Yahoo Group Summary on Letters for Clients

by Judi Jerome

I am very fortunate to have received help from many of my ACO colleagues when I asked if anyone had a template of what to include when writing a letter for a client on the use of a big comfy chair and ottoman as a job accommodation. I found what was written on the Yahoo Group to not only be helpful in a practical way, but it also grounded me which then helped me to reel in my client. She was able to figure out what the chair was ‘really’ about, sensory integrative disorder (SID) and not being able to stay focused on the office chairs that swivel and have wheels! Briefly, here is a summary of the advice and suggestions that was given:

  • Get a letter from an M.D. and/or Therapist stating her official diagnosis.
  • Address the ways in which ADHD impacts her ability to perform her job and how the accommodation requested is necessary to address a particular symptom

Regarding Hyperactivity, Impulsivity, or Inattention

As a coach you could write a letter stating that

  • you have been working with her to help her better manage her ADHD.
  • she is highly motivated and
  • that you have been assisting her in developing strategies, structures and supports.

I learned that

  • you have to be very careful putting anything in writing that might be used against her… or if it backfires, against you as the coach.
  • that she could be blacklisted/scapegoated and marked for future lay-off. In this light it was suggested that she consult with a lawyer and check to see how her state may differ from the federal on employee rights. There was one insightful remark about her company not needing any more bad press and being smart enough to go out of their way to not lay her off.
  • A cover letter written by the client and, with permission, edited by me and have her sign off on the changes was valuable.
  • Many people were in agreement that this big comfy chair and ottoman was perhaps NOT just an ADHD issue even though she seems to focus better and for longer periods.

It was suggested that perhaps my client may have Sensory Integration [Processing] Disorder (SID). “One of the hallmark traits of someone with SID is the need to have as much of their body in contact with as much of their environment as possible.”

I then found a couple of helpful websites on SID and shared them as well as the following website with my client.

Last but not least, this link has EVERYTHING that anyone could ever ask or need to know about ADA accommodations! Thank you so much Tiffany deSilva.

Again I want to thank everyone with all of my heart. This Q and A was a learning and growth experience for me on many levels. It was not just educational, but I was able to use what everyone said as ‘peer supervision’. It allowed me to discover a counter-transference issue as well as how I had lost my objectivity and only focused advocating for what my client wanted VS asking additional ‘powerful questions’ to explore the issue from all angles. This was a powerful experience.

Gratefully and mindfully yours, Judi

Judi Jerome, LICSW, LADC
Mindfulness Matters Coaching®
AD/HD Life Skills Coaching
judi@judijerome.com ~ www.judijerome.com