ADHD can be an expression of the creative mind

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    A person sitting in a classroom, often not focusing well, can be diagnosed easily today as ADHD, in Israel and in other Western countries. There are charedi and kosher websites available today to help parents and the whole frum community. We can deal with & transform our own or our children’s challenging behaviors. Creativity, giftedness and ingenuity have been linked to the same populations that are often diagnosed and medicated for behavior / learning challenges. Shouldn’t everyone know more about this?


    these days its rare not to have a kid with adhd. its all meshugas (except for when its not). when you tell a kid he has adhd he uses that as an excuse. i have a son who when he was younger had “adhd symptoms, i chose to ignore it and now hes doing better boruch hashem. sometimes its temporary issues and you shouldent turn it into an issue.


    Isn’t the same argument presented regarding autism? That autistic children are simply living their own unique individual life, and don’t need to be changed, and should be accepted as is, being their own normal selves.

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    Farby- i didn’t think a Bucher in mesivta could have a son that age 😁


    ujm it there’s no comparison. it is rare to know someone well and not know they have autasim or at least some issue. kids with adhd sometimes don’t know themselves they have adhd. I never told my son. autausim is much more serious. adhd is not even within a mile of autism.


    syag i didnt think anyone actually takes me serious. (:. ive been caught


    syag: the situation i was refering too was actually me my parents never told me i had adhd till i was halfway down middle school. now i know but until a couple years ago i didnt know


    Not suggesting to “leave them as is” at all! ADHDers need and want to learn skills, techniques, lifestyle changes and how to self-regulate under many types of circumstances. Comparing someone with ADHD to autism is really not getting the inyan at all–some of our most amazing community members, enterpreneurs, askanim, rebbies, minhalim, teachers and talmidei chachamim are using their ADHD properly to make the world a better and more interesting place.


    @syag, there is not much that gets past you 🙂


    if creativity and ADHD are linked and we only follow the medical path then we could be in danger of medicating our brightest and most creative children – stiffling them into conformity and losing their unique insights and abilities.
    what we need to do instead is teach them how to manage themselves – giving them the tools, techniques and skills to properly empower them to make the best use of their gifts. Many of our brightest, innovative and most creative people have learnt how to manage their ADHD and help make our world a more interesting and diverse place…
    as they say ‘teach the child in his way’ – so these days we need proper Torah parent coaching to help us find the best way to empower our children to be the best they can be and follow the ways of Torah in joy


    There’s no such thing as “ADHD”. The characteristics of people labeled “ADHD” are simply characteristics of a creative and often very intelligent mind which doesn’t thrive in rigid environments that many of the frum schools have today. Kids are stuffed into classrooms for hours with barely any time to socialize, to stretch their muscles by playing sports and games, they barely have recess. And the way things are taught by relying totally on children’s memorization instead of visual tools and exploration of the topics is a recipe for disaster for a large percentage of our children.


    Some of our most amazing community members, entrepreneurs, askanim, rebbis, menahlim, teachers and talmidei chachamim are also using their autism properly to make the world a better and more interesting place.

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    “There’s no such thing as “ADHD”. ”

    I know. There’s no such thing as Covid 19 either. We had those symptoms hundreds of times and we called it the flu. If I want to believe it doesn’t exist, I obviously know more than everyone else out there.


    Syag, if you like labels I can find five labels to put on you. This theorist, psychologist, physiotherapist, saturated society is being manipulated to think that people have major issues that only they can help.

    Now look at the goyishe world and see what they’ve done to people. We still have the Torah framework, but it’s edging more and more toward the precipice of destruction in our communities, although some are way worse than others in this regard.

    Every human being on earth struggles in different ways in how they respond to the world around them or/and to their own inner world. We are here to grow by becoming stronger and better people, by connecting to Hashem. Labels thrown at people by all these “experts” are useless.

