Meet the ADHD Expert Ari Tuckman

Throughout the month of December, I am honored and grateful to share posts by ADHD experts.  In this series of  Meet the ADHD Experts, our experts are sharing their thoughts about ADHD.  Let me introduce guest blogger Ari Tuckman.


Ari Tuckman




Ari Tuckman, PsyD, MBA is the author of three books:  “Understand Your Brain, Get More Done: The ADHD Executive Functions Workbook”, “More Attention, Less Deficit: Success Strategies for Adults with ADHD” and “Integrative Treatment for Adult ADHD: A Practical, Easy-to-Use Guide for Clinicians”. His “More Attention, Less Deficit” podcast has over one hundred episodes and is approaching one and a half million downloads. He is a psychologist in private practice in West Chester, Pennsylvania.


What was your first experience with ADHD

I fell into working with adults with ADHD when a psychiatrist asked me whether I wanted to help his patients with practical matters of daily life. He found the medication to be helpful with the basic symptoms, but these patients needed help with the skills of time management, organization, prioritization, procrastination, etc. At the time (1998), few clinicians specialized in ADHD in adults, so there was a great unmet need. My joke is that if you knew three things about adult ADHD, then you were the expert in town. Now you have to know four. So it is slowly getting better.


What was is one thing you want everyone to know about ADHD

ADHD can be very impairing before it is diagnosed and treated. But the good news is that there is a lot you can do to make someone’s life better once they know that it is ADHD that underlies a lot of their difficulties. ADHD tends to respond well to treatment and we know a lot about which strategies tend to be most effective for people with ADHD. So it can be a very optimistic diagnosis if you use that knowledge effectively and work hard at it.


What is your best tip for ADHD

Learn as much as you can about it, whether it’s you who has ADHD or your romantic partner, family member, etc. The more you know, the better off you will be. There is no need to re-invent the wheel when there is already so much that is already known. You obviously need to customize any strategies for your own situation, but there are a lot of good ideas already out there.

I sometimes hear that the romantic partner or family members of the person with ADHD are hesitant to invest the time to educate themselves about ADHD, saying that they already do enough so they shouldn’t have to put in the extra work. While I appreciate that they already feel overloaded, there is great power in understanding ADHD and how your partner operates. While it may not be their responsibility to ensure that the person with ADHD does what they need to, it is their responsibility to ensure their own happiness. If learning about ADHD helps you get your own needs met more effectively, then why wouldn’t you do it? Ultimately, we are all responsible for our own happiness.


What is your morning like

We wake up at 6:15, my son gets on the bus at 7:20 and my wife and I head out by 7:45. It sounds like a lot of time when I say it, but it goes pretty quickly, especially if we get behind schedule. At this point in the school year, I have a good sense of what needs to be accomplished by when in order for us to get out on time. I make breakfast and know that we have to start eating by 7:00, so that helps keep us on schedule. It’s easier to break the morning in half—before and after 7:00.


Anything else you want to share

There is a lot of good information out there about ADHD. I’m a big fan of getting good ideas wherever I can. So keep educating yourself. The best part is that the strategies that work best for people with ADHD tend to just be plain old good strategies that work well for most people.


For more information about Ari:

Podcast: More Attention, Less Deficit—listed in iTunes

12 replies
  1. Linda Samuels
    Linda Samuels says:

    What a wonderful interview! Dr. Tuckman’s main message comes through loudly and clearly: education, education, education. Learning creates opportunities for better understanding, more compassion (for self and others,) and discovering the unique combination of strategies that will be effective.

  2. Geralin @ Metropolitan Organizing
    Geralin @ Metropolitan Organizing says:

    Love it! I have to laugh when I see that Dr. Tuckman breaks his morning into segments because I do the same thing myself and taught my boys to do it as well. Many of my clients have told me that keeping the morning news on the TV is helpful (as background noise) They know that if the weather report comes on everyday, every 20 minutes, it’s their reminder to be in place doing whatever it is they are supposed to do in order to get out the door on time.

    Seems everything is better and more manageable in bite-sized pieces.

  3. Andrea Sharb
    Andrea Sharb says:

    Ellen, Thanks for this interview with Dr. Tuckman. I especially appreciate what he has to say about ADHD being very impairing before it’s diagnosed and treated, but how it can be a very optimistic diagnosis if one uses that knowledge effectively and works hard. I’ve seen this happen with so many of my clients who have gotten diagnosed during the course of our organizing and coaching work – with knowledge and treatment they were able to begin making the shift from a leading a challenging existence to leading a more empowered existence. Great stuff to witness!

  4. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    I agree! I do the same. I also recommend my clients place analog clocks in the bathroom, kitchen and where they exit just to help them see time more visually. Thanks for joining the conversation!

  5. leslie josel
    leslie josel says:

    Thanks so much Ellen for bringing a different side to Ari Tuckman to us. He is indeed one of my favorites and as always he stayed on point. Communication is key and education is power. Thanks so much for bringing this to all of us. So brilliant of you!

  6. Sue West
    Sue West says:

    So often, when I coach or organize with someone who has ADHD, we end up discussing how the partner/spouse in life does not understand. Or they BOTH joke about the ADHD. So I love Ari’s point about the non ADHD person: “If learning about ADHD helps you get your own needs met more effectively, then why wouldn’t you do it?” Difficult, tiring, more work – all true. And true as well is the one with ADHD needs to insist on this education and discussions, for the sake of the relationship. Understanding needs to be there or the ADHD is a cement block in the middle of your relationship.

  7. Sue West
    Sue West says:

    The partner education points Dr.Tuckman makes resonated with me. If you think of your partner’s ADHD as a “difference,” the way you would a skill, an opinion/philosophy, a talent, or beliefs about money, then the ADHD impact on your life together becomes something to get curious about. Curiosity in how it shows up, what is easy for your partner but not you; what is unique about this person. Work with it instead of resisting it. Once you both accept that this is another aspect of your life to figure out together, things get smoother. Curiosity with acceptance is life changing, and as Dr. Tuckman says, isn’t your own happiness worth it? Your choice.

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  1. […] surprise to see that a colleague of mine, Ellen Delap posted an interview with Dr Tuckman on her blog. […]

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