Justice and ADHD - Quality advice based on experience

Engaging Local Departments

There is little doubt about it, busy people who work in busy jobs, don’t always respond as we want when we put pressure on them, especially if that pressure is to do something they don’t want to do.

We realised very early on in our work that the secret is to time the request right and make sure there is something ‘in it for them’.

The very first time we approached an education department in a council, to get their support for keeping ADHD school kids out of trouble we got it all wrong.  We expected them to see what we were doing, agree to helping us and, well in truth, just get on with it’.  Of course they didn’t.  We had to ask ourselves why and the answer was obvious – there was nothing identified in it for them!

So, what could there be:

  • If we offered training for teaching staff – this would increase their skills and reduce the disruption in the classroom
  • For head teachers we could maybe increase the school performance in relation to absenteeism and exclusions
  • For the education department, if we could do both these it would reduce their cost profile, them spending less on supporting excluded kids and carrying the burden of worn out / burned out teachers.

So we went back, this time with a bit of information from our research and offered to assist the education department and schools with their published performance measures, and in return, we got to keep ADHD kids out of trouble.

**Key message – you will get a better result from any encounter with a professional if you identify and communicate clearly what’s in it for them if they listen and act as you agree** 

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