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ADHD Facts
Thinking outside the Box - Helping Children with ADD find their gifts

Someone once said that parenting was the toughest job in the world. Not only can it be tough, parenting is one of the most important roles in the world. It is joyful, rewarding and wonderful, but it can be overwhelming, stressful and exhausting.

What is ADD?

Attention Deficit Disorder, or ADD/ADHD, is a psychological term for a biological, brain based condition that is characterized by poor attention and distractibility and/or hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. It is one of the most common mental disorders that develop in children where Symptoms may continue into adolescence and adulthood. With both boys and girls many of these symptoms can show trouble in learning social skills, maintaining friendships, and developing happy romantic relationships, which often leads to secondary ADD symptoms like depression, anxiety and low self esteem.

To be given a positive diagnosis, children with ADD must exhibit specific signs of the disorder from given groups of symptoms for over six months. Only after these criteria are met, and any other cause has been ruled out, are children formally diagnosed with ADD and given treatment.

How many children are diagnosed with ADD/ADHD?

ADD/ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed disorder of childhood, estimated to affect 3 to 5 percent of school-age children, and occurring three times more often in boys than in girls. It is estimated that on average about one child in every classroom in the United States needs help for this disorder.

ADD versus ADHD - Understanding the Differences

Wondering about the differences between ADD and ADHD? ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder is a general term frequently used to describe individuals that have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder without the hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. The terms are often used interchangeably for both those who do and those who do not have symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsiveness.

How do I help my child with ADD.?

Get your school to diagnoses your child for ADD. It took me longer than most at my son’s school to get my child tested for ADD but, I got it done and so can you. After getting your child’s results from the text go to your pediatrician and they’ll direct you to an ADD/ADHD specialist who can help you develop an effective treatment plan for your child. Since ADD/ADHD responds best to a combination of treatments and strategies, consulting several specialists is advisable.

They can prescribe medications and get you in touch with Psychologist that can help your child with anxiousness and social skills.

Exercising is one of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce the symptoms of ADD/ADHD. Physical activity immediately boosts the brain’s dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin levels—all of which affect focus and attention. Activities that require close attention to body movements, such as dance, gymnastics, martial arts, and skateboarding, are particularly good for kids with ADD/ADHD. Team sports are also a good choice. The social element keeps them interesting.


Studies show what and when you eat makes a difference when it comes to managing ADD/ADHD.

Schedule regular meals or snacks no more than three hours apart. This will help keep your child’s blood sugar level stable and minimizing irritability and supporting concentration and focus.

Try to include a little protein and complex carbohydrates at each meal or snack. These foods will help your child feel more alert while decreasing hyperactivity.

Check your child’s zinc, iron, and magnesium levels. Many children with ADD/ADHD are low in these important minerals. Boosting their levels may help control ADD/ADHD symptoms. Increasing iron may be particularly helpful. One study found that an iron supplement improved symptoms almost as much as taking stimulant medication.

Add more omega-3 fatty acids to your child’s diet. Studies show that omega-3s improve hyperactivity, impulsivity, and concentration in kids (and adults) with ADD/ADHD. Omega-3 is found in salmon, tuna, sardines, and some fortified eggs and milk products. However, the easiest way to boost your child’s intake is through fish oil supplements.

Social skills training

Children with Attention Deficit Disorder are capable of having friends, dating, and all of the other things that come with having healthy social skills. However, because kids with Attention Deficit Disorder often have difficulty with simple social interactions and struggle with low self-esteem. Another type of treatment that can help is social skills training is normally conducted in a group setting where social skill training is led by a therapist who demonstrates appropriate behaviors and then has the children practice repeating them. A social skills group teaches children how to “read” others’ reactions and how to behave more acceptably. The social skills group should also work on transferring these new skills to the real world. Many public schools will offer programs to help your child with social skills but you have to inquire about them.

