The latest research on ADHD
Some recent studies on ADHD have shown that it may be related to changes in the brain’s structure and function, particularly in the areas involved in attention and impulse control. Other research has also suggested that genetic and environmental factors may play a role in the development of ADHD. Additionally, various medications, behavioral therapies, and educational interventions have been found to be effective in treating the symptoms of ADHD.
Is ADHD a Disability?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can often be diagnosed in childhood. For the majority of people, ADHD will continue into adulthood.
It affects the brain in specific ways and can be detected via scientific methods. In order to diagnose someone with ADHD, they must have symptoms – for instance, difficulty with paying attention and being overly impulsive – as well as problems in at least two different areas of their life caused by their symptoms. The impact may not always cause a problem every day but could be felt several times a month or even just once or twice a year. Common examples include forgetting details related to tasks, excessive tapping or skipping while performing routine tasks, and poor organization skills.
What is ADHD?
ADHD is what’s known as a “long-term” disorder that has an extensive negative effect on daily life. In the UK, the legal definition of disability stipulated by The Equality Act 2010 is a physical or mental impairment that negatively affects day-to-day life for a person for at least twelve months.
In the UK, in order to be considered disabled, a person must meet two criteria: 1) their condition must have a substantial and 2) long-term negative effect on carrying out normal day-to-day activities.
It is the responsibility of an employer to consider making reasonable adjustments to support their employees. Similarly, a school or college also has to make reasonable adjustments in order to support their students.
Is ADHD a disability?
Under UK law, “Yes!” is the correct answer when asked, “Is ADHD a disability?”
Despite the challenges of living with ADHD, many people with it recognise that they also have ways of being in the world that are distinctive and creative.
One of the reasons why people with ADHD can come up with workable solutions to a problem that has never occurred to their colleagues may be because they struggle to stay focused. This might mean their mind comes up with different possibilities for solving a problem that others wouldn’t discover just by wrestling over it for a long time.
The Institute of Leadership and Management has a helpful article that discusses workplace neurodiversity: The Power Of Difference.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Adults
One of the key questions to consider when an employee has ADHD is whether they are disabled. It’s also important for employees with ADHD to be able to compete equally with their co-workers for promotion and progression in their workplace. If a person is deemed to have a disability, then an employer in the UK is bound by law to consider making “reasonable adjustments” in order to support that person.
As with anyone with a disability or medical condition, an adult with ADHD may need some adjustments in their daily life. These might be specific modifications to their work, school, or college.
For example, someone with ADHD might get easily distracted by the noise in an open-plan office. A “reasonable adjustment” might be moving their workspace to a quieter part of the office that isn’t next to a noisy coffee machine.
And they might be permitted to wear headphones, so they don’t have to listen to all 17 conversations happening elsewhere in the office. Other people might negotiate with their bosses to work at home more often because they feel like there are fewer distractions.
For people who have a hard time staying focused during a lengthy meeting, their team may decide to take more frequent breaks, or individuals might be permitted to stand up and walk around.
Students and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
When it comes to college or university, sometimes people need a little help so that they can succeed. So, is ADHD considered a disability? This is a crucial question because if it is, the person will be able to receive the support he or she needs.
A student with ADHD might find it hard to complete tasks that require organization, planning, and sequencing when completing long essays. A coach will support them in every step of the process from collecting material to writing the essay. They may also be coached on how to use apps to help them manage their tasks and ensure they don’t miss lectures or appointments.
If an adult with ADHD (or their parent, if they are below 18) believes that there may be a need for “reasonable adjustments” to be made by their employer, college, or university, then they will need to have had an ADHD Assessment and been diagnosed.
Alexia is the author at Research Snipers covering all technology news including Google, Apple, Android, Xiaomi, Huawei, Samsung News, and More.