Do you ever have the problem of reading an article, a paragraph or pages of text and then suddenly realize that you don’t remember anything that you just read, or simply have a hazy recollection. That used to happen to me all the time. It was especially noticeable when I reached a place in a novel that was riveting and I became confused at how such a situation was reached when it was clearly explained in the pages which proceeding it, but I didn’t remember them. This seems to be common amongst those with ADD or ADHD.
It’s frustrating, it’s just plain maddening to go back over and over the same words trying to get them to sink in and at times it just seems we are going through the motions of viewing the words. When I was in High School (I write extensively about this in my Memoir), I had a teacher who refused to believe me when I told her I had read the chapters assigned, but just could not remember anything in them. She told me I was lazy and not interested in the class. In all honesty, she was right that I wasn’t interested in the class, but she was wrong that I didn’t read the chapters—I did, over and over again. The harder I tried to get the words to sink in, the less I seemed to understand.
Here are some tips I have used over the years to help me remember what I have read:
- I read what interests me.
- When possible I read aloud.
- When an audio book is available I try to read along with the audio book. This has proven to be very helpful and creates a sort of atmosphere I really enjoy.
- I have read aloud and recorded my reading to listen to in the car or at other times.
- When I was a kid, my Mother was insightful and had me either read to her or a tutor and have me go over what I read with them. Very helpful!
- I find people interested in the books and/or subjects I am interested in and discuss what we have read.
- Never had a problem reading and remembering comic books!!! Seriously, something about having pictures with characters relating to each other was very stimulating and interesting to me. Especially Spiderman. I learned a lot about morals when reading Spiderman growing up! Big X-men fan too, so let’s not discuss the last X-men movie because that could get heated!
- Reading marker, or ruler to use under each sentence while reading. This helped keep my mind more alert to what I was reading and helped me not drift over sentences.
- In school I think it’s great when reading a chapter aloud and passing between students to keep everyone alert. After being caught trying to find my place in a chapter or two I learned to keep up with the reading and flow right into my reading portion and I made it sort of a challenge for myself to do that. Even those without ADD ADHD can get lost while following the class, so I liked the silent competition.
- I don’t read more than I know I can. Sort of like not eating more than your stomach will allow. Reading on the internet is okay, especially blogs and forums—short stuff, not too long and not too dreary and on a subject I am interested in.
Those are just some of the things I use and have tried with some success. What about you—what has worked or is working for you?