ADHD. That's the thing little boys have, right?
Rach Idowu is a young woman living in London who was diagnosed with ADHD later in life than we often expect. She's made it her mission to raise awareness of neurodivergence and help other adults, especially women and Black women, understand if their struggles with attention may be the result of undiagnosed ADHD.
If you have school-age kids, or if you're just a person on the internet wondering why you daydream so much or have a hard time with impulse control, this episode might flip a light switch for you.
And if you're a community builder, why should you care? Because, well, people are different, and they have different needs when it comes to learning and interacting in community.
It's crucial for us to understand where our members are coming from, what they struggle with, and what makes it easier for them to participate. We need to give them space to share what they need, and put things like accessibility and neurodiversity in the forefront when we're building our communities.
Rach is an ADHD advocate who was diagnosed with ADHD in January 2020. Shortly after her diagnosis, she decided to use Twitter and her adulting with ADHD substack newsletter as a means to connect with other adults who have ADHD. Since then, she has grown to be a prominent member of the ADHD community on Twitter and has been featured in the New York Times, the Independent, and Mashable.
Rach also runs a discord channel for neurodivergent working professionals, where reasonable accommodations and managing workload is often discussed.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho [Amazon affiliate link]
CX 041: Neurodivergent Considerations in Community with Rach Idowu of Adulting with ADHD
Rach Idowu: … provide a range of options to get content and information out to people. And then just not making that assumption that this one way of producing content or sharing information is gonna work for everyone because we take things in differently.
Jillian Benbow: Well, hello there and welcome to another episode of the community experience. And I am flying solo today, and I can't wait to introduce you to our guest this week. Rach Idowu. Rach is a young woman living in London who was diagnosed with ADHD much later in life than what we all are used to hearing. At least my, it sounds so old. My generation, you know, it was very commonly boys in elementary school that were bouncing off the walls and then were put on ritalin. And if you've been paying attention to the, the space at all, if you have kids in school, if you're just a person on the internet, wondering why you daydream so much or have a hard time with impulse control, you know, all those things, you may be up to speed with. There's a lot of discoveries going on with how ADHD manifests, especially in women, adult women, in fact.
Jillian Benbow: So, Rach and I talk about that and have a great time. It's something I deeply wonder about myself with all the new things coming through, but why should you care to your listener? It's so important to try to stay abreast with all the things happening that might affect your membership and something I see a lot in my own experienced community building is, and I love this. People are advocating for themselves more and people are using the term neuro divergence a lot. It's a term. I don't think I was familiar with a few years ago and now it's in people's bios. Like it's a thing, right? So I think it's important for us as community builders, to understand where our members are coming from. And that includes with ableism and disability and just different people need different possibly you know, things to make their experience a lot better. And so it's, it's important that we give them that space to share what that might be, but also that we, you know, know have that in mind when we're building. Anyways here is the interview with Rach with ADHD.
Jillian Benbow: Welcome to this episode of the community experience. I am delighted to have a new friend from London joining us, Rachel Idowu, and she is the adulting ADHD queen. She does all of sorts of amazing, amazing things on advocacy for adults being diagnosed with ADHD. Welcome to the show, Rach.
Rach Idowu: Thanks and much for having me. And that was the perfect intro. I feel like I need to walk down the street and then just have someone with a speakerphone saying those words. So thank you for, for having me and so excited to talk to you about adulting with ADHD.
Jillian Benbow: Yeah. I, I am really excited to talk about this for several reasons, but I think, and, and what something we'll get into is there is just lately. I mean, I'm a, like a, an elder millennial. And when I was younger, ADHD was synonymous with hyperactive boys and that was like, oh, let's put 'em on Ritalin. You know? And it was just kind of like this pill factory thing happening in elementary school with excited boys. And there was never really talk about girls in particular with ADHD, but also even like adolescents to now, there was never really talk about that. And now it seems like a lot of women in particular, who, who had a similar growing up experience are realizing, wait a minute, there's all these things I, I do, or I've always struggled with this. And I always just internalized it and, and felt bad about it. But actually I might just have a completely different like learning style and comprehension style. And it's, it's actually ADHD or a D D in some, in some way. So tell us, like how, what was your experience in this journey of getting from, you know, who you were as a child to now and why you are so passionate about adults with ADHD.
