Q: “What Benefits of ADHD Can I Share with My Discouraged Son?”
When a member of ADDitude’s ADHD Support Group on Facebook recently appealed to other members for help lifting the spirits of her discouraged son, she was inundated with responses enumerating the benefits of ADHD. Here are 18 of our favorites.
The Benefits of ADHD We Sometimes Miss
Q: “I joined this group because my son has ADHD and I wanted to learn more about his struggles. Tonight he said ‘I hate having ADHD’ and I told him there were also positives in having it. For instance, he is brilliant with figuring out how things work. Can you list some other positives so I can share them with him?”
When a member of ADDitude’s ADHD Support Group on Facebook recently appealed to other members for help lifting the spirits of her discouraged son, she was inundated with more than 100 responses enumerating the benefits of ADHD. Here are 18 of our favorites.
- “I live with three ADHD loved ones and I love the way their brains work! First of all, they love SO BIG! I know people with ADHD experience intense emotions, but that goes for the good emotions along with the bad. They are all so incredibly affectionate and loving.”
- “Divergent thinking! It’s been tested and proven that ADHD people have a better ability to wipe the slate clean and start again when thinking about problem solving, which is more difficult for a neurotypical brain.”
- “I think of hyperfocus as my super power. I can get so completely absorbed in things that I love. I don’t need to rely on a morning stimulant like coffee.”
- “I can multitask like crazy. I’ve had the energy that many employers were looking for. I have always been detail-oriented and a fast learner. Whatever I was being trained in, I learned the first or second time I was shown.”
- “I generally know what others are feeling before they do. I have lived a hugely interesting life because I’m not satisfied with the mundane. I have way more close friends than your average 40 year old.”
- “We pay attention differently from most people, so though we may miss things other folks see, we often see things other folks miss, and that can be very important!”
- “Our quick thinking, impulsivity, and creativity make us the most valuable people in many situations.”
- “I think we’re also in tune to what others struggle with themselves and we’re a good sounding board… and we’re the best people to go to for an honest opinion.”
- “My son with ADHD will be the person everyone turns to in a crisis. We struggle with anxiety in the slow times.”
- “I’m able to see an entire working and complicated system, visualize all its working parts — either physical or logical systems — with hundreds of individual pieces… all in my head.”
- “Emotional intuition and senses: When deeply impacted, fascinated, or awed by something, you become wholly enveloped in it and feel it all the way into your soul. It’s usually really exciting.”
- “I can listen to three conversations at once (just not the one I’m on the middle of) so I get to hear all the good gossip.”
- “I am incredibly persistent and do what needs to be done to get an important task accomplished. I work well under pressure and can think on my feet.”
- “I am able to enjoy experiences that others may have hesitated to try.”
- “Being distracted by everything makes me a little more perceptive than my peers. It just takes some time teaching yourself to remember to remember the details.”
- “Flexible thinking. Adults spend a ton of time trying to recapture and grow their creativity. ADHD adults don’t have to be told to ‘think outside the box.’ I joke ‘there is no box!’”
- “My ability to ‘overhear’ everything means I pretty much always know what’s going on with everyone.”
- “My daughter has only used hers well. She is the hyperfocuser extraordinaire. She always had some of the best art and science projects because she was obsessive and it got her a full ride to college.”
What would you add to this list of benefits of ADHD that often get overlooked or dismissed — even by those of us who have it?