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Geniuses Need Apply – Challenges Into Strengths

Genuises Need ApplyGeniuses Need Apply

It takes a lot of extra work to live with AD/HD and learning difficulties. We have to work a little harder than other folks when it comes to processing information and sustaining attention to the task at hand. There’s a few more hurdles. But you know what, in a way that gives us an advantage. Our brains are working that much faster to compensate for accomplishing what we need to do in our day to day lives, that when we really need them, and if we know how to use them, we can get things done very quickly, efficiently and effectively.

There are a number of difficult traits that come with AD/HD and learning difficulties that, at SOAR we choose to redirect into positive ones. To make it easy, we created a list. On the left we have the difficult trait, on the right we have the transformation:

Distractibility Multi Tasking
Perseverating Ultra Focused
Oversensitivity Intuitive
Stubbornness Tenacious
Impulsivity Spontaneous
Risk Taking Behavior Adventurous
Hyperactivity Action Oriented
Procrastination Deadline Oriented
Disorganization Flexible
Daydreaming Creative
Rigidity Structured
Manipulation Leader


Now let’s talk about some of the strategies that help transform these challenges into strengths.

  • Distractibility → Multi Tasking = These kids have the tendency to notice everything and can have the ability to do many things at once. Find motivation for your child, when they get distracted redirect them to the task at hand.
  • Perseverating → Ultra Focused = Tend to concentrate deeply, can be great at problem solving and getting things done. Find the area of interest and encourage it, or rechannel it into something constructive.
  • Oversensitivity → Intuitive = Tend to be sensitive, fair and very aware of others’ feelings. Work to differentiate between behavior and value as a person. Know that a mistake does not make someone a bad person.
  • Stubbornness → Tenacious = Tend to stand up for their beliefs and can be very goal oriented. Work to develop guidelines and natural or logical consequences.
  • Impulsivity → Spontaneous = Tend to work well in the flow of things, always based in the here and now. Work to ignore highly impulsive behavior or redirect through verbal and non-verbal cues.
  • Risk Taking → Adventurous = Tend to have an entrepreneurial spirit and make great innovations. Work to channel this adventurous behavior into constructive and positive pathways.
  • Hyperactivity → Action Oriented = Tend to be energetic, hands on and can become great experiential teachers and learners. Work on giving opportunities to move and learn through a hands on approach. Have an external stimulus “pal” to keep hands busy when it’s time to focus.
  • Procrastination → Deadline Oriented = Tend to work well under pressure and get things done last minute. Work on creating timelines with check points that have relevance. Deadlines should have consequences – positive ones for meeting the deadline, and negative ones for failing to complete.
  • Disorganization → Flexible = Tend to work well when things are chaotic. Can handle high pressure situations. Work on visualizing a clean space. Reduce the amount of stuff and create an organizational system that makes sense.
  • Daydreaming → Creative = Tend to be imaginative, creative and see unique perspectives. Can become great writers, artists and storytellers. Work on focusing energy for periods of time and take breaks for daydreaming.
  • Rigidity → Structured = Tend to enjoy routine and having consistency; the same thing day-in day-out. Work on utilizing routine and building in free time or planning. Practice breaking up a plan in a structured way.
  • Manipulation → Leadership = Tend to influence people and situations to their point of view. Charismatic and creative. Work on pointing out the behavior and reinforce leadership roles with positive feedback. Channel their desires into altruistic goals.

We use this chart mostly for the kids we serve, but can work for adults with AD/HD or learning difficulties, or as coaching techniques as well. Not everyone with AD/HD and learning difficulties has each one of these traits, but making them into strengths, rather than seeing them as weaknesses is what can create a strong individual!