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Top 10 ADHD Facts
1. A Neurobiological Condition
It is not a behavioural disorder/mental health condition.
2. An Invisible Condition
You can’t see the workings of the brain – that’s why ADHD is so stigmatised! If your leg is broken, you can see it and accommodations will be made. ADHD can often be missed when hyperactivity is internal ie “cognitive hyperactivity” – the brain is going so fast but not the body, so it can often appear as “daydreaming”.
3. A Paradox
ADDersoften have incredible weaknesses in mundane day to day activities and events but incredible strengths in grasping quite complex concepts (…particularly if the concept itself is authentically interesting by virtue of its subject matter, novelty or urgent/otherwise stimulating nature).
4. A Case of Situational Variability
An ADDer may perform poorly in the classroom where they are forced to sit still, listen passively to a teacher and regurgitate information and yet excel when they are tasked with a creative project on a topic that they are interested in and have to present it to the class. Similarly, an ADDermay perform well for a teacher that they like and not perform at all for a teacher that they do not like. It is a case of situational variability. An ADDer once given the freedom will choose an environment that is right for them so that their ADHD is no longer (or less of) an impairment.
5. A Lifelong Condition
ADDers don’t grow out of ADHD as previously thought – external hyperactivity can become cognitive hyperactivity - but the hyperactivity will still be there.
6. Not usually a Stand-Alone Condition
An ADDer will usually have, or develop, other co-morbidities such as anxiety disorder, autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing disorder and/or other specific learning disabilities. Often it can be very difficult to identify which condition is responsible for which trait as there is so much overlap.
7. Different from one ADDer to the next
No two people with ADHD are the same. In addition to the three official sub-types ie predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive/impulsive and combined type, within those sub-sets, typical ADHD traits such as executive function deficiencies and emotional dysregulation can vary hugely from ADDer to ADDer. Also differences in IQ, the presence of co-morbidities, environment etc will play a part.
8. Not really a deficit of Interest
ADDers often get too interested and can hyper-focus on those things that they are authentically interested in to the exclusion of everything else for hours on end. Attention in these situations is anything but lacking!
9. Highly genetic
ADHD runs in families… if a child has ADHD, there is a good chance that one or both parents have ADHD as well!
10. A Superpower
Well it can be… so long as an ADDer learns to manage the challenges and harness the strengths associated with having ADHD and stays away from Kryptonite (which in an ADDer’s case is boredom). ADHD Coaching is hugely beneficial for ADDers in this respect.