Being Passive with ADD and ADHD

Image courtesy of stockphotos /

Image courtesy of stockphotos /

I’ve been working with Steve for around two months. He’s a high school junior that has been dealing with several concerns. On top of his ADHD, he has been concussed on a few occasions while participating in sports.

Steve takes a very passive approach to his ADHD and how it impacts his life. This isn’t a terrible trait, but it can be when trying to make growth with ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning concerns. There has to be traction in order to improve skills. If someone doesn’t seem to be affected by his or concerns, helping him or her improve isn’t easy.

My first move with Steve is to help him see how his ADHD has impacted his life. The tricky part with Steve is he plays the concussion card. When he talks about his lack of organization, he attributes it as much to his history of concussions as to his ADHD. In fact, Steve has hinted to me that he has outgrown his ADHD. I’ve spent time educating Steve about ADHD and how it impacts us in different ways.

I’ve involved his parents. Since he is very manipulative, it is important that his parents learn more about ADHD as well. There are many occasions where Steve will use his passivity to avoid dealing with his concerns. His mother feels frustrated by his apparent apathy to improving his skills. I suggested to his parents that they place specific expectations on Steve related to traits of ADHD, so Steve can see how ADHD impacts his life. So far, it has shown some promise.

As I tell every client, at the end of the day, it has to be he or she that wants to improve skills. We can spend hours discussing the impacts of ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning concerns until we’re blue-in-the-face, but I only see the individual a small snippet of his or her life.

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit To learn more information about some of the other services I provide, please visit and I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on Facebook and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest on ADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Tara does many wonderful things and you should check out her website here. Feel free to email me at or call 773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.


  1. Mixed feelings here. If someone is not bothered / does not feel hindered by his or her – lets call it “handicap” – , So he doesnt need treatment. ADD , in my opinion doesnt disqualify him of deciding for himself whats good for him.

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