Most people are unaware of the connection between dyslexia and ADD or ADHD. It has been estimated that between 30 – 60% of kids with dyslexia also have either ADD or ADHD.
“Challenges with processing emotions start in the brain itself. Sometimes the working memory impairments of ADHD allow a momentary emotion to become too strong, flooding the brain with one intense emotion.” Thomas Brown, Ph.D.
Brain imaging studies demonstrate that chemicals that activate reward-recognizing circuits in the brain tend to bind on significantly fewer receptor sites in people with ADHD than do those in a comparison group. People with ADHD are less able to anticipate pleasure or register satisfaction with tasks for which the payoff is delayed. Few doctors factor in emotional challenges when making an ADHD diagnosis. In fact, current diagnostic criteria for ADHD include no mention of “problems with emotions.” Yet recent research reveals that those with ADHD have significantly more difficulty with low frustration tolerance, impatience, hot temper, and excitability than a control group. Sometimes the working memory impairments of ADHD allow a momentary emotion to become too strong. At other times, working memory impairments leave the person with insufficient sensitivity to the importance of a particular emotion because he or she hasn’t kept other relevant information in mind. Challenges with emotions start in the brain itself. Sometimes the working memory impairments of ADHD allow a momentary emotion to become too strong, flooding the brain with one intense emotion [emotional intensity or insensitivity] . At other times, the person with ADHD seems insensitive or unaware of the emotions of others. Brain connectivity networks carrying information related to emotion seem to be somewhat more limited in individuals with ADHD. Some people with ADHD don’t suffer from a lack of awareness of important emotions, but from an inability to tolerate those emotions enough to deal effectively with them. They become caught up in behavior patterns to avoid painful emotions that seem too overwhelming — looming deadlines or meeting an unfamiliar group of people.
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