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(p. 47) Gauging the Client’s Attention Span and Teaching Distractibility Delay 

(p. 47) Gauging the Client’s Attention Span and Teaching Distractibility Delay
(p. 47) Gauging the Client’s Attention Span and Teaching Distractibility Delay

Steven A. Safren

, Susan E. Sprich

, Carol A. Perlman

, and Michael W. Otto

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date: 27 October 2020

This chapter contains instructions for helping clients with ADHD to reduce distractibility. Clients are taught to gauge their attention span, the length of time that they can reasonably expect themselves to work on a boring or difficult task, and then to break tasks down into smaller chunks that will likely take that amount of time. The chapter also contains information on teaching the “distractibility delay” skill. The client sets an amount of time during which he or she commits to staying on task. If distracting thoughts pop into the client’s head during that time, he or she writes them down. After the agreed-upon length of time, the client can decide if they are tasks that need to be done immediately, tasks that can go onto the task list, or tasks that are pure distractions and can be discarded. A case vignette illustrates the use of these techniques.

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