The ADHD Strength Perspective

Instead of only focusing on the difficulties posed by ADHD, today the upsides are
acknowledged too: the quick-wittedness, the speedy grasp of the "big picture"
and the great enthusiasm for nearly everything.

When someone with ADHD can focus on their strengths and successes, a world
of wonderful opportunities opens up for them, creating optimism for the future,
increased energy and a stronger sense of capability. 


PERCEIVED CHALLENGE
STRENGTH CONTEXT
Distractible/inattentive - inability to focus on the mundane/boring; mind wanders.
Multiple interests - sustained focus on what is of interest.
Inefficient mental processing - difficulty holding information in mind; limited access to past events.
Non-linear thinker; not constrained by past judgments.
Executive function difficulties - organizing, planning, getting started, self-monitoring, prioritizing; inability to shift focus/transition.
Willing to try new things; "hyper-focus" (deep sustained attention) on what is of interest.
Physical restlessness - need to be moving to be able to focus.
Incredible energy/enthusiasm; looks for stimulation.
Mental restlessness - mind races, non-stop ideas; "brain freeze"/shuts own under pressure.
Makes intuitive leaps/creative connections; excellent brain-stormer; imagination vivid/strong. 
Impulsive - inability to self- regulate emotions; outbursts of intense/explosive anger; low frustration tolerance.
Quick and spontaneous; fast, genuine responses; authentic; willing risk takers.
Time insensitivity - it's either "now" or "not now"; little concept of how long tasks take.
Live in intuitive flow rather than be constrained by structured time.
Black and white thinking - "all or nothing" absolutes; gets stuck in specific way of doing something.
Detailed/meticulous about what value/find interesting; masterful.
Physical/emotional hypersensitivities to the environment (e.g. emotions, textures, light, smells, temperatures, colors, sounds, vibrations).
Intensely empathic, sensitive, and emotive; charismatic. 
Low self-awareness and self-esteemunaware of own talents; can be oblivious to surroundings and own behavior; misreads social cues.
Strong desire to contribute.  Often highly intelligent and creative.
 
Each person with ADHD has their own unique combination of traits which may be mild to severe depending on the situation. Strengths vary by individual.
(Adapted from "Simply ADHD"  Edition 4, 2005-2009, ADD Coaching Academy)