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ADHD RESOURCES

The Positive Side of Daydreaming

The Positive Side of Daydreaming 

Have you ever been scolded for daydreaming?  My high school trigonometry teacher told me she thought I was having trouble in the class because I was a “dreamer” and needed to pay more attention in class. I got by in that class because my boyfriend, a really cute guy with dyslexic and ADHD, was a whiz in the class and helped me “see” or “visualize” the way it worked.

Individuals with ADHD behaviors are often tempted to daydream. And part of the criteria for a diagnosis of ADHD is “inattentiveness” or inability to focus. Often without meaning to or when finding it difficult to pay attention to one thing, an ADHD mind drifts off into the world of daydreaming.

Daydreaming is viewed as a negative activity, but in truth it can be beneficial to the dreamer. Think about it.  A person isn’t going to daydream about something unpleasant or what he or she thinks is bad. That would be called worrying. Daydreams are usually about something a person hopes to do or be in the future, possibly reflecting a deeply-felt goal.  It is sometimes a lofty thought or idea, or a wish that a certain thing would happen and may just be quite possible. Daydreams are often of success or desire that fuels motivation.

The trick is to become mindful of “the right time” and “the wrong time” to daydream. If someone is in the middle of a class, coming up with a way to resist the urge to just drift off for a while will pay off. One great way is to come up with a visual cue and to use it when the temptation to daydream is strong. Mine is of a harness around my drifting mind, with a reminder of “I’ll enjoy that dream later”.

So it’s okay to daydream, but just come up with a strategy that allows you to be able to do it at the “right time” and not the “wrong time”. As a long time daydreamer, I’m proud to say that many of my daydreams have come true. For one, I married the cute boy who helped me through trigonometry!

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Right Time

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Wrong Time

– Lynne Neaves, B.S.; M.A.; Special Education

LD and ADHD Specialist

Admissions Director, SOAR, Inc.