View Full Version : A Manual for Employers

07-13-16, 10:27 AM
I have been looking through the internet for a manual on AD/HD for employers so I can give it to my employer to help them understand what it is that they have recently hired, I cant find one. If anyone knows of such a manual... please point me in the right direction.

The type of manual I am looking for will inform my employer of both my strengths and weeknesses and how to take advantage of those strengths without wanting to fire me for my weeknesses.

Perhaps I need to add this to my already hefty to do list. (Yet another trait typical of someone with AD/HD) Ha Ha. We are enthusiastic arent we.

07-13-16, 03:11 PM
The closest thing I can find is this:

It's generalized to mental health, but you can at least use it as a template to put together a list of what would help to support your work.

I recommend against disclosing unless you know and trust the person, know how they feel about ADD in general, and that they will keep the information private. There are many sizable risks to disclosing your ADD, and many of the benefits (e.g. accomodation) can be achieved without the need for disclosure.

07-13-16, 03:38 PM
I recommend against disclosing unless you know and trust the person, know how they feel about ADD in general, and that they will keep the information private. There are many sizable risks to disclosing your ADD, and many of the benefits (e.g. accomodation) can be achieved without the need for disclosure.

I used to think this to be true as well until recently.

Silence is preventing society to understand what makes us tick and how to fit us in to their "majority rules" education systems, and employment systems.

we are neurologically diverse.

our education systems fail to teach us the way we learn and therefore a great number of us fail to be educated at a post secondary system.

our employment systems fail to understand how we can best be utilised which prevents us from promotion and often leads us to being fired often without cause because we are overpassionate, unproductive, disruptive, have no filters, etc.

we are too big of a population to keep going on being silent.

6-10% IS 420-700 Million people.

we can enable a population the size of the united states, or... continue to be silent.

I will put the writing of a manual for employers in a much higher priority. I will hyperfocus on it, and will do it with an extreme passion. It will be humourous, witty, and very creative.

you have an incredible machine before you... here is the manual. RTFM and watch this incredible machine be the best investment you ever made.

07-13-16, 06:17 PM
It's a nice idea but keep in mind that there are huge individual differences and a diverse spectrum of needs even between adhders. Some things like keeping compassion, not being biased or trying together to allowing space to find strategies that work for the individual might be universal though.

If you've told your employer it might be good to t honk about what exactly you need or what might help you perform better in your job. It might even be possible to do this without disclosing that you have adhd though that depends on your employer I guess.

I do.appreciate the idea of raising awareness about adhd and I admire that you'd risk your own relationship with your employer. Do.know though that it might backfire and hurt you unless your employer is fairly open minded and not pig ignorant.

07-13-16, 06:56 PM
The above document doesnt explain what AD/HD is to an employer at all. it doesnt explain a persons strengths and or weeknesses. Typically they arent going to read a book by Dr. Hallowell about what AD/HD is just to find out either.

We could use a quick summary report that would explain the reason as to why it happens. what behaviors to expect and how to intrepret these behaviors.

many AD/HDers are constanly being fired from their jobs because of misinterpretation.

real life example.

I was fired from a job because I cross my arms when I talk. many supervisors are being taught "Soft Skills" without taking them into context. This appearred to my supervisor as arrogant and immediately put a slant towards me because of it. If he only knew.. i do it because otherwise I fidgit. He wouldnt have thought of it as being arrogant and would have understood.

This was from a job btw in which I had done for 11 years in the past with 0 disciplinary actions. left for 9 years to pursue my own company, and then returned and was fired within 4 months. I was completely caught off guard and in my exit interview my mind was racing so fast I couldnt put sentences that made sense together.

Now the Human Right Commission of Canada needs to be involved which deffinately could have even worse effects than if I had just informed them in the first place.

07-13-16, 07:12 PM
You were fired for crossing your arms while speaking? Surely, irrespective of if anyone has adhd or not, that cannot be legal???

07-13-16, 09:40 PM
It sounds like your work fired you for reasons other than having your arms crossed. It could have been something you did (or didn't do) or it could have been for other reasons entirely, such as budget cuts. Even if your boss did know that you have your arms crossed across your chest because of ADHD, what would be your desired result? If your boss doesn't want an employee who crosses his arms, he doesn't want it. You would have had to have learned to do something else with your hands. Or you would have been moved to a different position away from customers where crossing your arms wouldn't be considered off putting and rude. Known ADHD status doesn't mean that you don't have to conform to what a company wants.

To be completely honest, EVERYONE has trouble at work due to communication and misinterpretation. It's what makes us human. ADHDers and NTs alike get fired for misunderstanding and misinterpretations. Giving your bosses an ADHD manual will tell them nothing of significance about YOU, and it's not going to help them understand what your strengths and weaknesses are. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, and they don't necessarily depend upon a disorder. Your eagerness to educate is admirable, but I fear you might be doing more damage than good.

