ADHD Awareness Month Sweepstakes 2019

Enter to win one of three copies of “My Whirling, Twirling Motor” — a refreshingly positive illustrated book for children with ADHD — by answering this question below: Who are your favorite ADHD characters from books, film, or TV — and why?

“He’s Just Like Me!”

All children need role models who look like them. For kids with ADHD, those heroes and heroines take on extra importance. They show our kids that success is within reach, that persistence pays off, and that ADHD or ADD is not a character flaw or a disability. During ADHD Awareness Month, we spend extra time seeking these stories and profiling these role models — broadcasting positivity for ourselves, our kids, and the whole world to see.

My Whirling, Twirling Motor

This illustrated children’s book by ADDitude blogger Merriam Sarcia Saunders, LMFT tells the story of Charlie, who gets in trouble a lot. But, he can’t help it! He has a whirling, twirling motor that makes him wiggle and squiggle. This heartwarming read is an appropriate and helpful early book for children who need to hear the message often that their ADHD behaviors are neither awful nor a personal failing.

“A sweet-natured and practical reminder to focus children (and ourselves) on strengths, gratitude and success, even when (especially when) times feel challenging.” — Mark Bertin, M.D., author of Mindful Parenting for ADHD and How Children Thrive (#CommissionsEarned)

Enter to Win My Whirling, Twirling Motor

To win one of three copies of My Whirling, Twirling Motor (a $13 value each), use the Comments section below to tell us: Who are your favorite ADHD characters from books, film, or TV — and why?


Thursday, October 31, 2019, at 11:59 pm EST.


Only Comments posted with a valid email address will be considered valid entries. One entry per household per day. The editors of ADDitude will select two winners at random and notify them via email on Friday, November 1, 2019.
(Official rules)

#CommissionsEarned As an Amazon Associate, ADDitude earns a commission from qualifying purchases made by ADDitude readers on the affiliate links we share. However, all products linked in the ADDitude Store have been independently selected by our editors and/or recommended by our readers. Prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication

41 Comments & Reviews

  1. My favorite character from a book with ADHD is Tigger from the Winnie-the-Pooh series. Tigger demonstrates all of the angles of ADHD. The energy of it, the way it sometimes frustrates others around Tigger, the sadness of that, and the times when the energy of his ADHD was exactly what the crew needed to solve a problem.

  2. Dory
    Dory is one of the most well-known characters on this list. She’s sweet, lovable, and has short-term memory loss. Overall, Dory is a pretty good caricature of someone with ADHD.

  3. Tom Sawyer, Amelia Bedelia, The Cat in the Hat are some of my favorites. They’re mischievous but oh so precious! Granted I only read about their high energy and playful tendencies.

  4. I have several Ty Pennington and Michael Phelps. My twin sons are 8 years old and have been diagnosed for several years now. One son is crazy about legos and loves to build anything. I pointed out to him that Ty Pennington helps build houses for those less fortunate and I compared that to him liking to build with legos. His response: Maybe someday I can do that to dad. My other son is an athletic boy. While some sports are very difficult at his age for the ADHD brain to encompass, I decided to talk to him and showed him videos of Michael Phelps. We talked about the consistency with swimmers being “in motion” so to speak all the time and they need to focus on their workout regimen. He plays football and knows that with hard work and some focusing he can excel and not let the disruptions of the way his brain works effect him negatively.

  5. It’s not stated explicitly, but I deeply relate to Red Blood Cell for the anime cells at work. She shows signs of inattentive ADHD as she constantly gets lost on her deliveries around the body, has difficulty listening to instructions and has heightened emotional reactions to different situations. She makes impressive progress throughout the season, and with the help of her friends she learns more about her role in the grand scheme of things and does everything she can to do her job right, even when the odds are stacked against her.

