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Focus: Ritalin vs Davis

Recently, I had a wonderful 10-year-old boy on the Attention Mastery program. Let's say the boy's name was Misha. Misha was diagnosed with ADHD. The correction program took place at the very end of summer, right before school.

Before the program, Misha took Ritalin for about half a year as prescribed by a doctor. That is, almost all winter, spring and early summer. And he really liked the state that appeared after taking the drug: easier to learn, easier to focus, and without any effort on his part. Took a pill in the morning - and the whole day is in order! So Mishenka had minimal motivation to carry out the program.

According to the rules, you can not conduct a program with people taking such drugs, and even immediately after stopping their use. Therefore, Misha's mother, after consulting with the doctor, canceled the drug for the entire summer vacation so that we could conduct the program at the end of the summer.

To be honest, I had a special, research interest in this program. I was very interested to know how Davis focusing differs from "chemical" focusing. Does it even make sense to strain and carry out correction programs?

And on the first day of the program, Misha gets all three tools for self-control of attention: control of internal energy, relieving internal stress, and of course, how to focus and notice that the focus is gone and what influenced it. Strictly monitoring my own state (impatience increases the level of internal energy and causes tension!) I followed the entire program to the very end, allowing Misha to practice using new tools to his heart's content.

And so, on the very last day, holding my breath, I asked Mishenka the cherished question: what, in fact, is the difference?

And he answered me that the state of the focus itself is the same, BUT the focus after taking the drug comes with tension. That is, you are in focus, but you yourself are tense. And the new focus condition, according to Davis, is easy and pleasant, without any tension!

Let me explain what's going on. The fact is that the focus itself never disappears anywhere. If the focus goes away, there is ALWAYS a REASON for this. And that reason is confusion. Confusion from an incomprehensible term, a symbol, an incomprehensible instruction ... Confusion accumulates (if it is not noticed and the incomprehensible is not clarified), which leads to disorientation. Disorientation is a state of consciousness when you are immersed in your inner world. Confusion causes internal tension and increases the level of internal energy. Disorientation saves: we plunge into the inner world to relax, as well as to find a solution from confusion.

Let me give you an example: please calculate in your mind how much 365+293 will be in 5 seconds?

Let's go, I've timed it! Are you tense? Gone to your world to count? For example, I always imagine a piece of paper and start counting in a column, that is, I use my imagination to get rid of confusion.

Focus and disorientation are equally important for learning: focus is needed for correct reading and understanding of the task, and disorientation is needed for task solving. Hop on, hop off - as the British say. To write down the correct answer - we need focus again - we jumped further ...

Ronald Davis thought of everything when creating the method! When focusing according to Davis, a person notices what is confusing him and works on it. If, nevertheless, disorientation has arisen, then you can get rid of internal tension, reduce the level of internal energy and the focus will easily return! We control focus with three tools.

Ritalin and similar drugs don't give you that freedom. They try to chemically suppress the disorientation. So tension builds up. And that's not counting the fact that in order to fall asleep, we need to be completely disoriented ... Therefore, one of the side effects of taking the drug is sleep problems ... And also with appetite, not to mention getting used to it. And when you stop taking the drug, all the symptoms come back...

Don't think, I'm not against these drugs! I am for any help, in whatever it is expressed! By the way, you need to take these medicines ONLY under the supervision of doctors and in the prescribed dosage.

However, the Davis method seems to me ideal for solving such problems ... However, the choice is always yours!

Elena Nikulina

© Copyright 2022

Elena Nikulina, licensed DDAI (Davis Dyslexia Association International) specialist in the correction of dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, Attention Deficit Disorder with or without Hypo / Hyperactivity, and other problems in learning according to the author's method of Ronald Davis, RDAF methodologist (Ronald Davis Autism Foundation ) to help people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Director of Dyslexia Correction and Support Centre, London, UK.

For more information on how to correct dyslexia, ADD(D), and other learning problems, see Ronald Davies' The Gift of Dyslexia, The Gift of Learning, and Autism and the Seeds of Change: Achieving Full Participation in Life through Davis' Approach to autism." — Abigail Marshall (Author), Ronald Dell Davis (Author)​

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