Though ADHD is classified as a serious disorder, many people have a different perspective and note the positive aspects. ADHD children tend to look at situations in a different manner. They tend to look beyond the norm. "While students are learning the details of photosynthesis, the ADHD kids are staring out the window and pondering if it still works on a cloudy day" (Underwood). Some children might be uneasy about getting into a situation. One positive side of impulsive beahvior is the ability to try new things without trepidation. This can be a strength: "Compulsivity isn't always bad. Instead of dithering over a decision, they're willing to take risks" (Underwood). ADHD does not necessarily slow down a person's learning process. In fact, ADHD can contribute to a faster or more comprehensive learning process, especially if teachers implement effective teaching strategies geared specifically towards the ADHD learner. Some people believe that ADHD can be beneficial and find hints of ADHD in the lives of many famous people in history. Though such post mortem diagnosis is questionable, it is intriguing to ponder the evidence that people such as Thomas Edison might have been diagnosed as having ADHD if the current DSM criteria had been developed long ago. Other historical figures who have been proposed as ADHD candidates include: Hans Christian Andersen, Ludwig van Beethoven, Winston Spencer Churchill, Walt Disney, Benjamin Franklin, Robert and John F. Kennedy, Theodore Roosevelt, Jules Verne, Woodrow Wilson, and the Wright brothers.

To see ADHD positively may seem somewhat problematic to anxious parents but it is at least a perspective that should be kept in mind. With or without hyperfocus, a common manifestation, ADD/ADHD in combination with successful coping skills may be utilized to achieve remarkable accomplishments. The list of historic figures and persons currently well-known in a wide range of fields who have displayed ADD/ADHD symptoms is impressive and may be source of inspiration. See also List of famous people with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder for those who either definitely have (or had) ADD/ADHD or are thought by professionals to have had the disorder.

Although most diagnoses of ADHD are made for children, the DSM definitions of ADHD do not confine the disorder solely to childhood and in fact many adults are also diagnosed with Adult Attention Deficit Disorder (AADD), which is simply the common label for ADHD in adults. Current theory holds that approximately 30% of children diagnosed retain the disorder as adults. Although the disorder may not have been diagnosed in an individual during childhood, it is also currently thought that all adults with the disorder had it in childhood.

Professionals have noted that adults with ADD/ADHD have often developed more coping skills than children, which make symptoms less noticeable to themselves and others.