Leslie Knope and Maria Von Trapp are the ADHD women heroes we need

sound of parks and rec

Because I was diagnosed with ADHD at such a young age, I’ve spent years searching for characters in TV and movies that may have the same disorder. Perhaps unsurprisingly, though, I’ve never seen any actor, of any degree of fame, play a woman with bona fide, diagnosed attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. But that doesn’t mean there have been no ADHD women characters; just that they have never been identified as such on or off-camera.

If you look closely, in fact, you may very well find that many characters in television and film display multiple symptoms of ADHD and that some of these characters are women. For me, the two greatest examples are Maria Von Trapp from the classic film “The Sound of Music,” played by Julie Andrews, and Leslie Knope from the NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation,” played by Amy Poehler.

If you look closely, in fact, you may very well find that many characters in television and film display multiple symptoms of ADHD and that some of these characters are women. Click To Tweet

What makes me say that? Well…

They hyperfocus.

They’re extra creative and resourceful.

 Sometimes their short-term memory isn’t the best…

…And they can be a *little bit* clumsy.

But they aren’t afraid to break the rules…

…And they always stand up for what they believe in.

The fact that Poehler and Andrews played the characters mentioned above is noteworthy in and of itself. It signifies that someone out there deemed women with symptoms of ADHD as roles worthy of A-list celebrities. And while their symptoms inevitably sometimes served as comic relief, in general, the implication was that these women could and should be looked up to by viewers — ADHD symptoms and all.

In my humble opinion, that makes Maria Von Trapp and Leslie Knope two of the greatest on-camera heroines of all time.

Who are YOUR favorite ADHD characters? 

1 Comment

  1. Meli Hull January 13, 2018 at 10:16 am PST

    Dude, I’ve never thought about Leslie Knope having ADHD, but I can see it. My favorite ADHD character is Clementine from the Clementine books.

    Reply

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