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Can smart kids have ADHD?

Can smart kids have ADHD?

One of the biggest misconceptions we hear at LearningRx is that smart kids can't have a learning disability, such as ADHD. But nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, kids with learning disabilities often have average to above-average intelligence! 

Just think of some of the most brilliant minds who were thought to have attention struggles (with or without hyperactivity):

• Albert Einstein 

• Walt Disney 

• Sir Richard Branson (business mogul)

• John F. Kennedy

• Emma Watson (graduated from Brown University)

• Scott Kelly (astronaut)

• Daneil Koh (holds two degrees from Harvard!)

The 411 on Cognitive Skills

Intelligence is simply a measurement of how well cognitive skills function, and it's common for bright kids to have one or more brain skills in need of strengthening.

Cognitive skills are the underlying tools that enable kids to focus successfully, think, prioritize, plan, understand, visualize, remember and solve problems. Those skills include auditory processing, visual processing, short and long-term memory, comprehension, logic and reasoning, and attention skills. If one of these skills is weak, it can affect the brain's ability to perform efficiently.

Need some examples of how your kid has more learning potential?

1. Imagine a brilliant student whose processing speed makes timed tests frustrating. The student may get 100% on the exam, but their processing speed requires them to get more time than their peers.

2. Picture a bright girl who finds it challenging to stay focused in class. ADHD is often overlooked in girls because it often manifests as "spacing out" instead of hyperactivity (i.e., more often seen in boys).

3. Sometimes, bright kids can read well, but their comprehension skills aren't up to par. Reading the same paragraph multiple times slows them down and makes it more difficult to excel in school because they complete all the required reading but don't comprehend what they read.

Ready to take the next step?

If you think your smart student has more learning potential, a LearningRx Brain Skills Assessment can help determine the root cause of the learning challenges. Visit to find your nearest LearningRx Brain Training Center to schedule an assessment.