  6. My favorite ADHD character is Mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie….Before receiving my diagnosis, I used this book as a spring board for a writing project with my 4th grade students. They each crafted their own If you give a ______ story. One student wrote about “If you give Miss D a target gift card….”. Nearly ten years later I can still remember that class and the way we bonded together. Not knowing my diagnosis then to knowing it now, makes that memory all the more meaningful because I can sit back and laugh at the silly stories I’d share about getting “lost” in Target. Now, every time I read aloud any of the “If you give a _____” books out loud, I cannot help but wear a big smile and laugh to myself about how much the tale of the silly mouse makes me think of myself.

  7. I love the dad, Daniel Hilliard in Mrs Doubtfire (played by Robin Williams). It never comes out and says he has ADHD, but he does seem pretty impulsive, which is a characteristic of ADHD.

  8. My first favorite was Joey Pigza, of Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, and Joey Pigza Loses Control, both by Jack Gantos. Joey (a 3rd-grader, maybe?) broke my heart describing life with his father and grandmother who both have ADHD, and giving a play by play of his own out-of-control poor choices and the consequences they lead to. He so wants to stay in control and do the right thing, but so often crashes and burns in the attempt. At the same time, I was rooting for him as his mother got her life on track and returned to care for him. He shows such persistence and positivity as while he navigates treatment and the new structure in his life. It’s a bumpy ride, but he is relentless!

  9. Clementine, of the series by Sarah Pennypacker, is another awesome character with ADHD. Adults keep telling her to pay attention, but she maintains that she IS paying attention – and notices all kinds of things the adults have no clue are going on! She also explains why choosing a pair of shoes is so hard – it’s not the choosing one pair you like, it’s the NOT choosing so many pairs you like. Even though she is impulsive and gets in trouble, she solves problems that baffle the grown ups in the stories, or finds ways to work through her own tangled emotions. She’s a winner!

  10. Spinner from the Canadian TV series Degrassi: The Next generation is one character that I feel the writers did an amazing job in depicting the negative impact ADHD can have on students’ learning and peer relations, yet with intervention, how that can turn around and redeem an individual with the right supports. Initially, during the first few seasons, Spinner’s character is unpopular due to the terrible behaviours he engages in, (ie bullying classmates, lying, and “out of control” behaviour (hence the name “Spinner”). Over time, we see that he receives support and ends up taking medication to help control his unmanageable behaviour. We see his redemption from these terrible acts and winds up becoming a popular character, building long-term relationships with his peers.

  11. I’d have to say Willy Wonka. Mostly because he reminds me a lot of myself except for being rich of course. Mr. Wonka is extremely intelligent he tinkers and can make up ways for his factory to run seamlessly. However he is a bit of a recluse and finds solace in his alone time. Even in 2019 people think just because I’m not suffering academically that my ADHD is of less significance than those that may display other symptoms. I’ve found relief in this character over the years just knowing it’s another “smart” person with dopamine irregularities helps me feel less alone.

  12. My grandson first of all.. Tigger because he’s fun,silly,and all over the place just like my grandson…Dory, because she’s just so silly,just like Joshua…

  13. My favorite character with ADHD is Dory because she is funny and enthusiastic just like my son. She is also very forgetful and loves to talk. Dory is a great example of what ADHD must be like. I don’t have ADHD but my son does and this page has helped me so much to understand his diagnosis and what he goes thru everyday.

  14. My favorite character with ADHD is Helen Burns from Jane Eyre. She was the first person in a book that reflected me- someone that enjoys school and learning but can only concentrate when she’s interested, someone who had difficulty being organized and keeping clean.

    I thought of you when I read this quote from “” by Anonymous –

    ““You say you have faults, Helen: what are they? To me you seem very good.” “Then learn from me, not to judge by appearances: I am, as Miss Scatcherd said, slatternly; I seldom put, and never keep, things, in order; I am careless; I forget rules; I read when I should learn my lessons; I have no method; and sometimes I say, like you, I cannot bear to be subjected to systematic arrangements. This is all very provoking to Miss Scatcherd, who is naturally neat, punctual, and particular.””

