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do I tell my Employer of my learning disability

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Joined: Nov 03, 2005
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Posted May 23, 2003 at 1:11:21 AM
Subject: do I tell my Employer of my learning disability

I want to tell my employer I have learning disability but do not know how.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 24, 2014
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Posted:May 23, 2003 12:19:46 PM

There is an old thread on this topic.

The thread is dated late April, started by Bonnie Kerr. The title is something like "Disclose/wiether of not to employor."

It is an interesting topic and reviewing it may help you!

[%sig%]

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 24, 2014
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Posted:May 23, 2003 12:35:04 PM

Hi Julia,

I struggle with this issue myself but let me take a shot at your answer. First of all, before you do disclose, make sure you fully understand why you're doing it.

If you feel your performance would suffer without specific accomodations be it assistive technology or simply asking for written directions instead of oral directions, then that is a good reason for disclosure. If you are doing it simply to get sympathy from your employer, that is not a good reason. Not saying that's your motivation but it's very important to be aware of that.

If you do want to disclose, be aware that most employers really don't have a clue about LD so don't use fancy jargon. Try to state it in a way that well tell the employer that the particular accomodation you need will help you do an excellent job and that is your prime concern.

Also, if you need something in particular like Assistive Technology, make sure you're prepared to suggest exactly what you need. Don't expect the employer to do the research for you.

By the way, I violated all the disclosing rules at my last place of employment and it worked great for me. But I realize I was quite lucky and I would not advise anyone doing what I did which was to disclose when I thought my job might be in trouble.

One issue that I dealt with that you need to be aware of is many times, the cost of an accomodation is irrelevant. I was involved in one controversy and thankfully, my boss was very supportive in which the issue was simply we have done it this way for a million years and we're not changing the procedure to accomodate your LD.

Finally, I realize with this tough economy that the disclosure issue even if you handle everything perfectly could still backfire bigtime on you. It is like the frying pan or fire syndrome.

Hope that helps and good luck.

PT

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 24, 2014
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Posted:May 29, 2003 12:14:24 PM

I would tell my employer so he/she knows and it would put my mind as ease. I would make sure he/she knows what my LD is and if I am in a job that I have to hide who I am and then its not the right job for me. It might take me more time to write a letter or note and it might not always be spelled the right way but the other things I know how to do I do better then alot of people.
Its up to you if you tell your employer or not if you go around trying to hide that takes alot of engery which could be used for other things as far as showing them you can do the job that you were hired to do.
Good Luck with it and do what you feel it right and not what others think.
Its not easy but after all said and done you will feel so much better as I do.
Charles Hunter

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 24, 2014
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Posted:Jun 05, 2003 4:27:43 PM

Don't because it is a very bad idea. I was discriminated when I did. I was stressed out so much that I quit. I didn't get raises or promotions that I should have gotten. I learned the hard way and it hurts.
I am working with vocational rehabilitation and supportive employment. If you need to tell-get one of these services to help mediate. Don't do this alone. I realise you might not have the same horrific experiences that I've had. I'm 35 and I've had a lot of jobs because of being fired or layed off. I also have quit and found other jobs when I couldn't take it anymore. The employment security commission gives you money if you don't quit. Now I am starting a new job and doing fine but most employers don't know anything about ld and use it to get rid of you. Just think about it. Maybe get some job applications out there just in case. I've only found a handful of sympathetic employers who were willing to help me. Just use your best judgement. Good Luck.

[%sig%]

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 24, 2014
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Posted:Jun 25, 2003 11:11:37 AM

Hi

I have LD and am employed at the moment. I have had truble from the day I started my present job. I did disclose at the out set that I have dyslexia and this is where you have gone wrong by not disclosing your disability. This does not help you with your employer. I would advise you get in contact with you local Citizen Advice for help on this mater. They can advise you of your rights under the employment law and the disability rights act, help is free. You could contact the Disability Rights Commission in London ask directory enquiries for number, the DRC have helped me with my employer. They can give legal advice as well, and will be happy to write letters to your employer on your behalf.

You could contact a local solicitor in employment law (Disability). The first hour is normally free. They can help you too. The solicitor can do a disability questionnaire schedule for you. This is what my solicitor is doing for me. This can be free of charge on legal aide. You will have to fill in a meanstested form first.

Contact your local MP and tell her of your situation this is what I did and she wrote to the chief executive on my behalf. This has made things difficult for my employers; they cannot get rid of me that easily.

