75% of children with ADHD have a relative with ADHD. As it turns out, males are over-diagnosed and females are under-diagnosed. The ratio between diagnosed males and females is 4:1, so every four males diagnosed, one female is. Girls and women are usually diagnosed with depression and mood disorders, instead of ADHD.
Another interesting fact is that 60 to 70% of children with ADHD will keep on having ADHD in adulthood. Therefore, it is important to know that ADHD is not just a childhood disorder.
Now, as for the brain, the ADHD brain functions differently than the neurotypical brain. People with ADHD usually pay attention to everything, but as their attention divides, they end up paying attention to nothing. They also have the ability to hyperfocus, whenever they find something new and interesting, they will be able to submerge in that activity for hours at a time, but as soon as the novelty wears off, they lose both, interest and focus. In addition, the ADHD brain does not have a reliable sense of time, not order. Therefore, the combination of a lack of sense of time and the need for a challenge is why it’s easier for them to get things done at the last minute because then things become urgent and challenging.
Another characteristic of the ADHD brain is acting without thinking because the brain tends to disconnect thinking and reacting. So, they usually don’t seem to learn from experience, which is why they can repeat the same mistakes over and over again. So it’s not that they don’t listen, or pay attention, it’s that the ADHD brain works differently.
On another hand, the ADHD brain can’t access memories on demand, which is why sometimes people with ADHD can blurt out information, and other times they do not remember anything. This makes them doubt if they actually know things, they are never sure that they know things.
Finally, as the ADHD brain has this amazing hyperfocus ability and it sees the world differently, so people with ADHD are creative and they become great problem solvers, who are able to think outside the box.
In conclusion, we should never compare the ADHD brain to the neurotypical brain, they just work differently.
The ADHD brain can be taught some behaviors and tricks to function easier in a neurotypical world, that’s where neurofeedback, medication, cognitive and behavioral therapy come in, they do help make it easier to adapt and function. But at the same time, a holistic approach is useful as well because people with ADHD can adapt to the neurotypical world but they should also learn to exploit the creativity, hyperfocus, and problem-solving abilities of their brains because these are extraordinary abilities.
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