top of page

Neurodiverse Documentary (A Look Into the Lives of Adults with ADHD and Autism)

Please consider subscribing. Neurodiverse (A Documentary on Adult ADHD and Autism) This was filmed during a pandemic and therefore all work was done remote. Links to those involved: Stephen’s Instagram: Stephen’s Facebook: Stephen’s Twitter: Mitchell McCracken’s business, Lucid Lights Multimedia: Temple Grandin: Cody Wanner: Alex Kessler: Andy Burns: Stephen & Izzy Business Instagram: Business Twitter: Business Facebook:


Unknown Speaker 0:00

According to the CDC, it's estimated that one in 54, or 1.8% of children have autism spectrum disorder. Autism is four times more common among boys and girls. 9.4% of children are estimated to be ADHD, again, more common among males than females. What are these conditions? And what does it mean to be neurodiverse? I'm Steven Jones, I was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at the age of 26. And it left me wondering how we didn't catch it sooner. As someone who identifies as autistic and ADHD, I wanted to speak to other individuals on the spectrum and get their side of the story and give a testimony to what it's like being neuro diverse. So that led me to some incredible people, and I cannot thank them enough for their time. So without any further ado, here's the interviews.

Unknown Speaker 0:53

I am not a Temple Grandin. I'm a professor at Colorado State University in the Department of Animal Science. I teach a class on livestock behavior and do research on livestock behavior have been there now since 1990. And I really like it out here in Colorado.

Unknown Speaker 1:09

Hi, my name is Alex Kessler. I'm the CEO and president of Casper a toy and game and puzzle manufacturer that makes all these cool springs, our toys and puzzles that you see behind me. I also am the host of the masters of modern podcast and the mm cast YouTube channel plus my own twitch channel cast wily, as well as just internet magic person in general. And I was diagnosed with ADHD campaign type in the summer of 2020 at the age of 32, which is how old I am right now. So relatively recently,

Unknown Speaker 1:38

but my name is Andy I, an autistic person who runs a YouTube channel called indie Andy, I'm 28. And pretty much the main objective of my youtube channel is to spread awareness, spread acceptance, and, you know, just share my life online. Really, that's pretty much the aim of what I do. And that's pretty much mean that nutshell, to be honest,

Unknown Speaker 2:03

Cody Warner, I'm a video creator. So I do some freelance video and video, you know, video for clients, that sort of thing. But I also make videos on YouTube, I vlog sometimes I make like tutorial content, sometimes. I do like inspirational motivational stuff, sometimes adventure stuff sometimes. So very eclectic YouTube channel, that's me in terms of what I do in terms of who I am. I'm a husband and a father loves to have fun, love to meet people get in relationships with people and play games and go on adventures.

Unknown Speaker 2:43

The first stone spear was probably made by somebody who was mildly on the autism spectrum. You see, it's truly a spectrum you're talking about, something's totally embedded in the genome. Now, if you got rid of it, everybody's fine. Don't be stupid. There's a new book that just came out and Simon Baron Cohen, on patterns. And a and I basically agree with him when he says that a lot of inventors on the autism spectrum. And then you on the other end of the spectrum, you have somebody remains nonverbal may have epilepsy on top of it. But some of the nonverbal individuals can learn to type independently. And they almost have a locked in syndrome. They've can't control emotions in their body. And there's a really good books out now like Tito mupad Hey, how can I talk if I don't move, if my lips don't move? It's he's types completely independently Carly's voice, and then the sequel for the reason I jump. These are people that type independent life, typing is something good, I want to try to get little kids to talk. But you don't get an up to five or six. And they're not talking, that's when you need to introduce keyboard. And the thing is probably going to work the best is a tablet is because when you type on that tablet, the print appears right next to the keyboard. So you don't have to do attention shift. That's why the tablet, iPad or something very similar as you can just use a text messaging program. Making a big brain is kind of a messy proposition. And there's a whole lot of genes involved. And it's not clear cut, I think it's part of just normal variation. I you're not going to get rid of autism, the same genes that make the brain big, are involved with autism and schizophrenia. in autism, you get extra growth in certain parts, but back to the brain, schizophrenia, the network's kind of skimpy and then in late adolescence, it falls apart. And then you're going to start hallucinating and doing stuff like that in our opposite developmental life. But what I've learned on the Autism is it's embedded into the basic genetics of making a large cerebral cortex, the genetics of ADHD and autism, about a third of it sustain a lot of a lot of the symptoms sensory issues problems like sound sensitivity, sensory oversensitivity? Yeah, there's a lot of social awkwardness on, there's a lot of overlap. See, the problem is these are not definite diagnoses. And when the one has it become severe enough to call it a diagnosis. It's not a hard diagnosis. Like, you've got tuberculosis or you've got COVID. But there's other things where brain traits it's, it's all continuous trade. And one is a little moody become bipolar. There's no black and white dividing line. There's too much stuff here and I'm trained as a hardcore biologist. Now I want to make emphasize that, okay, what you're born with, not totally your destiny. You know, there's too many kids that are visual thinkers like me just getting addicted to video games. I need one out make video games, not just play them all day.

