• Child psychiatrist and author Edward Hallowell, M.D. describes individuals with ADHD as having a very powerful race car brain with bicycle brakes that need to be strengthened. He firmly asserts that the traits associated with ADHD are not a matter of effort or free will and he believes that it is very important that an individual’s surroundings not be associated with shame or pain. In his book Superparenting for ADD , Dr. Hallowell conceptualizes many of the following negative symptoms associated with ADD as having a positive “mirror” trait that can be strengthened and nurtured:





    Inconsistency=flashes of brilliance


    Can’t stay on point=seeing connections others don’t




    Dr. Hallowell also notes that some people with ADHD have a feeling that they want to change their internal state. To get ordinary pleasure, some people need to go to extraordinary means. Dr. Hallowell calls it the “itch” at the core. Unfortunately, this can often lead to maladaptive means of coping such as through risk-taking behaviors or patterns of behavior leading to addictions to food, drugs, alcohol, sex, and the internet.  He recommends the following adaptive strategies to manage the need for pleasure and novelty:

    Creative outlets (such as writing a book, cooking, painting, planning a trip, starting a business)

    Connections (with others, nature, activities, organizations, pets)



    (Try googling successful people with ADHD and you will be amazed at the results!)