Rach Idowu: Thanks, Jillian. And it's exactly, as you said, so growing up, so I'm 28 now diagnosed at 26. I didn't think girls could have ADHD. So in primary school, I'm not sure what the us equivalent is to that.
Jillian Benbow: I think that's elementary school.
Rach Idowu: Yeah. Like three to 10.
Jillian Benbow: Yeah, yeah.
Rach Idowu: Yeah. So in my class I went to like a mixed primary school and in my class I could hear other people saying, oh yeah, that boy he's naughty because he has ADHD or he's rude because he has ADHD. And so in my mind, that's what ADHD looks like. You had to be a boy, very hyperactive, very disruptive. And that's what ADHD looked like to me at that age. And so for me, I was diagnosed at 26 I'm 28 now. And how that came about is actually quite strange. So in 2016, I went to my GP and told her that I was losing my memory. I know it sounds very wild, but for me, I felt like I was possibly developing early onset dementia.
Jillian Benbow: Oh, that's scary.
Rach Idowu: So it was a case of like, yeah, really scary for getting my keys or just walking into a room, forgetting what I wanted to get, or even leaving my house and forgetting, okay. I know I'm supposed to be somewhere, but I can't remember. So let me keep walking until I arrive at my destination. So it was things like that. And maybe it's, I didn't pick up on that earlier on in life because things moved very fast. I was in school, so there was that structure, but I started to notice that after I had graduated or was about to graduate, so I went to my GP and she said, let's do a memory test. And she said about, I think, eight to 12 words like dogs park, just like simple words in a row. And I could obviously recite it because it was there. And then, and then she said, you're fine. You don't, you don't, you don't have early onset dementia. You might just be disoriented. And that was it. didn't think ADHD or anything. Fast forward to 2018.
Rach Idowu: I watched the very controversial Netflix documentary called take your pills, which the ADHD community don't really like. And I definitely agree. There are some, I guess, harmful signaling about ADHD medication and it just reinforces and tried and kind of reperpetuates the stereotypes about ADHD stimulants, which isn't great. But anyhow, I watched the documentary and I remember there was a Black guy speaking about his struggles about ADHD and how medication has helped him. And I couldn't believe that this, this grown adult talking on a documentary and there were quite a few about ADHD. And then it kind of clicked to me that, wow, you can be diagnosed with ADHD as an adult. So I did what most people of selecting that they have ADHD do, went online, did a bunch of the free online tests. And, you know, with these tests that they can't say, well, you've completed the test.
Rach Idowu: You definitely have ADHD. I think it will say something that there is a likelihood or a high chance where you should speak with someone. So two weeks after, so this is still in 2018. I went to my GP. I'd done a lot of research before because people say, you should take examples of the traits you struggle with or else the GP won't believe you. So I went to my GP, told her my concerns and her initial reaction was that, oh, I can't have ADHD because I've got a good career. I've graduated. And she has a patient that has ADHD and I'm not like them. So she was simply implying that I'm too well put together to have ADHD. And, you know, I said, her, I basically begged her to refer me to psychiatrists. I said to her, you know, I don't come to you for anything.
Rach Idowu: The last time I came to you was, was 2016, please refer me just so I can get that confirmation from them. And then she said, yeah, it's fine. I will refer you. But you know, it's, it's going to take you up to two years. And I thought she was just blagging and saying that to deter me, but she was right. It took me a year and six months. So in 2018, fast forward to about nine months, I saw the first psychiatrist and he said, it's very likely that I have ADHD, but I needed to see a second psychiatrist. And so I saw my second psychiatrist in 2020, who officially diagnosed me with ADHD combined type. So it's been quite a long journey and sorry, I've in true ADHD fashion. I did ramble on there, but that's how I got my initial diagnosis, I guess two months before the UK entered lockdown due to, you know, COVID 19 pandemic. Yeah.
