Attention Deficit Trauma (ADT) was first coined in 1994 by leading ADHD Expert Ned Hallowell. It affects some individuals with ADHD but is a separate condition in and of itself. Primarily occurring in the workplace, it hinders one’s ability to effectively perform to society’s standards of professionalism. Being aware of the facts and recognizing the signs of being affected by ADT generates understanding and may help you succeed in your career.

  1. ADT occurs in specific contexts, unlike ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), which is genetically determined.
  2. ADD is always present, whereas ADT can “take a vacation” when the affected client is not in the work environment.
  3. ADT can occur in certain work situations but not in others.
  4. People “develope” ADT as a coping mechanism for dealing with the stress in their lives.
  5. ADT originates externally like a virus and begins gradually.
  6. Those affected by ADT cannot pinpoint as to when it exactly started.
  7. ADT NEVER OCCURS as a single episode.
  8. Those affected by ADT find that it becomes more and more difficult to meet workplace attention demands.
  9. The number of people challenged by ADT has grown as the number of internet users has grown.
  10. People with ADT can wake up in the morning without symptoms.

Reference: Hallowell Driven to Distraction at Work 2015


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Each of the following attributes is very important for employment success. Adults with ADHD have a strong tendency to walk through life with a more intense perspective. This intensity also applies to these “workplace success attributes.”

1 & 2) Interest and Enjoyment – These two attributes very much go “hand in hand” in the adult ADHDer. The time-honored saying of “do what you love and never work a day in your life” is intensified with an ADHD adult. Assignments and duties low on the scale of interest and enjoyment will probably lead to  “inconsistent and sporadic” performance in these particular individuals.

3) Urgency – A large percentage of the adult ADHD population has a short-term increase in focus and concentration during an adrenaline rush. This is a partial explanation for the significant number of these individuals employed in emergency situations (i.e. EMS, Hospital Emergency Departments).

4) Structure – There is no such thing as a garden variety adult ADHDer. The opposite side of the attribute coin from urgency is structure. These ADHDers prefer clear cut instructions and assignments.

5) Fast Pace – Some ADHDers have “race car” brains (continuous proliferation of thoughts). These folks need to develop strategies to “harness” this energy toward a “definite” goal. These individuals have a strong propensity to be very creative.

6) Hands-On and Creativity – These folks could also be referred to as the “producers” of the world. They are most content and engaged when they see the “finished product” their hands have created.

7) Entrepreneurship – This subset of adult ADHDers are bigger risk takers and think they have stronger intuition than their counterparts. These folks typically need assistance with planning, organizing, and follow through.

After reading this article, it becomes apparent that ADHDers are just as talented as the rest of the population. The consistent challenge is the initiation of a task, sustainability to move forward, and follow through to the completion of the task. A team of well trained ADHD Professionals can significantly enhance success in various areas of life.


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