    Unfortunately,she dies, and as she’s dying she basically says she probably deserves to because she’s so distractable and slovenly.

  15. Hands down, George, Harold and 80-HD from Dav Pilkey’s books. The way the boys use creativity to express themselves is so relatable to my son. The fact that 80-HD is a superhero reinforces the idea that ADHD is a superpower and with it, our son can accomplish great things.

  16. In our house, we love Hank Zipzer from the new book series by Henry Winkler. Hank (aka Henry) is so creative, fun, and spontaneous that you cannot help but love the character and want to read the next chapter to find out what he is going to do. However, the story also shows his struggles and the character is honest about his challenges. My older boys love these books and can definitely relate.

  17. I always really loved Tigger when I was a child. He is so much fun and embraces his uniqueness.
    I will have to give this some thought as I would like to explore my thoughts on ADHD characters.

  18. Pippi Longstockings is my daughter’s favorite character who makes living with undiagnosed ADHD at a time before the label existed look like an adventure! She constantly lies, talks over people, tells outlandish stories, defies rules and creates chaos. However, she is a loyal friend who sticks up for the right thing, a generous philanthropist who gives freely to any children who need her, a creative, ingenuative inventor, and a inspirational leader!

  19. Hammy. He’s learned to use tools like raising his hand in group discussions versus blurting out an answer. He sees the positive in the world and he knows that they love him and accept him. He’s had a hard time with others outside of this misunderstanding that his personality is not a sign of him being unintelligent and treating him as if. It is his want to connect to others that brought him to his tribe of other animals – and that gives one hope. He offers to be of help, and does his best. He is funny and creative, too. All things that the world needs more of – which – he’s open to adding to the group and happily. I love Hammy. I can then say this to me, too. I am Hammy. When I get on myself harshly and believe that I am unloved, unlovable and a weight, burden, loser – that I will fail at everything and I am never going to get ‘out’ of the things that I am not done or haven’t done or have to do … I can remind myself that I can see the good shining in Hammy. I don’t discount him for any of the aforementioned and that my life is not wrong or less – it’s just different and when I hear this by those who do not know me nor care other than to be abusive and get off on that – I love on my baby self – Hammy … We all find our tribe. We all have worth. Our flaws are not our totality and most often they are what makes us beautiful. People make the jest of SQUIRREL being the attention grabber for their attention shift at any given moment. I am both. That’s where I can find my talents and what it is that makes it my purpose. Today was a hard day. Been struggling for a few months with familial trauma and a heavy load of things to get accomplished this next year for goals. Not much support and isolated in geography. I keep lists and marking days with them is a good way to build up from those instances when I am knocked back and off centered. I matter. No one deserves to be told or treated otherwise. I can be an advocate for me and others by living kindly to me and to others – to be honest and open about it – and cheering for myself is still cheering. I limit my exposure to those who are chaotic or have a propensity to create it. I do not share with those who will make fun or poke at me in ways that will not support and those who enjoy the ways in which it hurts – finding a stage set to see me scramble in front of them with a smirk … so I take note and use my support framily when prepping for contact and if it happens by boundary violation – I out this instead of eating it. Lately – I have not been timely, but I am writing through why and using tells and alarms to realign to focus. I have a picture of Hammy in my planner.

  20. I would say Joey from friends, because sometimes he comes up with crazy ideas just like my son. Both are funny and cool to be around even when they drive people crazy. Very lovable people!

  21. My favorite character is the mouse from the book, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff. Everyday I find myself going in circles, not staying on task- eventually I get back to what I wanted to accomplish in the first place. When this happens I think about the mouse and just have to laugh!

  22. Sheldon Cooper from The Big Bang Theory.

    “Meeting” Sheldon Cooper helped my husband and I, both with ADHD, overcome the struggle we had our whole lives where we became shaped to suppress our interests and quirky habits because most people told us we were “weird”. Sheldon is deeply relatable in the ADHD realm and helped us not feel alone.

    Learning to be comfortable with our ADHD “superpowers” again opened up a world of opportunities for us!

