Advice Column, Child, Education, Impaq, Parenting

THE POSITIVES OF ADHD

So far, I have written about some of the difficulties experienced in raising and parenting one’s ADHD/ADD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder/attention deficit disorder) child.

Right now, it’s time to look at the many positives that ADHD children have – but please bear in mind that every child is different – they may all have the same diagnosis but they are all still their own people with their own temperaments, characteristics, personalities, etc. so the list that follows is a generalisation, and not necessarily applicable to all.

Firstly, the ADHD symptom of hyperfocus is incredibly useful. When our children are interested in something, we all know how difficult it is to tear them away. When this is something important for their wellbeing and development such as a wonderful hobby, a subject they are incredibly interested in or learning a new skill, this hyperfocus is a total gift and keeps them on track for hours on end.

Secondly, we often hear how adventurous, curious and hyperactive the ADHD child is – these are very positive qualities when channelled constructively. If one reads any book about entrepreneurs, successful businesspeople, etc. these are the qualities that are often used to describe them. Being curious means wanting to find out about things and pushing for more knowledge, the sense of adventure will direct the curiosity to exploration and experimentation and the busyness means that the person has the energy to do so. Within the context of work and life, these are very positive qualities when used effectively.

Thirdly, the resourcefulness, innovativeness and inventiveness of these kids can be incredible. I have watched my one son use his artistic talent to sell his works online, get commissions from others and therefore earn money on the side (this was at 16 years old). This is a good example of using these characteristics to think out of the box, in a lateral way.

And lastly, our children are often incredibly forgiving, good-hearted and gregarious. I believe that this stands them in good stead in their dealings with others. I can only be grateful for these qualities when I think back to my early struggles with my eldest son and how awful I was at times, and how close and connected we are today. Thank goodness for his forgiving, good-hearted nature!

It’s important to be aware of the positives of these ADHD/ADD symptoms when we are caught in the morass of frustration and sometimes despair. 

We only need to think of Albert Einstein who was repeatedly seen as a poor student by his teachers and who only began to talk after the age of two. Today, he is recognised as having been ADHD. One of my favourite quotes by him is, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”. This is often what happens with the ADD child in the school environment and it is often only after school that all of the so-called negative characteristics of ADHD are viewed in the positive light I have described above. 

Remember too Richard Branson, Walt Disney, Justin Timberlake, Michael Phelps as beautiful examples of ADHD people, and then go and give your child a big hug!

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6 Comments

  • Felicia Austin August 12, 2019 at 9:00 am

    Wow I really love this article and will be sharing it with my friend whos’ son was just diagnosed with ADHD. I actually didn’t know that Justin Timberlake has ADHD though, that’s interesting, no wonder he’s such a great artist. I love people who can see the light in any situation. Thank you

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  • Leana August 12, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    Very interesting and yes every situation has a positive and negative side. There a lot of people with adhd and nothing to do with their intelligence

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  • Vidya Sury August 12, 2019 at 5:35 pm

    Wonderfully true what you wrote about the positives of ADHD. My friend’s son was diagnosed with ADHD and he an incredible kid. His writing is fabulous and his teachers often refuse to believe that he authored his essays. He’s extremely kind and excellent with dogs and amazingly intuitive. Sadly, with parenting, in the daily routine, when the negatives appear to outweigh the positives it is easy to become exhausted and not see the bright side. Loved your post–and that Einstein quote is a classic. Truly, when there’s a shortcoming, it is often compensated by a brilliant thing.

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  • Karmen August 12, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    While reading this post I can only thing how incredible those children / people are. I know that having a diagnose can be problematic and difficult, but you always need to remember the good things, qualities because those matter the most.

    Reply
  • Nicole August 13, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    This is such an amazing way of looking at ADHD. It often comes with negative connotations. When I was in University, I tutored a kid who had been diagnosed as ADHD and it was so difficult for me to tutor him the same way I had done with previous students. He tended to be very difficult to work with but it was all because he was just disinterested in school work and would rather be perfecting his soccer skills.

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  • Lynne Huysamen August 13, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    This is beautifully said – very often we look at someone that has a disorder of any kind and we see only the challenges but it is important to look for the positives too. I have heard that many children that have this disorder are highly intelligent and artistic.

    Reply

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