ADHD

Reframing ADHD

I have ADHD and I’m proud of it. My daughter and one of my sons have ADHD. I think that people with ADHD represent some of the most fascinating, fun, and fulfilling of all the people I meet. However, words such as structure, supervision, reminders, and persistence don’t even begin to describe the magnitude of the task people with ADHD have to tackle every day, especially kids.

People with ADHD need their families and friends to understand their difficulties. If you know someone with ADHD, the best way to help is to start by changing your own thinking about ADHD.

When explaining ADHD to a child, I say, “you have a turbo charged mind – like a Ferrari engine, but the brakes of a bicycle, and I’m the brake expert.” When ADHD is properly treated, children and adults can achieve great heights: doctors, lawyers, CEO’s, dreamers, innovators, explorers and even Harvard grads. Founders of our country may have had ADHD. The flip-side of distractibility is curiosity.

By far, the biggest barriers for understand ADHD are denial, ignorance, and a refusal to learn. So you need to learn what ADHD is and what it isn’t. Perhaps the single most powerful treatment for ADHD is understanding ADHD in the first place. You need to understand what a positive attribute ADHD can be.

You can learn how to break down the positive aspects of ADHD by watching my TV interview with WBZ | CBS Boston below:

Dr. Hallowell
Dr. Hallowell

Reframe Challenges in terms of Mirror Traits 

Remind yourself  of the positive sides of the negative symptoms associated with ADD. By recognizing the mirror traits, you avoid the ravages of shame and fear.

ADHD chart

DIAGNOSING ADHD

As we discussed in my WBZ interview, ADHD is being diagnosed more frequently today than it was a generation ago. As clinicians nowadays, we know a lot more about how the brain works and have far better diagnostic tools to work with. Despite all these advances, however, there is still no simple, “one-size-fits-all,” definitive test that can determine if a person, whether child or adult, has ADHD. It’s the individual’s own story – what psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers refer to as “the history” – that makes or breaks the diagnosis of ADHD.
If you missed my ADHD podcast on The Downsides of Untreated ADHD, LISTEN HERE.

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