Jillian Benbow: Oh, wow. Just in time, I guess. Well, and it's interesting too, cuz I mean, obviously we have different healthcare systems, but I hear very similar things from people with, you know, with US version of, you know, like of, with privatized care. It, it is, it's a, it's a chore to get diagnosed and I I'm so frustrated on your behalf listening to this story cuz I, you know, I think a lot of us have that shared experience of you go, you go to someone who's supposed to be a, you know, an expert in medicine and granted and not to not to knock, it's kind of newer in medicine to be able to recognize how we are now understanding ADHD, but to kind of, you know, you go in with a legitimate fear. Like I, I am worried about my memory and it's like, oh, you're too successful. You're too young. We're, you know, basically you leave feeling like you're crazy for lack of a better term. So it's frustrating. Tell me more about what it means to be combined like ADHD combined. What is that?
Rach Idowu: Yeah. So there are three types of ADHD. There is ADHD, inattentive types. So symptoms slash traits of like procrastination being easily distracted, lack of attention to detail, to name a few. And then there's the ADHD hyperactive impulsive type, which has symptoms-stroke-traits of restlessness impulsiveness. I'm forgetting one restlessness impulsiveness, fidgeting, excessive talking to name a few. And then the combined type is when you have symptoms of both. And finally enough when I started the ADHD diagnosis process, I already told myself, I definitely have ADHD inattentive type that they're gonna diagnose me with the inattentive type. So to my surprise, I was diagnosed with combined type and it was scored out of nine if I can remember. And I scored, I think, eight on both or eight point something on both so pretty high. So yeah, it was, I was pretty surprised being diagnosed with ADHD combined type. So that's essentially what it is. Gotcha.
Jillian Benbow: That makes sense. That makes sense. Well, it's interesting too. I'm curious on your thoughts on this because it's, it's hard to get diagnosed and then when you do get diagnosed, usually the pathway is some sort of like stimulant medication. And, and I know for my own experience, a lot of people are turned off by that end result. So it's like, well, I'm not going to get diagnosed because I that's, that's not the path I wanna take, but, and I keep seeing more and more like TikTok, like TikTok in particular ads. And I'm like, that's
Rach Idowu: A different world.
Jillian Benbow: Yeah. Well, and I always wonder I'm like is because this is such short form storytelling, do they just target everybody on TikTok? Cuz they're like, well, if you're here and you use this, you know, and so there's all these ads for these different like diagnosis tools and whatnot. It's really interesting.
Rach Idowu: It's the algorithm. It just, I think it picks up on like the most watch videos and apparently ADHD, TikTok is pretty big and quite a few people have been diagnosed. Thanks, ADHD, TikTok. So I think that's the algorithm doing what it's meant to do.
Jillian Benbow: Are you on TikTok?
Rach Idowu: No. So I thought about it. I've been using IG Instagram. I thought about TikTok maybe.
Jillian Benbow: I mean, I, I love, I love consuming TikTok, but creating on TikTok. I'm like, no, thank you. It looks it's intimidating to be. So I think it's always like pick the platform you, you are most drawn to and just stick with it versus try to be in all the places. Right.
Rach Idowu: It's so hard though. Cuz we have ADHD, I have this thing called shiny object syndrome and it's actu it's an actual thing. You Google it and you find it and you find so many things you're excited with initially for maybe a couple of weeks or months and then you get bored of it and there's something else that piques your interest. So I feel like I probably won't be able to be as consistent as people want me to or as like the TikTok algorithm rewards. But I do think it's important that I'm able to spread my awareness across different platforms because you do think you, you are reaching everyone, but I've been posting a bit more on Instagram and there are so many things people are just like, wow, I didn't know. There are three types of ADHD. I didn't know. These traits went into ADHD. This makes so much sense to me. So there are pros and cons for, for everything.
Jillian Benbow: That’s true. I think there's so many people out there, like as you're talking about these things and like, you know, like put a finger up if you have shiny object syndrome. And, and in women too, it's this like, oh right. Because it's, we're not the naughty boys, you know, we were the daydreamers in school or, or we were right. Like I, I was always lost in my own like world and then I'd get in like, that's how I would get in trouble if I'd get in trouble. Right. I'm sure you experience this, just like you must, you must meet a lot of women in particular who are like, oh my gosh, suddenly someone speaking the language that I have spoken and never thought, you know, like there's actually community in this. There's actually several of us dealing with this. How, how, how are women reacting to your content and how are you engaging with helping women in particular kind of navigate?
