October is ADHD Awareness month, so – spoiler – this month’s blog is about adult ADHD.
One of the things autism and ADHD have in common are the stereotypes that are called to mind when we think about them, and how these contrast with the reality. The stereotype of someone with autism is usually along the lines of a male child who struggles to hold a conversation, lines up cars and can do complex maths, and that stereotype is quite rightly being blown out of the water. The similar ADHD stereotype of a hyperactive, inattentive child is lagging somewhat behind.
But the truth is that both or these stereotypes are just that – boys (and girls) with autism or ADHD grow up to be adults with autism or ADHD: these are neurotypes, not behaviours.
So, what does ADHD look like in adults?
How can we support our ADHD friends and family?
As always, this really depends on the individual and their specific needs, but some very simple adjustments can make a whole lot of difference. Agreeing a 15 minute window to meet up rather than a specific time, for example. Or keeping sensory distractions to a minimum (hands up who can’t hear anything else when they’re watching TV).
Most important, though, is understanding that Neurodiversity is about normal brain differences. Neurodivergent people can’t change their brain processes, and neither should they have to. That hyperactive, inattentive child might just grow up to harness their hyperfocus and become a brilliant investment banker, record-breaking athlete or award-winning comedian.
Want to know more about ADHD?
Check out Additide Magazine’s 31 Myths in 31 Days