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  • New York Neurobehavioral Services

5 Things to Avoid Saying to Someone with ADHD


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD, is a neurological condition that affects how people think and act. It is common for people with ADHD to have trouble focusing and paying attention. This may cause them to be easily distracted, impulsive, and restless. ADHD can cause difficulties at home, school, work and in relationships. If you know someone with ADHD, it is important to be mindful of how you interact with them, including the things you say.


When speaking to someone with ADHD, here are some things you should avoid saying:

  1. Do not tell the person to “just focus.”

  2. Do not tell the person to “just relax.”

  3. Do not say they are “just lazy” or “stupid.”

  4. Do not say they are “acting out” or “misbehaving.”

  5. Do not say they are “imagining things” or “making excuses.”


These comments are inaccurate. Those with ADHD are often highly intelligent and hardworking. They usually just have a hard time staying focused on a certain task. This is not to say that someone with ADHD can not be successful.


It is important to remember that ADHD is not something that can be simply controlled. ADHD is not a behavior issue, but rather a real condition that impacts every aspect of life. Do not dismiss a person’s experience with ADHD, instead try to be understanding and supportive. Patience can go a long way.


Have ADHD? Know someone who does have ADHD and want to better understand them?


Attend our complimentary, virtual Tame Your ADHD 1-Hour Workshop on Monday, December 5th.


Interested in learning more about the workshop and services we offer? Visit our website.


Click here to register for our Tame Your ADHD Workshop.

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