Supporting someone with ADHD
13 Mar 2023
Sep 8, 2023
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Each person is unique, and the way ADHD traits present themselves will be unique to that individual. Supporting someone with ADHD can involve various strategies to help them navigate everyday challenges and achieve their goals. It’s important for everyone to feel in control of their own journey, so it’s always best to discuss with the person how and whether they would like to be supported. Here are some ideas for ways to support someone with ADHD:
🔍 Educate yourself
Learn as much as you can about ADHD, its traits, strengths and the challenges it can pose. This will help you understand better what the person with ADHD experiences and how best to support them. By understanding the characteristics of ADHD, it can help you be more empathetic and understand when they display those traits, such as if they interrupt a conversation.
📝 Help implement a routine
Often people with ADHD find a routine really useful. Help them create a rough schedule with the most important tasks at times when they are typically most productive. Including hobbies and exercise as well as tasks will make implementing the routine more enjoyable. Having the routine written down can help them refocus when they become distracted.
✔ Help them prioritise
People with ADHD sometimes struggle to complete full tasks and may find it overwhelming. Even if something seems like a minor effort to you, understand that it can look completely different to someone with ADHD, and present a real challenge. Help them break down the tasks into smaller chunks and identify the most important ones. This makes things more manageable and less daunting.
🤗 Provide emotional support
Some people with ADHD sometimes struggle with self-criticism, anxiety, or low self-esteem due to the challenges they might face. Imagine if you regularly received criticism for things that you felt were out of your control? It could cause you to be really hard on yourself. You can help by listening to their concerns, offering emotional support, and celebrating their successes.
🗣 Advocate for accommodations
Depending on their needs, the person may seek accommodations in school, work, or other settings. If someone’s brain functions differently in ways that could make these environments particularly challenging, then it’s important to help them succeed by levelling the playing field. If they’d like the support, you can help advocate for them to receive the necessary accommodations such as flexible working, extra time on exams, or assistive technology.
Every person with ADHD has different traits and many people already have strategies in place to help with any struggles they have. So the support you provide may work for one person but may not work for another. Always ask the person with ADHD how you can best help them and listen to their feedback and suggestions.