The Forums Forums The Workplace Who to Tell? Have you ever asked for accommodation at work for ADHD? What happened? Re: Have you ever asked for accommodation at work for ADHD? What happened?

#92249 |

I have! I work with children with disabilities (and without), and I had a really rough time last fall (feeling overwhelmed *all* the time, depressed, etc. – and this is work that I really enjoy most of the time!). After going through the ADHD diagnosis process, and reflecting back on that time, I realized that I had had very “attention-intensive” groups (very young, complex disabilities), without very many/any “break” groups (older kids, less complex disabilities, etc.) during my shifts.

So, I talked to the supervisor in charge of scheduling before *this* fall (’09) began, explained my theory about Fall ’08, and asked her, when possible, to schedule me with alternating groups during my shifts. Sometimes that’s not possible, just because of the kids who happen to sign up for a particular day, but she has made a real effort and I think it has made a big difference to my quality of life and stress levels. Also, I get some leeway on non-urgent paperwork (i.e. filling out reports to go to parents – urgent, filling out my reports for other staff – not as urgent), but I have to say that I think I get that leeway because I am an excellent staff person (99% of the time :). Our department manager was thrilled for me when I got my diagnosis, because I felt so great about how the puzzle pieces of my life were fitting into place, and she has written two reference letters for me for scholarships particularly for people with disabilities.

Things that I think make it easy(er) for me to get accommodations: I am really good at my job (I have been lucky enough to find work in which I can shine, and I am taking a related program in school to expand my scope of practice); I work in a health care facility for children with disabilities (disability-accepting workplace culture, and belief in transcending disability); I am not afraid to ask for accommodations when I need them, and I definitely have the confidence to advocate for myself . I do *always* try to prepare a plan for how something might work out before taking a request to a supervisor/prof/etc. – this summer, I designed for myself a 3-year plan to complete a 2-year diploma (with medical documentation supporting a request for a reduced course load) – apparently my plan may become the basis for an “official” 3-year option, which makes me really excited! We have ADHD, and we are creative people – play to your strengths when asking for accommodations. :)

I recognize that this combination of factors does put me in a privileged position, and that getting accommodations can be MUCH harder in other kinds of workplaces. But my experience so far has been pretty positive.