Finding the good in ADHD, Part 4: Adaptability

[Ad-dapt-a-bil-i-ty adj. changes subject a lot; adjusts to different conditions; enjoys variety; eager to offer suggestions and assistance.]

ADHD brains thrive within structured environments (the how, what and when), but absolutely can’t stand routines (doing things we already know how to do over and over). It’s important to understand the difference between the two and find ways to help your child have flexibility within a structured environment.

ADHDers love variety and changing things up. Whether it’s school work or chores, the option to approach the task a little bit differently or slightly deviate from the normal “order of the day”, is vital to keeping us ADHDers engaged. As you know, our boredom threshold is very low. On the flip side, this need for variety means that when we’re in the right frame of mind and environment, we can adapt on the fly and change direction mid-sentence. Another name for adaptability is flexibility. The dictionary says that if someone or something is flexible, they are pliable, and capable of being bent without breaking. Each one of those renderings can be applied to most children and adults who have ADHD. An ADHD mind is usually open to all options and very malleable. With our minds constantly on the move and our imaginations running wild, we’re capable of quickly switching gears in order to consider the best solution for almost any situation. This kind of mental orientation can be a wonderful asset for any activity or career which requires creativity, out-of-the-box thinking, problem solving and innovation. (ADHDers are not great at pulling together and administering all the details, but they have the best ideas ever!)

What this means, is that you should definitely look for opportunities to let your child’s imagination soar and keep a close eye on their interests, giving them a chance to show off their ability to create, brainstorm and let their imaginations go wild.

Published on: November 01, 2012
About the Author
Photo of Ben Glenn

While in grade school, Ben Glenn was diagnosed with dyslexia, but wasn't diagnosed with ADHD until he was an adult. He is the author of the upcoming release, “Simple Answers to Commonly Asked Questions About ADHD,” in addition to “Simply Special, Learning to Love Your ADHD” and a three-part guidebook series developed for parents and teachers.

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