View Full Version : Keen Observation Skills?


mamabear78
03-16-14, 08:59 PM
This isn't a parenting issue but more of a question. When reading about ADHD I often read that those diagnosed have exceptional observation skills. Is this true for you or your child? If so, how?

My child seems to notice the unnoticeable. I was curious if this is pretty typical.

Thank you.

avjgirsijdhtjhs
03-16-14, 09:40 PM
Can you elaborate some more on his seeming to "notice the unnoticeable"?

Do meds effect his noticing? What are the med(s) and doses and dosing schedule\timesofday?

Are you by any chance talking about meds making things seem to stand out more to him and seem more important\significant\intense to him and so he's reading into things too much (including insignificant stimuli that nobody would give a second thought) and so these are factoring too much into his thoughts which are driving his emotions, and actions?

mamabear78
03-16-14, 09:56 PM
Yes, I will elaborate. Sorry for not doing so. No meds. His observations are a really neat skill to me...and I was reading that those with ADHD often have great observation skills. I was wondering if anyone on here notices this about himself or their child.

My son notices things all the time that in which most people tend to overlook or not notice. For instance tonight he started flag football practice on a new team. He played last season for the first time. They do not have a team name yet but it will be a professional sports team name when they are assigned their name.

Upon the coach handing out blue flags my son (7 years old) commented that they would be a NFC team when assigned. The coach looked at him clueless and said, "why do you think this?" My son said because last season (they had red flags) we were an AFC team and each time we played NFC teams they wore blue flags. The AFC teams only wore red flags.

Might seem simple but he does this stuff a lot...and it's stuff the average joe doesn't notice (like me). I think it's really special to observe these kinds of nuances that most people pay no attention to. I was just wondering how many on here tend to observe these kinds of things. Hence my saying "noticing the unnoticeable."

Lunacie
03-16-14, 10:00 PM
Maybe it has something to do with our filters not working properly so everything

coming at us seems just as important as anything else.

The trick is pulling out the memory of what we've noticed at the right moment.

mamabear78
03-16-14, 10:03 PM
Maybe it has something to do with our filters not working properly so everything

coming at us seems just as important as anything else.

The trick is pulling out the memory of what we've noticed at the right moment.

I think it is a really neat trait that I definitely don't possess. Thanks for explaining that. I think that makes a lot of sense.

sarahsweets
03-17-14, 05:23 AM
If you mean observing where the fine china section is in a store and running through it like a train, then yes.

BellaVita
03-17-14, 05:43 AM
Yes, I will elaborate. Sorry for not doing so. No meds. His observations are a really neat skill to me...and I was reading that those with ADHD often have great observation skills. I was wondering if anyone on here notices this about himself or their child.

My son notices things all the time that in which most people tend to overlook or not notice. For instance tonight he started flag football practice on a new team. He played last season for the first time. They do not have a team name yet but it will be a professional sports team name when they are assigned their name.

Upon the coach handing out blue flags my son (7 years old) commented that they would be a NFC team when assigned. The coach looked at him clueless and said, "why do you think this?" My son said because last season (they had red flags) we were an AFC team and each time we played NFC teams they wore blue flags. The AFC teams only wore red flags.

Might seem simple but he does this stuff a lot...and it's stuff the average joe doesn't notice (like me). I think it's really special to observe these kinds of nuances that most people pay no attention to. I was just wondering how many on here tend to observe these kinds of things. Hence my saying "noticing the unnoticeable."

I do this, except with words.

I also have OCD and to me my OCD is what plays a big part in it.

Just thought I'd throw that thought out there.

someothertime
03-17-14, 05:47 AM
Definately... it seems that nature and environment alter somewhat the "focus" from person to person.

Mine is people... It's hurt me... in that inferring and totally feeling the persons state or mindset... i respond to that... absorb that etc. etc. and the biggest mistake/poorly learned behavior I made with this is to realate alot of these actions as a reflection of me... and so on and so on...

Back to your question :)... it's a big pro too... sprinkle some openness and action and this "skill" has the potential to effect people immensely... bring empathy... mediate... etc. etc.

I know that alot of the inferences were not "accurate" because I built conclusions in an absolute way... rarely clarified or developed... or left space for procession.

Generally most of us will have a "feild" or "subject" which is almost savantlike... i know a lot of guys are technical...

:) As were in the parenting forum... I'll throw out the word development... or harness... aka... steering a padwan into realisation and testing without expectation...

stef
03-17-14, 05:59 AM
Absolutely yes! I've always observed things.

when he does, don't be "suprised", just genuinely interested. Admit that you never would have noticed that yourself. (because if he feels adults think this is "strange", he will stop sharing these ideas and just feel more isolated).

