Talking About ADHD

What I Would Never Trade Away

The positives of ADHD are numerous and mighty — creativity, empathy, and tenacity, just to name a few. Here, readers share their amazing superpowers.

Thinking positive to find the plus sides of adhd.
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The Plus Side of ADHD

There's a lot to love about ADHD—and all the creativity, empathy, tenacity and special talents it brings! Read on for some of the positives of ADHD, shared by readers just like you.

[Free Handout: 25 Things to Love About ADHD]

Problem solving skills are a positive about ADHD.
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Problem Solving

Ping-ponging thoughts can help you devise unique solutions to tricky situations that our neurotypical peers might miss. Our readers are pros at problem solving:

"My son can always come up with a solution. No ladder? No problem. Push this chair up against the wall and—instant height!" — An ADDitude reader

"My daughter and I can always see the big picture. We can automatically picture how pieces of the puzzle fit. We come up with long-term, highly feasible solutions. No Band-Aids here!" —Erin

"My ADHD superpower is what I like to call brain art. I can easily think of several ideas and connect them in creative ways regardless of how unrelated they may be." — Ade

Children use their creativity to build a fort.
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Imagination & Creativity

Individuals with ADHD don't just think outside the box; we create our own fortresses with our unbounded imagination and creativity.

"My son can take you on an adventure and make your imagination light up while just standing in our living room." — Wendy E.

"I'm amazed at ADHDers' creativity. They always have more than one idea at a time floating around in their brains. Harnessing it enriches life for all of us." — Karen K.

"I have endless creativity!! Now, putting those ideas to work is a bit trickier...."  — Barbie

["Your Brain is a Ferrari"]

A teenager consoles a friend, using her gift of compassion.
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Compassion

Being "different" can make people with ADHD compassionate; we always root for the underdogs and share our unconditional love with others who are struggling.

"Whether it is for the homeless man on the street to whom he gives his last $10, or the little girl on the swim team with Down's syndrome whom he truly befriends, my son knows how to put himself in others' shoes and help make their day brighter." — Shari

"My son is kind to those less fortunate than him. He is always forgiving, helpful, and loves everyone. In school he volunteered to be the buddy of a child with Muscular Dystrophy and he feels so proud to have this special job." — Melina O.

"My son Tyler has a heart the size of the state of Texas (No, wait — Alaska!...no, wait — the entire planet!...no, wait—well, you get the idea). His compassion for others knows no bounds!" — Mark T.

Girl with snorkel by family unpacking van shows her sense of humor.
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Sense of Humor

Laughing matters! It can cut back on stress at home, and make every person with ADHD feel more connected.

"In our ADHD family, when things are tense, someone will do something crazy silly and lighten the mood! We're by no means normal, but I wouldn't trade the goofiness for anything!"  — Carrie

"No matter how frustrating things can be, my daughter always uses her sense of humor to make others laugh. She can defuse anything with a few words." — Michele H.

"My son's sense of humor keeps me grounded... and reminds me not to take life too seriously!" — An ADDitude reader

[Free Resource: The Many Faces of ADHD]

The word impossible is written on a chalkboard, with the "im" crossed out, because those with ADHD have perseverance.
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Perseverance

Most children and adults with ADHD work twice as hard as their neurotypical peers to achieve the impossible. That struggle isn't always bad. It builds a deep determination to try again until we succeed.

"My daughter has to study for hours, but if that's what it takes to pass, she will. She wants success so badly. Sometimes she fails hard, but she always picks herself up and goes again." — Tianna

"My son has more character than most adults. For all that he has been through and risen above, he has great strength!" — Rose H.

"Every day our son encounters a new struggle, but he knows it's not a sprint, it's a marathon. He keeps his chin up and keeps plugging away until it's finished." — Holly

A woman is very observant and employs her keen sense of observation.
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Keen Memory and Sense of Observation

ADHD doesn't always mean a lack of attention. It can mean noticing—and paying attention to—everything, even things others might miss.

"I remember odd little factoids I read or heard, lines from books I read, names of long lost acquaintances—all from 20 or more years ago." — Kelly

"My daughter is my lil' noticer—she's aware of everything around her, and finds beauty in things most rush past in our crazy lives." — Jules

"My daughter may look like she's jumping around not paying attention, but she remembers every little detail that she notices—down to what you were wearing and that thing you told her 6 months ago!" — Kelley F.