You have to become proactive in finding out your rights. This has made me in to a person how will not be trodden on by my employer as this is what they rely on, you not knowing your rights as a disabled person. You have to be very diplomatic in your dealings with an employer, communicate. I have been doing this for two and a half years now. I am fighting for my rights as a disabled person who has the right to work the same as any able boded person.

I have been in contact with the Employment Disability adviser at my local job center. I have been on various courses with them to enhance my skills such as memory, anger management, being able to speak about my disability and various other things, and had numerous assessments of my job that I am in at the moment and have had computer software installed to help me with my job.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 24, 2014
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Posted:Jun 25, 2003 9:59:53 PM

This is an interesting post,because I truely do not believe I can actually hide my LD even if I didn't disclose it. Yeah I guess people think to themselves,well she definitely marches to the beat of a different drummer,without knowing what label to put on it,but I am definitely different. For example,I am really loud,or at least I am much louder then what everyone else around me feels comfortable with. I am a supervisor and my boss,I noticed, has been shushing me a lot lately. At first I got agitated over it. Obviously I knew enough not to get mad over it,but It sort of hurt my feelings,being that I am so darn sensitive about my differences. So anyway I mentioned to her in a quiet moment,geez,I must be going deaf,because everyone keeps telling me to be quiet,and I chuckled about it. Again today she shushes me and says,lower your voice. I said,I know,I am sorry just keep reminding me okay? She then said,yes,I figured if I helped you by reminding you that it would help. So there it was. She doesn't know what my problem is,nor does she really care,but what she does know is that I am having problems being quiet,and instead of me denying it,I agree and it turned into a positive rather then negative. I suppose I could say,well,I have a learning disability and I can't help being loud,but I don't think I would of had the same outcome.

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Beth from FL
Joined Jun 15, 2003
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Posted:Jun 26, 2003 9:11:24 AM

Hey Socks,

I've always done the same thing--talked too loud--too. And I am not LD. Not sure why I do it but I am unaware of it until someone comments. Guess I am involved in what I am saying and not monitoring myself enough.

Beth

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socks
Joined Jun 13, 2003
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Posted:Jun 26, 2003 6:09:08 PM

maybe just undiagnosed? Wouldn't matter anyway,self monitoring is self monitoring. :wink:

Laura C. Bilotta

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Beth from FL
Joined Jun 15, 2003
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Posted:Jun 27, 2003 1:32:34 PM

Do you think failure to self monitor is part of some LDs? Interesting idea. My LD son is a great at self-monitoring while my nonLD daughter is not. Wonder if a higher percentage of low self monitors are LD. Seems like ADHD folks would be low self monitors because of tendency to be impulsive. As a child I was never great at reading social cues (improved much as an adult but still not cocktail party type), but was a very strong student---I fit the nerd sterotype well.

Beth

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socks
Joined Jun 13, 2003
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Posted:Jun 28, 2003 8:56:20 AM

Hey Beth

I definitely think self monitoring issues can be and are part of ld,of course I personally believe ADHD IS an ld. You can be hypervigilant with self monitoring as well as being a poor self monitor. I can do both,depending on the given situation and what I am focusing on at the time. I also think there is a huge emotional component to it. I can vividly remember literally remediating my own handwriting ,because I got sick of being made fun of by my teacher. So I sat every waking moment for weeks,writing my name over and over again in cursive until it was legible. So you can be both. Anytime the scale tips way too much to one side,you got the possibility of an ld. Being the nerdy smart type getting straight a's doesn't mean you can't be ld,as does being laid back and failing. I personally believe it depends on your experiences as well as your neurological make up. it all matters

Laura C. Bilotta

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Beth from FL
Joined Jun 15, 2003
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Posted:Jun 28, 2003 10:32:22 AM

I think by neurological make up I am not naturally socially astute. I don't know if I would consider it at the level of an LD, since I have always had really good friends, but I was not a quick study to a lot of things other people are intuitive about. For example, I was quite old before I realized that there were certain norms governing behavior in elevator (everyone stares at the wall in front) and public transportation (never sit with someone if a seat is empty else where). I also have taught power and politics at the undergraduate and graduate level and have learned a lot of things that are natural to other people. I am bright enough that I can be really good when I am conscious about it but even as an adult, I have made blunders that others would not have. For example, I asked too many questions about resources and the quality of students to a department chair in a job interview. It cost me the job. Now it was a phone interview, because he had a death in the family and wasn't there for the in person interview. I mention that because there is less information available to access on the phone than in person.

I see my daughter in particular having the same profile as me and have tried from an early age to teach her things that she isn't picking up easily. I think I would have benefited from more direct teaching--I have made more mistakes than necessary. I remember for example, her hugging all her K friends. One girl obviously didn't like it. I spoke to her about it. And she said, "but mommy, some of my friends like it when I hug them." I said, yes but some don't. How do your friends act when they do? How do they act when they don't?

