ADHD Predominantly Inattentive Language Processing

Language Processing may not be a problem for children with Predominantly Inattentive ADHD (ADHD-PI).  My eldest son has what I consider to be a very rich internal language.  He seems to have a constant conversation going on in his heads.  He can spend hours ruminating about just about everything. 

My eldest son can be shy but if he feels comfortable he can talk to you about everything that comes to his mind.  He sounds like a running commentary of the workings of an 11-year-old mind.  You ask him one thing and he will answer you with so many different stories, some related to the question, some related only very tangentially, some not related remotely to what you just asked him.

As both my sons were learning to talk and think I tried not to interrupt them too much.  This has given the older son what I call the 'Professor' or 'Preacher' license to go on and on about whatever is currently occupying his mind.  He is a bit like that old priest who starts a sermon about charitable giving at 10 am and by 11:30 he is talking about the Tootsie-Roll factory in Hoboken New Jersey and you are wondering if any of this has anything to do with anything. 

I have started to gently explain to him that it is obnoxious to have to listen to him expound on everything under the sun when I have asked him a pointed question.  We are working on getting him to get to the point. 

My younger son has been encouraged as well but has always been willing to just listen and has never wanted to talk much.  I have always asked my eldest son to give my younger son a chance to talk but even when he manages to be quiet, getting my younger son to talk about anything is like pulling teeth.

My eldest so did this project in 2nd grade for the 100th day of school.  The teacher asked the kids to bring in 100 of something.  There were children who brought in 100 acorns, some brought in 100 Legos, one girl brought 100 jelly beans, another 100 M&Ms. My son asked me to write down 100 thoughts.  He had, as you can probably imagine, he had no trouble coming up with 100 thoughts.  I printed out his thoughts and he cut them out and put them on a big poster board.

Teachers came from all over the school to see this poster.  It was a unique look into the workings of the mind of a second grader.  Some of his thoughts were very cool, "There are baby squirrels in the nest outside my window, I need to set up a night watch so the owl does not eat them."  Some were really interesting. "My brother has no imagination because he is six.  I am hoping he gets an imagination when he turns seven."  Some were not at all flattering to my parenting.  "I don't like it when my mother locks me in the basement for making fun of my brother and then he has a huge fit."  Some were kind of philosophical, "Star wars warriors have no more of an imagination than Middle Age Warriors."

The up side of all this thinking is that my eldest son has generally worked out whatever difficulties he is having whether they be physical, emotional, intellectual, or spiritual in his head.  The down side is that he can be prone to obsessing, which can in turn lead to anxiety and depression. 

The internal language processes of the Predominantly Inattentive ADHD person is different than the internal language processing of those with Hyperactive/impulsive ADHD (ADHD-HI).  Researchers will some day map out these brain differences and will be able to address the language processing issues of individuals with ADHD-HI without destroying the rich internal language of individuals with ADHD-PI.

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