Positive Quotes about ADD
Sources are linked to book reviews at amazon.com or other source
"More and more, the concept of
ADD as a disorder is being qualified by inclusion of a string of positive qualities
-- such as creativity, high intelligence, ability to do many things at once, an aptitude
for small business entrepreneurship, and a powerful intuitive sense." - Susan
Burgess, from "Think Fast!
The ADD Experience (Hartmann, Bownman & Burgess).
"ADD people are high-energy and incredibly good
brainstormers. They will often happily work 12 to 15 hours by choice. The business
community should not fear ADD. Instead, they should see that they have a potential gold
mine here. - Dr. Kathleen Nadeau, a psychologist who is ADD herself (from an ABC News Report)
are not disordered." - Lynn Weiss, Ph.D., from "ADD and
Creativity - Tapping Your Inner Muse."
"Think of an absentminded professor who can find a
cure for cancer but not his glasses in the mess on his desk. These are the inventors,
creators, poets -- the people who think creative thoughts because they don't think like
everyone else." - Martha Denckla, M.D., Director of the Department of
Developmental Cognitive Neurology at the Kennedy-Drieger Institute at John Hopkins.
"I've worked with many children, and took them all off
medication. I think out of all the many we've worked with, there was one little boy we
couldn't do much with... But with most of these children, I was told that they were
'little animals', couldn't sit still, were disruptive, couldn't do anything; under my
guidance, I found them to be beautiful; they would die for you." - Marie Friedel,
Founder and Executive Director, National Foundation for
Gifted and Creative Children.
"There are many positives with ADD,
including a surplus of ideas, creativity, excitement, and interest which accompany this
kind of mind." - Sari Solden, "Women With
Attention Deficit Disorder."
"The same right-brained children who
are being labeled and shamed in our schools are the very individuals who have the skills
necessary to lead us into the twenty-first century. These children process visually
and randomly, and think holistically. They are intuitive problem solvers who get the
big picture. They thrive on visual imagery and stimulation; these "attention
deficit" kids can spend hours with computer and CD-ROM programs that mirror their
thought processes. It's no wonder they are attracted to computers. The use of
computers is congruent with the way right-brained children think." - Jeffrey Freed
and Laurie Parsons from "Right-Brained
Children in a Left Brained World"
|Excerpts from an "Are you ADD" list,
from "Driven to
Distraction" by Hallowell & Ratey.
- Are you more creative or imaginative than most people?
- Are you particularly intuitive?
- Even if you are easily distracted, do you find that there
are times when your power of concentration is laser-beam intense?
- Are you usually eager to try something new?
- Do you laugh a lot?
- Do you get the gist of things very quickly?
- Are you much more effective when you are your own boss?
- Are you a maverick?
- Do you tend to approach problems intuitively?
- Do you often get excited by projects and then not follow
"Several elements of the ADD mind
favor creativity....As mentioned earlier, the term 'attention deficit' is a misnomer. It
is a matter of attention inconsistency. While it is true that the ADD mind wanders when
not engaged, it is also the case that the ADD mind fastens on to its subject fiercely when
it is engaged. A child with ADD may sit for hours meticulously putting together a model
airplane." - Edward Hallowell, M.D., and John Ratey, M.D., "Driven to
"I think Ritalin and other psychoactive drugs for
children will remain popular in this country until the values of our society change. There
is an intolerance of temperamental diversity currently, yet it is that very diversity that
has made our culture rich and worthy." - Dr.
Lawrence Diller, author of Running on
"Being ADD, when I read a book about
marine life my mind allows me to travel with the fish and imagine life beneath the sea. Or
I can read a book about astronomy and dance among the stars...I may not immediately
comprehend that 3+4=7, but I may fully realize that n+26=51 and that the missing number is
25." - Matthew Kutz, age 13, from "Think Fast!
The ADD Experience (Hartmann, Bownman & Burgess).
"These children are not disordered.
They may have a different style of thinking, attending, and behaving, but it's the broader
social and educational influences that create the disorder, not the children." -
Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D., from Myth of the
A.D.D. Child - 50 Ways to Improve Your Child's Behavior and Attention Span Without Drugs,
Labels or Coercion.
"Impulsivity, ability to tolerate
being thought of as eccentric, spontaneity, and little tolerance for boredom, in addition
to daydreaming, are listed as identifying characteristics of creative individuals...Given
that some highly creative children engage in 'disruptive, attention-seeking behavior' in
the classroom, it is not surprising that they are not valued by their teachers as much as
more conforming, less creative students." - Bonnie Cramond, Ph.D., from
"Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Creativity - What is the
connection?" Journal of Creative Behavior.
"Your Edison-trait child has an
inventory of positive qualities:
- Openness to multiple sights, sounds, and
- A daring or wandering imagination
- A global perspective
- Creative urges or compelling attraction for
- Intense focus on his own pursuits and
"These are attributes of his
outstanding gift for divergent thinking...It is the teacher's job to train your child to
use convergent thinking skills.So they tend to overlook his divergent thinking strengths,
and see only his weakness in convergent thinking." - Lucy Jo Palladino, Ph.D.,
Edison Trait - Saving the Spirit of Your Nonconforming Child."
"I'm alarmed that to think than modern
science may be turning creativity into a medical disorder" - Thomas Armstrong,
Ph.D., from "The Myth of
the ADD Child."
"Russell Barkley, Ph.D., another expert in the field,
notes that the children we call inattentive are also 'wild, funny, effervescent. They have
a love of life.' As adults they 'can be incredibly successful' and gravitate into creative
fields or make good salespeople" - Lucy Jo Palladino, Ph.D., from "The Edison
"In my opinion, the ADD brain structure is not truly
an abnormality. In fact, I believe a very good case can be made that it is not only
normal, though in the minority, but may well be a superior brain structure. However, the
talents of the person with the ADD brain structure are not those rewarded by our society
at its current stage of development. In other words, the problems of the person with ADD
are caused as much by the way we have our society, educational system, and business
methods organized as by other factors more directly related to the ADD itself." -
Paul Elliott, M.D.
"The primary opportunity is to use a
model or paradigm for describing ADD that's not disease-based and doesn't imply brain
damage or what many children interpret as some type of retardation...a person must have
hope; this model restores self-esteem, thus empowering individuals to change." -
Thom Hartmann, "ADD Success
Thom Hartmann views the ADDer as a Hunter
in a Farmer's world. The table below shows the negative 'Disorder' View, followed by
Hartmann's more positive perspective. From Attention
Deficit Disorder - A Different Perception.
ADD as a
Natural Adaptive Trait
||Constantly monitoring environment
|Attention span is short, but can become intensely focused
for long periods of time.
||Able to throw themselves into the chase on a moment's
|Poor planner, disorganized and impulsive (makes snap
||Flexible; ready to change strategy quickly.
|Distorted sense of time: unaware of how long it will take
to do something.
||Tireless: capable of sustained drives, but only when
"hot on the trail" of some goal.
||Results oriented. Acutely aware of whether the goal is
getting closer now.
|Doesn't convert words into concepts adeptly, and vice
versa. May or may not have a reading disability.
||Visual/concrete thinker, clearly seeing a tangible goal
even if there are no words for it.
|Has difficulty following instructions.
||Bored by mundane tasks; enjoy new ideas, excitement,
"the hunt," being hot on the trail.
|Acts without considering consequences.
||Willing and able to take risks and face danger.
|Lacking in the social graces.
||"No time for niceties when there are decisions to be