How the Environment Affects Individuals with ADD and ADHD

Image courtesy of Ambro /

Image courtesy of Ambro /

Individuals with ADD and ADHD are very sensitive to the environment. That includes sounds, smells, motions and temperature just to name a few. Keeping this in mind, it is important that individuals with ADD/ADHD understand how every environment impacts him or her and takes action to minimize the impact of outside stimuli.

Sounds simple enough, right? It should be on the surface, but there’s more to this than we think. Let me give you an example from my life (keeping in mind that I mentioned temperature earlier). When I settle down for the evening, depending on the temperature in my house, I will or won’t wear socks. Now, the obvious answer to this is how cold are my feet? But there’s more to this than just the surface idea of temperature. If my feet get too cold or too warm, I have trouble settling down the rest of my body. My body is so sensitive to outside stimuli that even something as small as the temperature of my feet can impact how well I sleep. This also applies to the rest of me as well.

With some of my clients, I will often ask questions about his or her environment. Is it noisy? How’s the temperature? Are colors around him or her bright? Does he or she work in an open area? All of these things have to be considered to impact how well one does work. Asking someone to work in an environment that has too many stimuli will impact the quality and quantity of work. Think about it from this standpoint; would you want to sit outside when it’s hot outside in a winter coat fully bundled up? Now imagine that multiplied and that is how it impacts someone with ADD/ADHD across many different areas. It doesn’t make life any easier.

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.

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