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ADD Is A Gift

  • Personal Questions about ADHD
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Prepare for a new way of thinking

I often get asked personal questions about how I came to write my books. Here is a recent series of a questions and answers from a reader. If you have any questions I often use them for future writing projects, feel free to email me at lhonoswebb@msn.com

  • What made you start to study and write about ADHD?

My brother was diagnosed with ADHD 40 years ago before it was a popular diagnosis. It is something I grew up with and later discovered I too had ADHD. When I was in graduate school I was working as both a therapist and teaching undergraduate classes. I noticed that the ADHD students were my favorite students even though they did not get good grades. I realized that they were more interested in exploring, testing and creating ideas rather than memorizing facts. I learned a lot from ADHD students. In fact, the book The Gift of ADHD evolved out of a research project with a student in my Abnormal Psychology class who had ADHD.

  •       Was there anything that happened in your life that inspired you to study ADHD?

I have ADHD myself, and noticed people responded in two different ways --- my family growing up just laughed at a lot of the qualities. For example, on occasion I get distracted even when I am parking a car, so I am one of those people who gets lots of mean notes left under my windshield wiper. When my family sees a bad parking job they laugh at me and think it’s funny. I once got two parking tickets in San Francisco because the meter had run out on both of the parking spots I parked across.  I think that says as much about the meter maids in San Francisco as it says about me. You could say that not only do I draw outside the lines, I park outside the lines.  This is a fairly trivial example but multiply that times 50 each day, and the way people respond can lead to either massive self-doubt and depression or self-acceptance maybe even humor.

  •      Did you create the activities in your book or did you get them from another peer?

I create all the activities in my books. I work as a therapist and believe that I could take my case notes from any week and craft them into a book chapter each week. I don't meet my clients with a theory, a diagnosis or a new technique to try out. I meet my clients with the attitude that I don't understand them because they are entirely original unrepeatable completely unique creatures. I bring my emotional sensitivity, intuition and my exceptional training to each encounter and many times what emerges is an innovation and a new approach to a new problem. 

  •      What are some of the biggest misconceptions of ADHD that cause the biggest problems in creating invalid or negative thoughts about ADHD?

The biggest misconception is that because it creates a problem in the school systems, it creates problems everywhere. In the real world the same "symptoms" of ADHD can create success. In many ways the intense fear of mistakes created in education systems cripples students for the real world - what is creativity and innovation other than a willingness to make mistakes? My book The Gift of Adult ADD profiles many successful adults who achieved their success not in spite of ADHD but because of the very same qualities that lead to a diagnosis of ADHD.

ADHD is a gift, I have no doubt about it. Those gifts include emotional sensitivity, intuition, creativity, exuberance and a felt connection to nature and many more. We live in a world where being able to get the right answer at the back of the book becomes less and less relevant whereas the gifts of ADHD are becoming more and more relevant.

My books have been out for 10 years now and recently a client said to me “I was diagnosed with ADHD back when people thought it was only a disorder so I still believe that sometimes.” I was immensely gratified that the “adding insult to injury” model is viewed as outdated but heartbroken at the toll it continues to take. Many people mistake my approach as saying that ADHD is not an impairment which is not true. It is a real brain difference that creates problems in environments particularly current educational settings.

Another misconception is just outdated science. Emerging research on neuroplasticity tells us that the brain can change. Neuroplasticity changes everything.

ADHD Stories are usually “down and out” stories. We hear about kids whose brains are messed up and adults whose lives are messed up. These ADHD stories that include the theme “My ADHD made me do it” are soon to be outdated. The old ADHD story goes like this: My brain is broken, it has ADHD and therefore I can expect to have lots of problems. The new ADHD story goes like this: My brain has a difference called ADHD and we now know that we can change the brain, so if I need to I will work hard to increase my brain’s capacity.  Neuroplasticity is a recent scientific breakthrough that shows us that we can change our brain by what we do and how hard we exert ourselves.

Even now we hear ADHD stories in which a child who has the diagnosis is told that the harder he tries the more he grows his brain. This increases his motivation. He is highly motivated and works hard, he thinks of himself as a brain athlete and indeed he does change his brain and goes onto lots of success. No longer will we tell kids their brain is broken, so they think “why try?” and lose their motivation. Because they stop trying they begin to fail and they lose self-esteem and the opportunity to grow their brain.  Imagine the difference between telling a child that has a brain disorder compared to telling him that he can be a brain athlete and can re-wire his own brain if he works hard enough. If you tell your child a different story, you will get a different outcome. Sometimes we think of stories as reflecting reality or even misrepresenting reality (i.e. “he’s just telling stories.) We are learning that the stories we tell can create reality. It’s time for the discovery of neuroplasticity to be the major theme in our ADHD stories.

 

Testimonials

 "The Gift Of ADHD" is brilliant, soulful, and insightful. Thank you for writing it!"
 - Benny Rietveld ‏@bennyrietveld - Grammy-winning bass player and Musical Director for Santana


" I know this sounds super corny but if everyone with ADD could learn what you've written about, the stigma will change towards people with ADD. I just finished chapter 4 of your book and I can already see myself improving in my professional and personal life." - Reed W.

