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I've just moved to Berlin and as someone with ADHD I'm looking for an employer that is neurodiversity-friendly.

What would be the best way to go about finding such an employer or making sure that any prospective employers I encounter through conventional methods such as recruiters are receptive to those with my condition?

If it makes any difference I'm looking for a senior JavaScript full-stack/front-end (React) position.

  • It's very hard to decipher what you are asking, are you saying you are looking for employers specifically looking for persons with ADHD? I would be surprised if any came up... – Trotski94 May 31 '18 at 10:37
  • Hi and welcome to Workplace SE! Unfortunately your question as originally worded was off-topic for this site as we can't really answer specifics about which companies have this sort of attribute so I've edited your question to try and make it on-topic. Hopefully it still meets your needs but if not feel free to revert the edit or try one of your own. – motosubatsu May 31 '18 at 10:40
  • @JamesTrotter I've seen some companies who list having ADHD as a pre for QA/testing related jobs. – Erik May 31 '18 at 11:23
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    This question seems extremely clear to me. The questioner is clearly asking how to find an employer that will be friendly towards his ADHD and how to check if an employer they find is okay with it. – user May 31 '18 at 12:10
  • @user James's comment was posted before I edited the question to clear it up so his comment doesn't necessarily relate to the current form of the question. – motosubatsu May 31 '18 at 12:20
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Unfortunately it can be difficult to determine before hand what the company's reaction will be, and especially in larger companies it can depend which department you are in.

One useful technique is to look for or ask for copies of their policy on disabilities and medical conditions. If they don't have a policy that's probably a bad sign.

Beyond that it's best to wait until they have shown interest in you. Depending on the severity of your condition you might be able to do interviews and progress quite far before it becomes an issue. Once they are seriously considering you as a potential employee it is easier to simply tell them about your condition, explain what support or adaptations you will need, and ask if they feel that is okay.

It does potentially waste some of your time, but telling them up front before they actually know you and understand that it's not something scary or debilitating might get you nowhere. And of course, you have to be willing to walk away if it doesn't seem right.

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    Do note, that smaller/early startups may hardly have any policy/handbook specifically for disabilities, which doesn't necessarily means they would exclude people based on it or are otherwise insensitive. That being said +1 for the latter part of your answer. – Leon May 31 '18 at 14:26
  • I can definitely agree with some of this based on published research (which is unfortunately not very clear what it's data source for the following quote is): "Most employers do not understand the implications of ADHD. They panic that it is a profound and prolonged condition and are not aware that it can be effectively treated and that reasonable adjustments can be easily made that will improve occupational functioning." – Fizz Jun 10 '18 at 9:43
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I would not seek out place where you are the diversity hire and they are really nice and understanding.

Instead find a place where your way of being is kind of normal and you are just a fellow geek who sometimes has a meltdown when the cafeteria changes menu items around.

As a rule of thumb I would look for:

  • tech companies over companies that also happen to have a tech department
  • small companies over large ones
  • hardcore tech over client interaction
  • T-Shirts over suits

Geeky places tend to be accepting of eccentricities.

During the interview process, don't talk about your "disability". Instead - depending on your personal flavor of ADHS - ask something like "I am one of those guys who can go into deep hacking trance until the problem is solved. Can I have a quiet place to work?".

  • I'm not sure why you assume ADHD = tech. The usual (also bad) assumption is Aspie = tech. The former trope has yet to get any google hits for me. – Fizz Jun 10 '18 at 9:28
  • I assume "senior JavaScript full-stack/front-end" = tech. – manduca Jun 10 '18 at 9:30
  • Yes, I also say the "software industry" tag. Why do yo presume a software-focused company would be more ADHD-friendly than a random company with an IT department? – Fizz Jun 10 '18 at 9:31
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    It is my experience (25 years, mostly in computer security) that there is a strong correlation. Go to defcon, look at people who get the "mathematics of symbolic execution" talk. The really really good guys have a higher chance of being non-neurotypical or at least eccentric. Think John Carmack. They also tend to go into hardcore tech as opposed to applied. Because they can. Also hardcore geek culture - while having it´s problems - tends to be very accepting of unusual social behavior. (Again: Just correlation. I know people with mad skills who are completely normal) – manduca Jun 10 '18 at 9:48
  • Ok, non-neurotypical-friendly makes some sense, although frankly, an Aspie is likely to be the opposite of ADHD in a number of ways... – Fizz Jun 10 '18 at 9:50

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