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Careers/Job Impact This forum is for adults to discuss how AD/HD affects work and career.

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  #1  
Old 03-02-08, 10:50 AM
mardi2000 mardi2000 is offline
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American Disability Act

Can any one tell me the sucess they have had with being protected under the ADA (American Disability Act)?

Just wanting to know if revealing or being diagnosed with ADD can help you keep your job.
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Old 03-02-08, 11:12 AM
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Re: American Disability Act

If you're an employee, here's my $.02: Make sure you have a diagnosis of AD/HD in hand before you do anything. AD/HD can be considered a disability if it's diagnosed (by a professional qualified to diagnose it). I'd start with a psychiatrist, or a psychologist specializing in AD/HD. In the U.S.A, the ADA prohibits private companies (15 or more employees), governmental entities, employment agencies and unions, from engaging in employment discrimination against qualified applicants/employees with a disability. Check out the www.add.org Article: AD/HD and the Law by Robin Bond to see if you can overcome the hurdles of substantial limitation, essential functions, reasonable accomodation not resuting in an undue hardship to the employer, etc. Check with a lawyer before disclosing the disability, or threatening to sue for discrimination or retaliation.


Consider not disclosing if:
  • You're new on the job (you really don't know them and vice-versa)
  • You're aware that they've discriminated against others
  • You can obtain accomodation without disclosing (e.g., I work best in a quiet room, with clerical support, with written instructions, with a team, etc.)
  • You can cope with your weak areas and don't need accomodation, or
  • You're performing adequately or better
Consider disclosing if:
  • You know they'll probably discriminate, and you are ready to do battle
  • You need specific/multiple accomodations to perform and you can't get them without disclosing your disability (in confidence) to HR
  • You have a history of disability-caused performance deficits that are significantly hurting your employment anyway, or
  • You're about to be fired
Weigh these factors and the other circumstances of your situation, and go over them with your counsellors before taking action.

Hope this helps.
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  #3  
Old 03-02-08, 11:32 AM
mardi2000 mardi2000 is offline
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My specific problem

Thank you so much for your quick reply.


I am a medical resident in my first year of family medicine. I am an older student with a BA, BS, MSW and MD degree. I have overcome the symptoms of ADD without meds by trying harder and working longer.

What is happening is the program director thought my medical knowledge was lacking until I passed the oral and the written exam with good scores. Now they have decided to analyze me and they think I need to be tested for ADD. I know I have it because I had a child that had it and I was a clinical social worker before going into medicine.

What now? If I take their test and they find they can put an official diagnosis of ADD on my record with I be harmed or helped? I know I do as well as the rest of the people and feel singled out and discriminated against. I had to tell a fellow resident more than one time where he needed to be at the time and I was not even on the service - he is always late with his notes and forgets this and that and he is the one that appears to be ADD to me. I am on time with my note during rounds and never late at the check-out.

Why the freak me?

They have even talked about not putting me on probabtion but having me do extra hard rotations next year to "catch-up" on this perceived problem.

I think altering a schedule to make it harder on an ADD person could be a problem with the ADA. These rotations cause me to work in excess of 85 hours plus a week where the elective rotations would be a more normal work week hour.
PLEASE PM ME FOR THE THREAD.
The above thread is about another medical resident having problems too. It is very interesting you might want to read it. His story sounds really close to mine. It was posted on the Student Doctor Network forum. I can only hope they will renew my contract - the worse thing they could do is renew it, have me do extra work and then can me and I would have to start all over in another program if possible.

I am about to LOSE my mind here.


Thanks for listening.
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Old 03-02-08, 12:39 PM
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Re: American Disability Act

Well you might try getting a pdoc of your choosing to diagnose you first. (The worse result would be if they think you have it and their doc says no b/c then it'll just be a performance issue). Here's the World Health Organization's recognized screening test (don't read the instructions, just answer the questions first):

http://www.med.nyu.edu/psych/assets/adhdscreen18.pdf

80% of those who "pass" eventually are diagnosed with AD/HD.

