Reply To: Apathy! Smart 5th grade boy doesn't care

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Penny Williams

Some people just don’t see the need to push themselves really hard to get A’s when B’s will do just fine. I don’t have ADHD, but I was that student. I was in honors classes in high school, could have made straight A’s if I worked harder, but I was happy with a B for half the effort. My friend had to get A’s on everything and all she did was study.

I will also put out there that teachers often misinterpret symptoms of ADHD as a lack of motivation or laziness, especially when the student is extra smart. What they don’t often realize is that intelligence is not the sole predictor of capability. ADHD impairs functioning.

It does also impair motivation. The ADHD brain is motivated by interest and urgency, NOT importance. If he’s not interested, his brain isn’t going to kick in motivation to do even better because it’s important.

Secrets of Your ADHD Brain

And, I don’t think the effort matters if he is academically successful.

ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism