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  • Episode 1

ADHD AF!

In today’s episode, I talk about the stigma of ADHD, and how I learned to embrace my neurodivergence.

Transcript

Hello, hello, hello. This is the ADHD for the win podcast. I’m Chris Ferdinandi. Thanks so much for joining me today. I’m talking about the stigma of ADHD and how I’ve learned to embrace my neurodivergence. Let’s dig in. So this is the first episode ever. Uh, and if you don’t already know me, I’m a web developer with ADHD for the last decade or so.

Um, I’ve been writing over at GoMakeThings. com about web development and how to approach that in a more simple fashion. Um, uh, but early in my career, I felt like I couldn’t get any better. Since then, I’ve discovered a bunch of systems and strategies that have let me turn my ADHD into a bit of a superpower.

And I really believe that my ADHD just makes me different, not worse. As part of the newsletter for GoMakeThings. com, I asked a bunch of developers who have ADHD to share their biggest challenges. And one of the more recurring themes that came up was around the stigma of having ADHD and the struggle to fit into a working environment that frankly just doesn’t often work for neurodivergent folks like us.

I’ve known I’ve had ADHD since I was a kid. My mom was really cool about not making it a thing. So I don’t have a lot of the internalized negative associations with it that some folks do. Especially a lot of folks who come into their diagnosis later in life, always thinking about ADHD is something that other people have.

So in my mind, I’m different, not worse. Being ADHD is, to me, no different than being left handed. There’s nothing about it I need to fix. I’m not broken. I’m not giving in to my condition. A majority of the challenges with ADHD stem from a society built around neurotypical folks, just like lefties struggle with all the things being built for right handed people, rather than any sort of personal failings on my part.

Open office plans, lots of little meetings and forced synchronous communication, work built around and measured in two week sprints, social expectations around eye contact and beating around topics instead of just addressing them directly. There are things that I am. far better at than most neurotypical people because of my ADHD.

I can focus extremely deeply on stuff that I care about. I can generate a massive number of ideas in a very short amount of time. I’m swimming in more ideas than I can ever act on. I’m intensely creative and imaginative. There’s also things I suck at and I find far harder than a neurotypical person might.

Cleaning up, for example, except for laundry. I love doing laundry. Um, really just doing any task that I find boring is really, really hard. And so much like neurotypical folks do, I tailor my life around my strengths and then I offload my weaknesses into tools or people who thrive on them the way that I do.

I do with my own strengths. Much of this is true for many types of neurodivergence, not just ADHD. ADHD and ASD or autism spectrum disorder have a lot of overlap and a lot of folks with one also have the other. My point in all this is that I found a lot of ways to make my ADHD work for me rather than hold me back.

But I know a lot of my fellow neurodivergent folks struggle with that sort of thing. Um, and so. This podcast and my website and my newsletter are all kind of built around creating a community of web devs with ADHD and ASD. I’m not entirely sure how it’s going to evolve over time, but I know that I thrive in the company of like minded people.

So if you’d like to be part of that, head over to ADHDftw.com. That’s FTW for the win dot com, where you can sign up for my newsletter, join my discord community where you can chat with other neurodivergent folks. And if you have any questions, ideas, thoughts, please feel free to reach out and let me know.

You can find my contact information over on the website. And I’d love to talk more about this with you and, uh, figure out how we can all kind of thrive and unlock our neurodivergent superpowers. So anyways, that’s it for today and I will see you next time. Cheers.