Parents of kids with ADHD often notice that their kids are drawn to risky activities. Some of these may be impulsive, but not actually dangerous, actions such as jumping off their beds. However, others may be more concerning, such as doing jumps on their bikes or elaborate tricks on their skateboards. One commonality amongst these dangerous activities is that it tends to keep kids with ADHD focused. And kids with ADHD like to feel focused. There is a reason that there is a greater proportion of extreme sports athletes who have been diagnosed with ADHD. Encouraging your child to engage in these hair-raising behaviors might sometimes place them in danger. But these may be the activities that light up their brain. So, should you encourage dangerous jobs for your kids with ADHD?
Other kids are drawn less to the danger of activities but to the novelty and uncertainty in some activities. This willingness to try different things may be a great asset in a world that is changing so fast. Some researchers, such as Dr. Richard Friedman describe ADHD as a “problem of boredom” suggesting that kids with ADHD will be more willing than others to take on the challenges of the future. Friedman cites neuroscience research that demonstrates that people with ADHD “are actually hard-wired for novelty-seeking,” and posits that this trait may have been highly useful to our ancestors who were hunters and gatherers who would scout the environment for food and be alert to ensure their safety. If your child is drawn to activities in which risk, danger, or frequent change is built in, they may be a good fit for the following 21st-century jobs.
Corrections Officer– A corrections officer usually works within the prison system overseeing daily life. They are in charge of the security and safety of their peers and the prisoners. This may appeal to someone who has ADHD due to the fast-paced nature of the job and the varying function. Further, this job can be intrinsically rewarding in that you are helping others.
Military– There are many positions one can pursue in the military, from private first class to an officer. These jobs vary from field work, engineering, and everything in between. The many options the military affords may appeal to someone with ADHD. Additionally, this job is fast-paced and athletically demanding.
Firefighter– A firefighter is an individual that is trained in firefighting and fire rescue. Their primary job is to extinguish fires that threaten people, property or the environment. This career may be appealing to individuals with ADHD who often enjoy excitement. Firefighters work in fast-paced environments with emergencies that happen frequently.
Trial Lawyers- A trial lawyer’s caseload can be different each day of the week. This is a job that requires quick thinking and problem-solving skills. Each case a lawyer takes is different, which may appeal to someone with ADHD who dislikes routine based jobs.
Emergency Room Staff- These professionals need to be quick thinking, focused, and have an interest in medical issues. This can be anything from a nurse to a surgeon. Emergency room jobs provide ongoing stimulation and risk which require high energy levels.
Small business owner- A small business owner is an entrepreneur that is responsible for running and starting their own business. This type of career may suit individuals who have ADHD because the hours are extremely flexible and work days vary every day. This type of work environment is appealing to an adult with ADHD who may struggle with restlessness. This career is also good for individuals with ADHD because they can focus all of their time and attention on a career that they truly love and research shows that individuals with ADHD are able to sustain their attention on activities they enjoy.
What other careers do you think would be beneficial for children with ADHD? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!