The most decorated Olympic athlete of all time has had to overcome some serious obstacles to get to the podium, notably the distraction, lack of focus, and impulsivity of his ADHD. His mother took a central role in helping him manage his condition during childhood.
Debbie Phelps remembers Michael’s diagnosis. “It made me want to prove everyone wrong. I knew that, if I collaborated with Michael, he could achieve anything he set his mind to.”
There’s no doubt about the importance of supportive parenting for ADHD, which can involve an equal measure of creativity and commitment. Mrs. Phelps encouraged Michael’s swimming and helped him to develop self-discipline, which has provided emotional strength and determination to help him succeed.
“All kids can fail us at times,” Mrs. Phelps states. “But if you work with them, nine times out of 10, they’ll make you proud."