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Finding the Positive Traits of ADD

Too often, children with Attention Deficit Disorder find out the many things that are "wrong" with them when they go to school. They spend a great deal of time trying to "correct" traits that they have that educators find problematic in a classroom full of students. Kids with ADD tend not to conform. They have their own way of doing things. In a classroom, educators may feel that this is a problem. In the real world creative and inventive people contribute to the progress of our world.

Dr. Edward Hallowell, a clinician who specializes in Attention Deficit Disorder, has contended for years that for many negative symptoms of ADD there are also positive traits, or "gifts of ADD" that just need to be "unwrapped." Unwrapping their gifts means that time and effort is put into developing those positive traits in children and adults. People with ADD need to spend more time emphasizing the positive and less time trying to correct their perceived problem areas. They also need to see the potential of traits that cause them problems when they are in the classroom. These negatives can turn to positives when properly channeled in the real world.

Below are some examples of the negative traits in the classroom versus what they can look like in the real world.

*Looks like in the classroom-blurting answers./Looks like in the real world-effective brainstorming.
*Looks like in the classroom-not following directions./Looks like in the real world-creative ways to attack a difficult problem.
*Looks like in the classroom-perseveration./Looks like in the real world-persistence to task completion.
*Looks like in the classroom-lack of focus on class work./Looks like in the real world-able to hyper-focus on novel problems and special interests.
*Looks like in the classroom-messy or disorganized./Looks like in the real world-creative, artistic, and free-spirited.


The negative symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder will be with most people who have ADD for their whole lives, but so will the gifts of ADD. These mirror traits, when developed and used in daily life, can help make life with ADD a rich adventure. Children need to be taught explicitly how to "unwrap" their gifts that ADD confers. Adults need to know, also. Two books that I highly recommend to help with this are Superparenting for ADD: An Innovative Approach to Raising Your Distracted Child and Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder. Both Dr. Edward Hallowell and Dr. Peter Jensen have a lot of personal experience with Attention Deficit Disorder. Their books, written in an easy-to-read style, can help you unlock the gifts of ADD for yourself and those that you love.


This is a ground-breaking book that asks parents to look at their children with loving eyes and to help them transform their negative traits of ADD to gifts. I highly recommend it.

Superparenting for ADD: An Innovative Approach to Raising Your Distracted Child

When you need a lot of information about ADD, go to Dr. Hallowell for easy to read and authoritative facts. This is one of the best books on ADD that I've ever read. It tells about children, college age students, and adults. This is another one that I had to buy for myself!

Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder


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