Managing ADHD symptoms

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Research indicates that people diagnosed with ADHD in adulthood may require additional psychosocial support to assist them to come to terms with their diagnosis, and reframe their past [487]. The techniques outlined in Table 30 can help AOD workers manage clients with ADHD symptoms.

Table 30: Dos and don’ts of managing a client with symptoms of ADHD


  • Assist the client plan activities and organise prompts or reminders (e.g., using a smartphone).
  • Encourage stress-reduction methods, such as progressive muscle relaxation.
  • Encourage physical exercise.
  • Monitor closely during times of stress – these may lead to fluctuations in symptoms and may necessitate the adjustment of medication.
  • Involve family members and friends – educating them about the condition and treatment will provide long-term benefits.
  • Offer to help the client engage with education courses or training, which can assist with attention


  • Get visibly upset or angry with the client.
  • Confuse the client by conducting unstructured, unfocused sessions.

Adapted from Gournay [488] and Zulauf [477].