Probably the most “argued over” theory on ADHD, Thom Hartmann (ADHD himself and father of ADHD kids) does not look at ADHD as a disorder, but argues that ADHD genes have served a vital purpose in society. Hartmann proposes his “Hunter/Farmer” theory, to put the strengths and challenges of ADHD into perspective.
ADHD skills might have been better for hunting than the for more rule based and slow farming, these same skills would also incline people to create art, humour, to explore, to invent and to create new rules, new ideas, new businesses and new approaches. Recent genetic tests on tribal peoples tend to indicate some validity with his theory with them showing more “ADHD-like” genes.
Hartmann’s theories are empowering and helpful to the self-image of people with ADHD. He is persuasive that society is part of the problem, with education focussed on conditioning and is particularly hostile to children with ADHD.
The modern world proves challenging for people with ADHD for many reasons such as lack of exercise, overly constrained, poor diet and lack of exposure to sunlight. It does not really matter whether his theory is correct, it rather serves as a more positive way to look at and understand the brain style of ADHD.