John Willson, Executive Director of SOAR, explains how time outdoors calms hyperactivity, impulsivity, and distraction so young people with ADHD can learn to focus and succeed

BALSAM, NC, May 17, 2024 /24-7PressRelease/ — Increased time staring at screens has been scientifically linked with more severe symptoms for children with ADHD, while exercise and time outdoors has been proven to be a natural remedy for these symptoms. John Willson — Executive Director of SOAR which offers camps, a boarding school, and adventure-based gap year programs for youth with ADHD and other learning disabilities — shares how time outdoors calms hyperactivity, impulsivity, and distraction so young people can learn to focus and succeed.

Kids with ADHD can battle anxiety, may struggle with poor social skills and emotional coping skills, and often have poor organizational and executive functioning skills, says John, who has spent over 30 years working in youth programs with an emphasis on individuals diagnosed with learning and attention challenges.

Research links time having fun outdoors with milder symptoms and greater self-efficacy, resilience and well-being for kids with ADHD. An adult thriving with ADHD and the parent of two children living with learning and attention challenges, John has seen countless young people flourish through the outdoor adventures he leads with SOAR and the friendships they cultivate.

SOAR uses activities such as rock climbing to teach kids about planning, problem-solving, and goal-setting that benefit them in school and life.

“I’ve never seen a kid unfocused rappelling off a cliff,” John says. “Our kids stay focused because wilderness activities are always exciting and novel.”

John is available to discuiss topics including:

• Embracing ADHD by finding peace in nature.
• Managing ADHD with physical exercise.
• What to look for in a summer camp for your child with ADHD.
• ADHD as a journey of self-discovery and empowerment.

About: John Willson, MS, LRT/CTRS, is Executive Director for SOAR, the world’s premier adventure program serving youth with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and LD (Learning Disabilities). SOAR’s outdoor adventure-based programs provide academic instruction, experiential education, and life skills development for youth and young adults ages 8-25. SOAR stands for Success-Oriented, Achievements Realized. With a passion for fostering resilience and nurturing strengths in neurodiverse communities, John is a respected advocate among those who serve individuals with learning differences and attention challenges. Learn more at

Online press kit:

For more information or interview requests, contact Executive Publicist Michelle Tennant Nicholson at [email protected] or 828-749-3200.

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