How easy is it for you to shift gears once you get started on a project, or to change your perception once you have established a firm first impression?
Cognitive flexibility is one of the executive functions that can be impaired in ADHD. A person with this challenge may seem stuck or rigid, unable to go with the flow or to adapt to changing circumstances or new information.
Transitions can be difficult. Even after having been given a five-minute warning, for example, an individual may be unable to let go of the present activity and move on to another, even one that is on their schedule and that they usually enjoy doing.
Sometimes individuals with ADHD are unable to see alternative solutions to problems. It may feel risky to let go of a solution in hand and move into an area of unknowns and unpredictability, even if something better may be found there. This can leave them stuck in ways of thinking or acting that they could have been expected to outgrow due to their increasing skills or knowledge.
If flexible thinking is a challenge, here are some games from Understood.org that encourage new ways of looking at things. They are designed for kids, but aren’t we all kids at heart?
Linda Swanson is an ADHD Coach in Warrenton, Virginia. She and her husband, Neil, are partners at Free To Be Coaching, LLC, where they coach in person or by phone, Skype, or FaceTime. They coach students from middle school through college as well as adults of all ages, and they also facilitate two support groups for parents of children with ADHD. Linda and Neil are both graduates of the ADD Coach Academy and are credentialed by the International Coach Federation and the Professional Association of ADHD Coaches. Linda can be reached at email@example.com or (703) 508-4774.