Unknown Speaker 6:08

So I was diagnosed Actually, this last summer, I was diagnosed with ADHD combined type. So there's like two sides of the spectrum that you can be on and like what used to be kind of a DD and ADHD and they've kind of got rid of that and be more of a spectrum. And I'm just like, smack dab in the middle of it. At HD combined type takes like the side, I think it's like presenting I forget the other one. But basically, there's the like, more space cadet version of ADHD. And then there's the very hyperactive, can't sit and focus on on things. And these are very generalized versions of what this means. And then I am both of those things, which actually is one of the reasons they had trouble diagnosing me when I was a kid. Because I have the ability to both hyper focus on things very easily. So and one of the things I hyper focus on is conversations with people. So they thought, Oh, he can talk to people for more than 30 seconds, that means he probably doesn't have it. And so they like, and I wasn't seeing an actual ADHD specialists, my parents got divorced. So I was like seeing a talk doctor to talk through that process. But that then led to kind of the MIS diagnosis from them. The My parents never really pursued it until this last year where because of the quarantine or the COVID situation, I had, like, time available to handle doctory things that I've been putting off for a long time. And one of them was finally going through the official testing process. And I like passed, I guess pass is a weird word to use here, but was diagnosed with flying colors.

Unknown Speaker 7:37

My diagnosis is ADHD, without mention of hyperactivity was how it was written on the, on the paper, the without mention of hyperactivity is actually really funny to me, because like most people I know, wouldn't necessarily know I have ADHD, but they would say yeah, Cody is one of the most hyper people that I know, you know, the perception the doctor had of me, I wasn't giving off that that part of my vibe, I guess at that point, but I got diagnosed with it when I was, I think 28 so almost six years ago now. So I had been married for years. I own my own business at the time, and I had been trying to run it for about two years. And just started day in and day out coming up against how incredibly distracted I was and how not just distracted but like hyper focused on other things that weren't productive, productive for the business. I had always done that, but I had it had never really negatively affected my life until I was married. I was supposed to be providing for my family. I was supposed to be working hard. I was supposed to be you know, moving up in the world and I wasn't doing that I was like binge watching Breaking Bad. You know what I mean? It was like just a really kind of clash of who I wanted to be and who I was and I started really sort of panicking like this isn't right you know, like I need to fix this and I can't pull myself out self up out of this. And you know, I had always known slash thoughts thoughts slash known that I had a DD or ADHD For me it was like it just never was an issue like it never it never was ruining my life until that time. And so that's what prompted me to go to the doctor and actually get get diagnosed with it to try out you know, to try medication or or and and counseling and see you know, is there a way for me to overcome this.

Unknown Speaker 9:53

Those h5 when I was officially diagnosed, I don't I don't know how it just it was a bizarre thing that just picked it up barely, I guess, knowing that I kind of had this condition that made me different was, I don't know, weird, it was very weird in a way, because I didn't know about my diagnosis until I was 10. But basically, all I knew was that socially, I don't know, didn't really make friends the traditional way. And I guess, academically as well, I had quite a lot of help through school and things. And so even though it was like the norm, for me, it was still really weird, I guess.

Unknown Speaker 10:43

Einstein did not talk until he was three, he would definitely be in special ed today. And people that argue about us precise autism diagnosis, there is no precise diagnosis. It's basically a behavioral profile. I wasn't completely fully verbal until age four. I'm where I can really, you know, yak fast. And I was lucky to get really good early intervention, that was really important. Also, my mother always encouraged my ability in art, take the thing that kids could build on it. Because one really common thing with kids other different types of minds is an even skills, they'll be good at one thing. And bad, it's something else, let's build up the thing that good. And in my career of working on livestock design, I use my visual thinking skills. When you study biology, you've got the axon of the neuron, each neuron, the nerve tail, well, they form bundles. And I've got big cable bundles, for Visual Thinking that are really huge. And that showed up on an experimental MRI, which is not commercially available. That was basically scientists having fun with the MRI machine, when you get the new technology. And at the end, it's a type of MRI called a high definition, a tensor imaging, it was invented by Walter Snyder at the University of Pittsburgh and originally designed for looking at head injuries, you see, you get head injury or rip fibers. Now some of the things that showed up is I had less fibers for speaking, that's why I had trouble getting my speaking out. So what you do on the early therapy is the fibers you got left to increase the bandwidth on the fibers you have left, if you're working. Like oh, I kind of like use computer analogies, because I think it makes it easy to understand. And that technology sitting in the hospital right now, but nobody's looking at using it.

