ADHD & Learning Differences
Signs and Symptoms
Attention Deficit & Hyperactivity Disorder impacts a person’s ability to control their behaviour. People with ADHD may experience difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour. In adults, hyperactivity often decreases but they may still struggle with restlessness and paying attention. This can impact capacity and performance in the workplace.
Learning differences such as Dyslexia, Dysgraphia or Dyscalculia affect the way the brain interprets information. This impacts reading, writing, mathematics, organisation and communication skills. Unrecognised, learning differences can cause individuals to fall behind their peers, leading to poor literacy skills, coping strategies and low self-esteem.
Learning differences are not a sign of un-intelligence, but one of a difference in strengths. Many people with dyslexia can be ‘out-of-the-box’ thinkers, with a knack for creative. These individuals are often skilled at strategic, real-world thinking.
ADHD affects 1 in 20 Australians, with an estimated 75% yet to be diagnosed
Affect on Daily Life at Work
» The employee may experience impulsiveness, disorganization or poor time management
» The employee may have trouble reading for long periods of time, may transcribe inverted letters and numbers or require a colleague to assist them to read and write
» As a result of their condition, they may experience low self-esteem, frustration, irritability or a mental health condition
» Mood or motivation may affect their relationships in the workplace
» Maintain open communication so you can understand their needs, skill level, side effects of medication and triggers
» Become familiar with the behaviours that indicate stress and facilitate breaks
» Consider using personal prompts and reminders to keep them on task
» Reduce distractions in the workplace where practical
» Work together to determine the best way to administer tasks, memos and deadlines
» Follow up on tasks and memos to make sure they understand the message
» Offer a workplace mentor to help with time and task management
» Provide flexible workloads to allow more time for reading, writing or numerical tasks
For additional resources and support, visit ADHD Australia
Due to his Aspergers and ADHD, Caleb says he sometimes loses track of what he’s doing, particularly when assigned several tasks at once.
To remedy this, he’ll often ask his supervisors questions about the best way to do a task or what they’d like done next.
While initially he was worried that this was annoying, with Castle’s support as a mediator, he’s now confident that his boss understands that this behaviour is a part of his disability.