Rach Idowu: Yeah, this is a, a good question. So there are so many different types of women. So I get the Black and ethnic minority women who feel like through my content. They've been able to see some traits within themselves and see some similarities with the difficulties that they are having with ADHD or suspecting that they have ADHD. And for them, they, they told me they didn't feel lonely or feel like they are this weird person that nobody understands. And to give it a bit of context in so many communities and I can only speak from my experience as a Black woman, it's very difficult to, I guess, tell people, even your family that you have this disability called ADHD because one, there is still stigma surrounding it. But then also two, we are dealing with so many competing barriers in society being black, being a woman, being young, but then adding disability on top of that, that makes it very difficult.
Rach Idowu: So when I was first diagnosed, I didn't really share it with anyone. Even though I had a massive social presence, nobody knew. I was completely anonymous. So the Black women I speak to feel seen and heard and feel like they can actually speak to someone because they don't have that in real life. And then there are older women in their forties and fifties, which always surprises me when they say, wow, thanks to your newsletter or your tweets. I spoke to my doctor about getting diagnosed by ADHD and I received a diagnosis and they say to me, well, I wish that my content and other content creators, I guess our content about ADHD existed when they were growing up because that, you know, wasn't there. And it's only now that they are, you know, seeing things on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and all of these platforms that they're realizing that wow, they do have ADHD and they've been on undiagnosed for so long.
Rach Idowu: And then there are also, I guess, university students. And I struggled a lot at university and school. I find that so many people with ADHD were either the gifted kid or just the kid that coasts and just does what needs to do. And then there are others that struggle. I was a kid that coasted and I think my content and other content content creators have helped I guess, students with ADHD understand why they are struggling so much with assignment with homework at school. And that has helped them to realize, okay, maybe I should try and go for an ADHD diagnosis and get some accommodations, get that extra time on, on homework, exams, receive information certain ways. So it's been great being able to help so many women in so many different categories. And it's, it's just something that I would've never expected to happen. So super grateful. And I tried to help as many people as I, as I can. But then I burn out to trying to respond to messages, emails, DMs, but it's amazing that so many of us women are able to get an ADHD diagnosis or even understand ADHD a bit better thanks to online platforms.
Jillian Benbow: Absolutely. And I wanna acknowledge too, as a white woman, you know, the, I, I just get a I under, I'll never, I understand that. I'll never understand if that makes sense, but I also have a diluted version of those experiences enough, enough that I can empathize, I guess. And I think it's so important for all of us to, you know, support each other in, in these things. And this is a great example of where as, as I'm walking through the journey myself of like, oh, maybe I'm, you know, I'm undiagnosed, but strongly suspect. Right. And, and for me to realize other women, black women, people, you know, BIPOC community, I, I need to be extra sensitive to the fact that the way I experience things, you may experience 'em like that. But even, even more so because there's these additional biases and things. So how can we all work together to ensure we're all, we all have a seat at the table, right?
Rach Idowu: Yeah. That's amazing. I love that.
Jillian Benbow: Oh, thank you. Tell me about your, your audience and, and who, who you find is attracted to your content. Like who's kind of your main listenership readership. I assume. So sub you're big in substack. You're big in social media. Yeah. Where else are you kind of advocating?
Rach Idowu: Substack, Twitter, starting personal content on Instagram. But Discord is where I have the community for neurodivergent working professionals. So I still have a nine to five job. And I feel like there is a lack of information for people, for neuro diversion, individuals in the workplace seeking employment. And so I tried to fill that gap by having a discord channel and it's a smaller community and you don't feel exposed. So on quite a few social platforms, when you post a tweet or post a video, it spreads that wildfire. Whereas in Discord it's, it's, I feel like it's a home where people can be vulnerable. I tell people, you can have an anonymous avatar. You don't have to use a real name because we all have. We all have jobs. And there are some companies out there who stalk the, the profiles of their employees. And it just, I just wanted to create a safe space for people who are struggling at work. And, and also people who are doing a bit better at work, who can share tips with others as you know, what helps them, what helped them and what accommodations they could ask for.
Jillian Benbow: That's fantastic.
