10 Successful People Who Have ADHD
Struggling in school because of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can make it difficult for your students to see their potential future success. However, many people in a variety of fields have overcome their ADHD or turned it into an advantage that helped them succeed. Below is a list of 10 successful people with whom your students might be familiar.
1. Will Smith
While he doesn't have an official diagnosis, Will Smith has talked about his difficulties paying attention as a child and believes if he were in school today he'd be diagnosed with ADHD. Smith turned his excess energy into what he calls a "ridiculous work ethic," which has led to his success as an actor, rapper, and producer.
2. Terry Bradshaw
Former NFL quarterback, Terry Bradshaw has openly discussed his struggles with ADHD and says that he still takes medicine. In addition to his NFL career, Bradshaw has had success in broadcasting, writing, singing, acting, and as a motivational speaker.
3. Jim Carrey
Jim Carrey began treatment for ADHD as a child and says he still deals with excess energy, stating that he's "up all night walking around the living room." Carrey was able to turn all of that energy into a wildly successful career as an actor, comedian, and producer.
4. James Carville
Political strategist, James Carville wasn't diagnosed with ADHD until he was 58 years old. While Carville struggled in school and even failed out of college the first time, by the time he received his diagnosis, he had already found ways of making his ADHD work for him. He eventually went back to school to earn his bachelor's degree and law degree. Carville has stated that he's been able to focus in the world of politics because it's a face-paced environment.
5. Michael Phelps
Olympic gold-medalist, Michael Phelps was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 9 years old. Phelps' mother became his strongest advocate throughout school, helping him to get the support he needed. Much of Phelps' energy was put into is swimming career, which has since resulted in 22 Olympic medals (18 gold) and 39 world records, as of 2013.
6. Solange Knowles
Despite her high energy and sometimes sporadic speech, Solange Knowles originally rejected her diagnosis of ADHD. She didn't believe it until a second doctor confirmed the diagnosis. However, the singer, songwriter, actress, and model has not let her diagnosis stop her from achieving success.
7. Ty Pennington
Model and TV personality, Ty Pennington struggled with hyperactivity and impulsivity as a child. He was diagnosed with ADHD in college and noticed a huge improvement after taking medication. Pennington's high energy and creative talents have helped him succeed with television design shows such as "Trading Spaces" and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."
8. Justin Timberlake
Justin Timberlake hasn't let his obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and ADHD stop him from becoming a huge success in the entertainment industry. The singer-songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actor has said that music and laughter help him work through the effects of his disabilities.
9. Jamie Oliver
Jamie Oliver, chef and restaurateur well-known for his television show, "The Naked Chef," was diagnosed with ADHD as a child. Oliver has said that his diet helps him manage his ADHD symptoms. He's become an advocate for getting kids to eat healthier.
10. Howie Mandel
While he wasn't diagnosed with ADHD and OCD until adulthood, Howie Mandel has always felt their effects. The comedian, television host, and actor still struggles with the symptoms of his disabilities but manages them with medication and psychotherapy. Mandel works to raise awareness to mental health issues and has said, "I didn't let ADHD prevent me from achieving my goals and neither should anyone else."
Knowing that their ADHD does not have to inhibit their success can help boost your students' self-esteem and motivate them to work hard in school and beyond. Encouraging them to pursue their dreams will help them put forth the effort to achieve them.
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