The Gift of ADD and Dyslexia

“We should stop trying to get all children to think the same way. We should support and celebrate all types of neuro-diversity and encourage children’s imagination, creativity and problem solving – the skills of the future.” – Richard Branson

It’s fascinating how we like to decide that things are either good or bad. And, if we really want to be accurate, almost everything is good or bad – it just depends how you see it.

Being an amazing listener is a great skill but not when it’s time to speak up. An aggressive personality can be a great when it’s time to take charge, but using it all the time can be a liability. So, whether it’s being fast or slow, driven or relaxed, short or tall, there’s always a different perspective.

We come across this a lot when it comes to how brains can function differently – like in people with dyslexia or ADD.

Learning Differently

Over the years, I’ve had more experience than I expected working with leaders who have dyslexia or ADD – and their kids, which is quite common. I’ve helped them through challenges, generally in school systems, which are designed for people who are good at learning math, English, and science by sitting quietly all day in the classroom.

While that works well for some, if you had incredible energy and a very active brain that works differently, it’s a problem. These people are often labeled as bad or broken when, in reality, they just aren’t suited to the classroom.

Another way to see it is that they just learn differently.

In fact, many of these kids actually turn out to wildly successful leaders and entrepreneurs which is why, a few years ago, my good friend Nigel Bennett and I set up GiftADD.

We’re slowly gathering stories of wildly successful people and how they’ve leveraged their ADD or dyslexia into a massive gift. A gift that allows them – because of their energy, leadership skills and willingness to take risks – to do things that normal people likely couldn’t.

It’s all about seeing things differently.

Do you know a child or adult who’s struggling? There are resources to help them see that, in reality, they have a gift. And that gift can be channelled resourcefully into a wildly successful life.

Here’s a few resources to start with:

  • A blog by Richard Branson, who talks openly about his dyslexia, that reminds me about the importance of the mindset around this
  • A video of me and Nigel’s son Devon discussing the gift of ADD.

Those with ADD often feel like triangles trying to operate in a world of circles,
feeling crushed by the world around them. They are perfect and we want them
and the world to experience their perfection. These individuals have unique gifts to offer the world. – GiftADD