    My husband now works with Mayor of our city improving its development and he is in a band as a lead vocalist, pianist, and guitarist- all self-taught.

    I work at a technology company as an engineer while being a professional dancer for an AHL hockey team.

    Together we volunteer with a local rescue animal group and dress as superheroes for family events.

    Thanks to Sheldon Cooper, we feel like a super duo!

  23. Edith Bunker from All in The Family and Mork from Mork and Mindy, Those shows were the best, and even though I was too young to appreciate most of the humor then, I sure can appreciate it – and more- now! I don’t have the patience to sit and watch much TV, read, or go to movies, but with those 2 shows I could relate to the scatterbrained characters!

  24. I love Amelia Bedelia and her constant movement and trying to make things better for people, often without succeeding. I also like the Cat in the Hat for his zest for life and for always trying to have fun while jumping from one activity (and mess) to another. Both of these characters remind me of my son because he is always jumping from one activity to the next and often leaves a mess behind and he is always trying to help others but again, often making things worse. I wish I had known about this book and could have read it to him when he was younger. I think every elementary school teacher should have this book in their classroom library.

  25. The first thing that came to mind for me was Tigger. I am an adult with ADHD and the mother of a teen son who has ADHD. I was not diagnosis until I was an adult and when I think of my childhood Tigger was my hero and also who I identified with as a child and teen. Everyone called me Tigger JR because I was full of energy, always bouncing but those who not only saw my faults, forgetfulness, impulsivity, struggles with motivates etc, they saw how big my heart was, how much I loved people and wanted to be good. They saw I was trying my best and that I was smart despite how I felt about myself. Tigger was high energy, sweet, impulsive but loved by all and thats what I wanted most. Tigger reminds me also of my son so I hold Tigger dear to my heart a character that made me feel normal.

    Thank you.

    ([email protected])

  26. I have too many favorite characters in books that I can identify with to pick one. As a single mom of 3 teens with ADHD.
    I see my oldest son as a Robin Williams – is does voices, is funny, talks about the hard subjects and needs to go be alone after he has “been on” in front of others to decompression and regroup. I have boy/girl 13 y/o twins and he is so like Ty Pennington, very creative, always making things and redoing his room. She reminds me of Cammi Granato from the US Hokey team, my daughter plays sports…soccer, basketball, football (kicker on the boys team), wrestling and track (She is their long distance runner). She is always on a skate board, rip stick or anything that gets her outside and moving.
    Being their parent is not easy, especially when we are all in full blown ADHD mode. I see my self as a Wendy Davis(Army Wives). I grew up knowing that I was different but no idea why. Our house isn’t perfect but we have checklists around the house to help keep us all on track so we don’t “squirrel” our day away.

  27. My fastest brain response to this question was, “SQUIRREL”. Dug, from the movie Up is my favorite: loveable, kind, talented, yet easily distracted. My nickname, most times said with love and humor, is Squirrel. Friends and family began to call me squirrel after seeing this movie. The term makes me smile: it is said with love and an acknowledgement of who I am. I teach Pre-K, and this book would be an amazing tool for my classroom. I have a special bond with my students that have an ADD/ADHD diagnosis, because I can personally relate and offer strategies to set them up for success. Thanks, Dug! Squirrel Power!

  28. I have spent a lot of time watching Fancy Nancy walk through life as a whirling twirling motor. She is always losing things, breaking things, on the go, and oh so enthusiastically along the way. This show also models how to effectively parent a child with these struggles in a positive and reinforcing of strengths kind of way. Go ahead put Fancy Nancy to the test to earn the money for fancy shoes…it won’t take her long and then she is on to the next adventure probably forgetting all about the shoes in the end because focus has shifted. She is eccentric, kooky, funny, and witty. She challenges her parents often and has to be helping or staying busy doing something along the way. What a great role model for my little girl who is much the same. I could use some of the parenting tips too because ADHD children lead to more patience lost than most. I am a work in progress.

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