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Son with recent ADHD diagnosis - how to help him find work

(10 Posts)
MrsMuddlePluck Mon 27-Feb-17 18:55:22

Ds19 just diagnosed (at last) with inattentive adhd. Finally got him to jobcentre & he's been told that he can't get any help finding a job, despite him losing his previous job as he couldn't manage his timekeeping (that's what made us try again for a diagnosis - he's had problems since infant school).

How can I help him as he has to spend 5hrs a day jobhunting or they dock your benefits. Given his hopeless timekeeping & lack of concentration, I can foresee him losing ££ already! They even say he might lise some benefits as he was sacked from his job (due to the undiagnosed adhd at the time).

Any tips on how to guide him would really help.

daisychain01 Tue 28-Feb-17 03:48:28

I don't have specialist knowledge of ADHD and the challenges your DS encounters on a daily basis, however I think with any young person, it's a question of getting them to focus on what they enjoy doing, identifying their personal skills and talents and from there, targeting their CV towards roles and organisations where a good fit is more likely.

Let's face it your DS is going to need the incentive to 'get him up in the morning', something he can own and be good at, which will raise his self-esteem and self-worth.

As his mum, you know him better than anyone, so can you help him identify his talents and get him working on his CV.

I remember years ago, after a troubled time with behavioural problems galore, my brother found his calling in IT and it absolutely transformed his life and gave him purpose. In fact he ended up mentoring youngsters towards IT careers which was wonderful to see him giving back to others.

Making job-searching a positive, enjoyable and rewarding experience, even in the face of rejection, is the key aim, rather than the churn and joyless experience that is a function of "5 hours a day job searching" which sounds dismal.

pillowcase6 Tue 28-Feb-17 04:09:55

Hi there,
I have been diagnosed with inattentive ADD as an adult and I'm on medication which helps a bit. Does your son take any medication?

It is a tricky one. It's easy to fall into a pit of poor self-esteem and despair when you focus on your deficits, thinking, well I'm broken and therefore can't contribute to the world. I often feel like I missed a memo in life, the one that tells you how to keep your day to day life in order and together.

What helps me is firstly focusing on strengths, being reminded what you ARE good at and what you do bring to the world. Keep reminding your son of those things.

Secondly, the practical things that help people with ADHD-PI a lot are:
- structure
- accountability
- rewards
- strategy helpers, e.g. Apps and websites

You can help with all those. For structure, you can help him make a timetable/routine for his day, with things broken into steps as necessary. Then instead of facing a huge block of 5 hours every day, his timetable tells him exactly what to do, when.

Accountability is an easy one to help with if he is willing. It helps so much to know someone's following what you're doing and will ask later what you've done. Agree on what he's comfortable with you following up and overseeing. Sometimes this feels like you're being treated like a child. But actually I think it's okay for adults to say, this is a weakness of mine, and I appreciate your help while I figure out how to do it better independently.

Rewards are something you can suggest he build into his timetable. People with ADHD can find it harder than others to delay gratification so it's a good thing to practise. Put 15 mins of fun after 45 mins boring web searching. Have a biscuit break built into the afternoon schedule, etc.

Strategy helpers - I use Wunderlist as a really good basic to do list app, and I like that you can access the same list on your phone and computer. Any time something pops into my head, I immediately make a to do for it before I forget. It helps not get distracted and go on tangents. Trello is a very good project management app, also for PC and phone, which lets you track progress of things. You could use it to keep track of job applications.

Thirdly, make sure he's getting daily exercise and good food. Again the exercise can go into his timetable, just a 45 minute walk is beneficial if he's not already doing regular exercise. My GP put me on daily magnesium and omega 3 supplements too.

Everything will also depend on your son's attitude. The motivation has to come from him in the end. ADHD is frequently co-morbid with other mental issues like depression and anxiety, so just be a listening ear and a shoulder for him too, should he need to talk, and keep encouraging him in the good qualities you see in him.

I don't know if any of that is helpful for what you were asking, but I hope it helped someone out there anyway!

daisychain01 Tue 28-Feb-17 04:24:28

Fab post there pillowcase.

Spot on about breaking down the 5 hours into more manageable chunks of time. Otherwise it's so daunting.

MrsMuddlePluck Tue 28-Feb-17 13:36:27

Pillowcase6: thank you so so much! I would be crying but I'm in my works canteen! Thats very helpful indeed.

MrsMuddlePluck Tue 28-Feb-17 13:39:08

He is on meds but still in the 'stabilising' phase. He hasn't noticed a difference but family & friends have.

Spoke to him earlier & he is already finding jobhunting hard & feeling very anxious.

rachelzane Tue 28-Feb-17 20:43:19

where are you based OP? Maybe the brain in hand app will help his timekeeping? google it for info

pillowcase6 Wed 01-Mar-17 02:08:40

Pillowcase6: thank you so so much! I would be crying but I'm in my works canteen! Thats very helpful indeed.

I'm glad it was a help. I feel for the lad! Job hunting is an awful palaver whatever your circumstances. I hope he has some success soon.

Divorcingjack Mon 20-Mar-17 17:40:06

I have ADHD and am thinking of changing roles at the minute to something that better suits me. There is quite a lot of evidence that people with ADHD do much better in roles with external structure imposed, police, forces, ambulance service. They also shine in high-stress, short-deadline environments as they struggle to self-impose deadlines and schedule activities. A changing environment is key, sales has a v high proportion of ADHD sufferers and is something I have always been interested in. My role has changed to less customer focused recently and I'm really struggling to manage my workload without the structure of appointments. Admin is a killer for me and has lead to me losing jobs in the past. Have a google of "jobs for ADHD" and a read of the Reddit ADHD forum for ideas. Fascinating. Feel free to PM if you like smile good luck to your son, it's really tough.

Divorcingjack Mon 20-Mar-17 17:42:05

Also, I use a bullet journal to impose my own structure. I found having to use my phone to check to-do lists was an open invitation to procrastinate. Not that I need an invite.

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