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The Gifts of ADHD

by Pete Quily on May 11, 2005 · 14 comments

More and more experts say ADHD can be a gift rather than a malady”

Love that title. This article talks about the gifts of ADHD and give some examples on how to manage ADHD, including ADHD coaching.

Take David Neeleman, the billionaire CEO of JetBlue Airways, who calls ADHD one of his biggest assets. He credits the disorder with giving him the creativity that helped him develop an electronic ticketing system and pioneer several discount airlines

Dr. Ed Hallowell… and John Ratey make the case in their book that people with ADHD tend to be creative, intuitive, tenacious and high-energy. Sure, a number of criminals have ADHD, but so do a lot of successful artists and CEOs.

People with ADHD can think outside of the box and are willing to take risks, which can make them successful entrepreneurs.

It’s how you manage the ADHD that determines whether it’s a gift or a curse,” Hallowell said.

I definitely agree. Some people just view ADHD as 100% pathology.

I’m not denying there are many serious problems with ADHD but there are many benefits of the condition as well. Unfortunately, most of the people doing research on ADHD i.e., psychologists, psychiatrists and medical doctors are by in large trained on the pathology model.

If you’re looking solely for dysfunction and very little else, because that’s how you were trained and that’s what people generally who come to you for want to “fix”, that’s generally what you’ll find. There are exceptions of course, and this article talks about one of them i.e., Dr. Ed Hallowell and John Ratey.

I’ve seen hundreds of studies that just focus on how to deal with the negative traits of ADD.

Can anyone name me even 10 studies done by anyone in the medical field relating to ADD that actually look for positive traits of ADDers? Why are there few people looking in this direction when there are many people who deal with ADDers who talk about the positive aspects of ADHD?

For more examples on the gifts of ADHD see

the 151 advantages of ADD

My ADD / ADHD Strengths category posts on this blog

Some positive quotes about people with ADD

Thom Hartmann who has written several books on ADHD also talks about the gifts of ADHD. I highly recommend checking out his books.

They also mention a new book called “The Gift of ADHD” by Lara Honos-Webb. Has anyone read it? Any thoughts about it?

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