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ADHD in Children and Teenagers

ADHD Explained for Kids and Teens: Supercharge Your Focus and Enhance Your Creativity!

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, can be both a challenge and a strength. Sometimes we like to think of ADHD as having a supercharged brain! If you or someone you know has ADHD, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Here we will help you understand what ADHD is, how it might affect you, and what treatment and strategies are available to help you or your child.

What is ADHD?

ADHD is a brain condition that makes it a bit challenging to pay attention, sit still, and control your impulses. But guess what? It also makes you super creative, energetic, and full of ideas! It’s like having a superhero brain with a few twists.

The ADHD Superpowers:

  1. Creativity: You’ve got an amazing imagination! Your brain can think of the coolest ideas and solutions to problems. Use this superpower to be a great artist, writer, or inventor!  In fact, research has shown that those with ADHD might choose to actively participate and excel in creative domains that align with their abilities and talents. (1)
  2. Energetic: Often, individuals with ADHD have a lot of energy, like a superhero on a mission! People with ADHD can often have energy and drive to play sports, dance, or try exciting new activities.
  3. Passionate: When you’re into something, you’re ALL in! Use your passion to learn and master your favorite subjects.  People with ADHD can get deeply involved in activities they are passionate about.

The Challenges of ADHD:

  1. Trouble Focusing: Sometimes, paying attention to one thing can be hard. But you can learn tricks to stay on track!  The problem we face is that school and work are often not designed for active ADHD brains.
  2. Impulsivity: You might do things without thinking first. This can be a skill that you can strengthen through therapy and medication management.
  3. Hyperactivity: Sitting still can be tough, but you can channel your energy into activities you love.

Getting Diagnosed:

If you or your parents think you have ADHD, it’s essential to talk to a specialist including a pediatrician, or child and adolescent psychiatrist.  They will spend time to get to know you, ask you questions and might ask your parents to fill out some forms.  Remember, having ADHD is not a bad thing – it’s just a different way your brain works.

ADHD Heroes:

Many famous people have ADHD, and they’ve used their unique superpowers to achieve amazing things:

  • Michael Phelps: The Olympic swimmer with ADHD won 23 gold medals!
  • Justin Timberlake: The singer and actor with ADHD is a multi-talented superstar.
  • Simone Biles: The gymnast with ADHD has won numerous Olympic gold medals.

ADHD-Friendly Strategies:

  1. Schedules and task lists: Use a daily planner or a cool app to help you remember homework, chores, and activities.  One of the core features of ADHD is having difficulty following through on daily activities and multi-step directions.
  2. Quiet Spaces: Find a quiet spot to do your work or read when you need to focus.  Sometimes, light classical music or noise cancelling headphones can help with this.
  3. Chop up big projects: Break big tasks into smaller chunks. Finish one part before moving to the next.
  4. Exercise Breaks: Take short breaks to jump, dance, or play when you’re studying or doing homework.  These can be helpful about every 15 minutes.
  5. Mindfulness Magic: Try deep breathing or mindfulness exercises to calm your superhero brain.

ADHD in School:

School can be a breeze with these superhero strategies:

  1. Ask for Help: Teachers and parents are here to support you. If you’re struggling, let them know.
  2. Homework Help: Create a homework routine. Set a timer for focused work and then enjoy a short break.
  3. Study Sidekicks: Study with a friend or family member. They can help keep you on track.

ADHD in Relationships:

Having ADHD can make friendships and family life exciting:

  1. Work on Social Skills: Social skills training for kids with ADHD enhances communication, empathy, and teamwork, fostering better relationships and improved social interactions.
  2. Listen and Share: Be a good listener and talk openly about how ADHD affects you with your loved ones.
  3. Apologize and Forgive: Sometimes, you might act impulsively. Don’t forget to apologize and forgive when needed.

Medication help for ADHD:

  1. Medication help for ADHD: Medications can be a significant game changer for many children and teenagers with ADHD.  Grades can often quickly improve and impulsivity can be greatly helped.
  2. Medication Types: Stimulants and non-stimulant medications can be helpful for ADHD depending on your symptoms and needs.
    • Stimulants are the most frequently used. They work by increasing certain neurotransmitters in the brain, enhancing focus, impulse control, and overall behavior.
    • Non-stimulant medications may be recommended if stimulants are not effective or cause adverse effects.

You’re a Superhero!

ADHD might make some things a bit trickier, but remember, it’s part of what makes you unique. You’re a superhero with amazing strengths and abilities. Embrace your superpowers, use these strategies, and soar high in life!

So, the next time you find it hard to focus or sit still, remember that you’re not alone. There are plenty of superheroes out there with ADHD, just like you. And with a little understanding and some awesome strategies, you can conquer any challenge that comes your way!


  • Boot, N., Nevicka, B., & Baas, M. (2020). Creativity in ADHD: goal-directed motivation and domain specificity. Journal of attention disorders24(13), 1857-1