Children’s author, Dav Pilkey, creator of the highly popular Dog Man (a hound-supercop) and Captain Underpants (a superhero for grade-schoolers), gives a lot of credit for his success to having ADHD and dyslexia. Now he wants to help kids with ADHD tap into their superowers, too.
Paul Orfalea, the founder of Kinko’s could easily have been a victim of ADHD, but managed to leverage it into successful career as an entrepreneur. He didn’t know initially that he had ADHD. But he learned to use the particular characteristics of his ADHD brain to develop a successful enterprise that has become an icon of American business life.
Last week the Seattle Times ran a front-page story on Vincenzo Di Salvo, a Tacoma School District student who received Edge coaching in middle school and triumphantly graduated high school. Next fall he will become the first in his family to attend college. Vincenzo credits Pam Frazier, his Edge coach, as the single biggest reason he was able to turn his life around and graduate. His is an inspiring story of the power of resilience, coaching and caring to overcome even the most difficult challenges.
Lisa Ling is an award-winning journalist who discovered she had ADHD while reporting on a story about ADHD. She earned her success as an Asian woman in an industry where her ethnicity was a rarity, and has been able to tap into her ADHD “super powers” to build a career as one of today’s top journalists.
Katherine Ellison has achieved many things in her life. She has been a foreign correspondent in Latin America, the author of 5 books on practical neuroscience, and a Pulitzer Prize winner at age 27. She also has ADHD. One of her most popular works, Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention, was a memoir and journalistic overview of a year spent coping with ADHD after both she and her 12-year-old son were diagnosed with the disorder. In fact, it was her son’s diagnosis that ultimately led to her own.
Jim Carrey is a Canadian-American actor, comedian, impressionist, screenwriter, and producer, best known for.his highly energetic slapstick performances. By any measure, he has achieved fame and success in his acting career. In fact, his is an almost classic story of rising from near poverty to comparative wealth. Carrey’s story is an inspiring example of how the “gift of ADHD” – its super powers – can be used to achieve a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
Many highly successful entrepreneurs such as Sir Richard Branson, Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad, and JetBlue founder David Neeleman, have been diagnosed with ADHD or other conditions that result in executive function challenges. Some will even tell you that they are successful largely because of the “diagnosis,” not in spite of it. The results of some new research appears to agree with them.
During the 1970s, Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw led the Pittsburgh Steelers to four Super Bowl championships. Today, most people recognize him as one of the hosts of the Fox network’s NFL Sunday program. What most people don’t realize is that Terry Bradshaw has struggled throughout his life and professional career with ADHD.