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How Art Helps with Symptoms of ADHD

By Edited Dec 2, 2015 0 0

Art Helps Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder - ADHD

All Natural ADHD Remedies

Children and adults with ADHD are often visually-oriented. In Gardener’s theory of Multiple Intelligences, “Spatial” intelligence is described as a way of thinking in which the visual mind is keen. Fields of endeavor in which spatial intelligence is of value are for artists, architects and designers. Because we live in a highly visual world, children and adults are often bombarded with fast-paced imagery through the media when watching television, including television cartoons and commercials and fast-paced video games. This can affect the mind and thinking of some.


In a study conducted by Iowa State University researchers, it was found that playing video games, like television, contributes to attention problems. Contrastingly, Daniella Barroqueira, Ph.D. art professor at Illinois State University, sites her own attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and states that art has helped her with her symptoms. She is an art professor and says with respects to her ADHD, that the only place she feels really comfortable, “is in the artroom”.


A middle school art teacher similarly states that in his own middle school and high school years, when on medication for ADHD, art was one of the only things that helped him. He took up art in college, came off medication when entering college, and went on to become a highly successful art teacher in a challenging inner city school. He stated that the only two things that helped him was art and physical activity associated with sports-exercise.


The writer of this article has noted that in the classroom and with pre-teen boys with ADHD or symptoms of ADHD, individual attention helps some pre-teens in overcoming symptoms of ADHD, and that many children with symptoms of ADHD are better able to focus when creating works of art. The patterns of thinking by regularly creating artworks help both children and adults with ADHD. It is a healthy and positive activity and should be encouraged in the classroom and as a hobby for those struggling with attention problems. What is more, creating works of art contributes to self-esteem, something valuable for anyone who struggles with symptoms of ADHD.


Additionally, and conversely, time spent creating works of art translates to time not spent watching television or playing video games. This helps parents to more easily limit the time their children’s media time. This results in positive benefits for most children, but especially for those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. 


Encouraging artwork for children with attentional problems, is one of many positive therapies, activities, lifestyle changes or coping skills, which can help children to overcome symptoms of ADHD without medication. While there is no cookie-cutter formula for “curing” ADHD, there is much that parents can do, and much that adults with ADHD can do, to train the mind towards greater focus and self-control, and to both manage and overcome symptoms associated with the disorder.

Self-help for ADHD

All Natural Remedies for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Self-help for ADHD
Credit: Association for Youth, Children and Natural Psychology


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  1. Association for Youth, Children and Natural Psychology Overcoming ADHD Without Medication: A Parent and Educator's Guidebook. Newark, NJ: Association for Youth, Children and Natural Psychology, 2009.

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