Book Excerpt: Lack of Motivation Due to Neurobiological Issues

A key culprit related to lack of motivation in young people with ADHD can be found in one realm of the brain. A youth with a prefrontal cortex that is asleep in some way because of a neurochemical imbalance related to the biology of ADHD can easily be mistaken for a young person who simply does not care or is unmotivated. For the young person to feel motivated, this part of his or her brain first needs to be sufficiently stimulated. Until then, we as coaches, parents, and adults can try to jumpstart these young people into action until we’re blue in the face, but we’re likely to see no tangible results if their brains are not sufficiently activated. Only when the young person’s brain is sufficiently activated (i.e., regulated to have the proper flow of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and epinephrine) can we even begin to hope to see motivation in the young person. Without this brain regulation, motivation is simply an unrealistic expectation.