Can principles of acceptance used in stuttering be applied to those with ADHD?

Hello all,

I’m a first year speech language pathology student taking a Fluency Disorders class at NYU. In class we’ve been talking a lot about acceptance, desensitization, stuttering modification, the danger of having fluency as your goal, etc. I’m an adult with ADHD and am amazed at how much these strategies resonate with me. Acceptance is something that is horribly lacking in the ADHD community. Treating ADHD involves treating the “overt” symptoms and there is very little discussion about the “covert” aspects of ADHD or acceptance of ADHD. I’m very high functioning for having ADHD (I’m in grad school) but because of this class I’ve realized I’m only high functioning in terms of overt behaviors. There’s a whole store of covert behaviors (avoidance, for example) that I didn’t even realize were there. ADHD actually has a large impact on how I make my decisions in my life.

My question for all of you is, what strategies do you think could cross over and be relevant for those with ADHD, and are there parallels to be made between acceptance of ADHD and acceptance of stuttering? (I realize this is also relevant because of the possible co-occurrence of ADHD and stuttering).

  • Would it be helpful for people with ADHD to self-disclose, and if so, what people do you tell, everyone?
  • Would it be helpful to desensitize, how would it be done, and how often? For example, I know voluntary stuttering is something PWS are encouraged to use all the time. I can imagine desensitization tasks for ADHD but how often should I use them? I can’t always show up late, always interrupt people, always keep my house messy. Or do people who stutter feel the same way about voluntary stuttering, that you can’t ALWAYS be stuttering, things would fall apart!
  • What aspects of ADHD should the ADHD community work on accepting rather than trying to fix?
  • Could an assessment like the OASES be used informally on those with ADHD? What other quality of life, locus of control, attitude assessments are there that the stuttering community uses that could be applicable to ADHD?
  • How do you approach self-acceptance strategies with ADHD? Does it matter that ADHD isn’t tied to any one task/activity but is instead an underlying processing deficit (executive functioning) that has an impact on how you can think?

Thanks so much for your time, and I understand if no one has any answers. I seem to have stumped the ADHD community with these types of questions as well. I appreciate all of the work the stuttering community has done, and I want you all to know that you’re helping people with other disorders as well.

Katherine Staub

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Can principles of acceptance used in stuttering be applied to those with ADHD? — 1 Comment

  1. Katherine, thank you for taking the time to make a considerable post to this platform. I don’t want you to think we forgot you, but I know personally I haven’t treated anyone with ADHD. And I know that ADHD and stuttering can co-occur, but again, I don’t have experience with that disorder. It seems that your instincts have merit. Surely self-disclosure could be helpful to persons with ADHD. Self-disclosure can be helpful for people who stutter, but not all people who stutter may feel it is useful or be able to do so. Acceptance is the same–some may find it powerful, and others are not ready to think about it. And acceptance varies; some day stuttering is just “awful,” and other days, it may be something to be embraced.

    One of the most important factors in therapy is the alliance between the clinician and client, and the clinician’s acceptance of the client and belief in the client’s ability to make change. These principles may be useful for those with ADHD as well.

    Finally, the OASES was developed for people who stutter, and thus would not be appropriate for someone with ADHD who did not also stutter.

    Have fun in your fluency disorders class and good luck in your studies, Katherine.

    Kind regards,