NDSW Webinar, NDSW Academy, ADHD

 

It’s been a busy start to the year! I can hardly believe it’s June already. Apart from our usual workload of OHS audits, investigations, and coaching with our regular Lethbridge Piper and Associates clients we have been busily working on further developments to the Neurodiverse Safe Work Initiative.

I was proud to have spoken to a virtual audience of more than 100 OHS professionals in a webinar hosted by the Australian Institute of Health and Safety (AIHS). Certified members were able to claim 5 CPD points for their attendance.

I was a little more nervous about this one, than I am normally when I speak because it was an audience of my peers, other Occupational Health and Safety Professionals. There’s a saying from the Bible that “A prophet is not without honour except in his own hometown” (Mark 6:4). I think this means that we tend to undervalue and overlook the talents and abilities of people who are familiar to them. So, I suppose I was worried that my own peers would be more critical of my work and message than others.

As usual I was worried about nothing. The response was overwhelmingly positive! 92.86% of attendees said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the webinar overall. Here is some of the feedback we received….

NDSW Webinar

As usual I was worried about nothing. The response was overwhelmingly positive! 92.86% of attendees said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the webinar overall. Here is some of the feedback we received….

  • “This session was fantastic. Thank you AIHS for bringing Catherine to us. A wonderful engaging educator, speaker, and skilled advocate in this important space that is ignored or avoided, which we MUST improve our skills on”.
  • “The webinar was excellent- very informative and helpful, with lots of useful information for businesses to help create and foster an inclusive workplace.”
  • “Excellent, a truly relevant and meaningful topic that more WHS leaders should learn about for their organisation”.
  • “Catherine was an exceptional presenter, I was fully engaged throughout this whole session, it was really great.”
  • “Catherine’s delivery was very engaging. It would be great to have Catherine back again to unpack practical ways of advocating for neurodiverse employees, especially dyslexics. In Australia, dyslexia is discussed the least out of all the neurodivergent labels, with ignorant views and understandings”.
  • “As a profession we need to do more on educating and being more supportive of our marginalised neurodivergent groups who are more likely to experience discrimination, increased mental risk, and bullying in the workplace because of stigma, biases and negative mindsets this marginalised group experiences, simply due to the fact they are not ’neurotypical’. Catherine explained people are less likely to disclose due to the fear of discrimination/judgement feelings of shame which many have faced their entire lives. This inadvertently puts them at greater risk. The vicious cycle needs to be broken as Catherine indicated”.
  • “I would like to enhance my skills in simple, practical policies & procedures that reflect best WHS practice methods and learn more on how we can do this better from Catherine. This is a very important topic for OHS professionals where we must educate ourselves further”.
  • “This was excellent. Very well presented and informative, one of the best from AIHS”.
  • “She was absolutely fantastic, and I was engaged the whole session, even taking notes.”

To all of those who attended and provided such great feedback I say “Thank You”. It’s important to me to know that what I do serves a purpose and helps both employers and neurodivergent workers to create safer, healthier and more inclusive work.

Neurodiverse Safe Work Academy

NDSW Academy

Watch this space for an announcement about our new eLearning Platform. The Neurodiverse Safe Work Academy will provide training and awareness sessions for employers and their representatives as well as workers and other business professionals.

We also have a few of our discounted Professional Coaching + the Neurodiversity Workplace Profiler available so get in soon to book one of these before the end of the financial year. Professional Coaching is still very much under-rated and under-utilised in Australia and let’s face it, no one has a “Coaching Budget”. But finding the right Professional Coach and doing the “head work” to gain the insights into how and why you think the way you do, setting some achievable goals and having an accountability partner as you achieve those goals can be life changing. The Neurodiversity Workplace Profiler when used in conjunction with a professional coaching program can help to take some of the guesswork out of this process and help in gaining both clarity and self-acceptance.

Have you connected with us on Facebook yet? We have two private groups available that we’d love to welcome you into. The Neurodiverse Safe Worker group has been set up for workers who identify as neurodivergent and who want to be part of a community to share their experiences of work and employment generally and also their health and safety. The Neurodiverse Safe Work Employer group exists to provide a community of employers who want to learn and grow and share with others their experiences of employing neurodivergent workers.

ADHD

ADHD

There’s been quite a bit of social media chatter and bad publicity about the rapid increase in diagnosed cases of ADHD and a shocking documentary by the BBC recently exposed some very questionable diagnostic practices of private clinics claiming to specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD in adults. Those of you that have been following my work for while will know that I neither promote nor discourage individuals to seek a formal diagnosis of ADHD. It is a personal choice and I have spoken to many adults who suspect they have an ADHD-type brain but see no need to be formally diagnosed. They can just accept it as part of who they are and always have been and have learned to live with it. Often, they have achieved extraordinary things which would not have been possible if they did not have the type of brain, they have with all the strengths ADHD brings.

For others, like me, having this knowledge about myself was liberating and self-affirming and gave me the insight I needed to work with my strengths and manage the areas that challenge me, without beating myself up about being dumb and lazy!

Any of my readers out there who are curious about this and thinking about seeking a diagnosis, please know that there is no quick and easy way of going about this. In Australia, the diagnosis of ADHD in adults in not yet available within the public health system and can only be made by a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist who has been trained to undertake the assessments. The testing is gruelling and takes several hours to complete properly and to have it done by a private psychiatrist can also be costly and inaccessible for many. There are some universities that offer testing by postgraduate students under the supervision of qualified and experienced clinicians, and these can offer a more cost-effective alternative, if you can wait.

I completely understand why a person who suspects they may have ADHD and are struggling as adults to cope, would look for a quick answer.

But providers offering a diagnosis after one consultation and a few questions should be avoided. So should anyone be suggesting an empirical diagnosis – meaning the treatment (stimulant medication) is prescribed and taken after a short assessment with a “provisional diagnosis” and if the individual has a positive response to the treatment, then the diagnosis is confirmed.

These are not good practices and can result in a misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment being given. There are many other medical conditions that can present with similar symptoms to ADHD and these need to be ruled out first, or ruled in so that they can be treated properly.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline for ADHD is a UK-based guideline that provides recommendations on the diagnosis and management of ADHD in children, young people and adults. The Australian ADHD Clinical Practice Guideline by the Australian ADHD Professionals Association (AADPA) is an evidence-based clinical practice guideline that provides clear advice about evidence-based ADHD identification, diagnosis and treatment. The AADPA guideline aims to standardize clinical practice across Australia by integrating the voices and opinions of those with lived experience of ADHD into information for clinicians and decision-makers.

While waiting for access to an assessment and diagnosis, the important thing is to focus on functioning and building resilience and coping skills. There are several online ADHD screening tools that are freely available online and can provide a picture clarity around the person’s key challenge areas.

But remember, most neurodivergent people have more than one type of neurodivergence. They may have an ADHD-type brain as well as Dyslexia traits, or ADHD and Autism or any other combination. Whilst not a diagnostic tool, the Neurodiversity Workplace Profiler can help the person get a more complete picture of their unique makeup.

For more information about the Neurodiversity Workplace Profiler contact us today by email at hello@neurodiversesafework.com.au or book in some time for a complimentary one-on-one meeting here https://neurodiversesafework.com.au/the-neurodiversity-workplace-profiler/

It is only by sharing our experiences and talking openly about our neurodivergence that we can start breaking down the stigma that’s cause by a lack of awareness and flawed assumptions.

 

Catherine Lee (She/Her)­

Director and Founder

RN dipOHN GradCertMgt GradDipOHS COHSProf

The Neurodiverse Safe Work Initiative

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North Lakes Qld 4509

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