Millions of adults and children in the United States are navigating life with attention deficit disorder (ADD), a neurodevelopmental difference that causes trouble concentrating, staying organized, completing tasks, and more. People with ADD who have supported are happier, more successful, and better adjusted.

You should treat someone with ADD with empathy and compassion, and hopefully, this is the way you treat everyone. This means stepping into someone else’s shoes with the goal of understanding their perspectives and feelings. Here we discuss some of the best ways to support a loved one with ADD.

Take a non-judgmental stance

Accepting your loved one is the best starting point for supporting them. Judging or criticizing a loved one with ADD causes significant harm. Hopefully, you know your loved one does not have a motivational problem, is not lazy, and cannot choose to be different.

People with ADD often have many experiences where they have been judged and can be especially sensitive to being judged. Practicing acceptance does not mean making excuses for inappropriate behavior. It means the willingness to experience your loved one as they are without trying to change them or wishing they were different.

Understand the symptoms of ADD

It’s important for anyone supporting a loved one with ADD to understand the true symptoms of ADD. Conflicting and misinformation can make it difficult to understand what is really going on in the brain of a loved one with ADD.

Speaking with a psychology professional is an excellent way to gain a deeper understanding of the symptoms of ADD and how these symptoms impact your loved one’s life. Joining a support group and reading related books are other excellent ways to understand the symptoms of ADD.

The well-known symptoms of ADD, such as impulsivity and inattention fail to account for the complex set of symptoms that people with ADD must contend with. People with ADD have a difference in brain chemistry that impacts many areas of their lives.


Everyone with ADD has different needs. While ADD may cause symptoms commonly shared among people with ADD, it’s important to know that ADD affects everyone differently. You don’t have to play psychic and attempt to figure out what your loved one needs.

One of the best ways to support a loved one with ADD is to ask them what they need. Perhaps your loved one just needs you to listen. Whatever your loved one needs, give them the space to communicate that with you.

Create a routine

ADD often makes it difficult to stay organized, but this doesn’t mean that your loved one cannot follow a plan. People with ADD often function better when there is structure. Creating a routine can add structure to help your loved one plan better.

Be an Advocate

People with ADD need advocates in their corner to raise awareness, correct misunderstandings, and defend against mistreatment. ADD is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Advocating for your loved one to have accommodations when appropriate can really help your loved one feel accepted and function optimally.

Having supportive people in their corner reduces the risk of depression and anxiety in people living with ADD. Attending a session with a trained psychologist is one of the best ways to not only educate yourself about ADD but to support your loved one.

At Wellness Road Psychology, Dr. Philip Glickman and life coach Jamie Karia offer a full range of effective treatments that can help your loved one feel and function at their best. To schedule an appointment, call our Brooklyn, or Dobbs Ferry New York office to speak with a helpful team member or book your request online.

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Phil Glickman

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Wellness Road Psychology

A leading provider of mental health services, offering a range of evidence-based treatments to help our clients improve their mental wellbeing.

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