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ADHD brains are different.
And with difference comes great strength and great struggle. There are some indisputable advantages to ADHD brains- they work in some unique and marvelous ways. But living with a brain that works differently than much of the rest of the world? That’s hard. That brings pain and struggle.
So maybe we don’t need to define ADHD as a gift or a curse. Maybe we don’t need to compare ADHD brains to neurotypical brains.
Maybe we could acknowledge their difference, their unique beauties, and their strengths but also hold onto the truth that ADHD brains lack a privilege that neurotypical brains have- the privilege to operate in a world created for its brain. And whenever you lack privilege, struggle follows.
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The ADHD Advantage:
But the difference and the struggle that make ADHD both a gift and a burden are precisely what creates its advantage.
The Advantage of Struggle:
Any parenting book worth its salt will tell you not to swoop in and save your child every time he/she faces a problem. Why?
Because it’s a struggle that teaches us.
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Pain and struggle push us out of our comfort zone, it shows us what we are capable of, and it proves to us what we can withstand. And besides that? Struggle and pain help us build empathy and compassion for the struggle and pain of the people around us.
The Advantage of Difference:
Seeing the world differently? Having different experiences? Needing to understand your brain to work it to its fullest? That’s hard. But you know what? That is also beautiful. Because all that difference brings new energy, new perspectives, and new possibilities to the table, that without your unique brain may have been boring, bland, and ever so linear.
When you combine these two advantages, you get that special sauce that makes ADHD brains their flavor of awesome.