October is ADHD Awareness month. Did you know that an estimated 6.1 million children in the US between ages 2 to 17 are diagnosed with ADHD? Are you a parent of a child with ADHD? As a parent of two ADHD children and an adult with ADHD, allow me to share my “awareness”.
I recently came across this article online about jobs for children with ADHD. It is an excellent read for parents of ADHD children, and I highly recommend you take the time to glance at it. The article lists two potential jobs as positive career choices for children with ADHD: Computer Science and Entrepreneur.
As I read, an epiphany hit me… ADHD is the creator of Brainy Bytes! Let me explain by hitting on both of those choices.
Computer Science. As all ADHD children do, my son loves playing video games. It gives him the stimulation an ADHD brain thrives on; the constant challenge, satisfaction of completion, new tasks at every level, and rapid visual stimulation… the list goes on. Around 13 years of age, his creative and inquisitive brain wanted to explore how the games work. But there was no place to learn. Enter Brainy Bytes! Our very first course offering was game creation… because that’s what my kid wanted.
The amazing thing I noticed with our first program is that he was not alone. Over 50% of his classmates were students with ADHD who were drawn to the world of coding. Since that very first class, we have made it a point to create curricula that consider every child’s learning style and needs. It is not just what but HOW you teach. Anyone can give them the parts and have them make a whole. But most students with ADHD want and need to know the why and how to help them retain the whole.
Sidenote: My son is now working in corporate IT but still works with us as a curriculum consultant for our more program-intense courses.
Entrepreneurship. Being an entrepreneur means setting your own hours and being your own boss. Let’s be honest, this can be both a blessing and a curse for someone with ADHD. However, I have found that being able to set a schedule that fits my brain’s needs is much better than forcing a 9-to-5 mentality.
Furthermore, because of the ability to focus intently on a task of interest and a disposition to take risks, people with ADHD can turn a passion into a source of income. Feeding hungry brains with STEM became my focus point and the drive to take a risk and build a business.
Brainy Bytes is aware of the coalition of E-STEAM (Entrepreneurship + STEAM). This is why our programs instruct students as young as six to face real-world project themes that encourage problem-solving and ingenuity.
Why do coding & entrepreneurship appeal to the ADHD children?
The brains of people with ADHD are wired differently. Theory has it that our use of dopamine makes it harder for us to find rewards in what we do. And when we do, the novelty usually wears off quickly, causing our notorious rate of abandoned hobbies and projects.
But coding & entrepreneurship provide challenges that keep ADHD children and adults engaged. The above-linked article explains, “…coding is a creative endeavor that involves constantly learning new things, but also once one problem is solved, there’s always a brand new one to try”. The exact same can be said for entrepreneurship. For a brain that loves to hyperfocus on creating and troubleshooting, these two fields are dreams come true!
So, thank you ADHD! We wouldn’t be where we are today without you!
Find a Brainy Bytes program for your child.