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5 Ways People Try to Help Someone With ADHD That Aren’t Actually Helpful (and What to Do Instead)

What not to do

  1. Organizing or cleaning up for someone with ADHD.

-Out of sight out of mind.

-What might not look organized to a neurotypical brain might look organized

for someone with an ADHD brain. The ADHD brain often needs to see things

in order to remember them.

What to do instead

  1. Clean with them

-You want to organize with them in ADHD-friendly ways.

What not to do

2. Encourage them to finish the assignment asap and then take a break.

What to do instead

2. Break things up instead.

-People with ADHD have a hard time focusing and being motivated. They often

need breaks because their brain does not have the capacity to finish tasks all

in one go

-Pomodoro timer technique

-Ask the person with ADHD what might be the most helpful for them.

What not to do

3. When an assignment is late, let them submit it whenever.

What to do instead

3. Urgency is a motivator for ADHD so asking what is a reasonable time to get it

done and set a new deadline.

What not to do

4. Insisting someone with ADHD uses your system.

-We are now asking them to use a system that might not be natural for them to use

What to do instead

4. Meet the ADHD brain where it's at.

-Look at the parts of the system that are working for them and tweak or expand on

them instead of replacing them with something new


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