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    I didn’t say I liked labels. I also don’t like over used labels or misplaced labels or misunderstood labels. But to say ADHD doesn’t exist because I don’t like labels is childish.

    And if you want to label me go ahead, especially if it will help the person you are speaking to understand me better and be in a better position to be my friend/teacher/employer/neighbor. Just make sure you use thorough and appropriate assessments and criteria when you do it.

    Shimon Nodel

    I have ADHD. It’s not a disorder. Everyone else has a disorder! I’m so much more brilliant than them.


    Syag, ok fine, if it’s easier to label people then go ahead and label them. However, that does not make ADHD a true thing. People whom you would label ADHD because they can’t sit too long in class or in an office setting or concentrate on projects or on many subjects, can sit in one place for hours on projects that interests them, even staying up entire nights if it is needed to finish a project. “Adhd” people can concentrate on technical and intricate subjects if they have an in it! So how is ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER an appropriate term to use for these people?

    Every person has characteristics which if you would force them into a certain situation can exhibit negative tendencies if it goes agianst their nature. Put non-adhd people in a world where adhd labeled people thrive and they may have major difficulties!

    ADHA label people CAN concentrate and don’t have a disorder! Generally, the people with this label can be very lazy when doing essential things important for an orderly and healthy life and not do them at all or at a slower pace because they are not interested in doing it. But that is a negative side of their characteristics but every single characteristic of a people has negative and positive sides to it and that is precisely how we grow, by overcoming the negative sides our personalities have and utilizing the positive power that our characteristics have.

    I would lael adhd people as intelligently attention hyperfocused.


    philosopher v syag, I agree with each on separate issues – there is COVID but not ADHD or 80% of it, to be more accurate.

    To add to on ADHD/creativity connection, fMRI seem to show that ADHD connection “misfire” so that a signal goes to multiple locations instead of (intended?) one. Of course, one might argue whether activating multiple connection is a bug or a feature, as programmers say.

    Historically, it may have been more important for 99% of population to memorize and follow instructions to survive. 1% had a luxury to be creative. In industrial age, machines were built for right-handed only. Currently, we have computers to make computations, google to look up statistics, Sefaria to look up Mishna, and so many people having more “free” time on their hands than ever.
    So, the people who make those unusual connections are more and more valuable.

    Of course, you don’t just “ignore it” – you need first to build the kid’s confidence after all negative feedback he was getting from school. Best is to study something interesting with the kid, until he becomes good at it, better than peers and teachers. Then, you need to give him skills to use his abilities: build something tangible rather than just imagine something that does not make sense. Then to deal with the lack of skills – practice at least some attention to detail, search Internet for things he does not remember, make lists of things not to forget, partner with others with different skills.


    Philosopher, all the same points can be made regarding someone labelled as “austistic” or “asperger’s syndrome”.


    AAQ, I like the comparison of ADHD labeled characteristics to a bug or feature in software😀 . It’s so true, but this could be about any characteristic of human behavior. And that is my point.

    I disagree with you that memorization was utilized 99% of the time. Creativity is not only about art but also about creating utensils and cookware, creating furniture and textile, etc since the beginning of time. Creativity is also scientific with inventions, breakthroughs and discoveries that have made a huge impacts on the world.

    Great people have come not from sitting in class and memorizing for hours, which is what education means today, but from thinking and analyzing and experimenting.


    Ujm, I’m not sure about Asperger’s, but certainly autism is often mischarachterized with absolutely normal people being stamped with the “autism” label for no reason.

    There are people who have REAL mental and emotional issues. Years ago the distinctions between mentally ill people and normal people, who all have struggles, where very clear. Now with so many therapists, psychologists, pshycotherapists and “mental health” services, everyone needs a label or diagnose stamped into them.


