Once the concept of a "disability" enters the conservation, often a slight feeling of discomfort can enter the conversation with it. It completely depends on the experience of the individuals in the discussion as to what their perception of a disability is and ADHD is no exception. One of our parents explained to me once how frustrated she was when her son (I'll call him Jimmy Joe)took driver education. She mentioned to the instructor that her son had ADHD. She was ready to suggest that he sit near the front if he needed and that the Mr. X might just want to do a check periodically that Jimmy Joe was following the class discussions. Before she could do this, the instructor responded that "that [was] okay, you can come read him the tests". She was stunned and frustrated because Mr. X had assumed that Jimmy Joe couldn't read.
Another boy I knew was told when he was in middle school that he really shouldn't plan on going to college because his ADHD was "pretty severe you know" so he "really wouldn't get much". He was automatically treated as if he wasn't capable of the learning required in an academically rigorous setting.
In my web wanderings this evening, I stumbled across the NASET (National Association of Special Education Teachers) site and found a wonderful overview of ADHD. The more people can be educated in what ADHD really is, the more individuals with ADHD do not have to feel so stigmatized. Part of the overview explains:
The thinking difficulties associated with ADHD do not have to do with intellectual ability. Instead, they arise out of problems with concentration, memory, and cognitive organization.
To read this accurately, read it again. Intellectual ability is independent of concentration, memory and cognitive organization issues. . . . . . . . . an encouraging thought.
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