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In previous episodes I have had the pleasure to talk with individuals in the veterinary industry and we’ve touched on the mental health crisis in the field. Today I am talking with Ron Sosa, who has worked in the veterinary profession for the last 20 years. We are discussing a subtle struggle within the mental health crisis, neurodiversity and undiagnosed neurodiverse team members in the veterinary field.

Ron Sosa received an adult diagnosis of ADHD in his early 30s. Something he wasn’t expecting but has had a profound effect on understanding himself. Additionally, Ron has received a preliminary diagnosis of autism. Both of these have led to Ron seeing his life in reverse, finally clicking with things he struggled with but could never label or verbalize.

If you’re someone who is thinking this could be you too, I’m sure you’re wondering what are the hallmark signs? While every individual is different, and one person’s experience is not a tell-tale sign, Ron shares his insight on what symptoms relate to his diagnosis. Many might experience sensory overload for loud crowded places, specific noises, textures of food or fabric. For ADHD specifically, Ron experiences major highs and lows and energy, this is a symptom that often gets missed in women early on because they learn to mask it without even knowing. Additionally, Ron has thrived on systems his whole life, organizing and making checklists and marking every task off. There are many nuances to neurodiversity, and one experience can be very different from another.

If you’re a manager working with a neurodiverse team, there are things you can do to help. The key is individualization. While specific systems and processes are crucial to any operation, there has t o be flexibility for individuals and accommodations. Ron and I also discuss deconstructing traditional biases in the interview process that can unknowingly single out neurodiverse applicants. You can also be in support of yourself, Ron’s tip for taking care of his mind is blocking out time for himself and for thinking directly into his calendar so it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

With a supportive team and supportive management, operations with neurodiverse members can thrive. Specifically in the veterinary field, employees want to succeed and they want to do well, sometimes they just can’t get there on their own with the processes at hand. Ron is working on getting a platform to discuss this important issue and is eager to collaborate and hear from other minds in the field, if you’re interested you can find him on his LinkedIn!

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What’s Inside

  • The subtle struggle in the veterinary mental health crisis: Neurodiversity.  
  • How can management support team neurodiverse team members?
  • How might struggling individuals recognize signs of neurodiversity, leading to a diagnosis. 
  • How can neurodiverse professionals support themselves?
  • How can management teams deconstruct biases and support individuals?

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About Crystal Stokes
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