 


 

Downloads

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  • Personal Questions about ADHD
  • Lost in the Sea of ADHD Information
  • Han Solo Has ADHD
  •  UNSTOPPABLE YOU
  • Loving Someone with The Gift of ADHD
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9 Comments

Having recently been diagnosed with ADD at the age of 34, I can tell you that the memories of a life full constant struggles and uphill battles are close in mind. Waking up each and every day to wage the same redundant war on life and always knowing that the failure of my efforts throughout the day would stir around in my mind keeping me from sleep. Needless to say, I sought help. A couple weeks later I had something to blame. Only I did no such thing. I wanted to know everything about this “disorder” I had endured since birth. I purchased many books on adult ADD, and most of them were very informative. I read many stories like mine and learned of the steps I could take to mold myself to fit in more cohesively with the world. Then I started reading Dr. Lara Honos-Webb’s “The Gift of Adult ADD.” I can honestly say I have never been more moved from words written by another individual in my life. Thinking that I didn’t have anything wrong with me had never occurred to me. As I read, I could feel a release somewhere inside of me. A feeling of acceptance washed over me. A release coming from a more true understanding of myself and also from the freedom of releasing all of those comments I heard from others about my many perceived inadequacies. They no longer hurt because I no longer validated them with agreement. I found a warm and growing pride in the pages of Dr. Lara Honos-Webb’s book and would recommend it to anyone with ADD who is seeking the understanding I takes to love yourself after all of the years in the dark. I truly feel reborn into my life.

I found your commits online with Real Age questions. I feel was though I could really make a personal connection with you to finally allow someone into my must interpersonal thoughts and problems.

yes i am committed. i am learning to pass onto my 20 year old son.

I was diagnosed with add in my early 20’s, now I’m in my 40’s and still struggling with the diagnosis. I remember clearly how I argued with the expert who diagnosed me, telling her I did not believe in add. She almost lost her composure trying to tell me I should believe it, because I fit the mold.

Well, I never believed I was that person she was describing. All the time I knew that those symptoms were nothing but the negative outcome of my personality rubbing society the wrong way. I’m sure I don’t have to describe to you the never-ending frustration this has created in my life. Everyone around me always expected me to become a succesful, educated and rich member of society, while all the time my thoughts were locked on scientific breakthroughs or incredible inventions that would improve the lives of many people. Needless to say, I struggled through school, work and family life. Many failures in life stayed in my mind and rotted it the same way a pest infectation does to a house. But I never gave up. Little bright stars scattered throughout my life always pop-up to let me know there’s hope still for this generation. One of those has been your website, Dr. Honos. I admit I haven’t read your books yet, but I have seen all your videos on You Tube. I beg you, please don’t get discouraged by all the ignorant, negative comments there, it means you are doing something right. Besides, shining a little light on the dark souls makes them want to lash out at the light-bearers, because they hate to have the truth come out into the light, they can’t stand it.

So, my comment is that I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for telling our story the way it really is, not the way it has been distorted by a money-hungry, power-driven society that is hell-bent on pounding the light out of our bright children. Please keep the light on for the rest of us.

I’m so excited to be here. I see new ways of thinking and want to stop the complaining and start the growth.

Diagnosed with ADD in adulthood, I’ve spent countless hours researching data that only reinforced the challenges associated with my “disorder.” Needless to say, I was completely blown away when I came across Dr. Lara Honos-Webb’s book, “The Gift Of Adult ADD.” Her positive insights and emphasis on transforming symptoms into strengths gave me a new outlook on my diagnosis along with a much-needed dose of hope and self-confidence. Dr. Honos-Webb’s book also helped influence my decision to phase out of a 15-year sales & marketing position and pursue a much “sweeter” career in life coaching—specifically, helping adults with ADD find their own sweet spot and lead happier, more satisfying lives. I genuinely believe that when you’re on your right path, doors will open (as long as you’re willing to knock). And there is no doubt that Dr. Honos-Webb’s class is one of these pivotal doors. At 42, I can’t wait to help adults with ADD live their best lives and, in doing so, also live mine!

  • Hi Carrie,
    I’m so excited to have you join us. We will spend a lot of time here talking about why I think finding your sweet spot is part of the “cure” for ADHD. As adults we forget that we don’t have to be good at everything, we only have to be really good at something……
    please feel to step up as a thought leader and post here or in the forum…..

Diagnosed with ADD in adulthood, I’ve spent countless hours researching data that only reinforced the challenges associated with my “disorder.” Needless to say, I was completely blown away when I came across Dr. Lara Honos-Webb’s book, “The Gift Of Adult ADD.” Her positive insights and emphasis on transforming symptoms into strengths gave me a new outlook on my diagnosis along with a much-needed dose of hope and self-confidence. Lara’s book also helped influence my decision to phase out of a 15-year sales & marketing position and pursue a much “sweeter” career in life coaching—specifically, helping adults with ADD find their own sweet spot and lead happier, more satisfying lives. I genuinely believe that when you’re on your right path, doors will open (as long as you’re willing to knock). And there is no doubt that Lara’s class is one of these pivotal doors. At 42, I can’t wait to help adults with ADD live their best lives and, in doing so, also live mine!

I began realizing my own Adult ADD when I promised my teen son I would help him understand his own symptoms. I began by devouring books on the subject. Dr. Lara Honos-Webb’s books immediately struck a cord in me. Have you ever felt euphoria when someone totally “gets” you? That’s what will happen when you read her books whether you have just a few of the symptoms of ADD or you have many. She immediately made it comfortable for me to give myself permission to discover, embrace and focus on my many gifts. I don’t care who you are, that’s a cool thing to do. Its way more fun and productive than focusing on the opposite eh? Who’s idea was it to focus on what you suck at anyway? Heck, happiness is a byproduct of doing what you love to do right? At 50 plus years old I can guarantee you there is nothing productive in thinking about what you don’t want or don’t like!
Your gifts are a conversation worth staying in…….for the rest of your life! Get started! You might just find yourself saying, “Free at last! Free at last”!


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