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The Strengths of Kids Who Have ADHD

All our kids have strengths, but kids with ADHD have unique sets of strengths. Kids with Hyperactive-Impulsive Type ADHD have a certain set of strengths, while kids with Inattentive Type ADHD have a different set.


Regardless, these kids are awesome. Here are some of the strengths I’ve noticed!

Strengths of kids with Hyperactive-Impulsive Type ADHD:

1. Speed

If you’ve ever met a kid with this type of ADHD, you’ve noticed this quality about them … They’re fast!

In fact, they’re usually the fastest kids on the playground! They can run, jump, climb, and disappear quicker than any kid you’ll ever meet. They’re more mature motor cortexes give them the ability to move faster and more adeptly than their peers, giving them an athletic edge.

It’s a bit terrifying sometimes (as the caregiver), but it can be turned into a strength as they get older.

2. Resourcefulness

When these fast-working brains want to do something, there’s no obstacle they won’t try to overcome.

If they want to get out of the house, they’ll figure out a way to do it!
If they want to open a locked cabinet, they’ll figure out a way to do it!
If they want to climb on top of the car while their mom buckles their little sister in, they’ll figure out a way to do it!

They’re so resourceful. When their minds go into hyper drive, every object around them becomes a tool to be used to accomplish their goal. And every object around them because an object to be studied!

3. Courage

Fearless. Absolutely fearless.

Granted, a huge part of this is impulsiveness, which comes from having more slowly maturing prefrontal cortexes … but it can be a strength if given the opportunity!

These are the kids who will never be afraid to try a new activity in gym class. They’ll be the adults who are brave enough to sky dive. They’ll be the “old folks” with the coolest stories to tell.

4. Curiosity

The world is a giant, ongoing investigation. It’s a God-given playground … full of things to examine, discover, and dissect!

As long as they all shall live, they will never run out of things to be curious about. And curiosity is what has fueled some of the greatest inventions, discoveries, and explorations in history.

5. Toughness

These kids aren’t usually the delicate, sensitive types. They’re usually rough and tumble kind, which comes in really handy when they’re jumping off of porches and scraping their knees all the time.

Toughness can also be really beneficial in sports. Whereas some kids might get overwhelmed by the physical aspect of sports, kids with this type of ADHD are usually quick to bounce back.

Most of the time, they’re already moving on to the next activity before anyone can reach them to make sure they’re okay.

Professional athletes like Michael Phelps and Terry Bradshaw have ADHD!

Strengths of kids with Inattentive Type ADHD:

1. Creativity

These quiet daydreamers are the kids who always get accused of having their heads in the clouds. But you know what’s in the clouds?

Dreams. Aspirations. Magical worlds. Book characters. Movie characters. Paintings.

Pretty much everything we love as a society came from a person who lived with their head in the clouds. These kids are creative, and it benefits us all!

2. Observant

So these kids have a hard time staying focused… right?

That doesn’t mean they’re not observant. If your attention was pulled to something new every five seconds, you’d notice A LOT of things!

These are the kids that notice everything, all at once, all the time. They might have a hard time retaining it, but they definitely notice. They’ll catch it out of the corner of their eye.

Being observant is one of the most sought-after qualities in employers. These kids have bright futures!

3. Emotional Discernment

I’ve noticed that a lot of Inattentive Type ADHD kids are very intuitive about emotional shifts in the room around them. Not all of them, but a good majority.

They may not be looking at you or participating in the conversation, but they’ll probably feel when you’re stressed, when your guests are uncomfortable, or when their siblings are upset. They’re intuitive.

Being able to pick up on emotional cues can be so advantageous in friendships as they grow older!

4. Optimism

Kids with Inattentive Type ADHD are statistically most likely to be girls. And these girls have much higher rates of depression and anxiety as they grow into teenagers.

That being said, there’s a difference between anxiety/depression and not being able to see the good in things. Tons of people I know are battling depression, but are still some of the most optimistic people I’ve ever met.

They know what it feels like to be trapped in the depths of their minds, so they recognize all the brightness above the surface.

These kids have a gift for being able to see the potential for things, instead of just seeing things for what they are.

And that is a BEAUTIFUL gift.

5. Inquisition defines “inquisition” as, “the act of inquiring; inquiry; research.”

It means asking questions. Investigating. Researching. Digging deeper into things.

Kids with Inattentive Type ADHD might have a hard time answering questions, but they have no shortage of asking them! They’re the best “Twenty Questions” creators you’ll ever meet.

But do you know what comes along with asking a million questions?

Answers. Lots and lots of answers.

The Strengths of Kids Who Have ADHD

W. R. Cummings

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APA Reference
Cummings, W. (2016). The Strengths of Kids Who Have ADHD. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 2, 2020, from


Last updated: 23 Apr 2016
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