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ADHD: Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

A Positive Spin: Is There Anything Good about ADHD?

Margaret V. Austin, Ph.D.

It's hard to imagine there could be anything good about ADHD. Yet, some advocates suggest we think beyond medical illness or disorder. Without minimizing the very real challenges of ADHD, these advocates promote a more optimistic viewpoint. For example, Lara Honos-Webb, Ph.D. has written several books about the gifts of ADHD (See the reference list). She highlights five key gifts of ADHD:

1. Creativity;
2. Exuberance;
3. Emotional sensitivity;
4. Interpersonal intuition; and,
5. Ecological consciousness.

There are also many helpful websites, chats, and blogs written by affected people who see positive aspects of ADHD. These positive attributes may be difficult to notice when coping with all the challenges of ADHD. Some posts are written by therapists; some by the caregivers of children with ADHD; and some by people with ADHD. The range of information is impressive. It serves as an important reminder to examine challenges from different perspectives. We've highlighted some of these Internet sources in the reference and resource section.