If you have ADD, Welcome Aboard! I am blessed with ADD and enjoy every minute of it.

Approximately three to six percent of the American population is believed to have ADD. ADD stands for “Attention Deficit Disorder.”

My belief is that ADD is misnamed. Instead, it should be named ...If you have ADD, Welcome Aboard! I am blessed with ADD and enjoy every minute of it.

Approximately three to six percent of the American population is believed to have ADD. ADD stands for “Attention Deficit Disorder.”

My belief is that ADD is misnamed. Instead, it should be named "Attention Expansion Advantage" (AEA). People with AEA/ADD have certain mental and physical characteristics that give them distinct advantages. These same characteristics also present several drawbacks. I believe the condition was named by focusing on the drawbacks and completely overlooks the advantages. AEA/ADD people are not normal. They can rarely be controlled. Thus, normal (non-ADD) people have labeled ADD people with the "Disorder" tag. The term "Disorder" being defined by The American Heritage Dictionary as a "disturbance of the normal physical or mental health."

People with AEA/ADD are very special.

AEA/ADD people can and do perform remarkable things, when they understand their advantages and utilize them, and understand the drawbacks and overcome them. For example, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, John F. Kennedy, John Lennon, Henry Ford, Mozart, Galileo, and Winston Churchill, were believed to have AEA/ADD. Terry Bradshaw, Robin Williams, Magic Johnson, Henry Winkler, and Mohammed Ali are also believed to have it. (I personally conversed with Mohammed Ali for three hours and was privileged to see how special his mind worked.) They were and still are very special people BECAUSE they have AEA/ADD.

Physical characteristics of AEA/ADD.

People with AEA/ADD do not have the filters normal people have that restrict the volume and capacity of the brain to receive input from the five basic senses. Smell, Sight, Touch, Hearing, and Taste. AEA/ADD people hear, taste, smell, feel, and see things that normal people do not. It can be said that ADD/AEA people do not have an attention deficit. Instead, their attention is expanded, because AEA/ADD people are far more attuned to their surroundings. They receive and process much more information through the five senses. As an example, I understand that a normal person can hear sounds between 20 and 20,000 Hz. An AEA/ADD person might hear sounds between 10 and 30,000 Hz. This relative difference is true for the other four senses as well. They also have more difficulty blocking out input from the five senses. For example, it is much harder for ADD/AEA people to ignore noises that normal people can ignore, or do not even hear.

In addition, the brains of AEA/ADD people operate much faster than those of other people, estimates range from two to three times faster. For one thing their brains have to operate faster to process all of the additional input they are receiving from the five senses. In fact, their brains seek constant input. Their brains are almost always on full throttle. Consequently, AEA/ADD people appear to have much higher and longer lasting energy levels.

AEA/ADD people are most often very intelligent. But their intelligence is not always readily apparent. Albert Einstein had to take the fifth grade over again. AEA/ADD people are most often very impulsive, because their brains naturally circumvent the “rational” part of their brain that restricts clear thoughts by considering the input of others. The impulsive conclusions that AEA/ADD people so readily make are virtually always very accurate, and are frequently outside the comprehension of normal people. AEA/ADD people then frequently quickly act on their very astute conclusions and these “impulsive” actions most always create uncomfortable, reactive, and unfortunately retaliatory reactions by the normals who do not understand what is really taking place. Since the normals constitute about 95% of the population they outnumber the AEA/ADD people and we ADD/AEAers are told we are disruptive and that we have a disorder, because of their negative reactions to our impulsive conclusions. As an example, I used my ADD to quickly (impulsively) grab two passengers in my car before a very likely accident occurred to keep them in their seats upon impact. This was before seat belts. I was the driver. I managed to avoid the other car that ran the red light. The impact did not occur. I would have clearly saved their lives upon impact, but they both reacted angrily at my impulsive action. To this day they have never accepted that the other car ran a red light and my swerving missed that car by only inches. They only remember my quick arm pinning them against their seats.

However, when AEA/ADD people are able to use their exceptional information gathering capabilities, because of their faster, less restricted, ability to process this additional information, and they are able to channel their impulsiveness, they can present their remarkable conclusions and results to the normals in a way that will be readily accepted.

Sometimes AEA/ADD people will feel down, because of the frustrations of dealing with the normal, slower world, which can be troublesome if they let these frustrations get to them. However, AEA/ADD people frequently bounce back to their normal energetic levels.

