Monday, August 18, 2008

Michael Phelps gained focus from his ADHD

From a China Daily report August 16 about Michael Phelps' mother. Many ADHD publications and blogs have written about Phelps' ADHD and interviewed his mom before. Deborah Phelps also runs a moms and ADHD page on Facebook. (Thanks to adderworld for the tip.)

This is not the first time his mother Deborah Phelps, a teacher and now an administrator, has faced the media. She has been in the background of Phelps astounding career since the 2000 Olympics, when her third child made his Olympic debut.

Many of the stories are about a younger Phelps and her efforts to get him through attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), with which he was diagnosed as a child.

There were years when Ms Phelps would hear his teachers constantly saying things like: "Your son will never be able to focus on anything."

Ms Phelps dismisses any talk about the secret of her success in turning the young ADHD sufferer into a multi-world-record breaking champion.

"I'm the parent, not the coach or the agent or whatever there is to be."

That means being "a supportive listener, not a coach or decision-maker."

Ms Phelps recalled once when Phelps decided not to take medication for his hyperactivity.

"I was always stern as a parent," she said, "but from Day 1, I included my children as part of the decision process. So I listened." After consulting with their family doctor, Phelps stopped medication.

"I've been there not to dictate or guide. I'm there to listen to what he wants to do and try to help him solve problems and make a wise decision," Ms. Phelps told ABC News.