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Three Tips for Better Communication with ADHD.

Ever found yourself in a conversation where you struggled not to interrupt?


 Or maybe you started outlining a point you felt passionately about, only to have the other person look at you confused and say, " Wait, connect the dots for me. How does this relate to what we were saying?”


Well, new research indicates that this might all be part of ADHD. And these differences in speech might have a surprising benefit! 


Last week, we recorded an upcoming episode of the ADHD Skills Lab’s Research Recap, in which we examined a study outlining new ways to screen adults for ADHD [1]. In this study, 10 adults diagnosed with ADHD were compared to 12 neurotypical adults across a variety of verbal screenings. What they found was that deep learning models were able to predict ADHD accurately, in this case with about 70% effectiveness. 


This opens up interesting new possibilities for ADHD initial screenings. It indicates a future where just recorded speech could be enough to get a sense of whether or not you have ADHD. But it also identifies a struggle that doesn’t always get discussed. How difficult it can be to communicate with others. 


So, if you are someone with ADHD who struggles to understand or be understood, here are some strategies that might help: 


  1. Go for a walk to talk through difficult issues. 

Movement has been shown to support ADHD working memory and emotional regulation [2]. So, moving while you talk through difficult subjects can be a good way to stay engaged with the conversation. 


  1. Keep a piece of paper with you when having a sit-down conversation

One reason we can interrupt conversations is that we’re anxious about forgetting our thoughts—a very real struggle with ADHD! Taking a moment to write your thoughts on a piece of paper can help you relax and stay present until you have the opportunity to speak. 


  1. Try drawing or making something that can draw listeners in. 

We learn and communicate in all sorts of ways, perhaps especially when we are neurodiverse! So consider other ways to join the dots, such as diagramming or using objects. 


Hopefully, this article gives you a sense of both the struggles we can have communicating with ADHD and some of the ways that difference might help the future of ADHD diagnosis. 


Take care and talk soon,


Skye


P.S.  Whenever you’re ready... here are 4 ways I can help you reach your goals with ADHD:


1. Download our free How to Set Goals With ADHD Playbook

It’s a step-by-step guide to finding focus and direction in a way designed for your ADHD brain – Click Here


2. Join the Goals Achieved With ADHD Group and connect with other ADHD adults trying to reach their goals

It’s our Facebook community where enthusiastic ADHD adults learn to build more focus, proactive momentum, and consistency. — Click Here


3. Join our Goals Achieved with ADHD Service for a combination of 1-on-1 ADHD support with Skye and access to a community.

If you're an ADHD professional with a goal you’d like to achieve, we are currently working with a few of you to go from overwhelmed to focused and reach your first goal in a month.  – Click Here


4. Work With Skye more Intensively in Executive Coaching

If you’d like to work directly with me to help you take fast action on some of your biggest goals, click here to tell me a little about your goal and what you’d like to work on together. – Click Here



References

  1. Li, S., Nair, R., & Naqvi, M. (2024). Acoustic and Text Features Analysis for Adult ADHD Screening: A Data-Driven Approach Utilizing DIVA Interview. IEEE Journal of Translational Engineering in Health and Medicine.

  2. Ziereis, S., & Jansen, P. (2015). Effects of physical activity on executive function and motor performance in children with ADHD. Research in developmental disabilities, 38, 181-191.



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