Child or Adult ADHD – Art Among Natural Remedies for ADHD

Children or teens diagnosed with ADHD who engage in art activities such as drawing or painting, are more focused and can often concentrate over a sustained period of time on the activity.  The focus and calm that is induced from engaging in creating artworks also has residual benefits after the art period is over. People with ADHD benefit from art as recounted by the personal experience of Danielle Barroqueiro, Ph.D., a professor at Illinois State University, who herself deals with ADHD.

Art can be among numerous natural remedies for ADHD for both children and adults.

Art can be among numerous natural remedies for ADHD for both children and adults.

ADHD can have downside qualities that can be turned around into a positive, states Barroqueiro. The downside includes attention difficulties, and in many cases hyperactivity, as well as difficulty in focusing.

People with ADHD are often highly visual. The upside of ADHD can include intelligence, creative qualities, and the ability to “hyper-focus”.  Barroqueiero elaborates on her own experience in “The Art of Embracing ADHD” on the AYCNP website and in the book Overcoming ADHD Without Medication.

Art is a natural therapy for ADD / ADHD in many children and adults with ADHD, so that the negative side of the disorder can turn into a positive side. Once the mental energy of those with ADHD is harnessed, creative works flow.

Behavior therapy is also an important aspect of overcoming symptoms of ADHD or in harnessing the potential of personality traits or abilities that persons with ADHD may have. Some very intelligent individuals with ADHD may tend towards being underachievers or not fully maximizing her or her full potential. There are, however, many remedies to overcome symptoms of ADHD, and to overcome the disorder itself.

Children with ADHD are often very active and spontaneous, but may be found to be disorganized and may need help with structure, planning, and scheduling. Some with a tendency towards hyperfocus may they tend to be obsessive with whatever they do but not finish what they have started.

According to one art teacher who had ADHD while in public school, and who took stimulants through most of his school years, but who overcame the disorder as a young adult in college, the art classroom is one haven of refuge that helps to minimize symptoms and maximize potential, providing a venue for focus and creativity. Although not all students with ADHD share an interest in art, so much can be learned from the model of art education as therapy. Mindfulness is a growing movement as a therapy for many disorders including ADHD, however, the same state of mindfulness can be achieved when engrossed in creating artwork.

Embrace, then, the positives of the disorder—harness the potential of the flip side of ADHD, and realize more creativity and work potential.

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credit for photo:
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

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