To Tell or Not to Tell ... Someone They Have ADHD


I suspect that my sweet, wonderful daughter-in-law may have adult ADD. Should I speak with my son about my concerns—or with her directly?


Try speaking with your daughter-in-law directly, using the same caring tone conveyed in your question. Don’t put a label on her struggles right away. Just say that it seems that she has to work harder to stay on top of everything.

If she opens up to you about it, suggest that ADHD may be causing her difficulties, and that perhaps she should be evaluated. If she seems guarded, tell her you’d be happy to speak about it another time.

If she seems truly uncomfortable talking about it after several gentle attempts, share your concerns with your son. At that point, the ball is in their court and you will need to wait on the sidelines, cheering her on in other ways.

Ari Tuckman, Psy.D., MBA, is a psychologist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD. He is the author of More Attention, Less Deficit, and Understand Your Brain, Get More Done. Dr. Tuckman also has a podcast about ADHD that has over one hundred episodes and more than two million downloads and speaks about succeeding with ADHD at CHADD each year. He is a former vice president of ADDA and now has a practice in West Chester, Pennsylvania, where he works with adults and adolescents with attention challenges.

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