Rach Idowu: Thank you.
Jillian Benbow: I'm still learning. I'm I'm one of the old ladies in your like forties or fifties, like, oh no, I'm old. I'm an older lady
Rach Idowu: And you are young
Jillian Benbow: At heart. I'm I'm still navigating discord.
Rach Idowu: Oh, it's hard.
Jillian Benbow: It's like, it is. The more I'm like edging into it. I'm like, okay, I get it now, but not really. But I think I get it now. I like that yours is intentional in that it, you know, it can, you know, people can be anonymous, they can protect their identity, but still get that support. Cuz that can be in, in certain situations such as this, like you said, like you don't want an employer finding it. I mean, it's a very vulnerable place to be. I'm curious. How, how do people, how do you ensure that the people joining are, are good actors, if you will, or are people who really wanna be there? Do you have a onboarding process?
Rach Idowu: I'm so glad you asked this question. So I don't tweet out the discord link. I don't think I've ever tweeted it from my main profile because on I guess social platforms, you can't control the comments. You get the replies, the people who follow, follow you. And so the timeline say like on Twitter moves very fast. The comment section on Instagram is very fast. So I wanted to be intentional to make sure that the people who are in the channel actually want to talk about work. So any form of employment, that's what it needs to be focused about. For the most part, of course, our outside life and things we have going on like relationships, family does affect what we do at work, but I did want it to, to be focused on working professionals who are neuro divergent. So I did, I think when I first launched, I posted the link in substack and just was very clear that this is for working professionals, although seeking employment as much as I love students and I want to help them, we, I really want them to keep the, the disc call channel for those who are, are working because that's what the conversations, the tips are going to be focused on.
Rach Idowu: And then I have a page of roles. So it's essentially says no screen capping and sharing on Twitter, unless you get permission from the person. Everyone needs to be nice, no sexism, racism, all of the, the buckets that fall under discrimination and also not to, I guess, project on others. And I find that people project a lot on, on Twitter when people are sharing their experiences. So just, you know, be nice, try to keep it work focused. Of course, if people have issues outside of work that they want to talk to across the community, they should feel free to. And I have different channels for different neurotypes. So ADHD, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dystopia, Tourette syndrome, and, and a few others. So the conversations stay focused and yeah, it's been great so far people can keep up with conversations. I tell people to double space, whenever they're writing a big paragraph to not try to span the chats, if they've had like a really horrible day and they want to rant, but to ensure that everyone feels included and making sure that whatever they post is accessible, to double space in between comments and things like that.
Rach Idowu: So it's really good. I don't, I, I probably had one bad actor or troll. I have no idea how they infiltrated the Discord channel. Who knows, but the community flagged back.
Jillian Benbow: They Always find a way.
Rach Idowu: Yeah, yeah. Managed to get them out there in time. So that's how.
Jillian Benbow: That's like all the things I, I usually recommend people it's like, you need a barrier to entry, you know, community guidelines. Well, and it sounds like to your point that one person made it in and your community was immediately like, Nope, Nope, Nope. Which is always a great sign.
Rach Idowu: Yeah. They were like messaging me and sometimes it's gonna feel weird, but I, I forget that I have this discord channel, like at least once a week, because there are so many social notifications and I'm like, oh crap. I haven't looked in there like in a week and half, what is everyone doing? But I love it. I, I love discord and it's a place for me to unload. I can be vulnerable and open with the rest of the community without worrying who is looking at me or who's screen capping it as evidence. So yeah.
Your community is obviously, you have a very distinct purpose, which is amazing. That's that always is great. What, what would you recommend to a community builder as just kind of like, how should we be making sure that we are accommodating our neuro divergent community members?
Rach Idowu: I think one, not making assumptions. So everyone is different. We all have different abilities. People digest information differently. So some people prefer to receive information in writing. Some people prefer podcasts. Some people prefer video content. Some people prefer very pretty Instagram graphics. So I think with community building, it will take a bit of trial and error. But also if you're using one platform, try to switch up, switch it up. So I know so many different platforms, you can do text video, and even like Twitter spaces. So provide a range of options to get content and information out to people. And then just not making that assumption that this one way of producing content or sharing information is gonna work for everyone because we take things in differently. So for instance, I write on substack. I cannot read long form writing for the life of me.
