LD/ADHD Needs Assessment Report Summary

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 Study

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

asked for.




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?

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.




Free Learn About ADHD Coaching Teleseminar

ADHD Coaching is a relatively new field that has become better known in recent years. ADHD Coaching has emerged among the many approaches, services & treatments and can help adults with ADHD reach their fullest potential.

This presentation will

  • Provide an overview of ADHD Coaching
  • Discuss the benefits of ADHD Coaching – How to select an ADHD Coach
  • The Process of ADHD Coaching credentialing
  • Provide practical suggestions for selecting a coach

Click the link to sign up..  https://www.facebook.com/adhdcoach1605?ref=tn_tnmn#!/events/311986142202856/

CHADD Adult ADHD Support Group in Central Mass

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

Being Successful with a Learning Disability and ADHD


What it does it means to be successful for someone who has learning disability and/or attention deficit. Today’s media narrowly defines success by accomplishments and monetary gain, giving such examples of “successful” individuals with LD/ADHD as well-known public figures like Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Airlines, David Neeleman, founder of Jet Blue Airways, or Michael Phelps, an Olympic medalist in swimming. While these stories of success can inspire someone with LD/ADHD by demonstrating that their disability does not have to hold them back, they can also put undue pressure on individual who might feel that without achieving such high goals, he or she is not truly successful and lacking in something. Definitions of success for an individual with LD/ADHD, “living on the same planet as others, experiencing “inter-connectedness of all beings, having achievements that allow to do what a person wants to do, gaining “balance between wellness and productivity, living life I choose and want to live & doing things that are satisfying

What are some of the barriers to being successful? Over-thinking and hyper-focusing sometimes does not allow them to “see forest for the trees.”Disorganization and difficulty prioritizing can make them feel tired and give up. Tendency to maximize (believing that one should always try to derive The highest benefit from every choice/option, such as trying to get “the biggest bang for the buck” when buying sneakers or to find the shortest possible route to work) can raise anxiety and in worst case, can prevent individual from taking the necessary action. Self-doubt that is unfortunately so common for individuals with LD/ADHD can also be rather debilitating.

Some of the strategies for overcoming the above barriers and achieving personal success: diversifying self-esteem – avoiding putting all self-esteem “eggs” into one basket; acknowledging various areas in which you have competency instead of narrowly focusing only on what does not come easy to you, checking in with someone when start over-thinking and over-complicating & breaking things down into small concrete steps to transform abstract idea into action plan

ADHD and Work Tips



This is a great article on adhd and the workplace I found on adhdlibrary.org


Typical symptoms of AD/HD such as hyperactivity, poor organizational skills, distractibility, impulsivity, etc., often are challenges for the adult in the workplace. However, there are strategies that can be employed to maximize function, skill, and satisfaction in the workplace.

Know Your Strengths And Weaknesses

It is important to realize that many AD/HD adults have successful careers. Edison, Mozart, and even Einstein may have had AD/HD. Success seems to be linked to employing good coping strategies once you’ve discovered your strengths and know your weaknesses. Once you become aware of your specific set of challenges, it will become easier for you to plan a strategy. Therefore, consider your unique characteristics as you design your strategies. Below is a checklist describing many of the symptoms typically associated with AD/HD. Strategies for coping are listed below each symptom.

1. Distractibility — People Walking By Your Desk, Or Talking Near You, Distract You From Your Work

  • Try to place yourself in the least distracting environment. This may be a private office or cubicle with little foot travel by other office workers. You may retreat to a conference room if possible.
  • Maintain a memo pad to keep ideas and assignments from slipping away if you become distracted. Use the memo pad to jot down notes when you receive a phone call.
  • Come in early or do your work when others are not in the office.
  • Don’t multi-task. Set a goal to finish your current task before starting another.
  • Background noise, sometimes known as “white noise” can be effective. Special white noise CDs, audio tapes, or earphones are available for this purpose. Simple classical or new age music may also help.

2. Poor Memory – You Can’t Recall Dates, Names, Or Appointments

  • First and foremost, buy a day planner and use it religiously to keep track of your schedule and upcoming tasks.
  • Many freeware and commercial computer programs are available that automate scheduling and task reminders
  • Make use of pocket recorders. Current recorders no longer need audio tapes as they record on microchips. These are effective for personal reminders or note taking at meetings.
  • Write checklists and set reasonable goals for projects.

3. Poor Organization – You Can’t Seem To Finish Projects On Time Or You Fail To Keep Good Records

  • If possible, find a job that does not require long-term task management.
  • Set goals for your current task by breaking it into a series of manageable tasks. Mark the deadline for each mini-task with a timer. Computer programs are available for this or you may use a simple kitchen timer.
  • Reward yourself when you reach a goal.
  • Use an automated computer scheduler to set meeting times. These usually come with an alarm. Set it alert you five to ten minutes before each meeting.
  • Allow adequate time between meetings or projects to you do not overload or overbook your schedule.
  • Partner with a co-worker who has good organizational skills. This person may act as your coach. The coach will help set goals and reward you as you achieve your goals.

4. Impulsivity – You Respond, At Times, Without Thinking Of Consequences, Sometimes Your Respond With Outbursts

  • Have a trusted co-worker provide constructive feedback about your interactions with other staff. This co-worker may also act as a personal coach to role-play appropriate responses to common office dynamics.
  • From this feedback, develop strategies to be used when you become frustrated.
  • Yoga and some martial arts classes may prove effective in teaching relaxation and concentration skills. A meditation class may be effective, too.

