Quick Quote – “A Ferrari with Bicycle Brakes”

I wanted to share this great quote by Dr. Edward Hallowell:

Hallowell Ferrari 2

This quote invokes an accurate perspective on the experience of ADHD, and I encourage you to share it with your students. They will easily grasp the metaphor. The contrast between a sports car’s power and the relatively minimal stopping power of bicycle brakes perfectly captures the struggle to focus when you have ADHD.

What’s more, this quote positions ADHD in a positive light. It doesn’t call ADHD a problem. I mean, we’re talking about a Ferrari, which is a high-end vehicle! Since when is having a Ferrari considered to be a problem?

This quote also hints at a constructive path forward. People are always telling students with ADHD to slow down, but that can seem impossible. Dr. Hallowell’s metaphor is more powerful because it talks about building up stronger brakes — aka developing strategies to regulate — which is a much more realistic and empowering way to frame learning to cope with ADHD.

If you’d like to hear more from Dr. Halloway, we are excited to announce that he will be a featured speaker at ResearchILD’s 33rd Annual Learning Differences Conference! This conference, focusing on executive function and social emotional learning, will be held on March 16 – 17, 2018, at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Click here to find out more!

If you do share Dr. Halloway’s quote with your students, let us know how it goes. If you have any other Quick Quotes that you’ve found helpful when working with your students, please leave those in the comments, too!

  • Elizabeth Ross, M.A., SMARTS Media Manager