Absent minded professor, space cadet, loud and obnoxious kid bouncing off the walls – that’s ADHD stereotype.
Struggles that come with ADHD go beyond distractibility. Low self-esteem and self-worth, immaturity, low frustration tolerance, impaired sense of time, poor motivation and underachievement often accompany the stereotypical impulsivity.
But did you know that people with ADHD also have some amazing superpowers?
- Being able to thrive in chaos. Receiving information from multiple sources, processing it and reacting to it is not a small task!
Seeing a big picture and problem solving? Another superpower! ADHD brain takes the cacophony of facts and ideas and spits out the solution. Non-linear wibbly-wobbly…thought process leads to unexpected results.
- Multitasking. Reading 5 books at once? No problem! Effortlessly juggling many tasks at the same time? How fun! Personal self-development (iTunes U courses, podcasts or audiobooks) while doing laundry? Yes, please! Catching up on the latest research in neuropsychology during endless commute? Sign me up! I can pursue wide variety of interests and subjects while managing a household, homeschooling our peculiar children, sharing our experiences on this blog, volunteering and tutoring.
- Staying calm in emergency. I love Rick Riordan’s description of ADHD. Grover Underwood explained to Percy Jackson “you’re impulsive, can’t sit still in the classroom. That’s your battlefield reflexes. In a real fight, they’d keep you alive. As for the attention problems, that’s because you see too much…not too little. Your senses are better than a regular mortal’s.” ADHD brain usually operates as if EVERYTHING is an emergency, so when something unexpected happens, every day coping mechanisms turn into a superpower.
- Creativity. Not every person with ADHD is Leonardo da Vinci (though there is strong evidence that suggests that he probably suffered from it,) but it is possible that impulsivity and divergent thinking lead to imaginative gifts.
- Memory – ADHD doesn’t always mean a lack of attention. It can mean noticing and paying attention to everything, remembering and being able to recall facts later.
- Hyperfocus. It seems contradictory to the stereotypical ADHD: concentration becomes focused on one task or a subject and stays there.
ADHD is not all sunshine and superpowers, it affects every aspect of person’s life. The disorder is surrounded with misconceptions, myths, judgement and ”helpful” advice from those who know nothing about it. In honor of ADHD awareness month, I wanted to highlight some of the strengths that come with the diagnosis. ADHD is my superpower. What’s yours?