5. Procrastination – You Put Things Off Until The Last Minute Sometimes Frustrating Or Angering Colleagues

  • Set goals for your current task by breaking it into a series of manageable tasks. Mark the deadline for each mini-task with a timer. Computer programs are available for this or you may use a simple kitchen timer.
  • Reward yourself when you reach a goal.
  • Use an automated computer scheduler to set meeting times. These usually come with an alarm.
  • Partner with a co-worker who has good organizational skills. This person may act as your coach. The coach will help set project goals and reward you as you achieve your goals.

6. Hyperactivity – You Find It Very Difficult To Sit Still During Meetings Or At Your Desk

  • Maximize your personal time like breaks, lunch, etc. to exercise and burn off some energy. This can include walking around the block or trips up and down the stairwell.
  • Break up your day to include trips to the mailroom, photocopier, fax, and restroom.
  • Bring a notepad to meetings and take copious notes.
  • A rubber band or paperclip in your free hand can provide stimulation while you take notes.

7. Daydreaming – When You Find Something Boring You Block Out The Stimuli And Think Of Something More Fun

  • Remember, if you have a job you truly enjoy, you’ll find you’ll daydream less.
  • A job with challenging responsibilities will provide less opportunity for daydreaming than a job shuffling papers.
  • Set goals for your current task by breaking it into a series of manageable tasks. Mark the deadline for each mini-task with a timer. Computer programs are available for this or you may use a simple kitchen timer.
  • Reward yourself when you reach a goal.

8. Avoiding Details – Details Like Paperwork Bore You And You Find Them Virtually Impossible To Finish

  • Rule number one; if you can get someone else to do it properly (like an office assistant), let them handle paperwork
  • Make filing more fun by color coding folders and using catchy labels.
  • Personalize your filing (sensibly) by using fun labels and folders – possibly color coded.
  • For paperwork that requires immediate attention have your filing system close at hand, perhaps directly on your desk

9. Poor Social Skills – Your Interactions With Your Colleagues Are Marked By Your Interruptions, Blunt Comments, Or Poor Listening Skills

  • Have a trusted co-worker provide constructive feedback about your interactions with other staff. This co-worker may also act as a personal coach to role-play appropriate responses to common office dynamics.
  • Pay particular attention to social cues and work on them with a personal coach to develop awareness and appropriate response.
  • From this feedback, develop strategies to be used when you become frustrated.
  • Learn to pick up on social cues more readily. Some adults with AD/HD have a hard time picking up nonverbal cues that they are angering a co-worker or supervisor.


A person with AD/HD must develop skills and strategies that will enable him/her to function optimally in the workplace. Should skills and strategies fail, it may be necessary to switch careers after careful assessment of your work attributes and skills.


ADHD and the Workplace Teleseminar

This teleseminar will emphasize some of the problematic workplace, economic, and behaviors for adults with ADHD, along with employment laws/reasonable accommodations which protect adults with ADHD followed by insights and strategies that can help.
When  May 16, 2012
Time:  7:00 pm
Register  https://www.facebook.com/events/414002251961834/#!/events/414002251961834/

My Life with ADHD

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.

Review of CHADD Adult ADHD Support Group by Dr. David Nowell

What I learned from Dr Kevin Murphy at last night’s inaugural meeting of the Central Mass CHADD Adult ADHD Support Group

Posted on Thursday, April 12, 2012 9:48 AM
A big thank-you to Jenna Knight for organizing last night’s inaugural meeting of the Central Mass CHADD Adult ADHD Support Group!
I think the Worcester Library is going to be a great location for the group – it was easy to find, not too far from I-290, and has easy-peasey free parking.

A highlight of last night’s meeting for me was learning from Dr Kevin Murphy some practical approaches to workplace support for adults with ADHD. He suggests an approach which is client-specific and seeks a win-win with employers and employees.

And he shared with us what is – in his opinion – the single most effective intervention for employees with ADHD.
Dr Murphy noted that employees’ job descriptions are often a mismatch with what they’re actually required to do at work. He also said that employers may ask the ADHD employee to tackle a big project and simply assume that he/she will easily be able to break that project down into steps, sequence them, prioritize the subtasks, and independently manage time. Dr Murphy said that these employees are often surprised, then, to receive negative feedback about their performance – it’s like the employer and employee haven’t really communicated and then BANG they get written up or otherwise scolded. Dr Murphy also noted his impression that many managers don’t really like to do performance reviews….they just hope that things will somehow get done at work without having to actually talk about it.
So here’s the recommendation that Dr Murphy shared with us last night: for employees with Adult ADHD, he encourages frequent (really frequent) performance evaluations. I was thinking like – what – quarterly? monthly? Nope, Dr Murphy said that job performance feedback might need to be three times a week, or even daily!
It makes sense, doesn’t it? When you think about the nature of ADHD, quarterly or monthly feedback wouldn’t work in a classroom and wouldn’t work in a marriage…so why would we think such irregular performance review would be effective at work?
Now, Dr Murphy went on to say that this feedback doesn’t need to be extensive or time-consuming. It might be 5 minutes. But he did suggest that it should be structured. The feedback shouldn’t be “on the fly” in the hallway or parking lot. It should be scheduled and one-on-one between manager and employee, and should be a quick review of “what you’re doing right and where you need work right now.” It’s a chance to receive verbal praise for your successes and to learn what needs to improve – before things get really out of hand.
I was a bit surprised to hear that, in his experience, employers will usually go for it!
So that was my take-away from last night’s CHADD support group – again, thanks to Jenna for organizing the event. Looking forward to the next one!

Welcome to MY ADHD BLOG