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Struggles as a DSP with ADHD

Struggles as a DSP with ADHD2015-12-21T01:58:22+00:00

The Forums Forums The Workplace Strategies for Work Struggles as a DSP with ADHD

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    I am a direct support professional (DSP). I work at a small group home with three women who have moderate to severe developmental disabilities. I struggle with clearly and simply communicating with the clients, which is very hard for one of the ladies to deal with. When I need to keep a client on task, I sometimes get off task of keeping her on task. With another client, when she argues with me, I need to do better at ignoring her after firmly saying she needs to take a break and calm down. Instead, I impulsively react, which keeps her going even more. I also struggle with leaving work on time. I am actually having a meeting with two managers about my ADHD and other issues relating to ADA laws. This will be my second meeting about this. Any thoughts or suggestions?



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    Some thoughts:

    What about using visual schedules with clients for some of the more mundane tasks? Eg. doing the dishes – a set of pictures and word prompts that break the task down into steps. It would be good for them and for you – something visual to help them fo the task more independently, and to help you pull your attention back to the task.

    Similarly, is there a behaviour plan in place for dealing with the client that argues? If you have a protocol or script to follow, that can be far more effective than simply being told to ignore the arguing. Put it on cheat sheets for yourself if you want a quick reference.

    If you are going to work on how your ADHD impacts your work and what accommodations will help, don’t try to “fix” everything at once – just analyse a couple key issues and work on strategies to help with those issues. I am not familiar with ADA law and the workplace, but what about asking for regular check-in meetings to evaluate how the accommodations are working and to set new goals as needed or problem-solve issues?

    And – don’t forget to celebrate the good qualities you bring to your clients too. You didn’t mention them in your list, but I imagine you are caring, imaginative and flexible to respond to the interests and needs of your clients, to mention a few ADHD positives 🙂

    Good luck!

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