Neuro-Diversity Works: A Study of Employees with ADHD, Asperger's Syndrome and PTSD
This research paper focuses on the experiences of employees with hidden disabilities in the workplace. Three cognitive disorders were studied, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Literature by experts on these subjects is reviewed and analyzed. Participants then describe their feelings and experiences in the workplace as they related to their conditions, and the two are juxtaposed in a final discussion. Emergent themes that resulted from the lines of questioning included the role played by manager and coworker support, accommodations under ADA and ADA Amendments Act, working environment, employee attitude, and whether the participants felt they had been treated fairly. Participants were asked to contribute to a quantitative survey instrument as well as a qualitative survey instrument that encouraged them to tell their stories in their own words. In some cases, these stories serve to help identify best practices in the workplace, and some serve to illustrate the obstacles and level of conflict, sometimes bordering on cruelty, that can exist for those with ADHD, AS and PTSD if negative behaviors and attitudes in the workplace are left unchecked. Human Resources practitioners and managers were also queried on the subject to obtain a rounded and full view of the challenges employees with these three hidden disabilities face, as well as those of the people who manage them.