Years ago when I was first learning about ADHD,I was struck by something Dr. Ned Hallowell said at one of the first ADHD conferences I ever attended (ADDA: He said:

Creativity is Impulsivity Gone Right.

Isn’t that a great re-framefor those of us side-swiped by impulsivity?

And what about distractibility? Couldn’t that also be called curiosity?

Hyperactivity-couldn’t that mean being an innate explorer? Or simply high energy?

Head strong typeswho have a hard time transitioning: maybe these are independent thinkers?

Messy?Many creative types have ideas spilling out all over. Managing mundane daily tasks can be excruciating. Being bored is painful. Impatient types can’t slow down because their mind is on the next experience.

Why do we call ADHD symptoms negative traits?Sure, they can get in the way. Big time. But maybe it’s also time to think of our traits as positive, too.

Dr. Hallowell has a chart in his book,Superparenting for ADD: An Innovative Approach to Raising Your Distracted Child”, where he compares negative ADHD traits with mirror positive counterparts. Here are a few:

Distractible = Curious

Impulsive = Creative

Hyperactive, restless = Energetic

Intrusive = Eager

Can’t Stay on Point = Sees Connections Others Don’t

Disorganized = Spontaneous

Moody = Sensitive

I love this. But that doesn’t mean that by seeing all these traits as (potentially) positive means we don’t struggle- we do. But this is a great way to view ADHD as not just a deficit, but as a collection of traits that can work for you if you learn to harness them in.

What other ADHD symptoms can you spin into positive traits? Share your thoughts in my Comment section, below.

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