Challenges and Gifts of ADHD

Our return guest speaker, illustrator Linda Hurd, talked to the group about the power of art in transforming mundane and at times frustrating experiences into inspiration. Linda says that for her, doing art is “the way to relax, process, and communicate.” She skillfully uses drawings and words to reflect on things that we face on a daily basis.

Linda started using art to reflect on challenges related to LD/ADHD when her two sons were diagnosed with ADHD. They were told that their brain was wired differently, and for Linda, drawing telephone posts with different arrangements of wiring, helped her to reflect on this concept and develop appreciation for differences in wiring (see Linda’s website http://www.lindathurd.com/wired.html).

Her other series of drawings, ADHD Challenges (http://www.lindathurd.com/adhd-challenges.html), reflects on how intense and frustrating it can be to deal with challenges commonly associated with ADHD, such as getting bored easily, difficulty in communication, difficulty changing plans, being indecisive, and tendency to over-complicate things among others. Group members provided their own responses to Linda’s work, relating that “it hurts to move from one task to another. I have to keep reminding myself all of these things. I can relate to not being able to see the big picture – I am stuck on small subtopics, and have difficulty transitioning from detail to big picture and vise versa.”

Linda says, “As I sit and paint, I see things differently.” For example, working on her series of drawings on Laundry (http://www.lindathurd.com/laundry.html) helped her “honor it the way it is and not get frustrated with it.”

Linda points out that each series takes years in the making. According to her, her series look like “acceptance,” but her work does not always start from the positive frame of mind. Linda states, “It looks like acceptance, but it is through pain and frustration [that she arrives to the finished art product and changed attitude].”

To see review of Linda’s presentation to this group in the past, go to http://adhdldsupportgroup.blogspot.com/2012/05/adhd-through-lens-of-art.html

To see Linda’s work, go to http://www.lindathurd.com

Date of this presentation: 3/9/15

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