Unknown Speaker 12:49

The biggest thing that I've run into with friends and my wife and and, you know, like adult relationships is sometimes people misunderstanding, my distractibility, or me not caring about them, that is like, further furthest from the truth. You know, it's like, I do actually care very deeply about my friends and family and people I love. And whenever I catch myself, like, being distracted by something, or interrupting somebody, or anything that I do that, that I know is kind of a result of being someone with ADHD. It just really, it can bum me out. And it's been so super refreshing for people who do get to know me better, and become like, my very good friends, that they'll laugh about it, you know, and just in a loving way and say like, I'm just so glad I know you. Because if I didn't, I would, I would take this as you being very rude. You know, and I'm also 100% Okay, if you like, call me on it. And if you and if you ask me to not do that stuff, you know, it's just that some of that stuff is really hard for me. Same thing with being late, you know, I just, it was while I was daily vlogging that I realized I am constantly late. And it really started to like, I really started to get very down on myself about it, not because I was late, but because of how that made the other person think I didn't respect them, you know, and that again, that wasn't the case. So those are the two things is that I'm like, I'm not trying to be rude. I just am being very rude. And I thank you for your your grace with me. You know, I was super lucky in school, because I I would get really interested in certain topics in class and then be able to focus on that. The other thing that made me really lucky in school was it quickly became a game for me where it was like how can I pass this class without having to study or do anything, I just want to, I just want to be the best. But I also do I want to apply zero effort. And like that game in and of itself made most classes fun for me to figure figure that out and do well on tests and stuff. I think that's a different story than a lot of people have, you know, especially kids who get diagnosed at a younger age, because like, probably the reason they get diagnosed is because their teachers are noticing stuff, something's going on, and we need to try to help this person. And that just wasn't, that wasn't happening. For me, I grew up with my dad, sometimes the teacher would call or at the parent conference, you know, they would say like, Cody doesn't do his homework ever, and you need to, you know, you need to make him do that. And my dad would just say, like, Yeah, but he gets A's on tests. So like, why would I have him wastes his time doing this work that you're giving him? Like, that's not how someone with with our was I found out later on in life, homework is very hard for someone with ADHD because a they're not even, they're not interested in it. But be they see no benefit in it. You know, it's like, it literally feels like just a waste of time. That's why sometimes I would get B's is because like 20% of the grade was the homework grade. And I since I didn't do that, you know, I wouldn't get a grade there.

Unknown Speaker 16:23

I would say definitely socially, it was a massive challenge for me finding friends and things. I didn't really have like, a group, as it were, that came much later on in life, really, in terms of academically, I guess, as well. I kind of figure out my own way of doing things that works for me. Because I think in education, it's very much like this the way that you have to do things. It might work for some people, of course, it may, but for me wasn't necessarily the case. So it was just about finding out what worked for me. And I guess socially as well, it was fine. Now what worked for me and running with it.