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PT
Joined Jun 29, 2003
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Posted:Jun 29, 2003 9:25:07 AM

Beth,

You're not going to believe this but one of the social errors I definitely used to make was talking to people in the elevator when it was probably obvious to everyone else that was not time or place to do it. But even though supposedly, I can't read body language according to all the NLD literature, when I was paying attention, it was clear from reading the facial expressions of the people I was attempting to talk to, that what I was doing was not appropriate.

I think what makes it tough for me and I was wondering if this was your experience is the constant requirement that I monitor what I am doing socially since the skills do not come automatically to me. It is so exhausting.

For example, I went on a job interview and I thought considering everything, I was doing pretty well. So I am thinking to myself, "just a little bit more self monitoring" and I'll be home free because I was assuming the interview was going to end. So when the interviewer wants to take me on a tour of the building, which I should be glad about since that's a sign of interest, then I have to summon up once again all my coping strategies. Unfortunately, I made a few minor slips such as not heading in the right direction when we were returning to the office.

Anyway, I greatly appreciated hearing about your experiences because you seem to be very successful so obviously, having social difficulties doesn't mean defeat. I do feel good that in spite of my profile, my social skills aren't my main problem area even though it takes alot of work to keep it that way.

PT

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Beth from FL
Joined Jun 15, 2003
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Posted:Jun 29, 2003 11:09:28 PM
Subject:PT

I was thinking about your post today and what I have done. I think I have done three things.

1. Develop scripts. For example, I talk to students a lot. They have certain types of complaints. When I first started teaching, I didn't do a good job of handling them. I think the students complaining tend to be very different than me and I wasn't very emphathetic. I learned things to say--and I do well now.

I go out and speak to the sponsor of the internship sites where my students work. I always start the same way--"what do you do for xyz"? It doesn't fail--everyone like to talk about themselves.

2. Make choices that don't emphasis your weaknesses. I do research as part of my job. I love reading field research and hearing stories of those doing it. I realized in graduate school that I didn't have the skills and had no desire to develop the skills of managing a field site. I can do interviews ect because those are scripted. But the management of crisises is not--and field work is usually a series of crisises. My research uses secondary data sets.

I was asked to be head of the program where I am at. I turned them down. It really requires someone pounding the pavement. I hate doing things like that. I suppose I could develop a script--but I really don't want to.

3. Realize that things like job interviews are unpredictable and hard to script--partly because we don't do them enough. There is always more potential to screw up but be willing to laugh at yourself (it is OK to say you are lost) and don't make the same mistakes twice. I don't--but it is amazing to me how many new mistakes one can make!!!!

4. Compenstate. I am better intellectually than I am intutitively. So I read up on strategies and use them. I ask if people have time to talk--so I don't have to figure out if I am overstaying my welcome for example. I have learned many strategies to use on principals of schools ect.

Beth

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 24, 2014
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Posted:Jun 30, 2003 11:18:14 PM

PT:

I just wanted to say I was so glad to see your post! I too think I struggle a little bit with social skills and sometimes feel like I have to self-monitor. Some days more than others. There are times where I get almost too confident and don't really pay attention. Then suddenly I realize I made a blunder, then I feel stupid! I feel like I do or say things a person of my age shouldn't do/say!

I'm just curious--is it just a matter of focusing on what you're doing and being aware? Are there any specific strategies?

I really felt encouraged when you said having social difficulties doesn't mean defeat. I really want to do well on my current job. Even more so, I want to do well with my MSW program because that kind of work involves a lot of social skills! I don't mine are that bad, but I definitely need some work.

Christine H

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 24, 2014
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Posted:Aug 04, 2003 6:39:21 AM

I disclosed and there was so much stress around it that I ended up on disability for depression. On the other hand, being discriminated against because of that "gut feeling" corporate types get about you was going to land me there or without a job anyhow. I see it as a no win situation. If I didn't disclose, I would've had to completely give up ever working for a large company. My view is that if I can get things nailed down where I am, I won't have to deal with it as much in my whole career since I'll have to deal w/ it at any big company I go to if I keep switching jobs.

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Joe Tag
Joined Oct 24, 2014
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Posted:Aug 04, 2003 4:26:29 PM

To all: I do apprecciate this site!

