The LD/ADHD Needs Assessment was conducted in the summer of 2010. It was the
result of a collaboration of the LD/ADHD Task Force and the Research,
Development and Performance Management Department. The Task Force was
concerned, on the basis of their own experience, reports and feedback from the
LD Support Group, that these consumers were being underserved.
Below is a summaary of this report.
Several problems came to light:
Recent data on the LD/ADHD population at MRC revealed that nearly half of LD and
41% of ADHD had < high school education at referral
Our technological society requires higher levels of education and more
sophisticated technical skills. We wanted to find out if these services were
accessible for people with LD/ADHD.
Job development, coaching and placement needed to be geared toward the unique
needs of the LD/ADHD population which while they might be affected by problems
with inattention and impulsivity and have difficulty processing information,
they are not incapable nor do they lack intellectual capacity.
Educational and occupational supports are necessary. LD/ADHD is characterized by
difficulty with attention, follow through and organization. Without proper
support these consumers will fail to thrive in new complex environments. They
need assistance in making decisions for their own benefit and managing
consequences of these decisions. They ask for the best opportunities that are
appropriate for their needs and support in managing the demands of these new
The sample for the survey included about 1/4th of all MRC LD/ADHD consumers.
They were in 5 statuses: ready for employment; employed < 90 days; on hold;
successfully closed in employment; and unsuccessfully closed after receiving
We received a good response both quantitatively (1600 questionnaires were mailed
out, response rate was 29%) and qualitatively. Questionnaires were completely
filled out and the open ended questions were answered completely and were very
articulate. The respondents were (3/4 LD, ¼ ADHD).
Respondents were asked to indicate the services they had used most frequently,
rate how useful those services were and indicate their greatest service needs.
They were also asked the extent to which the services they received contributed
to meeting their IPE goals.
Although all respondents were employment ready, less than one out of three
respondents received education or training. (With the exception of GED, used by
38.6%) Several complained that felt they were moved directly into employment and
not offered education or training. However it was also noted that these
consumers did not often speak up for services and needed help with self-advocacy
There were several other indications that needs might be underserved. Services
ranked as very important were not always the most frequently used and the
services most frequently used were not always evaluated as very useful.
Most frequently cited service needs were GED, transition services, social
skills, time management. But only one out of four received these services.
Among employment services, job placement, OJT and job coaching were most often
ranked as very important needs.
Services used but not considered very helpful were: transition services,
benefit planning, independent living skills, time management and social skills:
the very skills that were cited as being very important.
Barriers to successful employment articulated in the open ended questions
included a lack of accessible job placement services and job coaching services.
The lack of access was due to a need for greater understanding of these
disabilities on the part of counselors and job placement specialists. Consumers
felt they weren’t placed in appropriate jobs because their counselors didn’t
understand their disability.
More than 2 out of 5 consumers said services did not help them fulfill their IPE
goals. In explaining why, they reported a need for more appropriate job
placement services, increased understanding of LD/ADHD among staff, need for
transition services for those finishing high school or seeking a GED, and a need
for support services while in school or starting a job.
Results of the study underscored the need for education and employment support
services. Respondents repeatedly reported dropping out of school due to lack of
support services. Education al support as well as employment support needs to
be provided. Services need to start in high school to prevent dropout rates,
then provide transition programs that serve high school drop outs as well as
those in school. Disability specific assessment, counseling and guidance were
Develop a new MRC service that would be an education and employment support
program to provide ongoing support to consumers who are in school or new jobs
assisting them with organizational, practical, remedial and interpersonal
problems. This program would coach students and employees to cope with the
stresses of work and school on an ongoing or long term basis
Work with the MRC to strengthen transition programming for youth leaving high
school on their way to further education or employment so these services are
more available. Make certain that staff in these programs is well versed in
Continue to train counselors in the etiology, consequences and treatment of
people with LD/ADHD.
Make certain job placement specialists are also trained to facilitated
appropriate job matches.
