That's what I've got. I'm sure of it.
Sluggish Cognitive Tempo is related to Attention Hyper Activity Disorder and produces the same result, difficulty in concentrating and focusing, but it's different. In fact, SCT is more the opposite of ADHD. It's having a brain that's actually a little slow on the uptake. A brain that's too busy wandering around, stopping to smell the synapses, so to speak, to get down to business.
I learned about Sluggish Cognitive Tempo from a New York Times article entitled, "Idea of a New Attention Disorder Spurs Research, and a Debate."
According to the article, what the researchers have discovered about children with SCT is that their behavior is characterized by:
".... lethargy, daydreaming and slow mental processing... things like daydreaming, mind-wandering, those types of behaviors...They’re the daydreamy ones, the ones with work that’s not turned in, leaving names off of papers or skipping questions, things like that, that impinge on grades or performance...up until now (these children) have gone unrecognized because, unlike the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder children, they tend to be quiet and non disruptive."
That is a description of me as a child: excessive daydreaming, mind-wandering, inattentiveness...yep, that was me to a "T".
I struggled through elementary school, not so much with grades - my grades, while not stellar, were generally adequate as I seemed to have the ability to compensate - but with processing instructions and information.
I daydreamed all day long. I looked out the window and saw a world of activity going on in the traffic and the trees. I looked at the blackboard and missed the assignments but saw the most interesting images in the strokes left by the chalk-dust in the erasers. Truly, I seldom knew what was going on in class. As a result I was often missing some homework or an assignment that was due that I had no idea had even been assigned. I missed questions on tests where the test questions were read out loud by the teacher. On top of that I also had a tendency to reverse or miss altogether letters and numbers and sometimes confused the letters "C" and "S". And though I was a quiet, docile student, that was back in the day when children in the Catholic schools got their hands smacked with a ruler for such offenses of inattentiveness. The ruler didn't help me focus. It only made me anxious.
When I look back it seems to me that I spent my elementary school career ten feet under water and in a state of anxiety.
Granted, my monkey's all grown up now and I've trained it to behave a little better but it's still swinging around up there, "unsettled; restless; capricious; whimsical; fanciful; inconstant; confused; indecisive". (Wikipedia: Mind Monkey).
According to the New York Times article, there are some pediatric experts who doubt that such a thing as Sluggish Cognitive Tempo exists.
But I know it exists. I grew up with it. It's the name of my monkey.
1. The New York Times: "Idea Of A New Attention Disorder Spurs Research, And A Debate", April 11, 2014
2. Wikipedia: Mind Monkey.