Unknown Speaker 17:09

We went to my 10 year anniversary, me and my wife and the principal is there. And we were a small, like liberal arts high school. There's only like 76 kids in my graduating class. So the principal knew all of us. And my wife was asked him like, how is Alex as a student and he was like, Well, you know how like, you have to legally go to school. Like you have to go like, there's no way you cannot go to high school. Alex definitely fell in the category of kids who didn't need to be here but had to be here, which was a compliment. But also definitely not a compliment. Always a C student would just never and every report card was basically like good in class participatory talks too much. And doesn't do any homework like was basically everything could do well. One of the most like ironic moments in high school was senior year. And we all got our like, and a semester report card or like where we are standing. And like normally my school is pretty lacks and let you kind of fix this if something was going wrong. But we all got our report cards. And I had like a big D on mine. And the girl who would sit behind me every time like how the fuck do you have a D? And she showed me and she has an A. And I'm like, I don't know, I just don't do my homework or whatever. She's like, I have only passed this class because I'm cheating off if you have every test. It's interesting. Because there's two sides, there's always a like, there's I either have, I'm already good at this. So I don't need to do the homework, right? Like I'm already naturally good at this thing. So why put the work in? that's meant to help me become good at it if I'm already good at it. And that was always what happened with math, right? And then so like all I'm doing busy work, right? I have to do this homework, but it's just problems that I can do already. Why am I doing it, and then I would do on the test. And it wouldn't be an issue, or the inverse of that, which is, oh, I'm bad at this. And I hate that. So I don't want to do it. Because I don't want to figure out how to be better at this thing. Because that's a struggle that my brain doesn't want to deal with. So like there's like a weird, happy medium of like being already good at it. And it being fun, which is why I think so many people are driven towards nerd activities that have ADHD, right? Like, that's why they like video games. That's why they like doing these things because like, Oh, I'm already good at it. But there's a challenge involved. But the purpose is a challenge. So if there's something that's entertaining about it, but I I can be talented at that thing at the same time and it's not like miserably. Like there's no reward for doing homework you're bad at other than like, you kind of get to know what it is but and then there's no reward for doing homework you're already good at. So I didn't do any homework. Socially, I was always fine. I always survived best in large group of friends. Because I think I have trouble more often than not being in one on one friendship relationships. I've always found myself at a minimum trios of like three friends that were really good or larger and like classically would be the person bring more and more people into our group of friends. Like I've always like, fallen into friends of people that are like all relatively judgy. And then my job was to like, be the person to bring people into the group and see if they would fit. Because I would always just like gather large groups of friends, pretty much every environment I've ever been in. And like my most depressed points in life, or when I wasn't in didn't have a large social circle that I had available to me. So I've had to issue a few issues socially, one of them would be like addicted to social interaction, right? Like one of the reasons I think I had so much trouble in college was I would just prioritize hanging out with friends or doing social interaction versus working on schoolwork. So it's much more of a pair. I guess parasocial isn't the right word, but like addiction to social interaction and having people around. And one of the reasons I think available to be successful in the business I'm running is, I like to roll deep. So I'm able to actually have a team around me at all times. And I've made it much more of a team environment. In fact, I don't even have an office, where I work there's there's also a level of like, there's something called and I was for Rs, ri s d, or something along those lines. And basically, it's a it's a social interaction anxiety piece to having EDI HD. And basically, if I it generally evolves into you being a very like a people pleaser, which I definitely am, where I don't, I always focus on when I'm interacting with people, even friends that I've had for my whole life, on small things they may have done to bother them. And so when you exit those things, other people might not be focusing on those micro aggressions or micro things that they did. And like, I just start freaking out that they like hate me. And so because of that, then I'm much more about like, making sure everyone's happy. And I'm definitely a people pleaser, which has led me to have really good friendships over a long time. But even now, I have friends that like, I've known since I was 12. But I will assume that they don't like me half the time. And I think and that is like confirmed a part of the diagnosis.

Unknown Speaker 21:54

Where I had the worst problems was high school, I that was the worst part of my life bullying. And the only places I was not bullied was where I had a shared interest with other students, horseback riding model rockets or electronics. So I'm big proponent of getting friends through shared interests, that is really important. It could be music, I could be playing drums, I noticed the drum set you got there in the back. And I got it lighted up nicely, because you know, what's in your background? Yeah. I figured that was deliberate. That's what you got to do get kids out, you know, doing things. Now the other thing is how the kids get interested in things, I got interested in horses because I was exposed to them, you know, okay, kids get hung up on dinosaurs or whatever. But they get exposed to dinosaurs and movies and, and in school. And one thing I think has been really bad is a lot of schools have taken out the hands on classes. By having that art and sewing and woodworking, I would have hated school. That's why I came up with this book here, calling all mines, all my childhood projects from Little helicopters and parachutes. You're making stuff. Because this brings up the really important thing is when you're different, what I learned to do is to sell my work, not myself, what I would do is I would show off my drawing. And when I did narrow view, it basically was a show and tell if drawings, selling the work, not myself. That's the key here is on my drawings right here. And I would just lay my drawings out on the table. And they go, Well, you did that. No, unfortunately learned early on sell the work, not yourself or its programming, you'd show some code you'd written are your chosen app you made for phone. Now the words show off some of the work. In your books, you talk about the different thinking types. Yeah, that's right. I talk about that in the autistic brain. And in the autistic brain book, I provide the science for different kinds of minds. There's research shows, there's some people like me, who think in pictures, and the hbo movie showed very, very nicely how I think in pictures. And then another kind of mind is the mathematical mind, they think more in patterns. So I'm what's called an object visualizer. And the other kind of mind is the visual, spatial, mathematical mind. And there's a number of research studies that apps really support this. And since the autistic brain was published in 2013, there's been a bunch more studies on supporting these two kinds of photorealistic visual thinker like me, and then the more mathematical computer scientists type of mind, and then you've got the person who's the word thinker, who thinks entirely in words. I've talked to a lot of word thinkers, and I didn't really learn how different my thinking was until I was, you know, getting up in my 40s, late 30s, early 40s. And I kind of on one day, I asked a speech therapist to access her memory on church staples, and I was really shocked that she just got kind of a generic thing like this. There's two lines like this. Where I'm seeing pictures, and I can name off where they're at. They are specific. And they come up like a bunch of PowerPoint slides, except it's sequential. Google image shows it in gallery format. I'm not they go, they come up like one at a time, then if I hold an image, then I get little video on it, that I can get some sound on it. But it the picture definitely comes up first.

