Research in the field of ADHD and ASD has almost exclusively focused on the deficits associated with those conditions. We think that researching strengths, excellence and positive aspects related to ADHD and ASD will increase our understanding of these conditions and will generate a more balanced and more complete picture of ADHD and ASD. Also we think that this new knowledge will contribute to coping with ADHD and ASD and increase the quality of life for those with neurodevelopmental conditions.
One of our first projects in this field is a direct result of the ADHD and creativity projects: not only ADHD is often linked with increased creative abilities but also for ASD there is evidence for a link with creativity. We want to find out how the creativity skills linked to ADHD compare to those of ASD. Master student Victoria Trindade Pons from Brazil and Marije Stolte, a researcher from Utrecht University are collaborating on this project. Update 2022: The manuscript was recently published.
So far we have focused on creativity as a strength of ADHD because there was already some research published on this topic. We want to expand our view and focus on other strengths as well. We have worked together with Impuls & Woortblind, the organisation for people with ADHD, dyslexia and dyscalculia, to identify additional strengths in ADHD. This project is now published (2022) and has won an Open Sciene Award 2022.
There are qualitative studies which show positive aspects of ADHD, however, to get a better understanding of positive aspects of ADHD, we also want to provide quantitative evidence. Master student Lessa Schippers worked on a project that used academic prolific to collect data on quantiative measures of strengths in ADHD. This manuscript is now in preparation.