Develop a method such as a site on MRCNET where counselors can easily access and
learn about all current programs/services run by the MRC so that they can be
well informed about all potential resources for all clients.
Develop specialized job coaching services for people with LD/ADHD to help them
choose appropriate job s that would best meet their skills. Perhaps these
consumers could be triaged to specially trained counselors.
What is Adult ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurological disorder that affects adults who experience challenges in impulsivity, hyperactivity, and distractibility. However, in adult, ADHD often looks quite different than it does in children and its symptoms are unique for each individual.
Common Symptoms of Adult ADHD – Impulsivity
Adults with ADHD may have trouble inhibiting certain behavior, comments and responses. An adult with ADHD may act before thinking or react without considering the conquences. In addition, an adult may find themselves interrupted others, or rushing through tasks without reading the instructions.
Common Symptoms of Adult ADHD- Hyperactivity
Hyperactivity in adults with ADHD can look the same as it does in children, however the symptoms of hyperactivity may become more subtle and internal as they grow older. Some of the common symptoms of hyperactivity in adults include feelings of inner restlessness, tendency to take risks, trouble sitting still, craving for excitement, and doing a million things at once
Common Symptoms of Adult ADHD – Inattention
Adults with ADHD who have symptoms of inattention may have difficulty staying focused and attending to daily mundane tasks. They may also be easily distracted by irrelevant sights and sound, and quickly bounce from one task to another and become bored quickly
In conclusion, most people don’t outgrow ADHD, they do learn to adapt. If the difficulties associated with ADHD are managed appropriately throughout their lives, adults with ADHD can learn to develop personal strengths and be productive and successful.
The goal of the CHADD Adult ADHD support group is too become a resource to help affected individuals and those who care for and about them:
• Connect with others who understand their challenges firsthand
• Share and create ideas for better self-care
• Inspire one another to be strong and improve overall quality of life
• Utilize their own experiences to help others
Next Support Group Meeting
When : May 30,2012
Where: Worcester Public Library: Banx Room
3 Salem Square, Worcester, Mass 01608
Time: 7:00 pm
I didn’t understand that I had Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) until I turned twenty-eight. That meant a big part of my life was spent believing I was somehow “not quite with it”. I didn’t think it was possible for me to have ADHD because it was usually associated with hyperactive boys.
When I was growing up I wanted to be the best at everything I did, no matter what it took. I remember staying up all night doing homework because I never got anything done during the evening as there were just too many distractions. The library was awful because I would just end up counting the books on the shelves instead of reading what was in front of me. I thought taking a job in the library might encourage me to do school work, but it was disastrous. I easily lost focus every time someone walked in and I realized I had been reading the same sentences over and over again.
It wasn’t until I took Abnormal Psychology in college that my life really got out of control. I had asked the professor of that class to allow me to take the exams in a separate setting such as the Disability Services Office so I wouldn’t be distracted. At the end of the semester she finally promised to bring the test there. When I went there to take the final I discovered the test was not there. When I finally calmed down enough to speak with her, the conversation wasn’t helpful.
As I headed out the door, Marion Bergin, the Director of the Disability Services Office stopped me and we walked back into her office. She shut the door and, in tears, I told her everything that happened. That’s when Marion told me she thought I might have ADHD. She gave me a list entitled “ADHD Checklist” and asked me to fill it out. Noting my answers, she asked me to see a psychiatrist. After a lengthy meeting with the psychiatrist he told me he believed I had ADHD. I still couldn’t believe it. He gave me a prescription for medication and told me to come back in three weeks. I started the medication the next day and after a few days I felt much better believed I actually knew what was going on!
Now I understand my past failures, the self-loathing, the insecurities and the inability to stick to anything. I know that I missed some amazing opportunities in my life. But now I know why these things have happened and I no longer have to beat up on myself because I’m comfortable in my own skin. And I’m finally out of the fog. My mentor once told me “it was like looking through a pair of binoculars that were out of focus.” Once they were focused I could finally see things clearly. I thank my mentor and higher power for this journey. It has made me unique and I am finally where I am supposed to be.