ADHD- Disorder or Gift?

Dr. Ken McCluskey

Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder is, in fact, typically viewed as a "disorder", and certainly, hyperactive and inattentive children present some interesting challenges at home, at school, and in the community. This workshop highlights many of the problems. However, an attempt is also made to put a more positive spin on things by recasting reality and pointing to the creative strengths that frequently go hand in hand with the condition. To illustrate, with proper support, might not stubborn behaviour in childhood grow into determination in adulthood? Might not inattentive daydreaming turn into creative invention, over-activity into productive energy, and off-the-wall behaviour into outside-the-box thinking? The overall intent is to offer a humane, flexible approach to help parents, teachers, and other caregivers turn negatives into positives, and nurture the talents of an oft-misunderstood population.

Dr. Ken McCluskey, Dean and Professor of Education at the University of Winnipeg, is known internationally for his work in several areas, including (1) mentoring; (2) attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder; (3) at-risk children and youth (where his Lost Prizes and related projects serve as models world-wide for those interested in identifying and developing the talents of marginalized young people); and (4) gifted education. Before becoming a Professor (in 1998) and Dean of Education (in 2003) at U of W, Ken had 25 years’ experience as a psychologist, special educator, and administrator in the public school system. He has received major program development, creativity, and publication awards from the Canadian Council for Exceptional Children, the International Centre for Innovation in Education, the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children, and Reclaiming Youth International (along with his institution's teaching, research, and community service awards). A popular keynote and invited speaker, Ken has written well over 100 professional articles and chapters, and is the author, co-author, or editor of 20 books, including Understanding ADHD: Our Personal Journey, Lost Prizes: Talent Development and Problem Solving with At-Risk Populations, Mentoring for Talent Development, and Enriching Teaching and Learning for Talent Development.