Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

The definitions of ADHD are based on high levels of impulsivity, hyperactivity and inattention which cause difficulties at home, in education, work and social settings. The symptoms of ADHD may vary depending on the demands of personal life and the environment where the individual is working (eg. noisy, busy).


  • Impulsivity, such as; speaking and acting without thinking, interrupting others, difficulty waiting their turn, being oblivious to danger and not learning from experience
  • Lack of awareness of the needs of others
  • Unable to sit still
  • Poor attention, making it difficult to finish tasks
  • Some people with ADHD may also have reading and writing difficulties. For example, dyslexia and/or dyspraxia
  • Poor concentration may lead to becoming easily bored or having poor organisational skills
  • Disruptive behaviour.

Potential impact on daily life and employment

  • Recognising Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and ADHD is classed as a disability
  • May be reluctant to discuss their difficulties
  • Could appear anxious or impatient
  • May tend to agree to things impulsively to get things over with
  • May have difficulty dressing or presenting themselves appropriately
  • At times may find it difficult to stay calm
  • Could sometimes become confrontational
  • Require the job to be broken into tasks throughout the day to remember all the parts of the job
  • Appear disorganised and easily distracted.

Support in the workplace

  • Employment is better sustained where work includes a variety of tasks, working to clear guidelines and deadlines with minimal distractions (work on a production line, for example, may not always be suitable)
  • Organise a degree of supervision, whether formal or informal
  • The appointment of an appropriate workplace buddy would normally be recommended
  • Workplace rules and regulations should be regularly re-enforced (eg. importance of timekeeping) in a calm and clear manner
  • Workplace training should be regularly followed up and re-enforced to ensure key learning points are understood
  • Variety of training methods is encouraged
  • Be prepared to highlight inappropriate behaviour immediately and provide clear standards on what is acceptable in the workplace
  • Check understanding – sometimes individuals with ADHD will agree to things simply to speed up discussions or end difficult conversations rather than be focused on what is actually being agreed.

5% - 10% of the Australian population is diagnosed with ADHD.

Source; Everyday with ADHD website.

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