7

I recently read A Natural Fix for A.D.H.D., which discussed the idea that certain occupations are much better suited to a person with ADHD than others. This idea is interesting to me, because my son has not been officially diagnosed, but has all the symptoms of ADHD.

We would like to tailor his education to steer him toward occupations that will take advantage of his strengths, but there is very little information available. Most ADHD literature presupposes a traditional classroom setting and curriculum. The main reason we homeschool him now is because his ADHD made traditional classrooms all but impossible.

So my question is exactly what kind of occupations are better suited for people with ADHD, and why? What would a curriculum look like that was designed specifically to prepare a child for those occupations?

  • You might want to take a look at the autobiography of top soldier Sir Peter de la Billière, "Looking for Trouble" "Breaking bounds, and breaking rules of every sort, became an ever-greater challenge". Not diagnosed with ADHD of course as it didn't exist back then, but when you read it... – A E Nov 3 '14 at 18:18
6

I regularly worked as sound engineer on child and teenage vacations with a touring musical (band and choir) and have made very good experiences with explicitly picking male ADHD children as helpers/roadies.

In my experience they

  • tend to keep a good memory of the things explained.
  • can think logical / have a great understanding of technical stuff
  • can repeat tasks with great accuracy
  • love to help

On the other hand, they have been not so flexible when things change and may not easily see obvious solutions to previously unencountered problems.

So, a career that requires some of the bullet points above may be a good fit.

  • 2
    I especially like "love to help," it's great to tap into their enthusiasm, particularly since most adults don't expect an ADHD child to be useful or helpful! – Acire Feb 14 '15 at 15:16
  • 1
    I have a boy with ADHD on my webcast team. When he sits down at the technical director's stations, I'm reminded of Harrison Ford's line in Ender's Game: "He's in command". When he gives orders, people twice his age respond without question. – pojo-guy Feb 23 '18 at 16:19
4

I also have a son with ADHD, and am mildly chagrined to realize I haven't yet given much thought to his life after my household.

A web search for "job suitable for adhd" turns up a few lists. Some common results:

  • Military
  • Medical (doctor or nurse)
  • Police or Firefighter
  • Truck driver
  • Sales (particularly commission-based)
  • Entertainment

These tend to emphasize variety of tasks and well-defined goals, so really any job with such characteristics could be "suitable."

However, I think that with some effort, any job is feasible. ADHD symptoms are a challenge in any career, but I know a minister, a software developer, a soldier, an actor, and a novelist, all with ADHD and all doing pretty well. I have problems with focus, attention, boredom, and impulsivity, but I've been gainfully employed as an engineer and software developer for years.

The one skill I use most often to cope with my inattention is make lists and reminders for myself constantly. This is hugely valuable in my boss's opinion, because it means I document everything I do. I'm largely doing it so I can keep track of what I've tried over the course of the day and have a plan for what's happening next, but he likes it because documentation is important :)

Unfortunately, I cannot provide a particularly useful answer to the second part of your question regarding curriculum.

3

I realize I am late to this, but here's my €0.02 anyway:

From what I know adults with ADHD often do either

  • something geeky (math, CS, other science,...),
  • something involving helping others, importance, risks, intense and enthusiastic phases, and deep and instant satisfaction (police, firefighters, soldiers,...), or
  • something creative (art, entertainment,...)

Many fail at occupations requiring repetitive tasks without variation and instant satisfaction (think picking blueberries).

However, knowing this, I try hard to prepare the child I have which suffers from (mild) ADHD by trying to strengthen exactly those qualification that ADHD people lack. That is, I demand more effort where it is harder for that child. Coming from this direction, I would consider it wrong to shape the curriculum exclusively to emphasis the things your son does well and deemphasis the things he does not do well.

0

Read this book. It has lots of great insight as to how to approach this as a parent, someone close to, or the person with said issues. It all comes down to "play to your strengths". Nothing is off the table - but there will be things that (for whatever reason) are just not going to work.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.