Shift your Perspective with Quotes from Dr. Ned Hallowell

shift your perspective

I came across a Twitter conversation with Dr Ned Hallowell and these were just some of the tweets he had posted.  They were awesome and so in line with how I think and feel about learning differences -- whether that is dyslexia or ADHD.  So I added these quotes to my blog and decided to talk about each one.  

Let's get started!


Look at treatment as the unwrapping of gifts, not as the rectification of a disorder or the filling in of a deficit.
— Dr Hallowell

His statements are really about shifting how we view and approach supporting our children. And a great one to start with is treatment.  

Sometimes parents talk about treatment as if it is negative or a failure of some type when in fact it is a way to support your child to allow them to "unwrap their gifts" as Dr. Hallowell stated below. Can we start to view it this way?  

My heart drops when I think that parents may be fearful of treatments that might actually allow their children to make progress in a way that other treatments won't provide but the only way to find out is to try it...right??  I'm not saying it's easy. It wasn't for me so consider it a process. When something is new to you, of course, it's gonna be a bit confusing at times but it can be done with the focus on 'unwrapping' your child's gifts.


Creativity is impulsivity gone right. Encourage it in your child and use it yourself.
— Dr Hallowell

I love how he talks about the positive side of impulsivity which is being creative!  Without this ability to create where would the world be???? We do need to encourage this ability in our children and one of the best ways to do this...is to show them through what you do.  But what is being creative?  I think sometimes we think that's painting or drawing but it's SO much more than that.  It's gardening. It's designing rooms.  It's dancing.  It's singing. It's picking colours for a website. It's creating a video. Or repairing a bike with the tools you have at hand....on and on. The options are HUGE when it comes to being creative and letting parts of you come through.  Even writing in a blog is creative...

SO...what can we do to model this creativity so it's a natural part of what our children do??? 


If your child feels optimistic about who s/he is and about what life has to offer, s/he will do far better than if s/he does not.
— Dr Hallowell

Ohhhhh yes!!  Being optimistic.  Having a vision for your child's life.  Seeing all the possibilities for them.

When you SEE them in the future, what do you see?  

If it's not positive, stop and picture a positive outcome or future.  See all their strengths that they have and how they can use them to make the world a better place.  Then tell them what you see...

Not just once but different times.  

Observe your child and tell them in detail what you see that they may not even notice (their strengths) so they can start to see their abilities as well. I review more about these steps in my Invincible Mama Program. It's so important as Dr Hallowell states. 


...emphasizing the positive while not denying the challenges and difficulties.
— Dr Hallowell

Another awesome statement, it's SO accurate.  We need to emphasize the positive for SURE but what can't butter coat it or deny what the challenges are that our children face...that's not gonna help them move forward. 

So it's a balance of seeing and acknowledging the positive while addressing the needs your child has and finding that best way to support them.  (I still feel like doing the fist pump right now...i love it that much) 


Set you child up to make progress on something that matters to him/her. This builds confidence and motivation.
— Dr Hallowell

Making progress is KEY!!  And to look at what really matters to them.  What does your child LOVE and how can you tap into this to help them build their confidence in their abilities.  

You can also use this love or passion that they have to help them make gains in the areas they are struggling with (it's true!!) So build on their strengths ...and allow them to make progress and gain confidence but I will add that to help maintain their self esteem they have to understand HOW they learn and be able to make PROGRESS with their learning as well. (if you need support with this look at my Summer Strategy Sessions


the mirror of hyperactivity is energy....
— Dr Hallowell

Ohhh to have THAT much energy!!!  Again Dr Ned Hallowell views the positive side of hyperactivity as energy...which it is!! 

Your child might have SO much energy so what can they do with this?  Swim.  Bike. Cut the lawn.  Walk the dog. 

Tap into the energy but also tap into how they can use the energy without having to focus on too many different skills.  Your child may be great at swimming as they can funnel all their energy into on area but if they are on the socceer team they may be find it difficult to sit on the bench or focus on all the different parts of the game...find what works for them.  Use the energy during play and chores.  

You got this!  

Susan