A lot of people, when they think about attention deficiency, think about ADD, or Attention-Deficit Disorder, with an optional H for Hyperactivity. However, that defines ADHD from what is observed from outside. But ADHD isn’t about not paying attention, not really, and I’m not here to talk about ADHD anyhow. The sort of attention deficiency I want to discuss is a different sort.
We know that birth to six years of age is the most important period for emotional bonding and trust-building between parent and child. The less the parent interacts with the child and is responsive to their needs, the more likely the child is to lose trust, which can be seen with oppositional-defiant disorder. ODD usually becomes antisocial personality disorder in adulthood.
But what if the child is given care and attention before then?
I was born DeafBlind: I had severe congenital cataracts which required cornea transplants in both eyes, and a malformed juncture between the middle and inner ear (I lack an oval window). My parent noticed I was deaf by age 1, but he thought I’d grow out of only responding to raised voices. It wasn’t until my dad took me to get my hearing tested at age 3 that it was actually confiremd. I was also a fairly quiet kid, content to gnaw on my fist as a baby. (My parent has claimed that nobody noticed because my older brother would speak for me, but I’m skeptical.)
I’m sure you can see the problem there.
So what do I mean by attention deficiency, then?
Human beings are social animals, as we know. Prolonged isolation is traumatic, just as it is for dogs and other pack animals. Unlike dogs, however, we have the capacity to conceive of the future, to plan for events not yet occurring, and most importantly we know when someone is going to come back. But isolation isn’t attention deficiency, though it can be a part of it.
Narcissism, on the other hand, is a need to be the focus of attention, to have people praising one. That’s closer, but someone with attention deficiency doesn’t need to be the star of the show. It’s more in the nature of, well. Needing to know that people will be there when you need them, in a sense, in the same way that young children do. And with the same need for touch-based affection.
I think. It’s an issue I don’t quite… Finding the words to give it a shape, even for this post, was a monumental pain, and I’m still not sure the words I’ve used are the right ones. I think this is a better explanation than my last one, though. Questions and comments extremely welcome, though I’d prefer Discord, Telegram, or Twitter to the blog comments feature.