An Extract from Andrew and the Magic Giveash**ometer: Growing up with ADHD
Welcome to my book. My name is Andrew, and I am a consultant and trainer in the field of Neurological Diversity. I am a TEDx Speaker, Bamford Lecturer, prolific conference speaker and I am contracted to multiple organisations including universities, local authorities, and training consortiums. I deliver live workshops, digital workshops, in-service training, and focused classroom observations… and I have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). People have often asked me over the years why I do not have a book out. Well, the simple answer is that up until now I have not had anything to write about. But now I have. You see, I didn’t want to write yet another book about ADHD. If I was going to write about ADHD, I wanted it to have a purpose.
So here it is, my purpose…
I am going to share with you my ADHD experience. It’s a complicated old story because I never really found out about my ADHD until my early 50s and it wasn’t until I was 53 that I received my diagnosis of Severe ADHD and therefore, I have spent the majority of my life so far wondering why I didn’t quite sit flush with the people around me. I knew that my brain was different to other people’s brains because… it just felt like that. I spent a great deal of my time not fitting in and wondering why I could never fit in, and actually being deeply upset about this peculiar state of being. Now I want to make a couple of things clear. Like I said, this is about my ADHD experience, not yours, your son’s or your daughter’s, or anybody else’s. We are all unique in our neurodiversity, and one thing I’ve learned in the day job is that there is no step by step manual on how to educate, live with or love a person with ADHD. In fact, I would go so far as to say that the minute you think you have developed a system for ADHD (or Autism, Dyslexia, Pathological Demand Avoidance and any other neurodiversity for that matter), you will have failed, simply because you are not dealing with a type, you are dealing with individuals. Having said all that, I will talk about the ADHD community as being ‘we’ or ‘us’. This is because although we are all different, there are certain attributes that most of us share. Furthermore, people with ADHD understand other people with ADHD (most of the time). I call it ‘The Brotherhood/Sisterhood’. I am always asking people if they are part of ‘The Brotherhood/Sisterhood’.
Every human being has a system for processing information and situations. This system is called ‘executive functioning’. People with ADHD have very different executive functioning processes to neurotypical people. Sometimes, I describe my executive functioning as ‘tiny bubbles’. Let me explain. When I am delivering a lecture, having a conversation, or, like now, writing a book, there is very little structure. It’s more like a stream of consciousness.