Following instructions is a skill that people of all ages rely on in many different situations. It is essential for success in school, work, and everyday life. However, people with ADHD often struggle with following instructions. This can be frustrating for both the individual and the people who are giving them instructions.
Why do people with ADHD have difficulty following instructions?
There are a few reasons why people with ADHD may have difficulty following instructions. One reason is that ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects executive function. Executive function is a set of skills that helps us to plan, organize, and manage our thoughts and actions. People with ADHD often have difficulty with executive function skills, which can make it difficult for them to follow instructions.
Another reason why people with ADHD may have difficulty following instructions is that they may have working memory deficits. Working memory is the ability to hold information in our minds for a short period of time. People with ADHD often have difficulty with working memory, which can make it difficult for them to remember instructions.
Finally, people with ADHD may have difficulty following instructions because they may be easily distracted. They may have difficulty paying attention to the person who is giving them instructions, or they may be distracted by their own thoughts or by the environment around them.
Tips for following instructions with ADHD
There are a few things that people with ADHD can do to improve their ability to follow instructions:
- Get the instructions in writing. This will help you to remember the steps of the task and to stay on track.
- Break down complex instructions into smaller steps. This will make the task seem less daunting and will make it easier for you to stay focused.
- Ask for clarification if you don’t understand something. Don’t be afraid to ask the person giving you instructions to repeat them or to explain them in more detail.
- Find a quiet place to work where you will be less likely to be distracted.
- Take breaks if you need them. It’s okay to take a short break to clear your head and to come back to the task refreshed.
Strategies for helping people with ADHD follow instructions
If you are giving instructions to someone with ADHD, there are a few things you can do to make it easier for them to follow them:
- Be clear and concise. Avoid using vague or ambiguous language.
- Give instructions one step at a time. Don’t try to give too many instructions at once.
- Check for understanding. Ask the person to repeat back the instructions to you to make sure that they understand what you are asking them to do.
- Provide breaks. Allow the person to take short breaks as needed.
- Be patient and supportive. Following instructions can be challenging for people with ADHD, so it’s important to be patient and supportive.
Difficulty following instructions is a common challenge for people with ADHD. However, there are a few things that people with ADHD and the people who interact with them can do to improve the situation. By following the tips above, people with ADHD can improve their ability to follow instructions,