The Three C’s in parenting your child according to two ADHD experts, Peter Jensen, Ph.D., a professor of child psychiatry at Columbia University, and Patricia Quinn, M.D.

Behavior Therapy is effective in helping manage symptoms of ADHD in children. A reward system is implemented with input from the child and new behaviors are taught to replace the old, maladaptive ones. When setting up a behavioral program, it is important to remember the “Three C’s.”

1. Clarity of Expectations - Keep rules and expectations simple, concise and clear. Make sure they are easily understood by the child.

2. Consistence - Follow through with consequences in a consistent manner.

3. Calmness - Approach situations calmly. Take a deep breath and make sure you are in control. Take a brief “time-out”, if you need to get a better hold over your emotions. Children are especially sensitive if we lose our temper. A calm approach is most effective and won’t over stimulate the child or escalate the

On the Positive Side - Kids with ADD are given many gifts and some of these are:

Creativity – Children who have ADD/ADHD can be marvelously creative and imaginative. The child who daydreams and has ten different thoughts at once can become a master problem-solver, a fountain of ideas, or an inventive artist. Children with ADD/ADHD may be easily distracted, but sometimes they notice what others don’t see.

Flexibility – Because children with ADD/ADHD consider a lot of options at once, they don’t become set on one alternative early on and are more open to different ideas.

Enthusiasm and spontaneity – Children with ADD/ADHD are rarely boring! They’re interested in a lot of different things and have lively personalities. In short, if they’re not exasperating you (and sometimes even when they are), they’re a lot of fun to be with.

Energy and drive – When kids with ADD/ADHD are motivated, they work or play hard and strive to succeed. It actually may be difficult to distract them from a task that interests them, especially if the activity is interactive or hands-on.

Children with ADD, who receive the diagnosis at a young age, and begin treatment promptly, are often able to reach the same level of success as their neurotypical peers, Since many ADD kids are highly intelligent and creative, they may even excel far beyond expectations. Getting kids to this level of achievement requires patience, time, and a willingness to work with them to help them overcome the symptoms of their disorder. Keep in mind, too, that ADD/ADHD has nothing to do with intelligence or talent. Many children with ADD/ADHD are intellectually or artistically gifted.


Children with ADD are consistently measured by their peers. Everyone from teachers to parents; friends scold and draw attention to the fact they are not sitting still or there day dreaming etc… This constant correcting can affect a child’s self esteem. Why is self-Esteem important? According to Kids Health an online health and parenting resource maintained by the Nemours Foundation. Self-Esteem can be the difference between success and failure. In psychology, the term Self-Esteem is used to describe a person's overall sense of self-worth or personal value. Self-Esteem is often seen as a personality trait, which means that it tends to be stable and enduring. Self-Esteem can involve a variety of beliefs about the self, such as the appraisal of one's own appearance, beliefs, emotions and behaviors. Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs, depicting Self-Esteem as one of the basic human motivations. Maslow suggested that people need both esteem from other people as well as inner self-respect. Both of these needs must be fulfilled in order for an individual to grow as a person and achieve self-actualization.

Help find your Child’s Gift.

Are children born with innate gifts? When we watch and listen to our children even at a young age they will gravitate to what they a good at. Encourage your child to do what they most enjoy: singing, music, math, reading, building things, making clothes, drawing, telling stories, fencing, skiing and anything or everything else. Give them the chance to learn the basics on how to do this activity and then let them be creative. After all, children with ADD have great imaginations. If they are allow room to play and explore who know what greatness they will achieve. Once a child connects to something they are good at, they have an overall sense of self-worth or personal value.

