//Interview with Debbie Phelps (Michael’s mom) on ADHD

Interview with Debbie Phelps (Michael’s mom) on ADHD

I just watched a great interview with Debbie Phelps about her son Michael’s ADHD. She said that swimming was a perfect sport for him because the lanes are marked and narrow and there is a “T” on the floor of the pool to follow. She said he is able to be in his element. I think having those narrow lanes and lack of visual stimuli helps Phelps focus even more. I notice that when I swim, the busyness in my head stops. I can truly empty out my brain. I equate swimming to meditation.

Since a characteristic of ADHD is hyperfocusing on an enjoyable activity, this could explain Phelps’ drive and ability to practice day after day.

Phelps listens to music on his iPod all the way up until the start of the race. This helps him focus and blocks out distracting stimuli. The interviewer asked Debbie Phelps if Michael’s hectic schedule in Beijing bothers him. No, Debbie said, it helps him. He likes having that structure. I think a lot of us with ADHD would agree that structure is a great benefit to us.

By |2016-10-05T06:46:13+00:00August 16th, 2008|Categories: ADHD|Tags: , , , , |3 Comments

About the Author:

Dr. Stephanie Sarkis is a National Certified Counselor (NCC), Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), and AMHCA Diplomate and Clinical Specialist in Child and Adolescent Counseling based in Tampa Bay, Florida, where she specializes in the treatment of ADD/ADHD. Dr. Sarkis conducts evaluations, testing, diagnosis, and counseling services. She also is a public speaker, consultant, coach, and is a facilitator in collaborative law.


  1. Sue September 7, 2008 at 10:38 am

    I too have a son diagnosed with ADHD and also Oppositional Defiant Disorder When he was 8 yrs old. He is now 22 and still takes medication daily. He has also been diagnosed with depression and takes medication for that. My husband and his father died in May of this year from Cancer and he has been having a really rough time. Like Michael he is rather tall and between the ages of 11 and 16 we had to stop meds as nothing could keep up with the rate of his growth. He went from about 5’5″ to 6’6″ in that time and was completely out of control. We went to many different drs for help and none were effective until we found his current dr. He is doing much better now and is holding down a good job and has had a girlfriend now for a year who is working with us to keep him on track and focused. It has been a very hard struggle but we are overcoming all the roadblocks that occur together and will continue to do so.
    Thanks for your information on ADHD–I wish all this information had been available 15 yrs ago when we were going thru the worst of it!!!!!

  2. GABY LOPEZ September 7, 2008 at 11:49 am


  3. valerie September 7, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Hello, My daughter was diagnosed in 1978, [before there was a name for the disability]. She is now 33y/o, educated, Cirtified Medical Biller, Associate in Business and Bachelors in Education going for her Masters, she intends to work with children with Speciial Needs. How does one cope with an adult with this condition, sometimes I feel like I’m loosing my mind. Thank you.

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