Memory and forgetting are irrefutably intertwined. You might say they go hand-in-hand for adults with attention deficit.
by Ann Jovanovic
No two handshakes are exactly alike. Some grips are gentle, others firmer. Then there's fist bumps and fancy finger moves. Gosh, in some cultures a simple, yet elegant bow is preferred. Others kiss instead. Despite sometimes bumping heads and awkward giggling, we carry on.
So many different ways to do the same thing.
My point? We all have different memory capacities. My strength may be your weakness and so on. Embracing this knowledge is key to understanding why we forget and how we can help ourselves to remember. We carry on.
It’s common knowledge that we all have long- and short-term working memory. Did you know that there are three different types of long-term memory? Episodic (for personal experiences), semantic (for facts and general information) and finally, procedural memory (for tasks, steps and strategy). That’s why some things are easier to remember for some people, and why no one solution works the same for everyone with attention deficit.
Memory-enhancement techniques such as mnemonics, software such as mind mapping, apps to keep track of time or your mood, multipurpose smartphones, multi-alarm watches, stickies, a plethora of organizers and organizational coaches abound... beckoning to us. Each offers a slightly different approach for our slightly different brains.
You can now ring, beep, vibrate, sing, compute, text, post-it, and meditate your way to organizing your memory for greater success in all avenues of your life. Whatever works for you, that's what works.
Much of our anxiety that comes from forgetting is caused by the negative reaction from others. Wherever possible, seek out advocacy and support.
For all the parents out there, memory-enhancing devices that worked for you may not be the best choice for your child. Keep trying different options and where ever possible, lean on the support of doctors, teachers, coaches, therapists, and local organizations including our wonderful ADDConnect community.
Let's shake on it.