Unknown Speaker 25:26

Yeah, I think the HBO film really helped the highlight the Visual Thinking, the way that you memorize that textbook page, the professor has you read,

Unknown Speaker 25:36

not a total savant. But one thing I used to do is, I was really good at biology, I used to tutor the other students. And I would see my handwritten notes, why buy a diagram of maybe the cell, for example. And then I would see that diagram when I took the exam. I vite, y'all, let's say you're showing me how to work some ice cream machine or something like that at a restaurant, I need to make myself a pilot's checklist, tear down cleaning steps, because I don't remember sequence. Now after I'd worked on a machine for two weeks, I could throw the checklist away because I'd have it videotaped in my head. But to start with, I would need to have a written pilot's checklist. Because I just long strings of verbal information that just does not work with me. And so but that's an easy thing to do. And I'm multitasking, the kinds of jobs I've done, don't involve multitasking, you're doing design work, let's say you're doing photography, you're not multitasking, you're concentrating on your photography.

Unknown Speaker 26:38

To me,

Unknown Speaker 26:39

it may just be the fact that I'm just a driven person, because of the experiences, I've had to just push myself forward. And you know, keep pushing forward. That is just a trait of mine that's really helped and gotten me to where I am today. Really,

Unknown Speaker 26:59

I think there's a lot of a lot of creativity, you display as well, in your videos and your presentation of these videos. They captivate me and they keep my attention. So I know that I know you got you got a lot, lot more going for you. I think, you know,

Unknown Speaker 27:15

I wouldn't say I wouldn't say that. Steven, I don't know. It's, it's really weird when I do videos, I think because I have to know, it's the best version of me. And I kind of want to be that version of me all of the time. But I'm just not. I'm just not like that.

Unknown Speaker 27:34

Yeah, cuz when you're in front of a camera, you're really you're putting on your best your best face forward, I guess. Right. And it may be maybe I don't know if that that helps with acceptance of autism or not. But I think it's, it makes it digestible for for other people to learn about the condition. And I know sharing your videos with my friends and family has helped them to understand me so

Unknown Speaker 28:01

great, man, it's honestly really great. I think I think the reason why I do the videos, the way that I do them is to make them digestible to people. Because kind of the way I say it is, if the people that I'm trying to just reach reach full, don't understand that I'm kind of not really doing what I want to do. It's a catch 22 I guess,

Unknown Speaker 28:30

I just ended up embracing it and trying to exploit the superpower sides of it. The you know, the way the doctor the path the doctor took was let's put you on some drugs. So I got put on a depression medicine and Ritalin so you know, depression and then ADHD like a stimulant. Let's try that out. And first started like low dose, I think it was 20 milligrams, then went up to 40. Or maybe we even jumped 40 because like, just wasn't working at all went up to 16. And started going to counseling to therapy. And that only lasted for like maybe three, three sessions, because the therapist, the counselor that I went into, he opened it up with something on the third session. And you know, I said something like, I just I'm having a really hard time. These are some of the issues that I'm experiencing. I would love strategies on how to overcome this. And he was like, he was like, you know, my biggest goal as a counselor therapist is to help people become more aware of their own thoughts and their own beliefs and who they are and, and some of the things that they're thinking that are causing some of the actions but it sounds like you and talking to me are one of the most self aware ADHD people that I've ever met. And that made sense to me because I was like, I knew it. I was an adult, you know, I got the feeling that maybe he worked with a lot of people earlier on. To me, it was almost like he just said, there's nothing I can do to help you. You know, it's like you already you are doing the things that I tried to do to help people like you. And so that was how it went with the therapist. And then with medical doctor and the drugs, I definitely got a hit of, you know, the ability to just focus for for longer periods of time on stuff that I wanted to focus on, at first with the drugs. And then it was only maybe two weeks or so where I started, I just sort of adjusted to this new feeling and went right back to hyper focusing, but now just with a lot more energy and a lot less sleep that on stuff that I didn't want to be focusing on. And I was only on those drugs for maybe three or four months before I went into the doctor and said, this stuff isn't good for me, like, I think I'm getting addicted to it, I'm gaining it, I'm taking like all 60 milligrams at once, just trying to get into a productive state. And like, That's not good. And you know, I don't want it I don't want this anymore. And he was just sort of shocked, similar, similar thing where he's like, okay, you sound like you know what you're talking about. So I'll take you off of this medicine. But I don't, you know, I don't know really where to go from there. So I got off of the drugs and, and kept working and kept trying to get better at doing the stuff that I wanted to do. It wasn't really until I started vlogging, I started making a vlog which really ended up helping me too in two ways. One, it helps me with my sort of executive function where I would say in the vlog, I would to my camera, I would say, you know, I'm gonna do this today. And then like, just saying that to the camera, made me go and start to do that thing. Because for whatever reason, like it was just a little hack that worked. The other thing that vlogging really helped was I still had a full time job, I was selling videos for my production company, it really helped me with like, constantly having something to do and constantly having to be thinking about something else that I also considered productive. Whether I was thinking about what's the vlog for today, or whether I was thinking about how am I going to get this next video sale, I could switch thoughts. So the other thing and not, you know, in start to make progress on that thing, a bit of a productive procrastination type thing, and still feel good about it. So ended up really starting to hyper focus on the vlog, which at first I think was scary for people around me. But then, as it started making money, and as things started going well with the vlog, it ended up, it ended up being a good thing to hyper focus on so just constantly trying to go down new creative pathways and like, allow myself to get intrigued and distracted by things in my surroundings and then chasing them. But for the purpose of making a video about them ended up being really freeing to me, what I found, like in a formulaic way, is like, if there's any slight ounce of interest, or curiosity about a thing, that's a good indicator of me potentially being able to become very proficient at that thing. Any it works well sometimes with like problems and overcoming problems is and finding a solution to a problem. So if there's a rig that I shot that I want to get, but I'm going to need to build a rig in order to get it, I can figure out how to build that rig without spending a bunch of money or, or wasting or taking a bunch of time, because of sort of how my brains working in this very fast problem solving way, you know, just like maybe much more specifically, to me, when it came to daily vlogging like the biggest problem that people have with daily vlogs is they're like, and the question I get asked all the time is how do you constantly come up with ideas for me is like, how do you not come up with ideas? I have 50 I've had 50 ideas since we started this conversation like I jot those ideas down and then and then you know, maybe I'll come back and look at them but probably not because I know I'm gonna have another 10,000 ideas before next month. So in that way like that, that was very good for daily vlogging because you needed a new idea every day and I had more than I could choose from when it comes to comedy or humor. I think it can go both ways right like sometimes I'm very much not funny, you know you I just make so many connections, just random connections between situations and other situations. I am the end up being quick and coming across as witty, because I'm thinking about so much at the same time. You know, people say to me like I just wish I could think As fast as you and so like, you know, that makes it makes you feel like you have a superpower sometimes.

