Ty Pennington’s Extreme ADHD Makeover

While many celebrities are reticent to talk about their learning challenges, Ty Pennington has been vocal about his ADHD diagnosis. Pennington is the former host of ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and today the co-host of “American Diner Revival.” He says he is proof that a person with ADHD can focus on one thing long enough to make it happen.

Ty Pennington’s Childhood Struggles with ADHD

For all of his childhood, he wasn’t aware that he had ADHD. In grade school, his hyperactivity seemed in the way of everything he tried to accomplish. As a result, he spent a lot of his time in the hallway or in detention. School was difficult. By his own account, Ty says he swung on the blinds, ran around the classroom, and playfully slapped other students on the back of the head. He would read a book but not remember a word, cause chaos in the classroom daily, and spend most of his time being disciplined instead of learning. He was finally officially diagnosed with ADHD while in college.

He spoke with Nicki Gostin of the Huffington Post about his childhood experiences with ADHD.

“My mom was studying to be a child psychologist and she went to my elementary school to test the worst kid they had. They were like, “Mrs. Pennington, you really don’t want to know who that is.” They let her observe me through a window and within 20 minutes I stripped naked, wore my desk around and swung on the blinds. I was just a complete distraction to all the other students.

Back then, they didn’t even know what to call it. They put me on antihistamines to try and make me drowsy. They tried everything. It certainly affected my confidence and my belief in myself. When everyone’s afraid you’re going to hurt yourself from just mowing the lawn, you start to believe them. Once I figured out I was pretty decent at art and people were interested in hiring me, I realized I had a skill besides injuring myself.

What’s kind of funny is that I ended up working with power tools to pay my way through art school and still have all my digits.”

Finding Creativity Amid the Chaos

Pennington admits that ADHD hurt his confidence and his belief in his own abilities, but he found success by pursuing art, design, and carpentry. Later a modeling scout approached him and he began a career in print advertising, TV, and endorsements. Pennington was able to leverage his photogenic appearance, charismatic sense of humor, and love for carpentry into his own empire of television shows, magazine publications, home fashion designs, and personal appearances. He also won an Emmy award for “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”

Today he manufactures his own line of furniture and writes a regular column for Enjoy magazine in addition to his work in television. Ty Pennington is proof that no matter how strong the symptoms of ADHD might be, they can be harnessed into a creative and fulfilling career.

Celebrities with ADHD: Ty Pennington

Parenting Children with ADHD: 10 Lessons That Medicine Cannot Teach

Over the past 30 years, Dr. Monastra has treated more than 15,000 clients who have ADHD. In this important book he shares the knowledge he has gained. Engaging and straightforward, the book is directed at parents of children who have, or might have, ADHD. In a conversational style, Monastra offers a series of sequential lessons, beginning with the causes of ADHD and the most common medical treatments. He discusses all the relevant issues for parents, including psychological treatment, diet, educational laws, and practical coping strategies for both parents and children.

Dr. Monastra’s research examining the neurophysiological characteristics of children and teens with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as well as his treatment studies investigating the role of parenting style, school intervention, nutrition, and electroencephalographic (EEG) biofeedback in the overall care of patients with ADHD, is internationally recognized and has led to several scientific awards, including the President’s Award..

READ MORE

Career advice for those with ADHD

Here at Edge we talk a lot about how an ADHD coach can help you learn the skills you need to succeed in school.   But what about after you get out of school?

We like to say that coaching helps you hone your edge to climb higher in life.  School is just the starting place for that journey. Working with an ADHD coach can be a highly effective method to help you bridge the journey from school to the workplace.

When you work with an ADHD coach to help you be successful in school, you build skills that will help you be successful in life.  Skills like perseverance when the going gets tough, time management, organizational systems that work for YOU, prioritizing, and focus.

Your coach is interested in helping you achieve YOUR goals (not your parents goals for you.) School is usually a stepping stone to help you get there.

But which jobs are ADHD Friendly?

Search for ADHD –friendly jobs and you’ll find a ton of articles that talk about career planning, career traps and what qualities you should look for in a workplace.  The best advice we’ve seen, comes from Ned Hallowell. Hallowell has written 18 books including one of the most recommended books about ADHD: Driven to Distraction.

In an ADDitude Magazine article, Hallowell gives some excellent advice to get started in figuring out what you want to do when you get out of school.

Two pieces of advice for the ADHD job searcher

If you were going to take just two pieces of advice away from Hallowell’s article it would be this:

  • “The best jobs for adults with ADD are the ones that let them do what they do best and love most,” and
  • “Maintaining a realistic assessment of your strengths and weaknesses are part of the job of planning for — and keeping — a job.”

Your ADHD coach helps you identify those strengths and weaknesses. And if you haven’t figured out what your passion is yet, she can also help you find your path to discovering it.

We’ve known writers, consultants, police officers, lawyers, advertising managers, baseball players, singers, computer geniuses … who have all been successful AND have ADHD.

What do you hope to do when you get out of school?

Have you figured out your strengths and weaknesses?

We’d love to hear from you in the comment section, below.