Tips for innovators who need to read & write on the job with ADHD/Dyslexia

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    • #69356

      I’d love to hear about strategies for dealing with adult dyslexia and ADHD together. The strategy for adult dyslexia seems to be work harder, you’re slower at reading and writing so just put more hours in (you get double time on tests in college, you must also need double time on work and life, so take it home). But the opposite advice seems to be true for ADHD, you need to work in spurts – can’t put in 8 hours straight on a job/ at a desk, get lots of exercise, do things that keep you inspired… etc. But if the dyslexia strategy is to work longer hours, how do I fit in the ADHD strategies? As is common with women, I went undiagnosed with ADD until recently, but have been diagnosed with dyslexia since 1st grade. I have long embraced the idea that things take me longer so I need to budget more time. But in the working world (especially when you’re on salary), this means work cuts into time for a balanced life including self-care and exercise. All the tips I’ve seen for ADHD suggest working in shorter bursts, but even when I’m hyper-focused I still read and write extremely slowly. I’ve invested 10+ years in education and qualifications for my desk job (and my dyslexia/ADHD make me really good at doing my job in the creative 4D world of science). I just can’t sit at a desk long enough to do double time on an 8-hour job. The tips I’ve heard seem to say I need a new career that doesn’t involve reading/writing/desks, but I think many careers that rely on written communication are in desperate need of innovators like us. But at this point, I’m burning out by refusing to walk away. I’ve scoured the internet and have found no useful tips on working with both conditions despite how commonly they occur together. Anyone have any practical job/life/time tips for creative innovators who happen to need to read & write as part of doing their innovation stuff? Especially tips for fitting in the equivalent of 8 neurotypical hours at work in a day. Thanks!!

    • #69492
      Penny Williams

      I would look to technology to assist you with reading and writing. There’s software that will read text aloud to you in any medium (website, email, microsoft office, etc). It won’t only help with speed, but has been shown to improve comprehension as well. That’s text-to-speech tech. There’s also speech-to-text for writing. Google docs has free speech to text in their apps. There’s also Dragon Dictation (which is the software driving our voice functions on our phones). You shouldn’t have to work longer and harder due to disability. Use tools available to help you instead.

      There are many options in this article. It’s written for students, but they work for adults as well:

      Apps & Tools That Boost Reading, Writing, and Organization

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

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