Unknown Speaker 35:06

And one thing that is interesting is it definitely feels like there's been in the last five years a movement to kind of understand that there is such thing as adult ADHD. And it's not just something for kids. And that if you do feel like you have symptoms, there are more tools available now to help adults find diagnosis. It isn't cheap, which really sucks, but it definitely I think has helped. When it first happened, I was like really angry that I wasn't able to get help earlier, there was like a good week where I just like very mad at the world. And I think that that sucks. But I do think that getting it has been extremely helpful over the last six months or five months or three months. Time doesn't exist anymore. 2020 is weird. Did September really happen? Does that can anyone prove that we actually who added September this year, there's a lot that goes along along with it. I think that as far as it's also not like a death sentence, right? It's not like, I think there's a lot of things that I'm better at because I have this condition. I think creatively, I think the fact that like, behind me, we've invented all these cool products, or our toy company all comes from my ability to jump from project to project like I've been, I've been given the opportunity. And I've been lucky to be able to kind of found my own company that has that has success behind it. And the tools given to me by having that environment have been really helpful and dealing with us on my own or with my family. But on my own, then it would have been before that when I was trying to work jobs where I would eventually just like dead and myself or wouldn't succeed. And I think that's the Add side of being able to kind of control your own universe and being able to jump from project to project when it interest you where you need to focus on it has been helpful.

Unknown Speaker 36:40

I think being able to like go project to project is kind of like one of those superpowers of being neurodiverse or being ADHD, and also the ability to just problem solve. Like someone brings you a problem and it just you're already getting a solution by the time they're finishing their sentence kind of thing, you know,

Unknown Speaker 36:59

yes, no, there's definitely a I'm very good at problem solving. And I don't have patience for Sometimes though, for like walking through how you're going to do something. I was like, Okay, let's try something. Let's just like like, the first step is do it. And then once we do it, if there's mistakes, let's go back and fix them and see what how we can do better. There's also Yeah, the finishing people sentence thing, I definitely annoy people in my life. Because I like most sentences, you know, where they're gonna go by the end of the sentence. And so I'm good at halfway through, I know where you're going to get to. And so I like will interrupt and be like, Oh, yeah, yes, that that. Here's the answer to your question. And they're like, let me finish my question.

