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Are You Paying Attention? ADD and the Americans with Disabilities Act: Issues for Employers


The core symptoms of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) - inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity - appear in childhood and result in a chronic and pervasive pattern of impairment for most. Some experts estimate that approximately 2/3 of children with ADHD will continue to have symptoms of the disorder. Generally, the condition is referred to as ADD in adults because the hyperactivity symptom tends to be reduced in adulthood.

As more and more individuals with ADD/ADHD enter the workforce, employers will be faced with some difficult decisions that will often have serious legal implications. To avoid potential problems and help reduce the risk of expensive, time-consuming litigation, make sure your supervisors are familiar with laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act. Familiarity with this and other related legislation will help ensure equal opportunity in the workplace for individuals with ADD and other diagnosed with similar conditions.

This article appeared in the July 2007 issue of SuperVision, the magazine of industrial relations and operating management.

Clifford M. Koen, Jr. is a Professor of Management at the University of New Orleans and conducts seminars for employers on management and employment matters.


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