Story of Thomas Edison

Thomas (Al) Edison's schoolmaster, "angered by the lad's inattentive 'dreamy,' distracted behavior, frustrated by his tendency to drift off during recitations, to draw and doodle in his notebook instead of repeating rote lessons -- cuffed and ridiculed Al in front of his other classmates. Teachers saddled with disaffected students like Edison were judged by how many pupils were promoted from one grade to the next, and they needed to rationalize the actions of children who were 'not apt.' Sure enough, 'One day,' Edison recalled with bitterness many years later, 'I heard the teacher tell the visiting school inspector that I was addled and it would not be worthwhile keeping me in school any longer. I was so hurt by this last straw that I burst out crying and went home and told my mother.' His indignant mother 'brought [him] back to the school and angrily told the teacher that he didn't know what he was talking about, that I had more brains than he himself.'" Mrs. Edison pulled Thomas out of school and began home-schooling, determined that "no formalism would cramp his style, no fetters hobble the free rein, the full sweep of his imagination." ("Edison - Inventing the Century" by Neil Baldwin, 1995).

He developed many devices that greatly influenced life around the world, including the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. Edison is the fourth most prolific inventor in history, holding 1,093 US patents in his name, as well as many patents in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. He is credited with numerous inventions that contributed to mass communication and, in particular, telecommunications. These included a stock ticker, a mechanical vote recorder, a battery for an electric car, electrical power, recorded music and motion pictures.

Over the years there has been many famous people diagnosed with ADD or ADD tendency. Here is a list of a few:


August Rodin, Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, Leonardo Da Vinci, Salvador Dali


Terry Bradshaw, Quarterback, Babe Ruth, Baseball, Bruce Jenner, Track and Field, Carl Lewis, Olympic Gold Medalist in Track and Field, Greg Louganis, Olympic Gold Medal Diver, Magic Johnson, Basketball, Michael Jordan, Basketball, Nolan Ryan, Baseball, Jason Kidd, Basketball, Michael Phelps Olympic Gold Medal Swimmer, Pete Rose, Baseball, Alberto Tomb, Authors

Agatha Christie, Charlotte and Emily Bronte, Edgar Allan Poe, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, George Bernard Shaw, Hans Christian Anderson, Henry David Thoreau, Jules Verne, Leo Tolstoy, Lewis Carroll, Samuel Johnson, Samuel Clemens


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Beethoven, Georg Frederic Handel

Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders

Andrew Carnegie, Malcolm Forbes, Henry Ford, John D. Rockefeller F.W. Woolworth, Milton Hershey, William, Randolph Hearst, Magnate, William Wrigley Jr.


Christopher Columbus Lewis and Clark Sir Richard Francis Burton


Ann Bancroft, Cher, Danny Glover, Dustin Hoffman, Jim Carrey, Steve McQueen, Suzanne Somers, Stevie Wonder, Tom Smothers, John Denver, Bill Cosby, George Burns, George C. Scott, Harry Belafonte, Henry Winkler, John Lennon, Kirk Douglas, Lindsay Wagoner, Mariel Hemingway, Ozzy Osbourne, Sylvester Stallone, Walt Disney, Whoopi Goldberg, Will Smith, Jack Nicholson, Ty Pennington, Elvis Presley, Evil and Robbie Knievel, Justin Timberlake, Robin Williams.


Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Politician and Elder Statesman


Ansel Adams


Albert Einstein

Political Figures

James Carville, John F. Kennedy, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln U.S. President, Dwight D. Eisenhower U.S. President, General, Eleanor Roosevelt First Lady, Muhammad Anwar el-Sadat Egyptian President, Napoleon Bonaparte Emperor, Nelson Rockefeller U.S. Vice President, Prince Charles Prince of Wales, Robert F. Kennedy U.S. Attorney, General Winston Churchill British Prime Minister, Woodrow Wilson U.S. President


Sir Isaac Newton, Galileo, Harvey Cushing M.D., Louis Pasteur, Nostradamus, Physician Werner von Braun

Military Figures

Gen. William C. Westmoreland, Vietnam era General

General George Patton, World War II

General Eddie Rickenbacker, World War I Ace

Resources in Utah :

State of Utah Chadd

Utah Parent Center