Lisbon (16)

ADHD: Disorder or Gift?

Andrea McCluskey; Ken McCluskey

University of Winnipeg, Canada

As the term itself indicates, attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder is, in fact, typically viewed as a "disorder", And certainly, hyperactive and inattentive children present some interesting challenges at home, at school, and in the community. This workshop highlights many of the problems, and acknowledges that the prognosis for ADHD is sometimes "far from benign". However, an attempt is also made to put a more positive spin on things by recasting reality and pointing to the creative strengths that frequently go hand in hand with the condition. To illustrate, with proper support, might not stubborn behaviour in childhood grow into determination in adulthood? Might not inattentive daydreaming turn into creative invention, overactivity into productive energy, and off-the-wall behaviour into outside-the-box thinking? The overall intent is to offer a humane, flexible approach to help parents, teachers, and other caregivers turn negatives into positives, and identify and nurture the talents of an oft-misunderstood population.