Page 3 of 4
By Paul Gerber, Ph.D.
Employee training is commonplace in competitive employment. Change is constant, and new ways of doing things are frequently introduced to employees. Whether it is new paperwork, more advanced computer applications, or innovative sales strategies, training to update skills is important. An employee with LD is expected to participate in training and articulate her need for specific training accommodations if necessary. This knowledge is usually an extension of a young person's understanding of how she learns best, which she probably figured out while in school. For example, she might let the employer know that she learns best by listening to training content, or by seeing a skill modeled. She might indicate that written materials work better for her when they include graphics that organize or emphasize the important points, such as bullets and boldface print.
A lot of what happens in the workplace has social and interpersonal underpinnings. Whether interacting with colleagues and supervisors or communicating with clients and customers, social skills are very important. The learning disabilities literature is filled with research that demonstrates that, from childhood to adulthood, persons with LD demonstrate deficiencies in social skills. In employment settings this can determine whether a sale is closed, an order arrives on time, or a bottleneck in production is cleared up.
Employers are very interested in social skills, and they track them from the interview process on. It is important for an individual with LD to understand her social and communications styles and to demonstrate proficient social skills during the interview and on the job. For example, during a job interview, it is important to be able to establish rapport with the interviewer, to listen carefully, and to stay on point when responding to a question.
Not surprisingly, much of the transition literature focuses on getting one's first job. Yet once hired, an employee is often expected to eventually take the lead on some projects, which opens up the possibility of job advancement. Therefore, it is important for employees with LD to see beyond their initial job role and to envision taking the lead when asked. In order to be prepared to take advantage of opportunities for job advancement, it is important for a young person to be aware of her interpersonal style, and how it can be used to develop an effective leadership style.
Because workplace efficiency leads to greater productivity, organizational style becomes an important criterion for hiring an employee, as well as for evaluating her performance. A young person with LD should be able to articulate her style, whether in time management, task management and tracking, or meeting deadlines. The key is to know one's style and be able to describe it in order to show how individual organizational style will mesh with the tasks or overall purposes of the business or organization.
When an employer asks a question like this, the challenge for the young adult with LD is to be able to hear the question behind it, without becoming upset or defensive. What employers often wonder - perhaps unconsciously - is, "Am I taking a risk in hiring this young person?" It's up to the young adult to approach the question positively and matter-of-factly. The key is to communicate self-confidence, as a means to instill confidence in the prospective employer or boss. In order to do this, the young person must understand, be articulate about, and be able to convince the employer of, her strengths and abilities, and her knowledge of effective ways to "work around" her LD in the job setting.
Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you more
insights to help you help your child succeed.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for , including performance data and recently posted user reviews.