Gain Independence with Self-Advocacy

As Independence Day draws near in the US, my thoughts turn to how you can gain independence if you experience ADHD.  Whether you are a working adult, college student or even a younger student, I encourage you to think about how you can advocate for your self.  Do you have ADHD?  Other time management or attention-related concerns?  It is important that you self-advocate for yourself!  This will help set you up for a successful semester.

There are many ways to implement advocacy in your life.  I have listed a few thought starters here and would love your input as well.  Please leave us a comment!

  • If you are in college and have been diagnosed with ADHD or a learning disability, contact the disability services office on your campus.  If you aren’t sure of the name at your school, just search for disability services and the name of your school.  You’ll find them.
  • Talk to your professors and teaching assistants about the support that you need.  Even if you have accommodations from the disability services office, conversation with professors and teaching assistants will ensure a common understanding among everyone.
  • Consider your learning style and how you can maximize your strengths in school or work settings.
  • At work, consider the type of environment in which you work best.  I remember when I was still in the corporate world, my least favorite desk location when I was the last cubicle before the hallway.  Everyone thought it would be nice to stop in and say hello on their way to the vending machines, coffee, elevators, etc.  My friend Bridget helped me arrange my cubicle furniture to make it less inviting to guests.  It worked!  I didn’t want to be rude, but I needed to get some work done!
  • Seek your supervisor’s assistance if you need help in minimizing interruptions.  It may help to explain that it can take up to 25 minutes to refocus after each interruption.  By being proactive and asking for assistance – you’ll get more work done too!  (And what supervisor can argue with that?)
  • Join Barbara Wilson and I on July 21st to learn how to Succeed with Assertive Communication.  Using assertive communication can really help you in your self-advocacy journey.  Register today!

How do you advocate for yourself at school, work or home?  Share with our community by leaving a comment here.

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