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Any ideas for rationale for why your employer should pay for ADHD coach?

Any ideas for rationale for why your employer should pay for ADHD coach?2011-03-11T14:24:38+00:00

The Forums Forums The Workplace Strategies for Work Any ideas for rationale for why your employer should pay for ADHD coach?

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    Post count: 58

    It’s annual review season where I work. The review process includes the opportunity to ask/discuss “resources” we’d like to improve our performance, etc. Usually it’s a training–something like “Managing difficult clients” or “Writing winnign proposals” or somesuch. What I’d like to ask for is an ADHD coach. I know my employer pays for management coaching for folks more senior than I, but I think my request will be the first for somebody at my level in my situation. While I know my supervisor agrees with my need, she (and I) are trying to think through how to “package” the request to senior management.

    For what it’s worth, I’m in the US (i.e., Canadian policies/programs don’t apply here) and work for a not-for-profit research organization.

    Thanks in advance for your suggestions.


    Post count: 14413

    Hi —

    I would say that it’s not terribly unusual for a company to pay for coaching for its employees. There are a couple of paths you can go down: you can go down the accommodation path or you can go down the path of asking for coach to help you improve your productivity or effectiveness on the job. If you go down the accommodation path, you might check into the job accommodation network – http://askjan.org/media/adhd.html. They have some information that might be helpful around accommodations. if you go down the improve your productivity or effectiveness on the job path, think about the ways that you think a coach can help you. If you’ve explored working with a particular coach, you can enlist the help of the coach in highlighting some of the benefits. In requesting the help of a coach, you could also ask for a coach without actually mentioning ADHD. Just requesting a coach to help you in certain areas. Often, a few months with a coach is cheaper than some of the more expensive seminars or classes.

    Best of luck.



    Post count: 14413

    In special education there is the idea of “universal design.” This term (originally comes from achitecture) refers to when you do something for one group you help many more people. A common example is the curb cut. on a sidewalk. Originally, they were placed for wheel chairs but they helped elderly, baby carriages or even a person rolling a suitcase. I wonder if you could approach it as a coach that could help everyone with more efficient organization. I always hesitate bringing it up at work. People are very strange about ADHD because people think it is a ‘made up’ problem.


    Post count: 103

    Not sure I’d want to go down the list during an interview, but might be useful at some point.

    “Five Ways ADHD Employee can be an Asset to Companies”



    Post count: 445

    From “The Creativity Crisis,” a July 2010 article in Newsweek: “A recent IBM poll of 1,500 CEOs identified creativity as the No. 1 ‘leadership competency’ of the future.”


    Now, if these CEOs are serious, people with ADD should be at a premium, assuming of course they can remember to show up at meetings, control their tempers, give others a chance to speak, and keep from losing the things they need to get their jobs done! (thus the coach)

    The problem is, CEOs and senior execs don’t appear to be walking the walk. For example, human beings don’t usually vet potential employees anymore, computers do. I doubt seriously that flagging creative potential is a “core competency” of HR software. But, alas, if you can’t impress the computer, the hiring manager will never know you exist. Once hired, you have to conform to a certain set of predictable expectations in order to score well on annual reviews. Because our technology-obsessed world has turned HR into a quantitative enterprise (as opposed to qualitative), I don’t know how these CEOs propose to identify and nurture the creative potential they say is so important. If companies were really serious about this, surely they would be more “creative” in their hiring and promoting.

    All this to say, i agree with ADHDplus: alerting powers-that-be that you are ADD and need a coach could backfire and tank your career.


    Post count: 14413

    I’m interested to know how this worked out for the OP.

    I think it’s wise to be cautious about disclosing one’s medical information at work, no matter what the situation. If your employer is aware that you have an ongoing medical issue that makes it necessary for you to use your insurance (thereby increasing their expenses) they may find a reason to let you go. Or, they may just treat you differently once they know. Unless you are in a workplace that has demonstrated its ongoing ability to be supportive of such things, I’d look for other ways to address this.

    Things to look into:

    -Ask your employer to send you to a professional conference or training at their expense

    -Request “educational leave” for an academic course or professional certification (educational leave may be paid or unpaid; you pay the expense for the course and materials, they guarantee your job)

    These types of things would have to have a clear connection to your job duties and how it would make you a more valuable employee to them.

    Other things to look into:

    -Access services through your employer-provided healthcare coverage

    -Access services through your employer-provided Employee Assistance Plan (EAP)

    -Purchase private insurance that covers the treatment you need

    Also, if you know you have ongoing treatment expenses, you may want to consider a Health Savings Account (FSA) or medical Flexible Spending Account (HSA). One may be available through your employer, or from your financial institution.



    Post count: 146

    I’m interested too how things turned out. Since at my last job I only got diagnosed just a couple of months before the job came to an end for me. I know the areas that were causing problems and kept wondering how I could get the resources to address them. If I had known earlier I would have looked into what training or coaching I could have got. Even my request to move to a quieter less congested area to improve my concentration and performance was turned down. Now I know it would have been under a reasonable request area here in the US.

    But at least now I know more about what I’m dealing with. And if I do end up in a more demanding job situation again I know how to go about getting help for it in a better way.


    Post count: 1

    I think it’s awesome that your employer provides opportunities for personal improvement.  Maybe you don’t have to go through them though.  Do you have medical insurance?  If so will your insurance pay for an ADHD coach?  If not will they pay for a therapist?


    Post count: 1


    I have a few ideas. First, can you just call them a career coach? Would your company pay for a self-selected coach, or do they choose the Management coaches that work with their teams? Because you could always just pitch it as a Career Coach.


    If not, I’d pitch it as you want to improve on (list 3 skills), so that you can get to (list the next level of your career). Work with your boss or HR (that’s me!) and have a career plan to show them – (sometimes this is on performance reviews) – show them the context; you’re not doing this arbitrarily, you want to do to it to add more value to your job, and then the company. You also want to use the coaching to move up in your organisation. The first thing they’ll ask is “how much” – so have coaches researched. They may say “ok, but up to XX dollars”, which is fairly typical.

    The next question would be “what’s in it for us?”  – and that’s where you get to pitch the new projects you’re working on, or how it’s going to help you be a better manager and improve Return on Investment by helping you lead a more efficient team.

    I haven’t heard of many companies paying for coaches. If you’re an NFP, check out http://www.charityvillage.com – they are a Canadian NFP job board, but often offer free webinars. One of their speakers is Eileen Chadnick, who also writes for the Globe and Mail. She’s a career coach (full disclosure – she’s MY coach), and while not ADD/ADHD specific, her advice absolutely rocks. She often does free webinars with Charity Village, and has a book called EASE that teaches you to slow down and deal with overwhelm. Might be helpful in the meantime! Good luck 🙂

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