What is Mind Mapping? Mind Mapping is a simply a way to organize your thoughts in a visual way. It has many incarnations and many names. I learned it as a “spidergram” when I was young… back in the day. A “Brain Frame” is similar to a Mind Map. I guess you could put them all under the umbrella of “Graphic Organizers.”
So, why are these important and useful tools, particularly for those of us with ADHD? In my experience, writing is usually one of the hardest things for ADHD students, and some adults. I believe that our struggles with writing have little to do with knowledge or content. On the contrary. More often than not, we have plenty of good stuff to say. It is the act of organizing those thoughts in to a coherent, linear, structured narrative that is difficult.
Why do ADHD students have such a hard time organizing those thoughts? First, there is always the issue of attention. But for the purpose of this piece, we are assuming that the student has his/her attention affectively managed, likely with medication. But, medication does not directly affect executive functions. In this case the executive functions that are most needed are organization and working memory.
Check out the example of woking memory in the next post. (And, FYI, this has turned into a 12 part “series.” so keep checking back every few days!)