354: How To Ask For What You Need with Jessica McLaren

354: How To Ask For What You Need with Jessica McLaren

“The hardest word to hear is practice.” Listen as your host, Eric Tivers and his guest Jessica McLaren discuss being diagnosed with ADHD along with learning disabilities, the embarrassment she experienced, and the man in the wheelchair that changed her mindset about learning disabilities, plus much more on this episode of ADHD reWired.

Jessica is a twenty-seven-year-old with learning disabilities, ADHD and has earned her Master’s degree from Columbia University in social work. She is an active advocate for individuals with ADHD and learning disabilities. Jessica actively takes her own experiences as an individual with learning disabilities and ADHD to others; she wants others with the same issues to learn from her experiences to understand themselves better and be better advocates.

Listen as Jessica discusses how her diagnosis turned her world upside down and how she self-advocated in college to make getting her degree more attainable. Jessica shares some stories on how self-advocacy worked and some stories about how it backfired.

Jessica talks about the questions she asks during interviews to determine whether working there is a good fit for her, she shares how she gets her paperwork done and the reward system she created for herself. Jessica also discusses what people in the workforce need to keep in mind when self-advocating and remembering that part of self-advocacy is self-awareness.

You’ll learn:

  • [02:34] Welcome to the show, Jessica!
  • [03:04] Jessica shares what caused her to be diagnosed and turn her world upside down.
  • [04:37] Jessica speaks about having trouble accepting the diagnosis and why she was embarrassed.
  • [06:14] Jessica discusses who she calls the man in the wheelchair and how he changed her mindset.
  • [09:05] How was college for you?
  • [10:38] Eric and Jessica talk about reading with their ears.
  • [12:45] Jessica shares what self-advocacy looked like for her in college.
  • [20:02] Jessica shares some stories on how self-advocacy helped her help others.
  • [22:58] Have you had any experiences where you tried self-advocacy that backfired on you?
  • [26:20] Jessica has noticed that people who are overachievers are usually trying to hide something.
  • [28:00] Jessica speaks about what she has done to find a boss that really works for her.
  • [30:44] Jessica shares some questions she asks in interviews to determine if the job is a good fit for her.
  • [33:38] Jessica discusses how she gets her paperwork done and the reward system she has come up with for herself.
  • [36:53] Jessica talks about educating people on taking notes, and how they should be done, how they work best for you.
  • [41:45] Jessica shares how long she has been a co-leader for ADDA.
  • [42:04] What was it like speaking at the LDA National Conference?
  • [45:04] Jessica speaks about what self-advocacy isn’t.
  • [47:52] What do people in the workforce need to keep in mind when self-advocating?
  • [51:23] Part of self-advocacy really begins with self-awareness.
  • [53:17] What are you practicing right now for yourself?
  • [54:15] Jessica shares something she is really proud that she has done lately.
  • [55:48] Thank you so much for being on the show!
  • [56:32] If you are a regular listener, consider becoming a patron click on our Patreon tap at

Connect with Jessica McLaren


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