It is also my experience that AEA/ADD is passed down directly from parents to their children. We have found that a vast majority of AEA/ADD people has, at least, one parent who also has it, whether they know or admit it. This is a blessing, because this gives ADD/AEA children, at least, one parent who can easily relate to them by operating at their same speed.

Blessings of having AEA/ADD.

AEA/ADD people operate in a mindset that is outside the world of normal people. Consequently, they constantly think out of the box. AEA/ADD people see more of the world and are able to process the additional information to see the truth in things that normal people frequently overlook. They are very creative and constantly take themselves, their thoughts, and their ideas places that normal people rarely know exist. AEA/ADD people want to be trailblazers and they most often are. They are very adept at reading other people, especially in one on one personal interactions. AEA/ADD people can recognize, understand and organize extremely complex ideas, concepts, and processes. They have an extremely sensitive, very acute and very accurate sixth sense. Their hunches and intuition are remarkable, and are almost scary at times.

They frequently have spurts of boundless energy, and then they like to hibernate. They have the unusual ability to hyper focus, and do so for long periods of time. By hyper focus I mean they can direct their entire mind and body on complex, yet specific activities and get into zones of concentration that are very remarkable. This hyper focus produces spectacular achievements. Thomas Edison was legendary for his spurts of hyper focus. He tested over 5,000 different light filament materials, before he finally found the one that worked. They can think extremely fast on their feet and react faster than most people. They can also conduct multiple activities at the same time. This is called multitasking.

In summary, AEA/ADD people are blessed with the ability to receive additional information through their senses, they are able to process all of this additional information and reach accurate conclusions very quickly, and they have the intelligence, energy, focus, and motivation to go places and create things that normal people are most likely not aware of.

Drawbacks of AEA/ADD as seen by normal people.

In the eyes of normal people, AEA/ADD people have the following impediments that provided the basis to call it a "Disorder." AEA/ADD people cannot be controlled. (They can be convinced, but not controlled) They can be fidgety and impatient, especially in confined meetings, like school classes (because they get bored). AEA/ADD people appear to be disorganized (invariably messy). They appear to be easily distracted, (because they react to sensory information not perceived by others). They appear to have difficulty focusing on anything for very long (because they get bored). But they also get into zones where it is difficult to interrupt them. They appear to frequently forget to complete things (like completing paperwork), or forget about important dates and events (like meetings). They can have brilliant ideas but often forget about them later.

They can be difficult to talk to, because they frequently interrupt normal people and sometimes even finish their sentences, and they regularly bounce from subject to subject. They appear to be very impulsive and frequently do or say things that are out of the norm. They frequently address the truth in things, and appear to have fewer social graces. They are frequently stubborn and challenge information presented by others, and are far more often than not right. They tend to get bored easily. They normally do not perform repetitive tasks well. They seek challenges and change. They have difficulty turning their brains off, or slowing them down. Their minds are either seeking more input or creating more ideas.

The special relationship between ADD/AEA people.

Yet, when two AEA/ADD people meet and interact, few of the above drawbacks occur. Watching two AEA/ADD people talk about matters they both enjoy can be a trip. That's because many of the "drawbacks" that frequently bother normal people, do not affect ADD/AEA people. Thus, some of the drawbacks represent the uncomfortable ways normal people (only) react to the behaviors of people with AEA/ADD. Two AEA/ADD people will have similar energy levels, think at the same speed, focus at the same levels, are tuned into similar input from their expanded senses, and process the information at the same speed. They are much more in tune with each other and communicate with much less difficulty. AEA/ADD people are not bothered as much by bouncing from subject to subject, fidgeting, impatience, boredom, lack of social graces and impulsiveness when they communicate with each other.

Drawbacks ADD/AEA people want to overcome.

However, there are some drawbacks that AEA/ADD people want to overcome to live a more effective and enjoyable life. These drawbacks include the tendency of forgetfulness, the tendency to be over impulsive, and the tendency to be impatient in communicating with normal people. ADD/AEA people also appear to have difficulty completing tasks and projects required by others. They appear to lack control over their desire and ability to focus. They also have difficulties in remembering names of others. The main cause for all of these drawbacks is BOREDOM! That’s right, AEA/ADD people much too often allow themselves to be placed into situations where they become easily bored, and the above drawbacks result from this boredom. Yet, there are solutions to boredom that will virtually eliminate these drawbacks.

ADD/AEA people are in the minority.

The reality is that “normal” people far out number ADD/AEA people. Thus, ADD/AEA people are frequently disparaged, degraded, and criticized because they do not conform to the way "normal" people think and interact with others. Normal people apply considerable pressure on ADD/AEA people to get with the program and adjust to be like everyone else.