If you feel like telling your employer is the right thing to do, then write down what YOUR strengths and weaknesses are, not what the strengths and weaknesses of the average ADHDer. It's so broad and vague that it's like giving an employer a manual for NTs: "Boss, this is my NT manual that explains the strength and weaknesses that an NT faces." But recognizing the problems that you as an individual face and knowing how you can tackle them is really neat, and your boss might appreciate knowing that you're working on your personal growth. I know my boss actively encourages us to better ourselves, and we write down what we're going to be working on and reach goals that we as individuals set.

07-13-16, 10:17 PM
Infusion, I admire your spirit in challenging the status quo.

I share your view that employees with ADHD, if given the right supports and opportunities, and work for which they have both passion and aptitude, situated in a well-matched environment, can thrive.

But I also agree with what some others have said above re: the difficulty of crafting something concise yet sufficiently nuanced to be useful to a wide variety of people with ADHD in a wide variety of contexts, and also about the potential risks to you of disclosing your ADHD to a new employer, even if human rights law is on your side.

I have disclosed my ADHD (etc.) to several supervisors, generally under duress. It's been helpful in some cases, unhelpful in others, and neutral in others. So much depends on the job and the circumstances, and the supervisor's pre-existing exposure to ADHD and beliefs about it. Given that my impairments were usually quite obvious by the time I disclosed, I'm not sure that disclosure really made anything worse than it would have been if I hadn't disclosed, but since I can't read minds, I don't know for sure.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend disclosure as a general rule, as there are many ways and many situations in which it can backfire badly (again, even if human rights law is nominally on your side).

That said, if you find yourself in a situation where both your talents and your impairments are evident, approaching the situation positively (as you're doing when you say thing like "With a little consideration and support, I could be a phenomenal employee" is usually a good way to go. I have gotten the best responses when I was candid about what I was doing to address my own difficulties and what specific things I needed in order to succeed. (Didn't always prevent the disclosure from coming back to bite me later, but...)

Here's another general website, the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) (, whose focus is on helping employees and employers manage disabilities in the workplace. It's sponsored by the US Office of Disability Employment Policy, so the legal specifics are likely to be a bit different in Canada. However, some of the guidance they provide on disclosure of disabilities and accommodations could perhaps be adapted to your situation. Their focus is less on explaining the disabilities and more on finding practical solutions to actual problems, but there's some explanation, too.

Some potentially-useful links:

JAN resource page for ADHD/LDs (
JAN resource page for autism spectrum disorders (
JAN Searchable Online Accommodation Resource (SOAR) ( basically, case studies of accommodations for different disabilities in different job contexts, derived from real situations where people sought JAN's advice
JAN's resource page on disclosure of disabilities (

07-14-16, 01:35 AM
I agree with what the others said, and also if an employer makes a judgment like that, for anyone, adhd or not, they can just find a way to dismiss the person.

in France you really legally cant fire someone without a very valid motive, so there is a lot of'moral harassment in the idea that the person will just quit.

07-14-16, 04:35 AM
If all people with ADHD have a similar set of strengths and weaknesses, here are your strengths and weaknesses:

Good at the kinds of things that tend to correlate with high IQ
Lazy, and therefore highly motivated to find easier and more efficient ways to achieve results
Good written communication skills, including technical writing and Legal English
Aptitude for computer programming
Human relations knowledge (social skills "book smarts")
Introverted (works well independently)
Often regarded as cheerful and friendly
Fast learner, knows the basics about a lot of things
Some drawing/art skills
Computer literate, good at Microsoft Excel, knows a lot of Windows keyboard shortcuts
Not very talkative
Good at figuring things out (good at self-training on new tasks, capable of tasks requiring problem-solving skills)
Good at asking questions
Horrible punctuality in regards to meeting deadlines and showing up for meetings on time
Good at working in the evenings
Fairly good at algebra and geometry

Horrible punctuality in regards to showing up for work on a day-to-day basis
Not a morning person
Cognitive difficulty switching between activities
Emotional resistance to initiating tasks
Emotional resistance to spontaneity, consistence preferred
Terribly disorganized with information (with multiple concurrent projects, some will be forgotten and abandoned without outside structure to keep things on course) and with physical objects (desk will always be messy)
Easily forgets steps in a process, needs a checklist even for familiar tasks
Poor working memory; easily distracted; productivity easily impaired by interruptions
Can't remember verbal instructions; any task with more than two steps needs to be written down
Small amount of difficulty recognizing faces
Social anxiety, debilitatingly unassertive
Difficulty talking on the phone (phone anxiety and poor auditory processing)
Poor verbal communicator, frequently misunderstood; can't speak while there is other speech happening, e.g. TV is on in the same room
Constant fidgeting, which bothers some people
Poor motor skills, clumsy
Hearing discussion of blood-related medical problems causes a vasovagal response with reduced blood pressure and often syncope
Can't stand in one place for more than four minutes (walking is fine)
Sensory issues; hypersensitive; can't stand vibrations, loud sounds, perfumes, moisture, dirt, constant talking, air fresheners, movement, being touched, bright lights, etc.; needs constant application of lip balm
Phobia of arthropods
Apparently too detail-oriented
Bad at arithmetic

07-14-16, 06:48 AM
@Namazu Perfect resource. this matches what I was looking for. Thank you ever so much.