Later you could remind him, when he is struggling with some ADHD issue, that he thinks differently and notices neat things.

And really, it's something that's always been very useful to me!

tripleE
03-17-14, 09:29 AM
yes for my daughter too, age 11. Observant in three ways:

1. Notices all kinds of little things. I often feel like I walk around blind after spending time with her, all the things she picks up on that I don't even see.

2. People. Their moods, their habits, what they like to wear.

3. Herself. She has had some tough stuff to process about herself and her life and her insights are usually an adult level, and just there all of a sudden - no processing, mulling things over, etc - she just "gets it".

But of course the other side of ADHD is that she can't always put this stuff to good use, so she is still emotionally immature and often seems to be in outer space despite her superpowers of observation.

I still think it's neat though and she impresses me.

stef
03-17-14, 09:33 AM
[... ] and often seems to be in outer space despite her superpowers of observation.



Not to worry you, but this part may never change...this is me today at 46...

tripleE
03-17-14, 09:43 AM
Not to worry you, but this part may never change...this is me today at 46...

LOL!! That's ok, she can join me in outer space. That's why I'm always so impressed with her "superpowers"....I'm like "wow, you noticed that???"

mamabear78
03-17-14, 10:36 AM
I love this! Thanks for your responses.

Stef, great advice on not making it seem strange. I definitely am blown away by the skill in an impressed way, not strange, yet to him at his age it would be easy to translate as being different. Thanks for that advice.

I really enjoy looking at some of the more positive ADHD qualities and this is definitely one. He seems to notice things more keenly in his strong area of interest for the year. If only that could hone into school! ;-)

mamabear78
03-17-14, 10:40 AM
I do this, except with words.

I also have OCD and to me my OCD is what plays a big part in it.

Just thought I'd throw that thought out there.

What exactly does "with words" mean or look like? I find that interesting! Would love to know more.

My son outlines what he says in the air as he talks and thinks. I know that's not what you're talking about, but it's a funny thing to watch. He's very visual so I think he sees what he's saying or thinking as he draws it in the air. He is definitely a unique guy!

Stevuke79
03-17-14, 12:24 PM
Yes, I do this and so does my daughter. Things like the NFC/AFC observation are classic ADHD/ASD and OCD skills. When you can't prioritize or filter, you see mundane or minor details everywhere, and you consider them for longer because it takes you longer to decide they are unimportant. Also, when you have a hard time organizing and generalizing, the world is very confusing and you look for patterns everywhere.

With age I've become better at knowing when I've stumbled upon an actual pattern versus a coincidence. When properly honed it's a valuable skill.

mamabear78
03-17-14, 01:04 PM
Yes, I do this and so does my daughter. Things like the NFC/AFC observation are classic ADHD/ASD and OCD skills. When you can't prioritize or filter, you see mundane or minor details everywhere, and you consider them for longer because it takes you longer to decide they are unimportant. Also, when you have a hard time organizing and generalizing, the world is very confusing and you look for patterns everywhere.

With age I've become better at knowing when I've stumbled upon an actual pattern versus a coincidence. When properly honed it's a valuable skill.

Wow...great explanation. Thank you!

When you said "you consider them for longer" it reminded me of my son. Even when playing flag football last season (and seemingly looking pretty normal) he would write things in the air and pace on the sidelines a little when he was out for a play. He ALWAYS seems to be thinking. I bet he's often thinking about what he has noticed, trying to process it.

How to properly hone it is another question in itself. Did you have to figure this out on your own or were you taught the value of your skill?

Stevuke79
03-17-14, 01:33 PM
Yeah, I can relate. It sounds like I'm very much like him in that regard. For me it's not football, it's cycling. There is constant stimulation all with it's own purpose and the world fits together very nicely; it's one of the few times when my mind is quiet.

No one taught me. Unfortunately I don't think anyone can. For me, that's what really stinks about these disorders. You can't just do what everyone else does. You can't just do well in school, get a job, get promoted... even if you do well in school, there are going to be gaps that the world can't teach you to fill.

I don't mean to say this next bit to sound scary, I just think it's the only way to answer your question: most people never figure this out because the world doesn't teach people how to take responsibility for their own success. Still, if he gets to a point where he understands that it's "on him", he'll be fine.

mamabear78
03-17-14, 01:56 PM
Yeah, I can relate. It sounds like I'm very much like him in that regard. For me it's not football, it's cycling. There is constant stimulation all with it's own purpose and the world fits together very nicely; it's one of the few times when my mind is quiet.

