ADHD is the word on everyone’s lips these days. Not just for kids anymore, adults with ADHD have begun to speak out about their experience with the disorder and the way it has affected their life. Extreme Home Makeover host Ty Pennington is among the celebrities with ADHD that have begun to reach out to today’s youth, speaking freely about the effects of ADHD on his life and how he overcame them to become one of the hottest stars on ABC.
“A generation ago, homeowners spotting Ed McMahon on their doorstep became hysterical, knowing that a giant check from Publisher’s Clearinghouse wouldn’t be far behind. Nowadays the hysteria breaks out over the instantly recognizable, wide-toothed grin of Ty Pennington,” says the team at ABC.
The energetic young Pennington led the fast paced world of Extreme Home Makeover to two Emmys for Outstanding Reality Program and two People’s Choice Awards, and under his leadership the show has consistently rated among the top 20 of all television programs since its debut. He is, no doubt, one of today’s most up and coming celebrities. Everyone knows that Ty Pennington’s enthusiastic approach to abc kids home improvement have made Extreme Home Makeover a success.
What many people don’t know is that Ty Pennington suffers from ADHD.
“One day my mom sat down in the hallway and just broke down crying because I was such a handful and a nightmare,” related Pennington during a visit to Sherwood Middle School in Sherwood, Oregon. He spoke with the school’s Bridge Program, a program specially designed for students with mental and behavioral issues such as ADHD. The star freely related to the class how out of control he was as a child, and the effect that had on the people around him.
Ty began displaying symptoms of ADHD at an early age.
“I would strip down naked, and swing from the blinds in my classroom as a child and swear along with that if I didn’t get my way,” he said in an interview for E! network.
His mother Yvonne adds, “In first grade, he’d hoist his desk onto his shoulders and wear it, running around the classroom as the other kids laughed. Teachers insisted he was bright, but just couldn’t sit still. I was constantly getting calls from the principal’s office. I felt like the worst mother in the world.”
Ty was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of seven; however, because his pediatrician didn’t approve of the treatment of pediatric patients with Ritalin he was never given medication. Instead, his mother developed a reward system for him known as “A Token Economy”, in which he received tokens for sitting still and focusing for small increments of time. This system kept his ADHD in check until he was seventeen, at which point his physician encouraged him to try Adderall XR.