Ever been told that ADHD or learning disabilities would prevent you from becoming a success? Ever started believing that...? Be inspired by these ADHD quotes — words of wisdom — from celebrities with ADHD, and adults and parents like you, who never stopped believing they could achieve greatness.
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Maroon 5's expressive frontman, Adam Levine, was diagnosed with attention deficit at a young age. He has struggled with ADHD symptoms throughout his life, but maintains that "ADHD isn't a bad thing, and you shouldn't feel different from those without ADHD."
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JetBlue Airways founder, David Neeleman, prides himself on having thought outside the box to invent the e-Ticket and establish the airline. "With the disorganization, procrastination, inability to focus, and all the other bad things that come with ADHD, there also comes creativity and the ability to take risks," he explains.
Debbie Phelps, mother of the ADHD super-achiever Michael Phelps, helped her son beat the odds by seeing strengths where others saw weaknesses. She kept looking for ways to help her son after others were ready to give up. And although Debbie and Michael didn't see eye-to-eye on every challenge that came his way, he always understood the role she played in his swimming success.
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In an open letter to her daughter, Lisa Aro describes the qualities that she admires most and that have set her daughter apart from others. "You have pushed me to be better, more dedicated, more courageous, to persevere, and to fight for you and me." Being a parent to her daughter Mary, has made Lisa a better person.
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Howie Mandel, a game-show host and comedian/actor, was diagnosed with ADHD and obsessive-compulsive disorder as an adult, but was well-aware of the symptoms throughout his life. He says that "adults should know that it's never too late to seek help for ADHD." He hopes that being open about his story will encourage people to get that help.
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As an adult with ADHD, Jeffrey Siegel can only assume what it means to live a normal life. He writes, "I don’t know from experience and cannot figure it out through observation. I have no clue what it is like to live it." Do you feel the same way? Would you want to live a "normal" life?
Despite being bullied in school, Steven Spielberg didn't let dyslexia prevent him from becoming a Hollywood legend. "I never felt like a victim," he says. "Movies kind of saved me from shame...from putting it on myself, from making it my fault when it wasn't." His advice for young adults with learning disabilities? "You are not alone, and while you will have dyslexia for the rest of your life, you can dart between the raindrops to get where you want to go. It will not hold you back."
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As a child, Charles Schwab — who would later start the nation's fourth-largest brokerage firm — didn't know he had dyslexia. He did know that he had to work much harder than the other kids in school — and this shaped him as an entrepreneur. "I focused on my strengths and used my natural affinity for numbers and economics as the focus of my career."
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Ty Pennington's Mom
Yvonne Pennington, mother of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition host Ty Pennington, is, of course, his biggest fan. Although she says that her son's "spontaneity gives me heart attacks," she has come to believe that parents should learn to appreciate the unique gifts ADHD can offer. "Many parents focus on what their kids are doing wrong. I encourage them to focus on what they're doing right."
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As a child, Jonathan Mooney was scolded for fidgeting, but his restless streak is the secret to his success. He says, "ADHD isn't a deficit. Those who have been diagnosed with ADHD should celebrate it. The gift has its challenges — and we have to work around those challenges — but it isn't a pathology."