    Parents of ADHD children know that help is needed in order to guide these kids to be able to learn essential life skills as well as use their strengths to reach their potential as a frum Jew. Torah Parent Coach is a good resource,


    onto them, I meant to say

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    “Syag, ok fine, if it’s easier to label people then go ahead and label them”

    I didn’t say it was easier.
    1) I am fairly sure you did not actually read my post (or bother attending to the content)
    2) you seem to be unfamiliar with the criteria, meaning, disorder.
    3) you don’t believe in labels ….. except the one you made up instead….gotcha


    “the situation i was refering too was actually me my parents never told me i had adhd till i was halfway down middle school. now i know but until a couple years ago i didnt know”
    like the same way your kid has it?


    Syag, first of all, I totally read everything you wrote. It doesn’t mean that I agree with you.

    I didn’t mean what I said about labels in a sarcastic way. You said that if it will help other people understand you better then you don’t mind using them. That to me means that you have a positive opinion regarding labels since for you that helps to identify people. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    Now the fact is that people labeled ADHD CAN concentrate amazingly well when it interests them. So how exactly can they be labeled ADHD?

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    I did not say I have a positive opinions regarding labels. I said that if you are going to label me, I want you to do it appropriately so that it is communicative and productive. Which is exactly what you said at the end of that post when you gave a label you felt was more appropriate.

    In response to your question, don’t you think it a bit silly to rant in protest of something you obviously have not researched? The question you are asking is the equivalent of: why do they call it a cold when your temperature is really hot?


    philosopher > Great people have come not from sitting in class and memorizing for hours, which is what education means today

    But you need to give the person some material to work with. Imagination in general is a double-edged sword – it included both neveyut and avoda zara. When one disappeared, so did the other, according to midrash about destruction of the first beis hamikdash.

    So, when a kid is sitting in a class with nothing to do, he will use his genius to create mischief. If you put him in front of an interesting problem and help him start going, then his creativity will have something to work with.


    Syag, I can’t help you on your presumption that I haven’t researched the topic. I certainly researched a lot about this topic, I watched videos and read articles. However, I’m not falling for modern mentality that makes everyone a victim in their own way. Whoever is labeled “ADHD” has gifts that could be used in a positive or negative way and thats the way I see it.

    You can label my opinions “rants” if that makes you feel better.


    AAQ, I agree that schoolwork should be interesting. I think school should be stimulating and not constant memorization or taking notes.


    i dont think kids with adhd are more or less talented then other kids. they all have mailos and chesronois


    farbycoffe, of course ADHD labeled kids are not all more talented or less talented than non ADHD labeled children . They just think differently and that can make it hard for them to learn in today’s frum classroom setting. On the other hand, they can be extremely intelligent and creative because of their different thinking patterns in ways that non-ADHD labeled children can’t be.


    i have a harder time sitting through a class or a test (yes as syag figured out im only 17). by the end of year exam several years ago i mamash couldent sit still and i started walking around and got 150 kids upset at me for just walking around during an exam when your not allowed to stand up. so yes we learn diffrently but im in no way dumb. i just have a hard time sitting still and focusing


    farbycoffe, yes, the classroom is very hard for ADHD labeled kids, particularly if the subject matter does not interest them. But you’ll get through, everyone makes it through in the end. It is important to find productive things that you enjoy doing,especially when you are looking for a job. If you enjoy what you do you won’t have a hard time focusing. Many ADHD labeled individuals enjoy technical jobs like computer programing.

    Reb Eliezer

    100% without any question. My son was diagnosed as such and the first grade teacher said that he will have problems as the schools don’t cater to creative individuals. He finished college in three years.


    farby > i mamash couldent sit still and i started walking around

    this is a good sign. During school year, try moving more during recess, after school while learning by heart or listening to a class. Have multiple locations at home where you can work, prepared with whatever you need – pencil, paper, light, so you don’t waste time organizing when you move. Maybe ask teachers to let you leave class once in a while. In lower grades, wise teachers send such kids out to do chores – bring a pencil, etc.


    farby, when learning a sugya, try reading some general overviews that will enable you think about it before delving into pages and pages of details.


