Turning ADHD on its Head: Mining for Buried Treasures

handstand-699120_960_720Have you ever wondered what would happen if you turned ADHD on its head?

Dr. Edward Hallowell coined the term “turning ADHD on its head” as a way for us to reframe weaknesses into areas of strengths. Instead of seeing the deficits and disorder that we so often associate with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, we are able to see and focus on the strengths.

We might possibly rename ADHD to Attention Surplus Creative Thinking Advantage (ASCTA), or Out-Of-The-Box Thinking Aptitude (OBTA). Maybe even Enthusiasm and Creativity Talent (ECT).

ADHD has been described and labeled in many ways over the decades. Terms such as “hyperkinesis of childhood,” “minimal brain damage,” and “minimal brain dysfunction” were used to label the symptoms that were observed.

It wasn’t until 1980 that the term “Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)” was used and later renamed “Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder” in 1987. The one thing all these names have in common is a focus on the negative attributes of ADHD.

What if we were to change our focus? What would be possible if we were to address the challenges in a healthy, managed way (coaching, therapy, medication) and focus on the strengths and talents that are associated with ADHD?

When we view ADHD traits as a disability, deficit or disorder, it prevents us from seeing any of the traits as strengths that could be leveraged to an individual’s benefit. Words are powerful. Our attention is also powerful. You know the saying, “What you pay attention to grows.”

So I ask you, “What do you want to pay attention to when it comes to your ADHD or your favorite person’s ADHD?” (Below is an example of some challenges turned on their head and viewed as strengths)

Turning ADHD on its Head – seeing challenges as strengths

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I am not saying that individuals who are affected by ADHD don’t have challenges, they have some very real challenges that are a result of a uniquely wired ADHD brain.

What I am saying, is that if you turn ADHD on its head and look for the strengths, which are also directly related to the uniquely wired ADHD brain, you can not only apply those strengths to create strategies to work around the challenges, but also operate from a more fulfilling place.

As an ADHD coach, I am always asking my clients to commit to one small action to move them forward toward their self-identified goals.

So, I want to leave you with a challenge: How many strengths can you see in yourself or someone you love with ADHD?

If you or a loved one needs a supportive environment in which to develop a comprehensive understanding of ADHD and specifically how ADHD is impacting you, please call or email for a complimentary consultation session (715-575-1665 or email kshiverick @ableadhdcoaching. com).

Together we can explore your strengths, for which there are many, and create strategies and structure to address your challenges.

Strengths:  Abundance of thoughts * adventurous * charismatic * collaborative * creative * curious * dramatic * driven * empathetic* energetic * entrepreneurial * enthusiastic * funny * good problem solver * hard working * helpful * highly productive in areas of interest * high energy * idea generator * imaginative * inquisitive * intelligent * intuitive * inspiring * many interests * passionate * playful * resourceful * sensitive * spontaneous * tenacious * thinks outside-the-box * unconventional * visionary * just to name a few!

Resources:

*Thriving in the Workplace with ADHD

http://www.everydayhealth.com/adhd/webcasts/thriving-in-the-workplace-with-adhd.aspx

 

*Benefit of Having ADHD:

http://www.hallowellnyc.com/HallowellNYC/LivingwithADD/BenefitsYesBenefitsofHavingADDA/index.cfm

 

*17 Things to Love About ADHD:

http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/119/slide-1.html

 

*Career Advice from the Corner Office: Famous People with ADHD:

http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/754.html

 

*Famous People with ADHD and Learning Disabilities:

http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/67/slide-1.html

http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/8681-4.html

 

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Kristine Shiverick
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