It could be the most interesting thing ever, but I just couldn't sit through it and read it. My brain just dies in between. And so when I write my substacks, they're very short because I get bored of writing and that's how much I Don’t like reading. And so that's quite similar for quite a lot of people with ADHD, because lack of attention to detail, difficulty sustaining attention are ADHD traits. And so when you are for those people who are writing things, try to, to make it short and snappy and as concise as it can be, again, not making assumptions. Another thing is, I'd say ask questions. I feel like a lot of people who build communities are super enthusiastic because it's a great thing to do to ensure you're reaching out to people, helping people and bringing a bunch of people together. But just asking what works against the, you know, there are so many different, neurotypes different types of neuro divergence and what works for me as someone with ADHD combined type, it probably won't work for another person with ADHD combined type because the traits impact us differently. So it's asking questions since checking with community members, does this work for you? Do you have any suggestions? And that also makes them feel involved and engaged. So those are two main things. There are probably more, but I cannot think for the life of me,
Jillian Benbow: I mean, those are good ones. And I, and I agree like asking is such a good place to start. ask and, and listen. Yeah,
Rach Idowu: Exactly. That.
Jillian Benbow: And if someone's brave enough to provide unsolicited feedback, like take it actually digest it, you know, versus, well, you know, it's, it's easy to be
Rach Idowu: Like, I've got an example of that actually. So I've been making Instagram graphics. I feel like I'm not the most creative person in the world and people are surprised by that, but I promise you I'm not. And so for me, certain fonts are pretty than others. My brain takes to them better. So Ariel, I love Ariel, but then Calibri, I hate it for the life of me. And sometimes I just can't see words. Like I don't think people understand some words don't register. So when I'm making Instagram graphics, I told myself I'm gonna be intentional and use fonts that work for me. So there's a font on procreate. It's an app called impact. And I was like, this is a great font. It looks like a video game font. I'm gonna use this for my content. And then somebody had left a comment on like one of my posts and they said that this font isn't great.
Rach Idowu: Can you use another font the next time? It's hard to read. And for me, I find it difficult to read fonts. So I was just like, if I can read it, I'm sure it's not that bad for you. But then I had to take a step back and realize that again, just as some fonts don't work for me, it won't work for others. So the next, so now I've been posting things, just using Arial, which is a widely known accessibility font. So that's a bit of feedback. I, I appreciated and, and I may change just to accommodate for others, even though I felt like I could read the fonts that I was using before, but it's to ensure that people can read the information and be able to take in any tips or advice I share through the platform.
Jillian Benbow: That's a great exa, like real example.
Rach Idowu: Thank you.
Jillian Benbow: And today I learned that Ariel, now I need, now I need to look to see, like, what are the most accessible fonts? I never really thought about that. Yeah. Which makes sense. I mean, it's like the default for a lot of, a lot of things. I did have my own experience with a like font issue recently. So this one really rings for me.
Rach Idowu: Oh, really?
Jillian Benbow: I bought a, knitty a knitting pattern on Etsy or Ravelry. I can't remember which one. And one of the reviews had mentioned, like, it's a lovely pattern, but I won't buy, I, you know, unless you change your fonts, I'm not gonna buy from you again because I can't read it. And it took forever. And I was like, that's a weird, that's a weird review. Like, cuz I was just like, what? Like I've never heard of anything and, but I bought it and downloaded and I was like, oh
Rach Idowu: Yeah, exactly.
Jillian Benbow: Yeah. It is. It's really hard to read and like unnecessarily, you know, it's like, come on and it, it didn't like do anything to improve the pattern. It just made it hard to read.
Rach Idowu: A lot of brands are like that or people who have profiles. Like they see a fancy font. It looks really nice and pretty, but people can't read that. And if people are finding it hard to read, they're just not gonna bother with what you have to to share because this is like the first hurdle they have to jump over. What's more behind what's what's gonna be on the next hurdle. So that's just a flag to people to use accessible fonts. And although you have a very nice fancy logo, can people read it? Do they know what it's about? If it's no, you might wanna consider another font font.