    > but you’ll get through, everyone makes it through in the end

    not true, many don’t get through – get on meds, develop low self-esteem, miss out on learning.
    You need to sit down with the kid daily and entertain him, while building his knowledge and capabilities until he finds something exciting and runs forward. My parents made sure that I’ll know curriculum before the class, then I easily go and read further ahead while teachers were murmuring something. In cases where I was not ahead, I will fall behind and teachers would make my life miserable. Was I cured? No, as my PhD advisor asked me to go test for ADHD after I suggested changing the topic of my thesis in the middle of the program. One of my kids continued saying that he has bad memory (as the teachers told) while interrupting almost any midrash I tell him with “you told me this years ago”. When we made him skip a grade, grades improved and whining stopped.


    @philosopher You’re out of date. ADHD does not neccessarily mean someone can’t sit still, or is incapable of concentrating. yes, the name is misleading but it’s here to stay.

    A major subtype, “Inattentive ADHD” is chracterised by a restlessness of thought, and the inability to concentrate on something that’s not interesting/stimulating but zero hyperactivity (even in childhood). It’s a major disorder, because few of us will go through life with learning or work that’s intersting/stimulating 100%, or even 65% of the time and so we may fail continually.

    In an ideal world, these teens could skip yeshiva and work in a craetive job but in practice most children would not want to skip yeshiva, which itself would get them labelled as very non-typical, but get help & meds and go through our (admittedly conformist) system.

    I speak as an adult with family who got through schooling and even yeshiva without major upset (although yeshiva was a deeply unhappy time, feeling like a failure for not being able to sit through a 90% of the sedorim), but the real cruch came to settling down with work.

    I had to quit my employment because I couldn’t do just get my job done, and failed again at running my own business because I was unable to focus on business goals that were profitable rather than interesting to me. I spent years changing the focus of my work and burning money without much profit.

    Finally I’ve been diagnosed as being ADHD and I’m on meds after decades of denial and it makes a massive difference. By now, I also need coaching from a lifetime of bad habits caused by ADHD. I deeply mourn the fact that I wasn’t diagnosed before adulthood.

    According to your criteria I would never have been “labeledl” ADHD, just creative, out-of-the-box thinker and all manner of good things but BH this label has made me be able to provide for my family and start repairing years of uttter fustration in trying to have a productive day.

    It’s vitally important that ADHD children are diagnosed (what you would term “labelled”) because otherwise the risk of failure at yeshiva or work is massive.


    Ash, I’m happy to hear that you’re doing good now but my point is that there’s no reason to go through all this suffering when schools can make learning more interesting and engaging with visual tools and creative classes and more recess. Today we have tons of after-school programs that should be integrated within the regular school curriculums. Of course, that won’t solve all problems but it could solve many problems.

    As for sitting through siddurim, I’m not a man and never went to yeshiva, but I have heard many boys being successful in yeshivas where instead of the magid shuir teaching, the boys are actively engaged and involved in the shuir.

    And the same is with jobs, there are many suitable jobs that ADHD labeled people can be successfully work in.

    So I’m coming from a different angle. Instead of seeing it as a disorder, I see it as a different way of thinking, and yes it can be very challenging oftentimes, but if we work with it instead of against it, if we understand HOW we can work with it, ADHD labeled people would be more productive with less challenges in everyday life.

    It is my opinion that modern day life is much harder for people labeled ADHD. Technology oftentimes gets ADHD people stuck in addictive behavior, sitting all day in classes where years ago no one sat for hours in classrooms learning about subjects they were not interested in, etc. Today, the way people are considered productive in our frum society, can oftentimes be very challenging for ADHD labeled people.

    Now, you are saying that I’m out of date regarding what the term ADHD means and then you go ahead and say that the name is misleading… So how can you so I’m out of date if the term ADHD is out of date? And having a subtype of innatentive ADHD does not make the term a correct one.

