Myth: People with ADD tend to be unintelligent and probably never will be successful in school or careers.
Reality: Most ADDers are not lacking in intelligence, and many are well above average, even gifted. In addition, they often are highly creative and intuitive. They still have academic difficulties because of the way their nervous systems function. Their best learning styles often differ from the kind of teaching present in most schools (hands on or visual learning versus note 7 taking and lecture, for example.) Some ADDers have other learning problems, such as dyslexia, in addition to ADD.
There are many famous and successful people who have (or, in the case of historical figures, fit the profile of having) ADD. Most lists include Albert Einstein, Ben Franklin, Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison, and Steven Spielberg. In recent years, many movie stars, scientists, politicians, writers, and other well known people have come forward and told stories of having been labeled as “stupid” or showing no promise because of undiagnosed ADD and/or learning disabilities. In fact, elementary school teachers of both Einstein and Edison arrogantly declared that neither boy would amount to anything! Recognizing and treating ADD early can help children to avoid the traumas of negative labeling and failure.