Work experience for teenagers with ADHD

For most teenagers work experience will happen in the upper secondary years of schools. Work experience is designed to allow you to attend at a workplace that might be of interest for a future pathway to study or employment. It is an opportunity to ask questions, understand the day to day requirements of the job and to make connections with people who may be able to help you in the future. Your ADHD may have an impact on what you choose. You need to be aware of your capabilities and what things you might need to put into place to achieve success.


In considering the known symptoms of ADHD- attention difficulties, hyperactivity, impulsivity, communication and social skills deficits, to what level if at all does this affect you, what do you currently have in place to manage and are these strategies transferable to the workplace? Now is a good time to start planning for the future if you haven’t already. Here are some things to consider to get you started:

  • What are my interests
  • What subjects do I need to think about at school to work in this area
  • How can I learn more about what is required for this work
  • Are there many jobs in this area
  • What skills do I have
  • What other skills do I want to learn
  • Does this job require an apprenticeship
  • Do I need to do further study at university or a college
  • What do I need to do next
  • Who can help me
  • Can I get a part time job in this area
  • Does anyone I know have contacts in this area
  • What impact if any, will my ADHD have in this area of work
  • What can I start to do now so the impact of my ADHD can be minimised

During your work experience keep in touch with your teachers so you can discuss any potential issues that may arise. Talk with your family and let them know how the job is going, as they will be able to support you too. If you are aware that you have another learning disability such as Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD)  or an Intellectual Disability(ID)  that may affect your experience you to consider this as well.

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