5 Ideas for an ADHD Friendly Office
I try to make my office open, warm and inviting. I want all of my clients to feel comfortable and I want our sessions to be effective- whether you have ADHD or depression or whatever. Here are some ways I have tried to make my practice more ADHD friendly. I hope to open a discussion of what others have found to be helpful and hear your ideas too.
1. Reminders. I use a program that does automatic appointment reminders- both phone and email and I ask clients which they prefer. For clients who need tangible reminders, I make sure they leave the office with an appointment card or note. For those who tend to lose things, I will email links to websites or send copies of worksheets as attachments.
2. Fidget friendly. To me, there is nothing worse than a hyperactive kid (or adult) without something to fidget with. Some of my favorites are: play dough, Tangle, Rubik's cube, magnets, and stress balls. Keep them within reach and clean them often!
3. Get active if you need to. Why lose a client's attention with just conversation if you can mix it up a little? Talk and write. Talk and draw. Create a discussion tree with main topic as trunk and other points as limbs. Act things out. There are many ways to get a message across besides sitting and talking.
4. Instant Access. With ADHD and procrastination, the time for tasks is either now or not now. I offer online scheduling so that clients can set up or change an appointment even if I'm unable to answer my phone or if it is 3 am on a Sunday. I don't want to miss the ADHD window of now because any kind of obstacle and it turns into not now (which if procrastinated could be days, weeks, months...)
5. Be prepared to refuel the after-school burn out. For lots of people on ADHD medication, an afternoon mood swing and energy crash can be part of the deal. I make sure I have bottles of water (also tea & coffee) and some light snacks. Something as simple as a granola bar can make a big difference for someone who has been at work or school all day and is running on empty.
What ADHD friendly ideas can you think of for offices?