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Looking for resources to help Boss Understand

Looking for resources to help Boss Understand2014-02-11T18:05:48+00:00

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    Post count: 173

    Hi Everyone,

    I am a teacher, and this year I asked for workplace accommodations for my ADHD.

    The response from my Principal seems well-meaning, but I really don’t think he quite understands what my challenges are.

    The sense I am getting is that he thinks this should be a quick fix: He’s arranged for 6 sessions with a “coach” (but this person is not an ADHD coach, they are a retired teacher with some Spec Ed experience) however, these six sessions have to take place in a 3 week period, because after that the coach will be unavailable.

    Even outside of ADHD issues, this seems to fly in the face of what the research tells us about implementing new strategies and the “implementation gap”. Throw ADHD in on top of that, and this feels like this approach is doomed to failure.

    Anyways, I am looking for resources I can direct the Principal to, to better help him understand how ADHD, and especially adult ADHD works. Preferably short videos and articles rather than long books, because I want to increase the likelihood that he will actually read/view what I give him.

    Obviously, there are videos and whatnot here, but are there other places I should direct him to?


    Post count: 845

    Your principal is probably just not interested at this point.  Which is too bad because statistically, about one out of twenty five of his students and teachers have ADD.

    I suggest that you make a list of the specific issues you struggle with and what you would like in the way of accommodations.  He’s probably feels he is too busy and coming up with succinct bottom line requests may help get the results you seek.

    Russell Barkley has some good no nonsense videos on you tube.  There are several of over an hour and a bunch of short clips over specific aspects of ADHD.  You might view these and send him links to those which address the issues you’re having.  Hopefully after you get him to this point, he may get more interested in ADHD and want to view the full length video or even read one of the books.

    I don’t know how it is in your school, but where I went the kids with ADD were always being sent to the principal’s office.  Can I get a witness?  Learning a bit about the condition is really in his own best interest and will help him in dealing with these kids.


    Post count: 173

    I prefer to operate under the assumption that he just doesn’t understand rather than he is uninterested at this point.

    And anyways, if your view turns out to be correct, it might be necessary for me to show that I tried to work with him, but he was not responsive.


    Post count: 158

    @ivriniel: Here’s a good link about work accommodations for ADHD. It even has a teacher scenario as an example.


    What accommodations do you think you need? And *that* is the million dollar question. Like kc said, you need to get specific about accommodations (preferably with input from someone else, eg. principal or HR, but with knowledge too). eg. I am currently being accommodated because my principal is flexible with deadlines. (Maybe a little too flexible, as his last comment was “Don’t worry, there’s plenty of time to get reports done.” Gaaah! NEVER say “there’s plenty of time” to an ADDer!)
    Since work is going well right now, I need to actually sit down with him and go over what accommodations work and are necessary before he ends up transferring — so I can file that kind of stuff with HR.

    I’d be happy to brainstorm with you via direct message one night this week if you would like.


    Post count: 906


    In all likelihood your principal does not understand. It sounds like he believes that the problem can just be fixed with a little coaching. He needs to understand that it is a lifelong thing.

    I don’t have any experience asking for accommodations. But you definitely need to be specific. And do everything officially, in writing, for your own protection. Even if everything goes great with this principal, you may have to work with another one on down the road who won’t be so accommodating.

    A friend of mine who has accommodations for ADHD told me that you have to look at it as a double edged sword. On the one hand, you are getting the accommodations you need. But on the other hand, you are exposing yourself and leaving yourself open to possible criticism or discrimination.

    And accommodation works both ways. You have to be prepared to hold up your end of the bargain too.

    And that’s about all I know on the subject. Which probably isn’t very helpful.


    ” Gaaah! NEVER say “there’s plenty of time” to an ADDer!”  

    People make that mistake with me all the time. 🙄


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