No one taught me. Unfortunately I don't think anyone can. For me, that's what really stinks about these disorders. You can't just do what everyone else does. You can't just do well in school, get a job, get promoted... even if you do well in school, there are going to be gaps that the world can't teach you to fill.

I don't mean to say this next bit to sound scary, I just think it's the only way to answer your question: most people never figure this out because the world doesn't teach people how to take responsibility for their own success. Still, if he gets to a point where he understands that it's "on him", he'll be fine.

Thank you very much for this. I know my father has told me that he has always known he was different from the time he was a child. He's not diagnosed with anything, but I find his words more and more interesting the more I learn.

I hope my son does learn one day that at the end of the day it's on him. I like that summation.

Do you mind me asking if you tend to lean on the ASD overlap or are you purely ADHD?

Lunacie
03-17-14, 02:31 PM
I just finished reading a book you might find interesting ... Lost At School by Dr. Ross Greene.

He explains how some kids have a harder time learning certain skills and what can be done to collaborate with the kids on solving problems.

Stevuke79
03-17-14, 02:35 PM
My diagnosis is purely ADHD and my doctor doesn't feel I fit aspergers at all. Personally I've always identified very strongly with aspie symptoms.

mamabear78
03-17-14, 02:46 PM
My diagnosis is purely ADHD and my doctor feel I didn't fit aspergers at all. Personally I've always identified very strongly with aspie symptoms.

I think this is going to be my son in life. Might be why you understand a lot of what I'm posting. He is purely ADHD-C, though, when it comes to diagnosis.

Thank you.

BellaVita
03-17-14, 03:05 PM
What exactly does "with words" mean or look like? I find that interesting! Would love to know more.

My son outlines what he says in the air as he talks and thinks. I know that's not what you're talking about, but it's a funny thing to watch. He's very visual so I think he sees what he's saying or thinking as he draws it in the air. He is definitely a unique guy!

I mean, I can notice things with words that I've seen in the past...

I have a very good audio/verbal memory.

If I hear something once, and I was interested and paying attention to it, usually later I can recite it.

Or, better than that, is written words. I read conversations and I pick up on things, store all of the info, then even years later I'll remember such and such (I can also somewhat "see" the block of text in my head) and be able to recall most of it from memory.

It's def not perfect, but it's pretty good.

FroGpants
03-17-14, 03:47 PM
Yes! My add bf is exactly like this. Notices stuff ALL THE TIME that nobody else has a clue about. I notice some stuff too but man, he is GOOD.

He loves the show Elementary and all shows about Sherlock Holmes. He says he has add too.

And he doesn't forget stuff either. Once he's seen it, it'll get added to his collection of random facts.



When properly honed it's a valuable skill.

Absolutely. My mom and I were walking into a store one day and after we got inside she said... I was wondering what you were looking at out there and then I saw what you were looking at... that homeless guy watching us.

My bf is my go-to person for gift ideas. Even for my mom. I'm not so great at picking stuff out but I can ask him about virtually anyone and he'll know what to get them. He notices and remembers their interests.

I can ask him pretty much anything about anything and he'll remember where we were, what store we shopped at, who was there, what was said.

Sometimes I have him listen in on conference calls just in case I miss anything. And I have him go to important doc appts with me. I can't begin to tell you how many things get said that I don't remember later but he sure does.

mamabear78
03-17-14, 04:34 PM
Very neat skill.

My son also seems to have a thing with visual info, particularly numbers. In kindergarten he could tell me every person in his classes' birthday. It was hilarious. I ate lunch with him one day and a little girl sitting next to us said her birthday was the following week. He said, "no, it isn't" and went on to tell her the real date. I asked him if he knew anyone else's birthday date and he went around the entire circle table naming the dates...correctly. The class had a poster with each child's name and date.

He can also at times (very sporadic) tell me what he did on what date months back. It's crazy! It's often correct...and fascinating.

You guys all have different special gifts. Creativity, observation skills, unique perspectives, outside of box thinking, etc. You might not have all of them, but you all seem to possess at least one. Pretty cool.

FroGpants
03-17-14, 08:47 PM
2. People. Their moods, their habits, what they like to wear.



I don't want to put a sad face on this awesome thread but this comment made me think about my grandmother.

She had been in a nursing home for a few weeks when we got the call that she had been taken to the hospital. She lived a state away so when they called we all had to drive or fly up. I got there first. She was dying and couldn't speak. One of the first things I noticed was how uncomfortable she was but I didn't want to leave her. As soon as my mom got there I told her I was going to run to her house to get her favorite down comforter, socks, feather pillow, etc.

