Accommodations for ADHD and Autism in the Workplace

Struggling to keep up at work due to ADHD or Autism? You’re not alone. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are two common neurodevelopmental disorders that can affect adults in the workplace. ADHD, ADD, and Autism present unique challenges for employees—but with the right accommodations, neurodivergent adults (people with ADHD, ADD, ASD, Aspergers, or AuDHD) can thrive in their careers.

In this article, I’ll discuss the importance of workplace accommodations for individuals with ADHD and ASD, provide examples of reasonable accommodations, and answer the question: Should I disclose my diagnosis to my employer or colleagues?

Note from Dr. Sachs: You can ask for workplace accommodations without disclosing a diagnosis. But if that doesn’t work, ask for a letter from your doctor, indicating that you have an unspecified diagnosis requiring accommodations.

Why Are Workplace Accommodations Important?

What are workplace accommodations? Simply put, workplace accommodations are modifications or adjustments made to a job or work environment to support individuals with disabilities in performing their duties effectively. 

These modifications are essential for people with ADHD and autism, as they can help level the playing field and provide equal opportunities for success in the workplace.

an office with workplace accommodations for people with autism and adhd


Equal Access to Information and Communication

Professionals with ADHD, ADD, or autism may have difficulty processing and retaining information, which can make it challenging to complete tasks and communicate effectively on the job. 

To address these challenges, accommodations like written instructions, visual aids, and clear intentional communication are essential. These adjustments can not only help you better understand and retain information, but also help with communication, ensuring smoother interactions and task completion.

Manage Distractions and Sensory Overload

People with ADHD and ASD may find it difficult to deal with distractions and sensory overload while working. 

Solutions like noise-canceling headphones, a peaceful workspace, or a designated break area can reduce distractions and make the work environment more comfortable.

Time Management and Organization

Individuals with ADHD and ASD may struggle with time management and organization, which can impact their productivity and performance in the workplace. 

Accommodations such as a structured schedule, reminders, and organizational tools can help you stay on track and meet deadlines.

Physical Disability Accommodations

Some ADHDers and autistics may also have physical disabilities that require accommodations in the workplace. These accommodations can include ergonomic furniture, assistive technology, and modifications to the physical workspace to improve accessibility.

Workplace Accommodations for ADHD and Autism

Remember that you don’t have to disclose your ADHD or autism diagnosis to legally acquire workplace accommodations!

7 examples of reasonable workplace accommodations for neurodivergent adults

Every individual with ADHD and ASD is unique, and the accommodations they need may vary. Here are some examples of accommodations that can be implemented in the workplace to support neurodivergent professionals:

1. Option to work from home

Having the flexibility to work from home can be a game-changer for ADHDers and autistics, providing a comfortable and familiar environment that may enhance focus and productivity. However, it’s important to note that while some individuals thrive in this setting, others may still struggle with distractions at home, emphasizing the need for personalized accommodations tailored to individual needs.

a woman with adhd and autism works from home as part of her workplace accommodations for adhd and autism


2. Flexible Work Schedule

People with ADHD and ASD may find it helpful to have a flexible work schedule that lets them work during their most productive hours. For example, many people in the neurodiverse community experience peak productivity later in the day.

This workplace accommodation can assist them better manage their sleep schedule and energy levels, allowing them to work more efficiently.

3. Written Instructions and Visual Aids

Providing written instructions and visual aids can help ADHDers and autists better understand and retain information. This can include written task lists, flowcharts, and diagrams.

4. Noise-Canceling Headphones

For those with ADHD and ASD who are easily distracted by their environment, noise-canceling headphones can be a valuable solution. They work by blocking out background noise, helping to create a more focused work environment.

5. Quiet Workspace

A designated quiet workspace can also be beneficial for individuals with ADHD and ASD who struggle with distractions. This accommodation can provide a calm and quiet environment for individuals to work in without interruptions.

6. Time Management Tools

Time management tools such as timers, alarms, and reminders can help adults with ADHD, autism, or auDHD stay on track and meet deadlines. These tools can be especially helpful for those who struggle with time blindness and organization.

7. Ergonomic Furniture

People with ADHD, ADD, or ASD may also have physical disabilities that require physical accommodations in the workplace. Ergonomic furniture, such as adjustable desks and chairs, can help those with physical conditions work more comfortably and reduce physical strain.

Neurodivergent-Friendly Employers: Real-World Examples

Google and other companies are adhd friendly and autism friendly for workplace accommodations

Many well-known companies and organizations have implemented successful ADHD and autism accommodations in the workplace. Not only that, but they actively seek to hire adults with autism and ADHD. 


Microsoft has a dedicated Neurodiversity Hiring Program and Autism Hiring Program that seek neurodivergent job candidates. These programs include a mentorship program, job coaching, and access to required accommodations.


SAP has a Neurodiversity Program (Autism at Work Program) that focuses on hiring individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders, including ADHD and ASD. This program embraces neurodiversity in the workplace, providing accommodations such as flexible work schedules, assistive technology, and job coaching.


Google has a Disability Support Program that offers accommodations for employees with disabilities, including ADHD and ASD. Working in collaboration with the Stanford Neurodiversity Project, Google’s program enhances neurodiverse success in the workplace. (See Google’s blog post about this here.)

Should I Disclose My ADHD or Autism Diagnosis in the Workplace?

When it comes to sharing your ADHD or autism diagnosis at work, many wrestle with a common dilemma: to disclose or not to disclose? This decision is deeply personal and deserves careful consideration.

Autism tends to come with a positive bias based on the general belief that autistic people are smart and reliable. So I typically advise autistic patients that it’s safe to disclose their ASD diagnosis at work. 

On the other hand, ADHD comes with more negative bias. You have to weigh the consequences of stigma and judgment versus the actual value of the accommodations. But at the end of the day, it’s up to you!

person with adhd and autism speaks to human resources at their job to acquire workplace accommodations and disclose their diagnosis

Pros of Disclosing your Diagnosis

Sharing your diagnosis with your boss or employer can help them understand your needs to provide appropriate accommodations. It can also help ADHDers and autistics feel more comfortable and supported in the office.

Cons of Disclosing your Diagnosis

Disclosing a mental health diagnosis also comes with potential risks, like discrimination or stigma—especially with ADD and ADHD. Some people may fear that sharing their diagnosis at work could negatively impact their job security, work relationships, or opportunities for advancement and promotions.

Ultimately, the decision to disclose a diagnosis is up to you. It may be helpful to consult with a trusted supervisor or HR representative before making a decision. 


In conclusion, accommodations for ADHD and autism in the workplace are pivotal in fostering an environment of inclusivity and support. By recognizing and addressing the unique needs of adults with these neurodevelopmental conditions, employers pave the way for a more diverse and successful workforce.

With tailored support systems in place, autistic and ADHD professionals can contribute their valuable skills and perspectives, enriching the workplace and driving collective achievement. It’s not just about accommodating differences; it’s about embracing them and nurturing a culture of acceptance. Together, we can create workplaces where everyone is valued, respected, and empowered to thrive.