How to make people to speak about their handicap? Especially ADD/ADHD


We've built a homepage to help people suffering from ADD/ADHD by learning poems. The homepage is built for mostly the k8-k12 sector. (nice drawings, text for children, etc.)
But our stats are not as good as we expected. We found out that the reason for this is that people try to hide their handicap. They are playing the cool, learning the whole afternoon instead of admitting that they have troubles. They hide their problems even from their parents.
Even if they found our tool and getting better in learning, they gonna still play the cool, saying "Till now I was chasing the girls, but from now I will start learning..."
Because of this very reason, our homepage is growing very slowly... What could we do to make people accepting their handicap? What could we do to make people speaking about their problems?
For example: Peter has ADHD. I introduced him a new method, and it helps him. Peter's friend is Sally, whose sister has also ADHD. Peter won't tell his story to Sally, because he thinks having ADHD is embarassing. That means Sally's sister will not know about this tool, and in the end I have to personally show our tool to each and every child with ADHD...
Any good ideas how to improve my situation?

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asked Dec 3 '13 at 11:12
69 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll
  • Implications for your startup aside, are you sure "i'm handicapped and that's OK" attitude is healthier than "i'm gonna succeed just like anyone else despite my handicap"? – Iluxa 9 years ago
  • I don't think this question is a very good fit for this site. It ties in to your startup, but it's not about startups in general. – rbwhitaker 9 years ago
  • @iluxa: I added an example to highlight what is my problem. I want them to speak about our new tool (if it helped them). But they cannot do it without mentioning that they have/had ADHD... – Picibucor 9 years ago
  • @rbwhitaker: Maybe I did not asked my question right. I added now an example to highlight my problem... I think it is a pretty general problem. I've spoken someone, who owned a dating office/business back then, when there was no internet. He had to close his company, because acquiring customers was very hard.People were simply embarassed about being not able to find a wife/husband alone. Sucess stories weren't told to others, so he had to find the new clients... – Picibucor 9 years ago

1 Answer


I agree with the comment from iluxa. I hid my ADD handicap all the way through my childhood, and was usually a straight A student because I demanded it of myself and my father demanded it. I know that it would have helped to get medicated. I'm medicated now and it helps a lot. But the excuse of a handicap would also have held me back significantly.

Also, the personality type of someone with ADD does not want to take a break to talk humbly about living with a handicap. We would rather just develop a little more ability to focus and move right on. I think trying to get an ADD or ADHD kid to listen while you tell them that they have a problem that they need to come to terms with is a losing battle. Instead, the idea is to grab their fleeting attention with your shiny toolkit that can help them do the things they want to do better, without getting distracted as much.

I didn't come to terms with the idea that I had a "handicap" until I had been medicated for months and finally took a moment to reflect. So I think your answer is to forget about getting them to accept their handicap. Instead, get them excited about the super-power of focus and discipline. ADD people want to be able to focus. We just want to focus on ALL THE THINGS AT THE SAME TIME.

So, in short, make it more shiny.

answered Dec 4 '13 at 03:00
111 points
  • I added an example to highlight what is my problem. Probably I asked my question not the right way. I want them to speak about our new tool (if it helped them). But they cannot do it without mentioning that they have/had ADHD... – Picibucor 9 years ago
  • @picibucor: And to that example. I would say pretty much exactly the same thing. Peter will tell Sally about his new tool because he finds it helpful and exciting, not because he wants to share about his disability. Its association with ADD/ADHD makes him _less_ likely to want to share, not more likely. People are motivated to help others with similar problems, but especially in that age group, that motive is dwarfed by the need to fit in. If instead, Peter doesn't feel at all stigmatized but just has a tool that he likes a lot, then he can share it in natural teen conversation. – Mark 9 years ago

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