Do you have a friend or family member who has Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and goes to Camp ASCCA? My dad has had ADHD as long as he can remember. ADHD is a very common neurodevelopmental disorder with more than 3 million cases diagnosed each year. Despite the fact that most people have heard of it, ADHD is often misunderstood. That is one reason why ADHD Awareness has grown from only one day each year to a full month. Starting in 2004, October has been ADHD Awareness Month, and the goal is to correct the misunderstandings and highlight the shared experiences of the ADHD community.
The disorder is usually diagnosed in kids as young as 6 years old and sometimes even earlier at the age of 3 years old, and the symptoms can last through adulthood, so ADHD isn’t just a childhood disorder. About 4 percent of American adults over the age of 18 still deal with ADHD on a daily basis. Men are more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than women.
Children and adults with ADHD, whether male or female, may have trouble paying attention, be easily distracted, be impulsive without thinking about what the result will be, and be overly active. ADHD is often mistaken for bipolar disorder because of their similar symptoms, such as mood swings and short attention spans. ADHD will not go away, but medication will ease the symptoms.
Although the causes for ADHD are unknown, current research seems to show that it is genetic. In fact, about 85% of people with ADHD have someone else in their family who also has it, usually a parent.
Back when my dad was young, it was simply called Attention Deficit Disorder, usually shortened to ADD. In 1987 the name was changed to ADHD, which combined several similar symptoms into one name that included hyperactivity.
My dad is able to take advantage of his ADHD symptoms and use them for his work. He says that when he does become focused, he is able to work on a deeper level. It’s just hard to get there. He thinks having ADHD makes him more creative and able to think outside the box. He is definitely known by his ability to solve problems in innovative ways. In fact, we call him our family “problem-solver.” He is also known for his spontaneity and abundant energy, which are two other benefits of having ADHD.
Some of today’s famous people are known to have ADHD, such as the musician Justin Timberlake, the athlete Michael Jordan, the billionaire Elon Musk, and the actors Johnny Depp and Jim Carey, just to name a few. People even suspect that many historic people may have had ADHD, such as the artist Leonardo da Vinci, the inventor Thomas Edison, the mystery writer Agatha Christie, the entrepreneur Walt Disney, the composer Mozart, and many others.
Some of my friends at Camp ASCCA have ADHD in addition to their other unique traits. This reminds me of Psalm 139:14, which states that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” I see it in my dad and everyone at Camp ASCCA.
These famous people and my dad are proof that ADHD does not have to hold anyone back. In fact, ADHD can be your superpower. If you have ADHD, then make it work for you.