    Reb Eliezer

    A rebbi of my son in his yeshiva must have known about his diagnosis and did not attend to him by thinking that he is an ADHD and cannot study anyway.

    🍫Syag Lchochma

    Ash – thank you so much for telling it like it is. I hope you feel heard, despite the static. Wishing you continued hatzlacha!!


    Ash, it does not mean that ADHD does not exist and should be denied, I think what many of us are saying that there are multiple ways to deal with it in a good way, and the outcomes might improve depending on how bad the problem is and how well you deal with it. Ignoring is not a solution.


    > It is my opinion that modern day life is much harder for people labeled ADHD.

    Not sure. Would an ADHD person be happy harvesting wheat hour after hour, day after day? Or washing clothes in the river? There are way more creative occupations in our days.

    It is really a sign of failing schools if they can not attend to kids who are different from those who sit quietly and do not talk. You need to stop relying on schools and attend to your kids yourself, just like you do other mitzvos – putting tefilin, making a sukkah, having children.

    mesivta bachur

    If I didn’t have adhd would I be hear instead of chemistry? Who knows?


    ADHD is a biological, neurologically based condition one that most often wreaks havoc in a person’s life if not treated.
    To suggest that the struggles of those with ADHD are simply more of what everyone else encounters is both ignorant and hurtful.
    I have adhd I was diagnosed as an adult I wish I would have known about it earlier medicine does not take away your creativity it just helps you focus on things that you want to do it helps me learn better listen to a shire without being distracted
    The most hurtful thing someone can tell me is why can’t you just be normal I’ve been hearing that from everyone my whole life my wife thinks I’m crazy she thinks I’m an addict because I’m into things that’s what the ADHD brain does makes you passionate and it’s okay to be into things as long as you take care of your other responsibilities but people don’t understand and label you which leads to a terrible self-esteem which has been very debilitating for me
    Has anybody know of anyone who can help me my wife doesn’t want anything to do with me and rabbnim I’ve been speaking to keep telling me just be normal and everything will be okay I don’t even know what that means oh please if anybody knows if anyone who could help me ill be appreciate it
    כל המציל נפש אחד מישראל כאילו מציל כל העולם כולו


    Dear ADHD and any other ADHDers out there in the frum world,
    Yes, all that you say is true of many people with ADHD, although there are many aspects to the ADHD personality, and many of us/them out there are suffering and/or succeeding in many different ways.
    There are real tools that can help, and it means wanting to help ourselves, even if we can’t focus long enough to get the help we need. But when it is taking over one’s life (which with the right tools it doesn’t have to be that way) you must decide to do real hishtadlus in order to not lose what is dear to you and learn to repair relationships in the process of acquiring these skills. But it is always best if our families realize that they can be on board through the healing process. is a very helpful place.


    Thank you very much the problem is I have been going to a psychologist who has helped me with my ADHD and gave me the tools and ways to deal with it including medicine the problem is and the wife it’s not on board and after years of hurt it she wants nothing to do with me
    I feel like a blind person who is told it’s not normal to use a stick to walk and is told I can’t accept the fact that you have a stick just be normal and take carpool etc like everyone else
    Yes I understand the ADHD is not a excuse for bad behavior but it is an excuse for doing things differently like someone who’s hard of hearing can excuse himself if his rebbe refuses to let him sit up close so he can hear
    Whose fault would it be that he doesn’t know the gemrah the rabbis for not understand that he can’t hear in the back or the kid for not being able to hear?


    @ADHD if your condition has let to marriage problems, that’s serious. Too serious for internet forum advice. ADHD. Call Relief for recommended therapists and professional help, first yourself but with a goal too progress to couple therapy (with a therapist by Relief).


    Wrong. An ADHD kid (or adult) can’t follow the thread of a shiur and perhaps not even the thread of a Gemara without agonizing repetition that makes them look stupid in others’ eyes. Creativity can’t solve it, least of all a frum environment.

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