A mom holds her child while also ironing — multitasking is a strength for those with ADHD.
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Multitasking

Though studies say multitasking can be ineffective, many with ADHD thrive, and are more productive, when doing more than one thing at once.

"My job is overwhelmingly chaotic, but I always manage to find ways to get the multitude of things done, all at once." — An ADDitude reader

"To do ANYTHING I have to multitask. In fact, as I'm typing this, I'm drinking coffee and talking on the phone! It's as if, when my brain doesn't have enough stimulation, I'm comatose." — An ADDitude reader

"When I have a lot of things to do at once, I can do them better and faster than anyone. If a storm is coming and we have to bug out, I'm the queen of packing and getting everything and everyone ready and gone." — Deb W.

A man is very focused on writing in his notebook. Hyperfocus is a positive trait of ADHD.
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Laser-Focus

When people with ADHD harness their inherent hyperfocus, they can accomplish much more, much faster than many without this superpower.

"I have super-focus (when the task is novel and engaging, anyway). When playing a particular game, I've been known to look up near the end and say, 'Hey, it got dark... now what day is it? Did I eat today?'" — David S.

"I can sit down to work on a project and go, go, go! It would take others double the time to do what I do when my superpower kicks in. It has served me well, especially in emergency situations when acting quickly is critical." —Buck C.

"My son can hyperfocus when he is really into the subject, like studying the characters in the Star Wars Encyclopedia." — An ADDitude reader

A group of young children are running with endless energy, another positive trait of ADHD.
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Endless Energy

You won't find an adult or child with ADHD running out of batteries! We're like the Energizer bunny, going and going and going and going and...

"Our son loves climbing. It gives him a neat vantage point. We spend a lot of time hiking outdoors, and he is learning how to climb safely in a bouldering gym for when the rest of us are tired out." — Kat

"My son's just started a running club at his school, and uses all that energy inside of him on the track. He gets a token for every mile he runs, and is determined to fill a whole chain of them." — April B.

"My son has limitless energy. He's always physically active and up to play with anyone who will volunteer!" — Tracey K.

A father and son play airplane together. Their seal for life is an ADHD superpower.
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Zeal for Life

People with ADHD have faced difficulty and overcome it. We know how to look at the bright side, and enjoy life even when it’s not all rainbows and sunshine.

"My daughter's zest for life is contagious! She just radiates energy, enthusiasm, and optimism. Yes, her bedroom looks like a tornado ripped through it, but each morning she emerges from the chaos with a smile on her face, ready to greet the day...and I find myself smiling too." — Carol

"My son learns with zeal, plays with zeal, creates with zeal, shares with zeal, and loves with zeal. It's all 1,000%." — Lynn M.

"My daughter has been through so much in her life, but she always comes out with happiness and her beautiful grin." — An ADDitude reader

A green apple in a group of oranges illustrates differences. Kids and adults with ADHD are very accepting.
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Acceptance

Those with ADHD experience the world in a unique way, which can make us more accepting of differences, in ourselves and in others.

"My daughter accepts herself despite her difficulties with ADHD and LD. She is patient with those around her, even when we struggle to be patient with her. She is eager and determined." — Leslie

"My son has empathy borne of his own ongoing struggle. He can find the good in any person, recognizing that 'Each person comes with their own strengths and challenges—that's just human, Mom!' The trick is accepting everyone and yourself. We need each other's differences, because it makes us a stronger team overall." — Lisa

"Our daughter's nicknames are Electric Sunshine and Fizzy Izzy. Her smile, her personality, her love of all people and animals always lights up a room. People are drawn to her positive attitude, continual stream of fun ideas, and fearlessness."  — GT Thomas

A road sign has an arrow pointing to Right and another toward wrong. Those with ADHD have a strong moral compass.
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Strong Moral Compass

Individuals with ADHD often have hearts of gold, and rely on a set of morals to show the way.

"My daughter has a strict sense of what's right and has no problem telling someone when they're in the wrong. Right now, as her mom, it drives me insane at times, but I know it's a true superpower." — Rebecca

"My daughter and I share the same desire to help others. Despite school work, sports, and now work, my daughter will be leading the efforts when someone is being wronged." — An ADDitude reader

"My daughter always watches out for the 'little guy.' If someone is getting picked on or bullied, she will step up and have their back." — Karen

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