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Beware the Prophets of ADHD Doom

September 12th 2005

Beware the Prophets of ADHD Doom

Kirk's Book

September 13, 2005 (Washington, D.C.) – A day does not pass without families affected by Attention Deficit Disorder reading about the dire consequences and catastrophic results of ADHD.

Scan the headlines each day and you’d swear Attention Deficit Disorder were a deadly disease.

The prophets will speak in legion this week as we observe “National ADD Awareness Day.” As Executive Director of Celebrate!ADHD®, I urge children and adults with the symptoms of AD/HD to be diagnosed so that they can understand their unique wiring and develop a positive, proactive life plan to achieve success.

But this is not what happens.  Instead, families are warned of the ruin that awaits them and their children if they are not “treated,” which in most cases is synonymous with being medicated.


How often do doctors, psychiatrists and therapists entrusted with the education of parents explain (1) the positive advantages many children with ADHD possess and (2) how to work with their child’s nature in order to cultivate their gifts, strengths and passions?

The answer is never. How can we be so sure? This past summer, 150 families from across the country attending our Trailblazers™ Creativity Camp in the nation’s capital told us.

Not one parent had been told that their children did, indeed, possess advantageous qualities and character traits. Nor had they received a positive action plan.

Despite the fact that educators and learning specialists spent untold hours preparing an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for their children, not once had any professional taken the time to prepare a proactive Action Plan for cultivating their child’s natural gifts, talents and passions.

While critics claim that we are being irresponsible for celebrating “such a horrible disorder,” we believe that the prophets of doom and gloom are enveloping young children in a dark cloud of negativity that is far more harmful than the direct effects of ADHD itself.


What happens to the self-confidence and dignity of a young child when he is told by every adult that there is something wrong with him? How quickly does the obsessive focus on fixing his every weakness destroy his curiosity and development of his strengths? How can a child feel empowered when he is told he cannot be successful without the help of a pill that changes who he is?

We do not deny that children with ADHD face challenges and have definitive weaknesses. But so does everyone else. Most successful people in life leverage their strengths and compensate for their weaknesses. But society demands that children with ADHD deny their nature and learn like others.

How would the “normal” students fare if we demanded they be graded based on their ability to work independently; express tremendous energy while writing, painting creatively or designing complex structures; hyper-focus on projects for hours at a time?

Their parents would claim the requirements aren’t fair, that their kids aren’t wired to be creative, energetic leaders.

And yet we subject children with ADHD to a system which is hostile to their very nature—and then demand that they be medicated because they can’t or won’t conform.

Ironically, the very same prophets of doom who cannot bear to utter a positive word about children with ADHD are the same ones who extol the accomplishments of trailblazing leaders in the arts, science and business such as Galileo, Isaac Newton, Thomas Edison, Einstein, Monet, Michaelangelo and Spielberg.


Can you guess the irony? All of these leaders possess the same qualities as children with ADHD. Even more ironic? They owe their very success to the energy, creativity, innovation, passion and persistence afforded by ADHD.

The fact is that there would not be a need for Celebrate!ADHD if doctors, psychiatrists, therapists and educators would simply help parents and children develop a positive action plan to leverage the strengths of children with ADHD.

Parents sensing this void have flocked to our Camps and Workshops, hungry for a positive approach and a solid Life Success Action Plan. It isn’t brain surgery, it’s common sense.

So when you hear the dire warnings and see the negative cloud settling over your child, rest assured that there is another side to the story.

Understand how your child is wired differently. Harness the energy and creativity to leverage competitive advantages, and turn potential negatives into positives. Identify and cultivate natural gifts, talents and passions to build confidence. Teach your child how to use his intuition and sensitivity to understand people and develop strong friendships. Build a sense of purpose by showing your child how he can use his gifts to help others.

Keep celebrating children with ADHD. And, above all, take time to enjoy your child just as he is.

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By Kirk Martin
Kirk is Executive Director of Celebrate!ADHD, an organization equipping children with ADHD with success. His passion is transforming these amazing children.  His website is www.celebrateADHD.com.

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Keywords and misspellings:  ADHD AD-HD AD/HD Ritalin ritalan hyperactivity

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:46 PM