Help… ADHD 

   Written by on September 18, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Has it been suggested your child has ADHD?  Are you worried that it may limit your child’s potential?  Would it help you to know that many famous people with ADHD have won Olympic gold, started successful Fortune 500 companies, reached the top of the music charts, or starred in TV shows?

gowinJustin Timberlake said in an interview that he has ADD mixed with OCD.  Karina Smirnoff, Dancing with the Stars pro acknowledges that ADHD is not well known in her home country of Ukraine; regardless, she was diagnosed just a few years ago.  Will Smith said he was the fun one who had trouble paying attention.  He handled his trouble reading by using books on tape.  Michael Phelps, Olympic gold medal winner, gives swimming the credit as the way he coped with ADHD.  Phelps’ mom Debbie described her son as not sitting still or being able to focus; but swimming helped him channel his energy into continuous praise and positive reinforcement.

Psychology Today found that people with ADHD are 300% more likely to start their own company.  Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Airline, is living proof of this statistic.  Paul Orfalea, founder of Kinko’s, describes himself as dyslexic with ADD to the max.  This may have caused him to flunk second grade and earn Cs and Ds in college but he credits ADHD with helping him start the copy chain Kinko’s.  David Neeleman, founder of JetBlue Airways, his ADHD prevents him from being detail-oriented and completing day-to-day tasks.  Neeleman is quoted as saying, “I have an easier time planning a 20-aircraft fleet than I do paying the light bill.”  However, Neeleman credits the creation of JetBlue with his ADHD, saying that with the disorder comes creativity and the ability to think outside the box.

As you can see, people with ADHD have successes in adult life; although, ADHD is not a diagnosis to minimize.  Kids with ADHD have described their struggles in school.  One said that writing was like writing in Korean; numbers and words just did not make sense.  Another student said she did not understand or remember directions; she felt that everyone was mad at her all the time.  Another student said the other kids calling him stupid hurt his pride and he began to believe it.  He was amazed that everyone else seemed to have fun and that school stuff was just easy for them.

Helping your child is possible but the entire family must understand the needs.  If you had a child with diabetes or who is deaf, wouldn’t everyone in the family learn what it takes to overcome this problem?  The same thing applies with ADHD.  This education can come from professionals, books, tapes, the Internet and support groups.

As parents, you must be unified.  Coming to agreement on how to help your child is essential to the survival of your marriage.  Both of you need to be a team that firmly supports each other.  As a single parent with a child with ADHD, is important for you to marshal support from relatives, friends, members of your church, even coworkers.  You will need the moral support and to give yourself some breathing room.  In all cases, prayers to God for wisdom and patience should be a vital part of each day.

Keys to restoring and maintaining order in the home are structure, consistency, understandable and achievable house rules, clear-cut instructions, and firm boundaries and supported with praise.  Pick your battles carefully.  Going to the mat over every minor annoyance, will leave you exhausted — every day.

Next week we talk more about the role of discipline and the ways to introduce structure into the life of your child.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.  Romans 12:12



About Cheryl & Dennis Gowin

Cheryl Gowin, Counselor and Dennis Gowin, Director of Discovery Counseling Center. Contact us with your feedback, comments, issues or questions at 434-808-2426 or


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