ADHD Superpowers

The ADHD “Superpowers”

Many of the deficits that characterize “Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder” have flip-sides that are superpowers, which, if nurtured, pruned, and practiced (like any other skill) will serve the purpose of optimizing the individual’s success in interacting with her world. By recognizing the deficits, we are able to provide accommodations to avoid unnecessary failure and shame. By naming and highlighting the superpowers, we are able to find new ways for the kid to learn and grow into her/his best self. Here is a list of some examples:

  • Divergent thinking, creativity, generativity
  • Flexibility of thought, movement, emotion
  • Intuition and connection to emotion
    • The “big feels,” when given space for expression, can be very informative in ways that aren’t accessible through a filter of rationality
    • We want to encourage the kid to learn and practice her own capabilities in emotion regulation, while at the same time encouraging exploration of some of the emotional intensities, giving space for them
  • Perception/observation/curiosity
    • The ADHD brain is hungry for novelty and dynamic activity. It sees and tolerates/appreciates new ideas, new movements, new visualizations, and new concepts.
    • Individuals with ADHD often perceive (intuitively) connections or “flows” that are not appreciated by others. They often enjoy taking a “bird’s eye view” of things and asking the “what-if” questions.
  • Need for movement and exploration
    • These kids will go places and find things that a more rule-tolerant individual might not consider
    • We should encourage these kids to go! Explore! And have her report back to us on what she finds and observes. Encourage the superpower of exploration, it’s good for humanity!
    • The things that are discovered outside the boundaries of what’s prescribed are often the most profound
  • Low tolerance for tedium
    • This ‘deficit’ is the mother if ingenuity and invention. To the child (and adult) with ADHD, the “penalty” of having to sit and comply for long days is so much worse than the risk of failure at trying something new; she would much rather try a thousand new things with risk of failure, than do the one thing everyone else is doing
  • Preference for active, hands-on tasks
    • If encouraged, this will give the child the opportunity to discover pragmatic solutions and applications
    • Arts, skills-based learning, theater, invention
  • Social influence and charisma
    • This is a product of lots of the previously mentioned superpowers (e.g., flexibility, openness, curiosity, boundless energy, perceptiveness, etc)
    • The infectious smile that says a million words, is like an invitation saying hey, come check this out, follow my imagination, do this skateboard flip, try this new dish I made, look at this building I designed, etc.
  • Leadership

About creatornorthshoregirl

Patti (Lyons-Gooderham) Henderson is an innovative Director hosting a steady career in communications and entertainment. Patti's journey has included extensive research into her own genealogy; encouraging her curiosity and passion in finding story and motivation of character. She started in the world of journalism which took her to multiple countries in a variety of positions, eventually writing, assistant editing and field producing for MUCHMUSIC and MOVIETV. As a fiction Writer, her first feature script BENEATH THE SURFACE, won top prize from Praxis Screenwriters/I.A.T.S.E. script competition. With a thirst for learning the science of Film and TV making, she has worked for a multitude of productions in the capacity of Script Supervisor including RV, EIGHT BELOW, A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS, FRINGE, LOST IN SPACE, XFILES to name a few and as an Editor for shorts, TV series and Features. Her growth in the industry continues with the addition of working in VFX, on and off set. Patti has been a maverick in filmmaking. With the support of Sony Canada, National Film Board of Canada and BC Film, she spearheaded and directed UP THE WALL that was the first new technology (digital video-35mm) project to be shot in Canada in 1997, that included title on picture, VFX and finished in three formats. She has Directed and Co-Produced branding videos, sizzle reels for factual/lifestyle programs, corporates and fundraising videos, as well as 11 projects for the VFS Portfolio Shorts Program. Her work has played at national and international festivals, and aired on various North American Networks. For CBC, she Directed and Edited SALMON ENCHANTED EVENING which, after being selected from over 350 scripts, was produced and nominated for seven LEO FILM AWARDS winning best editor and best sound design. Patti is an Alumnae of WOMEN IN THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR (WIDC), which chooses 8 women from across Canada to participate in the program at The Banff Centre each year. Her focus has, and always will be, storytelling. Her unique upbringing, combined with years of experience in the entertainment industry has helped to shape her into a vibrant Director with the ability, through passion, knowledge and experience, to elevate a wide range of scripts. Her latest work is writing a YA Novella series, with an eye on developing it into a TV series. She lives and works in the UK and Canada.
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