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Why Children With ADHD Sometimes Make Poor Choices

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Children with ADHD certainly aren’t bad children. Still, students with ADHD often make poorer decisions than their classmates. Recent research shows that different learning and decision-making mechanisms are responsible for these behaviors—in other words, it’s simply how their brains are wired. ADHD children who receive behavioral therapy from a child psychiatrist often have the advantage due to learning coping skills.

Everyone makes hundreds of different choices every day, many of them with minimal impact. But for someone with ADHD, it is difficult to make the decisions that are as optimal for him or her as possible. Children with ADHD usually make impulsive decisions, choosing options, which bring a faster but smaller reward instead of the choice that would yield a greater reward down the line. The different decision-making processes take place in the middle of the frontal lobe of the brain.

Results of research like this fundamentally improve our understanding of the way ADHD operates in the brain. As a result, we can better design our therapeutic interventions in the future and improve the treatment process.

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