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Zoë’s Pet Peeves: Giftiness

Zoë's ADHD Pet PeevesA long-time fan of Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report, I’ve been working on a submission to his segment, “The Word.”


Based on the pioneering work of Dr. Lara Honos-Webb, author of The Gift of ADHD, “Giftiness” shows us that we can translate the symptoms of ADHD into “gifts,” with very little thinking, or effort, at all.

The Giftiness of ADHDFor example, Honos-Webb translates “spaciness,” into “creativity.” So why not translate “lateness,” into, say, “self-importance.” After all, aren’t we late-diagnosed ADHDers struggling to rebuild our self-esteem? What better way to make a statement of how important we are, than to routinely arrive late at every important meeting and occasion?

If your child is tuning out whilst you are trying to explain some important life lesson, Honos-Webb advises us to ask them what they are thinking about, and then listen. “You will hear amazing things,” she says.  So what if your kid never learns about sex education?

Isn’t it more important that your little ADHD genius is probably in the midst of engineering the next blockbuster video game, or is planning a successful hacking adventure into the Pentagon’s mainframe? Who are you to stand in the way of your little ADHDer’s “Giftiness”? Back off, Jack! Let them think, already!

Now, I’m sure some of the researchers who have actually studied ADHD are going to say, “Hey, ADHD is no gift!

Well, anybody who knows me, knows that I’m no fan of party-poopers and over-intellectualizing academics who are constantly telling us that ADHD is a disorder. Who is Dr. Russell Barkley, Ed Hallowell, et al., to tell us that ADHD is a disorder?

If I want to see ADHD as a gift, that’s my right. I don’t trust diagnostics. They’re all fact, no fun. And that’s what’s pulling us ADHDers apart. We’re a divided tribe. Not between the hyperactives and inattentives; the blurtatious versus the blasé; the debutantes versus the depressed.

No – we’re divided between those who see their ADHD as a neurobiological disorder to be treated, and those who know it’s a Gift.

Consider Will Smith. Does he have a diagnosis for ADHD? No – but does that stop him from claiming he does? Of course not. Will knows he would be diagnosed today because everyone knows he’s gifted. His Giftiness started when he was growing up and he was, “the fun one.”

Go ahead, visit the site. Notice how neither they, nor Will, say anything about a diagnosis? They don’t have to. Will’s got Giftiness.

And what about charm and youthful vitality? We may not have a biological link between these gifts and ADHD, but don’t you just feel the connection? Isn’t it obvious?

Every time you ever made anyone laugh, or got an “A” in art class, don’t you just know that’s because of your ADHD? Look it up.

Now, somebody like Dr. Barkley is going to say, “Zoë, there are no studies linking ADHD and creativity.” But I say, well Mr., that’s because you don’t have my Giftiness. You can’t see it with my out-of-the-box mind, you only see it through your scientific data.

Well, I don’t trust data. I trust the keen insight my Giftiness affords me.

Now, I know many of you think your ADHD has caused you trouble, and you don’t believe in its Giftiness. Yet. But with my help, you will.

Anyone can tell you that ADHD gives you deficits, but I promise to teach you how to play air guitar.


Today’s Pet Peeve was inspired by the creative genius of Stephen Colbert (must be an ADHDer) in his segment on “Truthiness,” in The Word. Watch the video HERE. It’s hilarious!

Also inspired by finding Dr. Barkley’s and Honos-Webb’s videos on Jeff’s ADD Mind blog. Thanks, Jeff, for posting these! For more thoughts on “Giftiness,” see Jeff’s post HERE.

For a splash of reality, please watch Dr. Russell Barkley’s excellent talk at CADDAC on why ADHD is NOT a Gift.

For some hard-core “Giftiness,” watch Dr. Lara Honos-Webb’s appearance on the show, “Northwest Afternoon.”

Dr. Russell Barkley is one of the authors of the DSM IV,  an internationally recognized authority on ADHD with over 30 years’ clinical experience, and the author of many publications, including his latest book, Taking Charge of Adult ADHD. Stay tuned for a review by moi!

Reference to Will Smith’s alleged ADHD was taken from Parenting’s ridiculous “Famous People with ADHD” article. (More about that later…stay tuned!)

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Zoë’s Pet Peeves: Giftiness

Zoë Kessler, BA, B.Ed.

Zoë Kessler is an award-winning author, journalist, and speaker specializing in women and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD / ADD).

A frequent contributor to ADDitude Magazine, Kessler has also created video, standup comedy, and guest blogs on ADHD and Marriage covering ADHD-related topics.

Zoë, an internationally recognized ADHD expert, has been interviewed on radio and featured in magazine articles, documentaries, and books on the topic of women and ADHD across North America.

Her newly-released memoir ADHD According to Zoë - The Real Deal on relationships, Finding Your Focus & Finding Your Keys (New Harbinger Publications, 2013) about life with ADHD is now available.

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APA Reference
Kessler, Z. (2019). Zoë’s Pet Peeves: Giftiness. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 19 Mar 2019
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