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The Evolutionary Argument for ADHD--Editorial

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So many children have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) now that it makes me question the evolutionary development of this condition. Are we evolving toward a more hyper society, where people are required to do so many things at once and pay attention to so much varied stimuli that developing ADHD is actually in the best interest of our species?

As one article explored, perhaps our hunter's instincts have been distilled in the form of ADHD, where constant threats are being monitored like crazy. Keeping the home front safe with surveillance and a quick reflexes can be a benefit to people living in dangerous times--and what times are not dangerous? http://borntoexplore.org/hunter.htm

Still another article pointed out that for nomadic people, traveling great distances and needing to be constantly aware of their ever changing environment, ADHD can have great advantages as well.

Plus, lots of people with ADHD can multitask without blinking an eye - in fact they would rather be multitasking than concentrating on a riveting novel or a moving piece of art.

Some of the most talented teachers, musicians, writers, athletes and dancers have ADHD, including people I know personally: my son, and many famous people like Ty Pennington, Alfred Hitchcock, Galileo, Mozart and Da Vinci.

Some of our disabilities may prove in the long run to serve our interests and the interests of others. One teacher I know with ADHD is so full of life and energy that her students instantly love her and she comes with idea after idea of creative and interesting activities for them to participate in. She isn't satisfied unless she's on the go with her classes, planning field trips, making things, doing hands-on activities and planting gardens.

ADHD may still be a bit mysterious but it just may be possible that many folks with this condition have so much to offer that it simply doesn't seem like a disability at all.

Aimee Boyle lives, works and writes in CT.

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EmpowHER Guest

I totally agree that ADD is not a "disability" but is a basic human trait. How do you Get Attention Deficit Disorder ? You dont get it ! your born with it.

April 1, 2011 - 9:06pm
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