I am fortunate to have worked at a university, while I take classes there.
My department, Political Science, knows I have LD. So did the former departments I worked for at the University (Dean's Office, and
Management Science office. ) . Sometimes, it is better not to disclose, and to only ask one or more of the following: more time, permission to use voicemail, permission to use email, scheduled review time with the boss, extra time to do the project (extension of time).
I understand that a university is a forgiving environment, and that is why
I apprecciate it for it Vocational Rehabilitation value.

Best regards

Joe Tag

Quote "Under":

I disclosed and there was so much stress around it that I ended up on disability for depression. On the other hand, being discriminated against because of that "gut feeling" corporate types get about you was going to land me there or without a job anyhow. I see it as a no win situation. If I didn't disclose, I would've had to completely give up ever working for a large company. My view is that if I can get things nailed down where I am, I won't have to deal with it as much in my whole career since I'll have to deal w/ it at any big company I go to if I keep switching jobs.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 24, 2014
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Posted:Aug 08, 2003 9:42:57 AM

I guess my question would be - why do you want to tell your employer? What is it you want your employer to do? Are there changes in your working situation that you want or feel you need?

Knowing what you want to accomplish might give you a better idea of how to go about it.

Good luckl.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 24, 2014
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Posted:Aug 08, 2003 8:52:38 PM

Hi. Bear in mind, you may have already accomplished a lot, and
it is only on a "rare occasion" that you need special assistance.
Disclosure woul cover those times. If you can cope and be clever on your
own, then you may not need to disclose. It is always a judgement call.

Quote "Sara":

I guess my question would be - why do you want to tell your employer? What is it you want your employer to do? Are there changes in your working situation that you want or feel you need?

Quote "Sara":

Knowing what you want to accomplish might give you a better idea of how to go about it.

Quote "Sara":

Good luckl.

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Anonymous
Joined Oct 24, 2014
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Posted:Aug 29, 2003 8:14:42 AM

I have done it all ways and none worked out well. I never used to tell anyone about my ADD. Then I just struggled, hid it and dealt with all that goes with it. Then I did tell after I got the job and was having problems. That was terrible and meant nothing. I was still discriminated against (had a co-worker using it against me) and when I finally quit and tried to get unemployment, I was denied because the employer said I just couldn't do my job. I then applied for jobs and disclosed. Couldn't get hired. So much for no dicrimination in hiring. I now work out of my home and don't have to deal with it. After 50 years of bad memories and being looked at as dumb, I have come to the conclusion that we have a long way to go in the general public really understanding.

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PT
Joined Jun 29, 2003
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Posted:Aug 30, 2003 9:37:27 AM
Subject:Re: PT

Hi Beth,

Sorry, I am only about a month late in responding to your post. In response to your excellent points, I have interspersed some comments below.

&lt;&lt;1. Develop scripts. For example, I talk to students a lot. They have certain types of complaints. When I first started teaching, I didn't do a good job of handling them. I think the students complaining tend to be very different than me and I wasn't very emphathetic. I learned things to say--and I do well now.&gt;&gt;


I think I do that although I am not consciously aware of the behavior.

&lt;&lt;I go out and speak to the sponsor of the internship sites where my students work. I always start the same way--"what do you do for xyz"? It doesn't fail--everyone like to talk about themselves.&gt;&gt;

Great suggestion and one I need to do more of.

&lt;&lt;2. Make choices that don't emphasis your weaknesses. &gt;&gt;

That is a great suggestion. However, I am finding that as this economy demands more and more of workers, that is becoming alot harder to do. That is my major criticism of places like voc rehab agencies as they are not addressing that issue.

&lt;&lt;3. Realize that things like job interviews are unpredictable and hard to script--partly because we don't do them enough. There is always more potential to screw up but be willing to laugh at yourself (it is OK to say you are lost) and don't make the same mistakes twice. I don't--but it is amazing to me how many new mistakes one can make!!!!&gt;&gt;

So true about job interviews. I had one the other day where I definitely did not want the job. However, it was definitely not a waste of time as I was asked questions I hadn't been asked previously and it gave me more things to think about.

I agree with you about laughing at yourself because if you're not as upset about what happened and continue to be confident, there is no reason for the other person to put you down. Of course, if you keep making the same mistake, that's another story but we don't do that, right:))?

&lt;&lt;4. Compenstate. I am better intellectually than I am intutitively. So I read up on strategies and use them. I ask if people have time to talk--so I don't have to figure out if I am overstaying my welcome for example. I have learned many strategies to use on principals of schools ect.&gt;&gt;

Definitely. At my former place of employment, I used to be the first person to end a conversation with someone so I wouldn't take the risk of overextending my welcome. I know how to exit gracefully on my own so I wasn't taking the risk of being rude.

That's great you can do that too.

PT

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