Unknown Speaker 37:38

I want to see kids get out there and be successful. Yeah. And I'm seeing too many parents and too many kids getting so much in the diagnosis. Or it's kind of a shocked when a computer science parents don't think to teach their kid programming when your kid is good at math, even cost anything to do. And then you go out the mill, the tech companies, and you've got lots of people there, they're on the spectrum, some the estimates go from 25 to 50%, depending upon the company, or the programming staff. Now, I noticed they avoid the labels, because I thought I think they don't want to find them. And for me, being autistic autistics important part of who I am. But being a scientist comes first. Your career tyna vibe, makes my life worthwhile. The fact

Unknown Speaker 38:28

that you were able to make a career out of something you loved to that

Unknown Speaker 38:34

is incredible. The other night, what I've been when it comes to, you know, building things and doing engineering work, there's kind of two parts of it, there's more mathematical part. And then there's the Visual Thinking part, like you take something like zoom, the reason why I've got all the businesses because the interface is easy to use. That's Visual Thinking. But the more mathematically inclined people I'd make to code that would make it work. She that's where you need to have both. Yeah, Visual Thinking minds and the math minds. And the skills can complement each other.

Unknown Speaker 39:07

The Steve was the act and Steve Jobs type thing and that back and forth of technical engineering and understanding visual aesthetics.

Unknown Speaker 39:16

Well, a guy that does that invented zoom, used to work for WebEx and he wanted to fix up WebEx interface. And WebEx said, No, so I left WebEx and start his own company. Well, the X is way behind zoom.

Unknown Speaker 39:30

You had a HBO film made about you and how many how many books have you now authored? Well, counting three textbooks. I've got about 15 books now. You've authored textbooks as well,

Unknown Speaker 39:43

yes, suddenly on livestock handling animal welfare, behavior and genetics of behavior of domestic animals. I offered some of the chapters in those and other people also offered chapters now as the editor of the textbooks. After markup

Unknown Speaker 40:08

my big concerns is a school's taken out all the hands on classes, if I hadn't had art would have just been terrible. And how could a kid get interested in car mechanics for example, if they're not exposed to it? We have a huge shortage right now high end skilled trades, things like mechanics, welders, electricians, these are good jobs, COVID proof recession proof never going to go away, always going to be needed. I want to encourage you know, students and stuff. Try a lot of stuff, figure out what you might want to do. I get asked all the time how to get into cattle industry, I was exposed to what as a teenager, it's that simple. And I was just reading this wonderful book on, on how to be an astronaut and, and when he was nine year old Petey wants a museum and someone with IMAX movies that did it. You know, those things are important. That's exposure. Let's show what people can do. But I'm one of them very concerned about and 10 years ago, I wouldn't have talked about this much is not learning life skills. shopping, I'm just appalled at the amount of smart teenagers on the spectrum have never gone shopping, never learned to manage money. The way I understood money is I had to save two weeks that 69 cent airplane, because 50 cents wouldn't cover. And I look back on this, I'm realizing what an important thing I learned from that. And that's not hard for parents to do. Because to understand money, I have to make it translate money into real things I can buy. It can't be abstract. And my favorite toy when I was about 10 years old was table hockey. Now that of course was a Christmas present. There were things that were like, more expensive. I remember seeing that in the in the in the shop window. And it was $21. That'd be almost my whole year's worth of allowance. I remember looking at that in the shop window. I already had the hotkey set. But I learned a really important thing about value of money. I didn't realize how important what I learned with my little 50 cents of allowance watch until maybe about five years ago. And I'm seeing sort of problems people are having. And they weren't taught these basic things I was taught to save. And I remember being very disappointed. I wanted to buy this airport things in the same toy shop as the hockey game, had a crank on the flying saucer would take off. And it was like read a horse. I saved up for it. They had sold it. And I didn't know that maybe the store could order another one. When I was 10 I didn't know that. What do you want the average person to know about this diagnosis?

Unknown Speaker 42:53

Yeah, I mean, the one thing is it's real, uh, like that. That was definitely the thing, even like, the fact that I didn't get diagnosed until I was much older was partially just because there's this whole vibe that it doesn't exist or like it means, like something is wrong with a person or like it like, I think I especially my generation grew up in an era where people just thought that people being diagnosed or just parents not being able to handle rambunctious children or like and, and there's a difference between trying to like deal with a kid in a way that maybe isn't healthy, and like actually helping them and make sure they have the tools to succeed. A lot of my life has definitely been much harder and a windy road, that maybe it would have been if I had just like guidance or help or or any of these kind of tools that were made available to some of my peers, I don't think I would have gone to five different colleges, I think I would have maybe made it through one or we wouldn't have sent me to like a large, you know, 300 Kids per class lecture based classroom setting and put me something a little bit more intimate and smaller than it would have helped me been able to kind of like focus on classwork, talk to a physician and push for it. That's the other thing, like the barriers for an adult to get this diagnosis are pretty, pretty high, just from the perspective that it's a lot of things that you're going to be bad at. It's a lot of paperwork, it's a lot of asking for help. It's a lot of like, basically, if my wife had not been pushing for it, and she didn't have her, her therapist recommended person that was really good, who then helped me and like, had all of these things lined out. I think actually the fact that COVID is happening also helped because it was all through like through email and through through digital interactions. So it was like, Oh, I just put a bunch of alerts on my calendar and I'll make sure I'm there and it wasn't as much like physically having to go somewhere or remembering to be somewhere on time, which I think was helpful but I think that like there are tools that are out there there's a ton of really good YouTubers that like do ADHD content that like were really helpful once I got my diagnosis. And if you feel like you have it like it's totally fine to be diagnosed as an adult, it is not just for kids. It's not it's something that does continue past that. Having health and having people I'm talking to it's been much better than before. When I was just in a void, I'm like, Oh, I guess something's wrong with me. I don't I don't, I don't know why I can't like remember to do things, but I can't, I'm just gonna suffer.

