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“A Cognitive Collaborator:” How Adults with ADHD Are Using ChatGPT

November 24, 2023

ChatGPT exists to serve. The AI-powered chatbot, now a year old, has become one of the most wildly popular language tools on the Internet. It’s collaborative and conversational. It’s easy to access and quick to respond. Assuming you double check its accuracy, ChatGPT can be your self-help tool, your problem-solver, your editor, and your assistant.

Adults with ADHD stand to benefit uniquely from ChatGPT as an executive function tool. For one, it’s a helpful resource for overcoming procrastination. Anna, a reader from New Zealand, said she uses AI “to get a first draft done of some writing. It needed a lot of improvement, but it was great for getting me over that first hurdle.”

Lena, a reader from Florida who has autism and ADHD, celebrates AI for its ability to help neurodivergent people with communication skills. “Having the scripts to be able to communicate effectively is so important. ChatGPT can help us hash things out so that we feel more prepared, comfortable, and confident in communicating with others.”

AI chatbots can also help adults with ADHD stay organized and productive. Ask it to:

  • Create an easy dinner recipe from a list of ingredients you have in your kitchen
  • Draft an email response to your colleague with a professional or friendly tone
  • Summarize the notes you took during a work meeting or class discussion
  • Develop a customized weekly schedule based on your family’s commitments

[eBook: Getting Things Done with Adult ADHD]

Tread lightly; AI makes mistakes and sometimes shares false information. Still, the ability to hand off or get assistance with a wide range of daily responsibilities can save you time, money, and stress. Check out the ways ADDitude readers are using AI chatbots at work and at home, below. Remember to be specific and add plenty of context in your own prompts, and try rephrasing if the chatbot doesn’t understand your question.

How to Use ChatGPT, According to ADDitude Readers

“As a teacher, I used ChatGPT for suggestions on what to say on report cards.” — Natalie, Indiana

“I’ve used ChatGPT to help translate medical test results to plain English.” — An ADDitude reader

“I’ve asked it to give me an activity schedule for our kid’s summer break with places to visit in our area.” — Jean, California

“I had [AI] help me write a stressful work email so I didn’t have to fight as hard to find the ‘right’ words. I also had it help with rewording some overly complicated paragraphs to make a report more streamlined.” — Tina, Massachusetts

[Read: How to Take Better Notes in Meetings]

“I searched for how to say something in ‘teen language.’” — Jennifer, Colorado

“I used HeyPI to help calm me down and found it very helpful.” — Karen, South Africa

“AI tools have helped make my writing more concise. I’ve also used AI to get me started on letters of recommendation and as a tool to break down larger tasks into smaller ones. Goblin Tools is amazing for this.” — Paul, New York

“When I developed my website, I wanted to use terminology that would attract potential clients. ChatGPT was helpful in giving me a draft starting point.” — Katrina, Washington, D.C.

“I’ve only used it to write weird stories about topics like: ‘What do you think a dolphin would have to say about humanity?’” — Eileen, Pennsylvania

“I used it to help write my resume. Best resume in 25 years. [AI makes it] easy to cater to the job posting and produces simple, straightforward text rather than ADHD brain ramble. I can’t wait to learn more!” — A., Canada

“[I use it] to talk to someone and not have to worry about saying something wrong.” — Derek, Canada

“I do not have ADHD but my husband does, and he uses ChatGPT frequently in his work as a product designer. He showed me how to use it, and I immediately grasped how enormously helpful it could be for our 15-year-old daughter with ADHD who has a lot of trouble starting assignments. She uses the chatbot to ‘talk it out’ — as if it were her tutor — and then has no problem editing the results into something uniquely hers. After showing her how it works and seeing how she uses her judgment to filter the results, I have no problem with her using it as a tool and feel that it could be an incredible help for kids with ADHD.” — An ADDitude reader

“My brain is very strong on visual processing, but I live and work in a world where language is the primary tool of communication. Therefore, I use ChatGPT to generate language output suggestions in order to speed up some of my mandatory tasks. In professional contexts, this includes summaries of meeting notes or phrasing parts of articles and blog posts. At this point in time, my prompt engineering skills — in combination with the workings of ChatGPT — only generate limited valuable output, but I expect this to improve over time.” — Lene Marie, U.K.

Executive Functions Tools for ADHD Brains: Next Steps

Since 1998, ADDitude has worked to provide ADHD education and guidance through webinars, newsletters, community engagement, and its groundbreaking magazine. To support ADDitude’s mission, please consider subscribing. Your readership and support help make our content and outreach possible. Thank you.

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