Wednesday, December 8, 2010
The Body Double
ADHD Coach Linda Anderson discusses the role of the Body Double here.
And there's a very helpful discussion of the Body Double concept in a BlogTalkRadio show from earlier this year right here
I've got a theory about how this works....it's the same way stimulant meds work. They "increase the saliency" of difficult or dull tasks. That is, at the brain level, one is more "in touch" with the medium- or long-term payoff of the activity.
Which is exactly what a good teacher or ADHD coach does! You know how organized and efficient you are the day before vacation? That deadline "increases the saliency" of work activities - even those which are dull or hard.
And you know how students tend to "tighten up" their behavior as the teacher moves physically closer to the student? As entertaining and rewarding it is to misbehave, there are rewards that I want even more than that....and the proximity of the teacher puts me in touch with those rewards (avoiding detention hall, or being seen as a "good kid"). That proximity "increases the saliency" of sticking-to-the-ground-rules in the classroom.
So my theory here is that the presence of the body double functions like that looming deadline or that nearby teacher...the Body Double increases the saliency of at-hand tasks.
I'm going to be kicking this around with clinicians who work with ADHD clients. And I'd love to hear from ADHD coaches out there!
photo: astronaut twins