Inattentive ADHD Genius


Individuals with Inattentive ADHD spend a great deal of time thinking about things which are going on in their minds and a lot less time attending to the here and now. This is considered a major liability in school but it may, in fact, be the seed of great creative inventions.

Albert Einstein as a college student was described as being inattentive, often spaced out, and disorganized. Thomas Edison was said to be an incurable daydreamer, and Frank Lloyd Wright daydreamed so intensely that his family had to shout at him to get him to pay attention to what was happening in front of him.

Poor Robert Frost was kicked out of school for daydreaming and Nikola Tesla could work out his entire inventions in his head without ever putting anything on paper.

I feel that calling these folks inattentive is really kind of silly. These folks were absolutely attending to some pretty heady stuff. What they were not attending to is what is going on in front of them. People with Inattentive ADHD often cannot stop ‘daydreaming’ because what they are thinking about is extremely interesting and what is going on around them is, comparatively, less interesting.

One of the most effective classroom accommodations for children with Inattentive ADHD is to keep them engaged in the learning process. A classroom where an instructor lectures on and on about a topic, without any required input or engagement from the students can be a recipe for disaster for the Inattentive ADHD child. Many parents have found that schools that understand that learning is an active process are a much better fit for children with Inattentive ADHD.

Einstein, Edison, Wright, and Tesla may well have been diagnosed with Inattentive ADHD. Would this have made them less Creative? Some folks believe that putting creative inattentive individuals on medication will stifle their creativity. I actually think that this is not the case. It is actually quite possible that these folks would have been even more creative and even more productive with a bit of medication.

We have anecdotal data that reports that too high a dose of stimulants makes the inattentive less curious but just the right dose is helpful. So these great inventors would probably not have benefited from a high dose of Ritalin but a low dose of Ritalin may have made them even more amazing and productive than they were already.

Tess Messer