Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurological disorder that can affect children and adults. "These days ADHD is often first diagnosed in children," says James C. Anderson, IV, MD, Pediatrician at ARC Far West. "Clinicians, teachers, and parents are much more aware of the symptoms to watch for than in the past."
What are some common symptoms of ADHD in children?
- Inattention — A short attention span, a hard time listening to others, a hard time attending to details, being easily distracted or forgetful, and with poor organizational skills.
- Impulsivity — Seen as interrupting often, impatience waiting for his or her turn, blurting out answers in school instead of waiting to be called on, and thinking before acting.
- Hyperactivity — Always in motion, difficulty staying in their seat, fidgeting, talking a lot, forgetfulness, and inability to complete the task at hand.
"Although having your child diagnosed with ADHD may at first seem like discouraging news, do not be disheartened," says Dr. Anderson. "There are also many benefits that come with the condition. Often the very behaviors that are the symptoms of ADHD can also be become strengths."
What are some benefits of ADHD?
- Hyperfocus — A person with ADHD can focus on a task for hours on end, essentially tuning out everything around them, if they are doing a job that they enjoy and find interesting. This process allows them to complete a task without any distractions, and the outcome is often of greater quality.
- Resilience — Teachers say they view more than half of all children with ADHD as resilient. Living with ADHD comes with many challenges every day. Experiencing obstacles, and working past them, means that people with ADHD can build up resilience because they have practiced recovering from setbacks more often than other individuals.
- Creativity — Those with ADHD are often highly creative, especially when given a goal-oriented task. Living with ADHD also requires people to approach tasks differently, which means they can become great problem solvers. Those with ADHD often think of unusual solutions because of their different perspectives.
- Conversational skills and humanity — People with ADHD are often great conversationalists. Those with ADHD are often talkative, which means that they can spark an intriguing conversation in most scenarios. One study highlighted that people with ADHD may have higher levels of social intelligence, humor, and recognition of feeling, or empathy.
- Spontaneity and courage — People with ADHD are not afraid to do whatever they enjoy at the moment without concerning themselves with long-term implications or overthinking situations. Their impulsive nature lends itself to spontaneous activities that often leave enjoyable and lasting memories.
- High energy — One of the defining aspects of ADHD is hyperactivity. While most people think of this negatively in terms of disruption to classmates or work colleagues, hyperactivity also means that those with ADHD are excellent at sports and other physical activities.
The bottom line
"A diagnosis of ADHD doesn't have to put a person at a disadvantage in life," says Dr. Anderson. "Sometimes a person with ADHD just needs assistance in harnessing these traits in a positive way that can lead to very successful outcomes."
Make an appointment today
Dr. Anderson is currently accepting new patients for ADHD, mental health, and behavioral health. Make an appointment by calling ARC Far West at 512-346-6611 or schedule an appointment online.