Jillian Benbow: Yeah. It, well, and it reminds me of color contrast as well. Like people who are color blind or just have, depending on like vision, vision problems. And we've had that called out in our community by someone who's partner has. I think, I wanna say they're color blind, but I'm not exactly sure. But the point being, you know, there are some graphic or logo and it's like, I can't read this because, because of all these reasons and, and it's really eyeopening. And I, I wonder too, you know, just as, as things like Canva, procreate, like all these things become more accessible to those of us, you know, that, that don't have a background in design or, or whatever it is. And we like to make pretty things because we're humans and humans like to make pretty, like, that's just what we do or, or try. Right.
Jillian Benbow: But then, you know, so we're doing these things UN unintentionally, but it, and I think that's the part where people need to pause and check the ego, right. Because it's like, oh, I spent all this time making this thing and I think it's beautiful and now people are shitting on it. Yeah. And so I'm mad, but you have to think about the person who gets there sees it. And I was like, it's it. I can't imagine how frustrating it is when you're constantly bombarded with that kind of stuff. And I'm sure because of social media and things like Pinterest where people are just like churning out these things, it feels really lonely and just like, cool. Another thing I can't read. Awesome. And so they're gonna, they're like to your point, like, they're just gonna be like, oh, okay. I see how this one is. So I'm gonna move on. Like I'm not gonna waste my time with this cause I'm just gonna be frustrated. And so
Rach Idowu: I'm exactly like that. Yeah. Yeah. If I look at something yeah.
Jillian Benbow: I'm like that with Facebook groups.
Rach Idowu: Oh my gosh. Yeah. It's yeah. Don't get me started on that. And it's quite annoying because there's a lot of, I've seen like a lot of useful information, but because it just moves so fast. It's clunky. And this is why like for the discord, I don't want to have too many people in it because it becomes like a Facebook group or read where there are just so many posts that people can't benefit from it because they just can't keep up with the conversations. And it's just chaotic basically.
Jillian Benbow: Absolutely. And well, a lot of my beef with Facebook groups as Facebook in particular is the company. But, but specifically that you can spend a lot of time building a, a community there and then Facebook's gonna decide, well, this isn't important us anymore and you lose it. You have no control over
Rach Idowu: It. Oh no. Does that happen?
Jillian Benbow: Oh yeah. Yeah. If you're not collecting, people's like email addresses and contact info proactively. I mean, Facebook has a long history. They used to have a, they had a group app for a long time and then they just decided to get rid of it. And it just like destroyed a lot of communities that people had been building. So I'm very anti-Facebook to the point where if someone has a course or something or a community that you get access to with said, you know, or whatever, something paid and, and a Facebook group is part of it. I will not purchase it.
Rach Idowu: Oh, well I'd never heard of that. Oh
Jillian Benbow: Yeah. They have gotten better to be fair, to everyone who's mad listening. They, they they've put a lot more into their like community management tools and, and you know, ways to make groups functional. But at the end of the day, it's still on a social media platform and you get what you pay for.
Rach Idowu: Yeah, exactly. Well, no, that's, that's good to know. Not that I plan to set up a massive Facebook group or anything because I cannot do another social media site. I feel like I've spread myself too thin, but like, it's good to know to listeners out there, just something to be aware of across social platforms,
Jillian Benbow: Yeah. I think, you know, and my point earlier with like color schemes and all that and like us as you know, us as just humans, creating things, shiny things, you know, for fun and not realizing I think it, I, you know, I, I am, I wanna clarify. I'm not saying like all community builders need to go get a PhD to understand how to accommodate
Rach Idowu: In web accessibility and color accessibility. Yeah.
Jillian Benbow: Yeah. But we should certainly listen when it's brought up. Right. Like that's the best we can do. And there's probably some best practices. And I think you pointed one out, which is fonts, right? Like if you're making documents and things for your community, are they in a readable font? And also just the, I like what you were saying about, you know, long form versus short form versus video, there are, there are really easy ways to enhance accessibility with the tools that exist. Like YouTube. You can turn on the closed captioning, various platforms with video, you can add timestamps so people can just jump to the thing other, so you don't lose. Like that happens to me if the intro's too long, you lost me. And then I missed the whole point I zoned out. Right. When I was supposed to be paying attention, I
Rach Idowu: Just skip it.
