There is such a negative connotation about ADHD. Most people only see and think about the negatives. Parents dread the thought of their child “suffering” with ADHD. The benefits are often overlooked or stifled. The thing that has always struck me as funny is the same terms used to describe kids with ADHD are often used in flattering ways to describe leaders of industry, entrepreneurs, artist and those that start social revolutions. These same traits can be positives for children too. These are some of the traits that I have experienced in kids with ADHD.
- They are often very sensitive. These kids feel very deeply. They love you fiercely. They can become very passionate about the things and people they love. If you are ever sad or upset about something, they will stay and be sad with you.
- They have the ability to think of many things at once. I am often in awe of how fast my son can switch topics and cover so many things before I can finish a complete thought!
- They are super creative! My son is always coming up with his own games, songs, stories etc. He loves to make things out of anything he can find.
- They see potential in just about everything, even trash. My son has always been a collector of random things. He often uses these things to create art or just uses them as tokens in the latest game he just created.
- They do not take No for an answer. They have to know why you are saying “no”. Is it a legitimate reason? They can often figure out a way around the “No”. This is awesome when faced with an injustice. They will find a way to make things fair.
- They have a strong sense of justice. They will not stand by and let injustices go. They will speak up loudly to be sure things are fair.
- They are great problem solvers. Just tell a kid with ADHD that they cannot have a greatly desired object, put it in a hard to get to place and that kid will find a way to get it. We used to joke that when we ever had to put something out of reach of our then toddler, he only saw it as a challenge to see how quickly he could get to it.
- They are independent thinkers. Someone with ADHD will not just take your word for it. They will find their own answers if yours does not satisfy their questions. I'm fairly certain my son just takes anything I say with a grain of salt. He questions and analyzes and researches (ok asks Siri) for answers until he is confident in the answer.
- They can think of all the “what if's” for just about any situation you can think of! This is great for seeing potential problems to prepare for, or not if the situation is out of your control. Here are a few of my favorite “what if's” that my son has asked…”What if I get bored in Heaven? Forever is a really long time…” “What if robots really do take over the world and kill people, will they have to go to hell for murder?”
- They have the ability to hyper-focus. When really interested in something they can tune out the world and finish their project.
If you have a child with ADHD, find the positive side, use those awesome traits to help that child find their awesomeness! ADHD does not have to a negative thing. The most challenging part is that people do not understand. If you do not live it, there is only some much you can really get. As a parent, I know I sometimes forget about the different way of thinking and sometimes expect reactions from my child that are just not realistic. I try to remind myself that we are wired differently and that these things are beyond our control. I still struggle to be the best parent I can be. I try to be compassionate and understanding. I have good days and not so good days. I have days of patience and days where I have a short fuse. We are all given gifts and talents. We all need help to find them and use them for good. EVERY child has the ability to impact this world for good. EVERY CHILD!