Thom Hartmann: ADHD Radio Host and Author Sounds Off

The radio host and author of "The Edison Gene: ADHD and the Gift of the Hunter Child" talks about his own childhood with attention deficit, his son's diagnosis, and his sweet message for those who won't accept ADDers for who they are.

Famous People with ADHD: Advice from Thom Hartmann, talk-radio host and best-selling author, on raising a child with ADHD, time management, overcommitment to projects, and accepting ourselves and the diagnosis.

Thom Hartmann on ADHD

A selection of books by Thom Hartmann, ADHD radio host and author:

The Edison Gene: ADHD and the Gift of the Hunter Child
(Park Street Press, 2005)

Attention Deficit Disorder : A Different Perception
(Underwood Books, 1997)

Healing ADD : Simple Exercises That Will Change Your Daily Life
(Underwood-Miller, 1998)

The Healing Power of Neurofeedback
(Healing Arts Press, 2006)


My support system was a combination of wonderful parents, who were willing to reframe ADHD as “just being a boy,” and a few excellent teachers. My grandfather called me and my brothers “the wrecking crew” when we came to visit, but my parents never saw us that way. I’m eternally grateful to them for that.

My biggest challenges are time management and overcommitment, and I can’t say I have control over either of those things. The upside is, I get a lot done because I’m hyperactive — in one year I published three new books and updated two old ones. The downside is that I don’t do a lot of things nearly as well as I would if I could tame these two tendencies.

When my son was diagnosed with ADHD, we were told that he was unteachable. When he was 12, we were told he was an educational failure. He’s now working on his master’s degree at a major university.

Twenty-five years ago, my wife, Louise, and I went to a bar where a big, hairy guy named Sweet Pie was singing and playing piano like Jerry Lee Lewis. In his last set, he sang, “You shouldn’t worry what people think of you. Just do your best and say to yourself, ‘Fxxx ’em if they can’t take a joke.’

It helped me realize that, in the end, we have to accept ourselves (and our children) for who we are. If others don’t, Sweet Pie has a message for ’em.

This article comes from the Winter 2008 issue of ADDitude.

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TAGS: ADHD Role Models, Famous People with ADHD

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