The common solution to correcting ADD impediments.

One of the most common solutions to "fix" ADD people is to prescribe drugs (normally amphetamines). They are frequently used to convert ADD people (especially children) into being more "normal" and more controllable. These drugs generally slow the brains of ADD people down, reduce their tendencies to be over impulsive, to be fidgety, and they decrease tendencies to be distracted. There are a number of drugs available that affect ADD people in different ways. Unfortunately, ADD patients are not always matched with the right drugs for them. When this happens, ADD patients have frequently felt that they lose the blessings of AEA/ADD, and that they lose control over their own minds and turn into less than alive people. In my opinion, drugs are not the fix all solution for people with ADD. Not all ADD people respond favorably to the drug solution. (I have never used any drugs for ADD, and my two ADD children voluntarily chose to cease their prescribed medications, and prospered thereafter). When done right, drugs can provide beneficial solutions to some of the drawbacks of ADD, but not all of them.

Unfortunately, the powers of drug companies to push their ADD medications caused at least one supposedly “ADD support group” to demand that I change this section and recommend ADD medications as the only solution, before they would publish this article. I declined.

Other solutions to AEA/ADD drawbacks.

There are other ways to overcome these drawbacks. These include the full understanding of the behavioral differences of being AEA/ADD, and adjusting behavioral practices to control these issues at a very practical and desirable level.

As an example, let's discuss a solution to the forgetfulness drawback. AEA/ADD people need to create a "to do" list that they have by their side at all times, and constantly monitor and review. Whenever they come up with an idea or agree to do something (without a time limit) they must immediately write the key words to each matter on the "to do" list. The "to do" list becomes their index for action items. In addition, they want to have a calendar with them at all times that they also review frequently. Whenever they decide to do something that is time dependent, like meet someone for lunch, remember a birthday (AEA/ADD people are notorious for forgetting birthdays and anniversaries) or turn in a report, they need to put it on the calendar.

The Life (ADD) Coach Solution.

Another example of a non-drug based process to is to use a life (or ADD) coach to accomplish, at least, one coachable goal. Sometimes, using a life (or ADD) coach is done in conjunction with using the right medication. By using a coach, AEA/ADD people will discover what their true (and special) talents are, what their unique self-imposed obstacles (drawbacks) are, what their true passions (zeal for creativity) are, what their true priorities are, and what their values and beliefs (spirituality) are. The unique blessings they have because of their AEA/ADD will also be discovered and recognized. AEA/ADD people will work with their coach to achieve their coachable goals around their special unique priorities and characteristics uncovered in the discovery process. This way the AEA/ADD person will be able to use their special and unique gifts in a natural way to achieve their goals. In other words, they create the situations where they achieve their goals by being themselves. By focusing on achieving their coachable goals by living and acting on their terms, they basically change their environment to suit them. (What a concept).

There are other behavioral solutions to virtually all of the "drawbacks" that do not include drugs and that allow AEA/ADD people to gain control over their brains and maximize the unique blessings they were given.


Having AEA/ADD places people in a very special and blessed category. AEA/ADD people can easily enjoy a very wondrous and rewarding life because they have it, when they understand their AEA/ADD, manage their drawbacks, and accentuate their unique gifts to reach whatever life and other goals they set. Two of my four children also have ADD and they are shining because they have it. I have thoroughly enjoyed my gifts from AEA/ADD, and I have prospered because of what the blessings from AEA/ADD have allowed me to do. You can too!

Provided as an educational service by Bill Dueease of The Coach Connection, where “connecting great people with great coaches” is their goal. You may receive a free copy of the article “The Ten Paths to Human Improvement” by contacting The Coach Connection at 800-887-7214, 239-415-1777, coaches@findyourcoach.com, or http://www.findyourcoach.com/0o-add-coach.htm

Author's Bio: 

Bill Dueease is a former business coach and co-founder of The Coach Connection, (TCC) an organization created to help people succeed through all forms of life coaching. Bill and The Coach Connection have connected over 1,200 people (many with ADD) with their ideal coaches since June 2001. Remarkably, 96% of TCC’s clients have achieved their initial personal and professional goals because TCC ensures that the four key conditions critical to coaching success are met before the client engages their coach. TCC operates internationally with clients in fifteen countries and over 138 prescreened coaches in five countries. Contact Bill at 800-887-7214 or at The Coach Connection