.D.D. students: If we are able to use a digital RECORDER, that should help to "level the playing field," like wearing glasses can level the playing field for a student who needs glasses to see well. Many students can look back on times when they got discouraged, and it made it harder for them to do their best work in classes. **Fear of failure**, or a feeling that "it's just too hard" can have a negative impact on performance in classes. It can be a distraction that makes it harder to focus and concentrate on the present.

I remember a few years ago, when President Bush sent some additional troops to help in combat zones, we called that "a surge," and it helped to improve the overall situation there. Sometimes we need to use a "surge" strategy, like sprinting at the end of a marathon, to help get us through a class.

If our goal is to pass all of our classes, we're have to give it all we've got. Success in school (especially in high school and college) leads to success in life.

Speaking as a parent of an A.D.D. student now: Since we want our children to do their best, we tend to put pressure on them. We have to be careful in doing this, because it can sometimes backfire--if we put too much pressure on them, it could cause them to "obsess" about failing, which in turn makes it harder for them to concentrate on succeeding. The challenge is motivating with just the right amount of pressure, and also making sure to give words of encouragement. If a student knows that people believe in him or her, it makes it easier to visualize success, and visualizing success is a key to making it happen.


Well said.  As a person with ADHD I liked to be challenged or I get bored very fast; however, if pushed to hard I tend to freeze because I am afraid of doing the wrong thing.  Sometimes this can be a tough line to stay on.  Oh well, love the challenge.