I assume you are an employee (W-2), and not a contract doc (1099). If you are an employee, are diagnosed with ADD, and they are aware of it, then they cannot discriminate against you because of your ADD. Check the Bond article out as far as essential functions, reasonable accomodations and undue hardship goes.

Whatever you do, don't complain about the other resident. Don't mention him. It's about you, not him. Just keep notes on what they're doing with him as it may help you establish discrimination later, but keep it to yourself for now.
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Old 03-02-08, 01:50 PM
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Re: American Disability Act

Thank you.

I am keeping notes but have not mentioned the other resident.

I am aware of discrimination and the fact I need to keep notes on how they handle deficiency problems with other residents.

Thank you for the information. I do think that getting a formal ADD dx would be in my best interest.

Depressed right now and I guess have ADD too!!!!!!
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Old 03-02-08, 01:58 PM
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Re: American Disability Act

Many of us go to the pdoc for depression, only to have the primary Dx be ADD with depression secondary to it. Get something for the depression/anxiety like Lexapro or Wellbutrin after consulting a pdoc. It makes a huge difference (seemingly more than the ADD Rxs do).
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Old 03-02-08, 04:14 PM
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Re: American Disability Act

I agree that depression is a bigger problem than the ADD. Exercise is also an alternative for improving both depression and ADD. Spark by Dr. John Ratey discusses how in head to head studies with Zoloft exercise was more effective in treating depression. He also discusses how exercise can be helpful in improving ADD symptoms (he is a Harvard Professor/Psychiatrist who also has ADD). Omega III fatty acids are also recommended as helpful for ADD and depression with researching backing them up (see Delivered from Distraction by Edward Hallowell and John Ratey).

Good luck to you in navigating through this maze!
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Old 03-03-08, 11:13 PM
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Re: American Disability Act

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADDAWAY View Post
If you're an employee, here's my $.02: Make sure you have a diagnosis of AD/HD in hand before you do anything. AD/HD can be considered a disability if it's diagnosed (by a professional qualified to diagnose it). I'd start with a psychiatrist, or a psychologist specializing in AD/HD. In the U.S.A, the ADA prohibits private companies (15 or more employees), governmental entities, employment agencies and unions, from engaging in employment discrimination against qualified applicants/employees with a disability. Check out the www.add.org Article: AD/HD and the Law by Robin Bond to see if you can overcome the hurdles of substantial limitation, essential functions, reasonable accomodation not resuting in an undue hardship to the employer, etc. Check with a lawyer before disclosing the disability, or threatening to sue for discrimination or retaliation.


Consider not disclosing if:
  • You're new on the job (you really don't know them and vice-versa)
  • You're aware that they've discriminated against others
  • You can obtain accomodation without disclosing (e.g., I work best in a quiet room, with clerical support, with written instructions, with a team, etc.)
  • You can cope with your weak areas and don't need accomodation, or
  • You're performing adequately or better
Consider disclosing if:
  • You know they'll probably discriminate, and you are ready to do battle
  • You need specific/multiple accomodations to perform and you can't get them without disclosing your disability (in confidence) to HR
  • You have a history of disability-caused performance deficits that are significantly hurting your employment anyway, or
  • You're about to be fired
Weigh these factors and the other circumstances of your situation, and go over them with your counsellors before taking action.

Hope this helps.
This is wrong. Very wrong. YOU ALWAYS NEED to disclose that you have ADD before you are employed. I have been through this and if you don't they will tell you " well you never told us you had add upon getting employed " - they fired me anyway - the irony is - when I told them my reasons of being add are hindering my job performance - they said " we have LOTS of empoyees who are add!"
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Old 03-10-08, 11:22 AM
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Re: American Disability Act

If you do not need accomidations why disclose a disability?
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