Every morning a multitude of families awaken to a seemingly insurmountable battle: an onslaught of non compliance. arguments, and impulsivity from their children resultant from the simple request to get dressed for school. The battle rages on in the classroom as these children successfully alienate their teachers by perpetually blurting out verbal statements that may or may not have anything to do what is being discussed, losing or not completing assignments, failing tests and daydreaming excessively. During recess it is obvious which children have issues with impulsivity and AD/HD because they tend to miss social cues, they are bossy, demanding, and often act out physically as a desperate attempt for attention.
It was believed that ADD kids hit puberty and they outgrew the symptoms. So most pediatricians, pulled AD/HD kids off of meds around 13. For the past 20 years or so, we know that about 50% of these kids did outgrow the symptoms of AD/HD. But, 50% go on to be symptomatic throughout adulthood.
The diagnostic criteria of AD/HD is well know. Many adult ADDers have a life-long history of inattention, impulsiveness, and some struggle with hyperactivity. They often have problems staying on task, and being focused. Multiple jobs and multiple marriages often go hand in hand with AD/HD. If not diagnosed and treated during childhood, many grow up and often "self medicate" with excessive amounts of alcohol or drugs.
The symptoms that most individuals are aware of tend to be viewed as "negative" or "problematic." I'd like to suggest that perhaps some of the negative symptoms of AD/HD can actually have positive outcomes.
1. SENSITIVITY: Many AD/HD children and adults are very sensitive. I noticed when working at the Montgomery Center for AD/HD in Cincinnati, OH, that most of my ADD kids wore their heart on their sleeves. They knew that something they were doing was wrong, they just didn't know how to stop doing it! Being sensitive also allowed them to be acutely aware of details that non-ADD people missed. This was acutely aware when they were focused on other people. Because of this sensitivity, many ADD-ers are warm, loving, and compassionate.
2. CREATIVE: ADD-ers are brilliant at thinking outside of the box. They are creative, passionate, and fabulous at finding interesting and unusual solutions for problems. They are great at brainstorming because they tend to be very open minded.
3. ENTHUSIASM: Rarely are Add-ers boring ! Hyperactive people can be fun, exciting and stimulate others to be creative. They are interested in a large variety of things. They also tend to be enthusiastic. Their lively and perky minds often make them great conversationalists. They can take a conversation and run with it (and run...and run). They have a boundless energy level. When something catches their mind they can have a tremendous amount of creativity about it. They can become immersed in a project for hours (think about an AD/HD child and a video game - they can sort out all of the puzzles, move fast as lightening and not hear you as you call their name, over and over and OVER! In adults, this sense of Single Minded ability can lead to significant accomplishments or discoveries! It's a matter of getting them focused, like a laser beam, then they can break through anything in their way.
.4. INTELLIGENCE: Some people wrongly believe that AD/HD means they are stupid. This is not the case. Many individuals with AD/HD are quite gifted. They can absorb new information very quickly and thoroughly - the main caveat? They need to be INTERESTED in it! Being gifted AD/HD is probably the most difficult type to diagnose when they are children. When a child isn't terribly intelligent they tend to get caught with their impulsive pants around their ankles (ie: deciding to steal something and getting so caught up in the moment that they leave their ID at the scene!). The brighter ADD-ers know the rules and tend to be quiet so they don't call attention to themselves. This means that a lot of teacher don't complain about their behavior, so they manage to slip through the system for a while. Especially if they aren't failing classes.
5. FLEXIBILITY: AD/HD children and adults often look at a lot of options at once. This makes them more open to lots of different ideas, not stuck on one specific idea or plan at once.
6.ENERGY AND DRIVE: When motivated, ADD-ers strive very hard to succeed. They can work and play very hard.
Now 6 things may not seem like a lot but here is a list of 151 things that are rated as the Positives of having AD/HD.
Yes, you are different but so are a lot of people. So I made a list of a few people that you may know of that all had/have AD/HD.
Frank Lloyd Wright, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, Terry Bradshaw, Michael Phelps, Pete Rose, Nolan Ryan, Michael Jordan, Charlotte and Emily Bronte, Samuel Clemens, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allen Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Frost, George Bernard Shaw,Tennessee Williams, Virginia Woolf, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Bill Gates, Henry Ford, Christopher Columbus, Jim Carrey, Jack Nicholson, Robin Williams, Socrates...to name a few!
Here is a larger list of famous people blessed with AD/HD. When you are sad and tired of being different, having to make lists and then losing the lists...then print this list out and put it up on your fridge, your mirror, or any place that you see every day if you need to feel better about yourself.