September is Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) Awareness Month. Most people are familiar with attention deficit disorder (also known as ADD), as it has received quite a bit of attention in recent years. Many researchers believe that the abilities and limitations that comprise ADD are largely inherited and passed down from generation to generation. However, often people are only aware of ADD as a childhood disorder. While ADD and its accompanying difficulties can diminish with age, many people diagnosed in childhood continue to experience the difficulties that accompany the disorder through adulthood. Just as childhood ADD can have a negative effect on academic performance, ADD in adulthood can have a strongly negative affect on job performance and professional success.
The three hallmarks of adult ADD are hyperactivity, impulsivity, and distractibility. Most people exhibit at least some of those characteristics to a degree; however, a person with adult ADD will experience them to such a degree and with such consistency, that it impacts their quality of life. For example, impulsivity, or an inability to control one’s immediate reactions, can lead to difficulty socializing and holding conversations with others. Hyperactivity may make it difficult for the individual to perform well and behave conventionally in a traditional job setting. Distractibility can lead to a difficulty in completing projects or social interactions as the person may jump from topic to topic or task to task at breakneck speed.
While ADD in adulthood can be a challenge, it can be overcome with the help of a speech-language pathologist. A Speech-Language pathologist has the expertise to work with the individual with adult ADD as a speech coach with those characteristics relating to communication challenges. In our next blog, we will cover some of the specific ways ADD can affect your professional life and job performance, and how a speech-language pathologist, or speech coach, can help.