Unknown Speaker 45:08

The thing that I want to just put out is that autism can be challenging. It can be hard to live with, I've been there were in in my life, I didn't want to be autistic. You know, it was kind of the thing in my life where I was like, No, I want to be like everyone else. But for me, it was, I guess, about trying to find a way of accepting me. And once I actually found that, for many years, it's not something that comes overnight. But once I actually found that it was easier to accept me, and do you know what, I'm happier because of it. So really think it's just about accepting yourself, you know, and just being practice being proud of that really

Unknown Speaker 45:58

my biggest concern, whenever I talk about ADHD, and how it is, for me, personally, my biggest concern is that it will come across the wrong way to someone who's struggling with ADHD in a very different way than the way that I am struggling with it, because I'm an optimist, because I'm a fun loving, like, happy person generally. And I wasn't, I know, not always like this. And I definitely wasn't like this when I was really, you know, right before seeking diagnosis, that sort of thing, I was really getting into a very depressive state, because I'm so optimistic because I'm so fun loving, it can come across as, hey, everything's fine, like ADHD is just a different way of being and it's fine. Like, you can just harness the power of it and have a great life. You know, and I just know that that is not the case for many people. And even if it was, which it's not, but even if it was, like, they don't feel there yet, and so I don't ever want like, I just want everybody to a understand that whatever the diagnosis is, you might just feel it much differently than anybody else. There's not, like, that's the great thing about like, neuro diversity, right is like it's not, it's not like neuro typical. And then this other thing that's neuro diverse, it's like neuro diverse, like, there's a bunch of different ways to experience this. And, you know, it's my bent to sort of try to find an exploit the positives, but there are a lot of negatives, and I don't want to take away from those, the vulnerability piece is just is really huge for me, and was really huge. And still, you know, day in and day out. I mean, I feel like, there's not a public appearance or speaking gig that I do, where I don't mention it at some point in the talk that I have ADHD. And it really, I just, it's so incredibly freeing to just sort of put it out there, and just let everybody know, and it's, you know, it normally elicits a bit of a smile. And, you know, there's this other side of it, where it's sort of like, a trendy thing to talk about having ADHD or a DD, you know, you hear hear people say it, and they're not talking about it in the diagnosis sense. They're talking about, I had a moment of distraction, you know, and so, just letting all of that go. And knowing that, like, yeah, people are smiling, and, and that's cool, but they don't necessarily get it, like just letting all of that stuff go is really important. And it's still freeing, even though, you know, that people are gonna misunderstand you. It's still very freeing. And then, you know, to take that a step further, there are people in the crowd, there are people that you're talking to, who do understand who, who actually have ADHD, and maybe they have never told anybody about it, maybe they're not public about it, or maybe they are or whatever, but like, the connection that is immediately built with somebody, when you get to share some of these stories is a like, there were a cool community where a cool community of people to be a part of and and just know that you know, you're not alone. And there's so many other amazing people out there from history and currently living to this day who who have or had ADHD and and, and did really cool stuff.

Unknown Speaker 49:30

Thank you so much for watching this film, and thanks to those who shared their story as this would have been nothing without them. So thinking Temple Grandin. Thank you, Cody Warner. Thank you Alex Kessler, and thank you, Andy burns. Thank you, Mr. McCracken, for helping me edit this and I hope this film has given you a little insight into what it's like to be neurodiverse

Transcribed by


Thank You for Visiting Everything Neurodiversity!

Hello, Thank you for visiting Everything Neurodiversity. This site is a passion project of mine. The hosting costs are minimal and I try to dedicate time to it whenever I can. I intend to keep this site as educational and ad free. 

I have learned a great deal from working on this site and the social platforms that go along with it. So much that I have started another site dedicated to building a more sustainable and easier fashion shopping expiereince. It has recently been selected for sponsorship in the Microsoft Founders Hub Program and I'm excited for the new developments this will enable. The first 10,000 users who make a purchase through the site will get lifetime Premier Status enabling rewards up to 17%! Check it out here: RunwayRewards.Shop or browse the integrated page below: 

popular posts




HR Resources