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Neurodiversity Celebrated at the MOD - Jennifer's Story

Category: testimonial, Armed forces, Neurodiversity, Government, Jobs in Government, Disability and Neurodiversity, Staff Testimonial, UK Government, army, ministry of defence, ADHD, MOD, Neurodivergent, Neurodiversity Network, Neurodiverse colleagues, The Army Civil Service, Army Civil Service, Neurodiverse, Neurodiversity in the workplace, Neurodiverse candidates, Army’s Civilian Workforce, Anxiety and Depression Disorder

Neurodiversity

Neurodiversity Celebration Week

 

Hello, my name is Jennifer, and I am a 32-year-old female civil servant working with the Army. I am also Neuro-Divergent.

I have been in the civil service for 9 years and 6 of those have been spent within the MOD and the last 3 specifically working with the Army. I was diagnosed at the age of 27 with ADHD with comorbid Anxiety and Depression Disorder (the latter two having been diagnosed since I was in my late teens) this diagnosis came about due to challenges I faced in my civil servant role.

I am very fortunate that since being with the MOD I have received a primarily positive working experience and treatment by colleagues and managers. This has been significantly more positive since coming to work with the Army.

I am a big advocate of educating and informing others about my ADHD and being open to share my experiences. This has led me to take a more active role in the Defence Disability Network (DDN) and becoming a member of the MOD Neuro Inclusivity Network, as I know that not all have had as positive an experience as I have, and I want to try and change this where I am able.

The main purposes of the DDN and the MOD Neuro Inclusivity Network are to improve awareness and effect change. One challenge is to make sure that anyone with a disability receives the support they need, and that any reasonable adjustments are made for them so that they are able to carry out their work.

I find that being open and honest about my neurodiversity allows for better communication and it is usually miscommunication and misunderstandings that cause the most friction and therefore I try and reduce the possibilities of this happening where I am able. I believe whole-heartedly that people are not mind readers and that unless you communicate with a person how can you expect them to know what is going on. I work closely with my military management chain and colleagues to let them know the best way to manage my neuro-disabilities and how they can support me and get the best from me, and I have received positive feedback from my team for my openness and how, by educating, their awareness has increased.

I would say that ultimately, I am the harshest critic and come down harder on myself compared to the responses from those I work with in the Army. I have found the MOD definitely more accepting and shows a willingness to learn and change to better improve the working experience of staff like me who are Neuro-Divergent.

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Ministry of Defence

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