Talking About ADHD

ADDitude Talks to Karen O’Donnell

A director and mother shares what inspired her to make a film about ADHD.

A microphone on stage, like one that would be used by Adam Levine, who has ADHD
Close up of microphone in crowded bar belonging to singer

Why inspired you to make a film about ADHD?

I did not choose this topic, it selected me! There was no choice, I had to make this film. As a mother of a child diagnosed with ADHD at the age of seven, I had been searching for answers or at least a tool through which I could help educate those around us, the school system in particular, for quite a while.

As a filmmaker, my natural inclination was to find a good film on the topic, something that I could hand to a teacher and say it will take less than an hour of your time, but it could help to change my child’s life. I searched for this tool and found nothing. When I think back to the reason why I made this film I recall the feeling of sheer frustration that I was experiencing at the time.

What are the obstacles to making a film about ADHD?

I later learned that there were virtually no documentaries about ADHD because of the stigma families perceived and their hesitancy about being filmed. Anyone living with ADHD already had so many eyes on them that letting the world in seems unlikely. So my journey began there.

What do you hope to accomplish with Odd Kid Out?

Now that the film is complete, I remain committed to trying to have the people that need to see it be aware that it is there. I’m so happy to have had the opportunity to make this film and tell it the way I thought it needed to be told. I am very proud of my son and the other two families who bravely took part. I hope it will help you to educate just as it has helped us.

Has parenting an ADHD child inspire you to take on certain activities or projects? Share your story with other parents in the Parents of ADHD Children support group on Facebook.