07-14-16, 09:28 AM
I agree that speaking about our own experiences with ADD is the best way to break down stigma and avoid misunderstandings. It's also true that we need to be able to craft the message to match our audience, and we need to be careful in selecting said audience.

This is why I'm hesitant to suggest disclosing to a typical employer. It's great to want to educate people about ADD; because of the power any boss has over an employee, you being the person to enlighten your boss comes with great risk. Putting aside the fact that they have the power to keep you or fire you, the very nature of the relationship means that when you try and "educate" your boss, they may unconsciously feel that you are not acknowledging their authority, or that you are trying to tell them how to do their job. This is far from the truth, but it can be the gut reaction of the employer.

If you have an HR department, speaking to them about it can work, but even still that carries risk.

If you're experienced and effective at advocating for yourself, if you're assertive without being confrontational, and are able to get your needs met, great! I'd still be cautious and test the waters before launching into accommodation.

07-14-16, 11:13 AM
Infusion, here's another list to get you thinking...

This was stolen from this very site.

I'd provide a click-able link, but I'm being lazy...:D

151 Positives! (article) - ADD Forums - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Support and Information Resources Community

Positive Characteristics of People with Attention Deficit Disorder.

151 Positives

Ability to find alternate paths to overcome obstacles
Able to take on large situations
Adventurous, courageous, lives outside of boundaries
Always finding alternate routes to any given location.
Always willing to help others
Ambitious – you want to be everything when “you grow up”
Attractive personality – magnetic due to high energy
Being able to see the big picture
Being able to see the patterns in the chaos.
Being intuitive towards others’ difficulties
Broad focus – can see more, notice things more
Can create order from chaos
Can do many projects at once
Can make people feel they are heard
Can see the big picture
Can talk about several things at one time
Can think on my feet
Career variety
Center of attention
Comfortable talking in front of groups
Comfortable with change and chaos
Compassion for others and for themselves
Conceptualizes well
Constantly evolving
Creates connections easily
Creative writing
Creative – musical, artistic, “dramatic”
Good in a crisis
Good at customer relations
Determined to gain more control
Eager to make friends
Eager to try new things
Empathetic, sensitive
Excellent organizers using journals and reminders (notes etc.)
Flexible – changes as the situation requires
Fun to be around
Good at conceptualizing
Good at motivating self and others
Good at multitasking
Good at problem solving
Good at public speaking
Good at understanding others/mind reading – empathetic
Good conversationalist
Good delegator and good at organizing others
Good in emergency situations
Good listener
Good looking and aware of it
Good people skills
Good self esteem, energetic
Great brain-stormer
Great multitasker
Great self-company
Great sense of humor
Great storyteller
Great with kids (central figure around kids)
Hands-on workers
Hard worker
Has friendly relations with their family
Has the gift of gab
Helps others who are also in trouble
High energy – go, go, go
Humor, very healthy, quick picking up ideas
Hyper focus !!
Hypersensitive – very empathetic and good at non-verbal communications
Idea generator
Impulsive (in a good way) not afraid to act
It’s ok to not finish everything
Learning as much as I can to help children and others with ADHD
Less sleep is good (midnight to 6 am)
Like to talk a lot
Likes learning new things
Look at multidimensional sides to a situation
Lots of interests
Loves to cook and be creative
Master idea generator
Mentoring others/helpful
Mentoring people with low self esteem
Move on fast – never hold a grudge
Multitasks well
Never bored and rarely boring
Never intimidated to try new things
Non-linear, multi-dimensional/edge of chaos
Not afraid to speak mind
Not contained by boundaries
On stage and ready
Holistic thinking
Problem solver
Quick thinking
Quick witted
Relates to people easily
Saves money in the short term by forgetting to file tax returns
See and remember details – recount them later
Sees the big picture
Socially adaptive and flexible.
Stabilizer during difficult situations
Takes initiative
Thinks outside the box
Sees possible problems with others' ideas and can conceptualize how to overcome them
Thinks waaaaaay ahead; 10 minutes, 10 days, 10 years
Thinks big,
dreams big
Unlimited energy
creative, able to generate a lot of ideas
hard working to compensate – workaholic
successful when focused
Visual learner
Willing to explore
Willing to take risks
Willingness to help others
Won’t tolerate boredom
Works well under pressure

07-15-16, 11:43 AM
stumbled upon another resource I am finding with great info

07-15-16, 09:04 PM
I can't imagine a circumstance that would make an employer actively seek out a manual for ADD. Workplaces today don't have the time to properly mentor employees. How will they have time to do something like this?