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Millennials. All they do is Instagram their avocado toast, overpay for espresso, and attend faux music festivals. And folks with ADHD? They’ve bought IQs on par with Invoice Nye.

This proper right here is how rumors get began. Whereas we are able to’t precisely clear up the millennial bit (they’ve helped the avocado toast pattern thrive, no shade), we can set the file straight about ADHD and IQ.

The reality is, there’s no correlation between ADHD (consideration deficit hyperactivity dysfunction) and intelligence or IQ degree — that means the situation doesn’t make somebody any extra or any much less clever than somebody with out.

Since stereotypes like this may result in critical penalties, comparable to delayed remedy, misdiagnosis, and extra, we put collectively this information that will help you get the info proper.

Remind me, what’s “IQ”?

The time period IQ, brief for intelligence quotient, was coined by psychologist William Stern in 1912. It’s a technique of measuring intelligence and mental potential by utilizing a set of standardized checks to find out a rating (your IQ) that ranks a person amongst different individuals of their age group.

Whereas helpful in some ways, IQ testing isn’t an ideal system. Analysis has proven that check outcomes can typically be misused and misunderstood. It’s additionally not clear whether or not perceived intelligence truly interprets to success.

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental dysfunction that manifests through:

  • inattention
  • hyperactivity
  • impulsiveness

Many individuals with ADHD will exhibit signs that enable them to hyperfocus on one thing they like or are fascinated with. This could translate to somebody doing effectively on a venture or excelling at a sure topic.

And whereas that’s nice, it doesn’t essentially imply that particular person has a excessive IQ.

Actually, a 2011 research discovered that ADHD and IQ are literally two completely totally different animals.

The identical report additionally decided that whereas IQ degree can run in households, simply as ADHD can also be linked to genetics, having a member of the family with a bangin’ IQ doesn’t assure that a member of the family with ADHD can have the identical IQ degree.

One other research even discovered that ADHD impacts individuals of all IQ ranges the identical means.

If ADHD doesn’t have an effect on intelligence, what does? Like many issues in life, it’s difficult.

Since there are too some ways to outline and measure intelligence, it’s tough to nail down a easy reply.

Up to now, research haven’t been in a position to definitively pinpoint any particular genes that play key roles in ranges of intelligence. It’s doubtless that a number of genes are at play on this division.

Though we don’t know which particular genes are the tremendous sharp ones, we do know that intelligence is among the most heritable traits. So, your brainy mother and father could also be to thank for that hefty IQ of yours.

On the opposite facet of the coin lives the unfair assumption that individuals with ADHD have decrease IQs. This too is faux information.

Sure, relying on the severity of signs, ADHD can have an effect on skills to pay attention in school or work. However this has nothing to do with precise intelligence.

What’s the large deal? So what if individuals assume you’re a Mensa in coaching? It could possibly’t harm to be considered a genius, proper? Properly, maintain on to your honorary diploma for only a second.

Letting these unfaithful associations thrive might lead somebody with ADHD to resolve to skip searching for remedy. Even you probably have high-functioning ADHD, or the power to function at a excessive degree with an ADHD prognosis, you may nonetheless profit from a remedy plan.

Moreover, assuming somebody with ADHD has a low IQ can forestall that particular person from residing as much as their potential. It may even affect their lecturers and oldsters to miss their potential, too. Not cool.

ADHD signs can pop up early — at the same time as early as three to six years outdated. And in 2016, it was estimated that about 9 p.c of kids ages 2 to 17 have ADHD.

Dad and mom can start remedy for his or her youngsters early on, which is why it’s vital to not get caught up within the IQ-ADHD stereotype.

It’s additionally vital to notice that ADHD might be mistaken for different circumstances, like bipolar dysfunction or autism. Seeing a physician early on can distinguish these circumstances sooner and get the suitable remedy plan in place.

An individual with ADHD mostly experiences:

  • restlessness (they’ll get hella bored)
  • hassle with focus, like following instructions or finishing duties
  • forgetfulness
  • poor time administration
  • a tough time sitting nonetheless

They might additionally act impulsively and discuss excessively, in addition to be impatient, like interrupting conversations.

None of those are linked to IQ. Inform a good friend.


  • There’s no correlation between IQ and ADHD.
  • Up to now, research aren’t positive what impacts intelligence other than genetics.
  • Perpetuating stereotypes is harmful. It could possibly lead individuals with ADHD or mother and father of kids with ADHD to imagine they don’t have to look into life-improving remedy choices.


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