top of page

Maria From Sound Of Music – We Need You

Written by: Julie Turvey, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Julie Turvey

When watching a movie, it’s hard for me to shut my therapist brain off. Sometimes while watching, I naturally start to categorize symptoms and diagnose. (Disclaimer: a person cannot receive an official diagnosis without meeting with a licensed mental health provider or medical doctor.)

person using mobile phone

While watching The Sound of Music recently, it hit me: Maria may have ADHD! (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). She is gifted creatively, chronically late, impulsive, funny, easily distracted, has difficulty completing tasks, has a deep sensitivity to others' emotions, doesn’t follow the rules, didn’t “fit in” to typical society, and has a strong connection to nature. The beauty of the movie is that she surrenders to her gifts, trusts herself, (after much struggle and exploration) makes her own creative way in the world, and the world winds up being much better as a result (As most of you know, the movie is based on a true story of the VonTrapp family singers).

Thank You Maria, you are perfect just the way you are. May everyone with ADHD find their wonderful path and not give up until they find it.

Ok, ok, I know you’re thinking; why do we have to diagnose? Aren’t we all just unique and creative beings? Yes we are. No one is exactly like you. However, people with ADHD have different brain chemistry. People with ADHD struggle because they are trying to “fit in” to the neurotypical world. But with some support, understanding their strengths and challenges, and educating loved ones around them about their needs, they can lead successful lives.

What are symptoms of ADHD? Many of us may have a few of the traits of ADHD so might think we have it. However, to officially qualify, we need to have a consistent pattern of the behaviors for at least six months, traits present before the age of 12, and have at least 5 out of 10 criteria from the ICD-10 (for adults) (international classification of diseases). There are three types of ADHD: Hyperactive, Inattentive, and Combined Type. Some of the traits are: difficulty focusing, frequently misplacing items, often running late, risky behaviors, difficulty listening, difficulty prioritizing important tasks, difficulty regulating emotions, restlessness, memory challenges, as well as social and relationship related struggles. These symptoms must cause significant impairments in daily functioning to qualify for a diagnosis. How we treat ADHD and what to do is for another article, but I want to take some time to briefly discuss symptom awareness.

Do you remember some of the lyrics from the song “Maria” in the movie? I can picture the nuns singing it now, perplexed about what to do with her:

“How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?

How do you catch a cloud and pin it down?

How do you make her stay and listen to all you say?

How do you keep a wave upon the sand?

How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

(Excerpted from the song Maria, lyrics by Rodgers and Hammerstein)

Are you a Maria or a parent of a Maria?

I have a child with ADHD. When hearing the words to the “Maria” song, I could deeply relate to it. Children with ADHD are often the last one to complete a task. They can also have a deep sensitivity to all things in the environment, trouble regulating emotions, difficulty focusing, as well as difficulty listening and following through with a task. Yet, if we can accept and love them as they are, we may get the opportunity to see the world in such a special way. Just a trip to Costco can make us laugh. The way their brain interprets their surroundings with creativity and out of the box thinking is wonderful.

In my opinion, people with ADHD do not have a deficit of attention. Rather, they have an abundance of attention to everything happening around them. They have difficulty focusing on the more mundane or boring tasks than others who are neurotypical. Their ability to focus on information others overlook is perhaps one of their greatest strengths and why they are so needed in this world.

There is hope. Having ADHD or parenting a child with ADHD isn’t easy; it takes self-awareness, patience and a willingness to learn and be open to looking at things through a different worldview. But if you can accept the differences, highlight their strengths and support their dreams, anything is possible.

Thank You Maria, you are perfect just the way you are. May everyone with ADHD find their wonderful path and not give up until they find it.

Follow me on Instagram and visit my website for more info!

Julie Turvey Brainz Magazine

Julie Turvey, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Julie Turvey, Licensed Psychotherapist, has been working in the mental health field for over 25 years. Julie is passionate about helping people with depression, anxiety and ADHD overcome challenges and live a joyful life.


  • linkedin-brainz
  • facebook-brainz
  • instagram-04


bottom of page