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I'm neurodivergent. What reasonable adjustments should I ask for?

Updated: Apr 24

The thing about neurodiversity is that it really is what it says on the tin! Diversity of thinking and brains and ideas and people. So the answer to "what reasonable adjustments should I ask for?" is..."I don't know because you are unique, but we can help you find out"! Luckily, at The Vet Project, that is kind of our thing!


There are lots of questions that you need to ask yourself to figure this one out. It's something that we do a lot in our one to one coaching and our interactive workshops.


For me, my neurodiversity journey has been one of huge self discovery. When I look back at myself a couple of years ago, the amount that I didn't know about myself is absolutely mind boggling! I took very little time to check in with myself, never prioritised my own needs, always putting everyone else's needs first (including patients and clients). But here's the thing. If you do this you will soon be actually physically and mentally unable to help others. It is vital that you help yourself first. Only then will you be properly equipped to do the same for those around you. Put your own life jacket on first, as the well known saying goes. Now my life jacket is firmly in place and I'm so much more available for everyone around me.


For a lot of people a diagnosis of a neurodivergent condition can be a big missing piece in the self knowledge trail. It certainly was for me. I looked at all the things that people were saying about ADHD, especially late diagnosed ADHD in women, and I found that it explained a lot! So that was step one for me (actually it was about steps one to six). Figure out I've got ADHD, deliberate endlessly about whether to get a formal diagnosis or not, do a serious amount of research and ridiculous online quizzes about it, decide to get a formal diagnosis, get a formal diagnosis and finally try to find some acceptance and a way forward with this hugely life changing new information.


It's important to say here that formal diagnosis is absolutely not the only way I could have gone. Self diagnosis is absolutely valid, I just wanted to tick that box.


Once I had my diagnosis, I was very keen to talk about it to anyone who would listen! This was great, and it also meant that I was asked by my line manager what they could do to help me. What reasonable adjustments did I want? I had absolutely no clue!


It took me another twelve months, at least, and a lot of coaching and much more research to find out the answers. And I'm definitely still learning more about myself all the time. 


I can tell you, if you want, what reasonable adjustments I put in place for myself. And it might be that some of them work for you, but it might not, because the very important thing to realise is that there no fixed set of reasonable adjustments for people with ADHD because (shock horror) we are all different. So that's why I don't have the answer to your very pertinent question about reasonable adjustments!


What I will say though is that the journey that you are embarking on to find the answer to this question is surely one of the most exciting, fulfilling and valuable journeys that you are ever likely to take. It's not fun to do this alone though, find your people! Maybe you already have a group of ND affirming friends and colleagues (I was extremely lucky in this regard) but if you don't there are some great online resources to help. Try joining one of the Facebook groups like Veterinary Association for Neurodivergence or Veterinary Spoonholders. At The Vet Project we have a Facebook page with some cool stuff on, and on our website you will find loads of resources to help you. We always like to chat about neurodiversity so please feel free to reach out to us, we've been there and we absolutely get it!


For me, the question about reasonable adjustments is more than just about work. If you know what you need to do to function at your best and utilise your strengths, while stepping over your barriers and obstacles, you can apply it to all areas of your life. I know that I need quiet time alone to focus on my admin work, I also know that I need quiet time alone after I've been at home with my, really quite noisy, children all day! It's often transferable.


So spend some time with yourself and start to identify what works and what doesn't. Check in at the end of your day and get a bit curious about what has felt great and what hasn't. Self care doesn't have to be just taking a bath, it also means identifying and prioritising your needs.


Do you want to find out more? At The Vet Project we offer coaching and training around neurodiversity. Book a free call or enquire on our website at www.thevetproject.co.uk or drop us an email info@thevetproject.co.uk




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