ADHD Communication Problems 207 Sep

Robert Wilford, Ph.D. and Sarah Ferman, Psy.D., L.M.F.T.

Sometimes, the reason ADHD individuals blurt things out is because they are afraid of forgetting an important thought. Since memory is one issue of ADHD, this is a valid concern, but it is still a poor excuse for constantly interrupting others. To remedy this, ADHD individuals should have a notebook or small computing device handy at all times to record thoughts. This makes it so their “interruptions” are diverted into an acceptable place: instead of interrupting someone else’s sentence, they can simply write down what they have thought, kind of like they’re in a lecture.
There’s another trick to keep in mind if you are apt to finish other people’s sentences, thinking you know where their train of thought is headed. Wait until they have clearly finished a sentence, and then say some kind of affirmative statement like “okay,” “mm-hmm,” “right,” “I see,” or anything that serves as a comfortable pause. Then, take a breath. So, in a conversation, as soon as the other person is done speaking a sentence, you would say something like, “Okay [breath],” and then give your response. In this way, you are contributing a comfortable flow to the conversation.
Other communication problems might include changing the subject or not talking. Both of these occur when the ADHD individual’s mind is wandering, often about thoughts, feelings, and worries that are completely unrelated to their current conversation topic. In these situations, it often helps to catch yourself when your mind is off on a different subject, and to tell yourself, “Be here now.” Over time, you may be better able to pay attention even when your natural inclination is to get distracted.
These are some of the most common communication problems that individuals with ADHD face every day. Sometimes, medications like Adderall or Ritalin can help with issues like hyperactivity, inattention, or impulsivity, but even so, the aforementioned strategies will take you the rest of the way. Hopefully, by adopting them, you will be ready to have pleasant, comfortable conversations.

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Most medical doctors who treat ADD/ADHD do so as part of a larger practice. ADHD Specialists focuses primarily on only treating ADD and related conditions. This intense focus allows us to continually sharpen our clinical skills, attend specialized training, utilize the latest therapies, and build our process to meet the specific needs of our clients.

Often medical, testing and counseling services are all separately owned and located practices. It just does not make sense to have to travel from one location to another to treat the same condition. Besides the issue of time and travel, how cohesive and effective is care being delivered in multiple locations by multiple, unrelated providers who don’t have time to talk to each other?

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