Everyone could tell how much more comfortable she was then. My mom asked me how on earth I was able to see that she was uncomfortable to begin with. It was like a neon sign to me but nobody else saw it at all until afterwards.

someothertime
03-18-14, 08:56 AM
If only that could hone into school! ;-)

It can... ;)

what's that you say? I need to learn trigonometry to design the perfect speaker box ;) pie will help me design a skateboard ramp... english will help me organise and write correspondance to organise a rave! ( ok, that one is a little indulgent )

Mass and weight because I can make a lava lamp from oil and water :D

etc. etc.

Honestly, I think I learn't 90% of what I know before I was 10... what was missing was the cool, guided projects that developed and championed knowledge and the personal learning style that could/can foster super unique creations, expression and beyond...

What's that you say? I HAVE to do 50 maths problems just because learning is important.... um :rolleyes:

tripleE
03-18-14, 08:56 AM
I don't want to put a sad face on this awesome thread but this comment made me think about my grandmother.

She had been in a nursing home for a few weeks when we got the call that she had been taken to the hospital. She lived a state away so when they called we all had to drive or fly up. I got there first. She was dying and couldn't speak. One of the first things I noticed was how uncomfortable she was but I didn't want to leave her. As soon as my mom got there I told her I was going to run to her house to get her favorite down comforter, socks, feather pillow, etc.

Everyone could tell how much more comfortable she was then. My mom asked me how on earth I was able to see that she was uncomfortable to begin with. It was like a neon sign to me but nobody else saw it at all until afterwards.

Beautiful, just beautiful. Brought tears to my eyes. I remember my father in the same situation, so I can picture it perfectly and what a comfort you would have been not just to your grandmother but to everyone who cared about her.

When you say it was like a neon sign - yes, that's my daughter too - just can't not see things like that.

stef
03-18-14, 09:38 AM
How to properly hone it is another question in itself. Did you have to figure this out on your own or were you taught the value of your skill?

I figured it out on my own - but between other kids finding this strange or boring, and my mom and other adults being really surprised and/or talking about how "bright" I was I was (I was also terribly shy) , well I just hid this from most other people.

Now that I think about it my dad, who I am quite sure had ADD, was never was surprised! I'm sure observing things, was some kind of hidden talent in his brilliant sales career...also would have been addicted to cards (poker) if my mom hadn't stopped him.

mamabear78
03-18-14, 10:48 AM
I don't want to put a sad face on this awesome thread but this comment made me think about my grandmother.

She had been in a nursing home for a few weeks when we got the call that she had been taken to the hospital. She lived a state away so when they called we all had to drive or fly up. I got there first. She was dying and couldn't speak. One of the first things I noticed was how uncomfortable she was but I didn't want to leave her. As soon as my mom got there I told her I was going to run to her house to get her favorite down comforter, socks, feather pillow, etc.

Everyone could tell how much more comfortable she was then. My mom asked me how on earth I was able to see that she was uncomfortable to begin with. It was like a neon sign to me but nobody else saw it at all until afterwards.

Ditto TripleE...this is beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Makes my heart happy if that makes sense.

someothertime:I think what you say is my DS so far. He seems to know a lot. He makes me laugh b/c his readers from school are often really stupid to him. As in your making me read this dumb book about these kids kicking a soccer ball in a tree and losing the ball only to have a lemonade stand to earn $ to buy a new ball? Um, how about you get a ladder and get down the ball! ;-) As in he is definitely in the "why do I have to do/read some of this crud!"

Stef: I originally came on this site to understand ADHD more regarding my child and based on my confusion over my seemingly "bright" child who I just knew was gifted. I know now that he is extremely bright. He might not be gifted...I really don't care. What I do know is that he does seem to have a special 6th sense of knowledge. I still do wish he could be in the gifted program at our school due to what they do. They create projects using their imaginations due to any area they are keen on. It is totally abstract and divergent thinking skills...which he'd excel in. However, he just doesn't test in. Bright, yes.

CrazyLazyGal
03-20-14, 02:05 PM
"Attention Deficit". It should be called Attention Regulation Disorder. That still doesn't capture the social aspect, but it's a lot better than Attention Deficit.

I, like many people with ADHD, alternate between no focus and hyperfocus, and they can't control it. When I'm hyperfocused, I have exceptional observation skills. But when I'm unfocused, I have really awful observation skills.

Wil2014
03-20-14, 05:12 PM
I have been blessed with incredible analytical skills. In the corporate world I often received many kudos from leadership on my inductive reasoning. Often times I was pulled into high level analytical projects with the Business Intelligence group even though I was in HR. It seemed like I could see stuff in the numbers that others would overlook.

So I guess anything is possible. At the same time, my mechanical skills are horrid... I can't assemble a desk or change a flat tire without losing my mind.