Jillian Benbow: That kind of stuff, give
Rach Idowu: A bunch of things. And that's why like, so the cards should I, is that a good segue into the cards?
Jillian Benbow: That is a perfect segue into the cards. Excellent.
Rach Idowu: Yeah. So I made some flashcards for people of ADHD. You obviously won't be, you can see it on the screen that others can't. And when I was developing it, I was thinking, okay, fonts, dark background, light writing, but not too light that it just blinds you. But the contrast is like really good. And then earlier on I, I mentioned that I don't, I can't read like long form writing and content. And so I get offers about, do you wanna write a book? Do you need a book agent? And I say to them, I would like to have a book out about ADHD, but one, I don't see myself sitting there writing a book. I just couldn't do it. And two, I want people to have easily digestible information because there is so much out there about ADHD and I'm sure, you know, and so I'm, I was thinking, okay, the, my substack newsletter is great.
Rach Idowu: People are able to read it, but how can I package everything that I've learned my own experience, shared examples with ad adults, with ADHD into one place where people can have it in hand. And even though there isn't a lot of information because there are flashcards, it gives them a starting point. So people can read and say, oh, okay, I do that. That makes sense. Let me Google or go on YouTube to learn more about that. Let me speak to my doctor about that. Let me have conversations with my family and friends about being impulsive, about having a poor memory about, you know, being, you know, being quite disorganized or struggling with interrupting people. So things like that. So yeah, that's why I created flashcards on hyperactive type and inattentive type. And then if you have combined type, like I did, people can read both and compare. So yeah. That's how these cards came about.
Jillian Benbow: That's great. And what, like, give us an example of like what, what would you see on a card? Like, is it a tip? Is it a
Rach Idowu: So on Let's shiny.
Jillian Benbow: This is Live. She’s cracking open the card deck.
Rach Idowu: I've opened that the high impulsive deck. So what I've done is a description of ADHD. So the first card, so of course that's, it seems obvious, but there are so many stereotypes and misconceptions about ADHD. So I've explained one that there are three types. And for the say that this is ADHD, hyperactive, impulsive type. I say things like, you know, people with ADHD, hyperactive, impulsive type, constantly feel the need to be on the go. And they might, people might not struggle with the same traits, but many will experience similar challenges. And then each the format for each card is a trait. So the first one is fidgeting. It's a description about how fidgeting relates to hyperactive ADHD, hyperactive, impulsive type. And there are reasons why we might struggle with fidgeting. So whether that's being bored, stressed, nervous, deep, deep thinking deeply about something so people can understand the causes of the action.
Rach Idowu: And then the next card will still be fidgeting. But there are examples. So for me, I know I can't help, but click the button of pens whenever I have it in my hand, even in like inappropriate settings, it's just, it just gets done. I fiddle with the necklace, the headphone wires, anything else? Just so people can look at the examples and understand, oh, I do that. I'm an adult. And I do that. And then the final card for the trait is top tips. So again, for fidgeting, I use fidget toys, the fidget cube, the tangle, the fidget back chain. And I found that they've helped me to concentrate when I'm in virtual meetings. So instead of daydreaming, I have my fidget toy in my hands and it keeps my brain active. And when I have to read, say long documents for work, somehow the fidget using the fidget toy in my hand, concentrates my brain on the webs that I'm reading on the page.
Rach Idowu: Surprisingly. So it just debunks the… there may be the misconception that fidget toys are for kids and, and kids with ADHD, but it actually helps adults, especially those working in their day to day. So things like that. So I do them for, for all of the, the traits, which are, I guess, listed in the, the ADHD criteria, but there are no information for adults. And then finally I have a few cards that aren't linked, listed in the ADHD diagnostic criteria, but are closely linked to ADHD. So hyperfocus, rejections, sensitive dysphoria, rumination, time blindness, just so people know that there are other traits that are linked to ADHD that haven't necessarily been written in that medical documents, but there are studies, there are scientific studies to back it up. So yeah, hopefully people can use these cards to start dialogue to kind of understand a bit more about the ADHD and as a starting point to, to understand a, a bit more with the other resources online, sorry, I just rambled and excessive talking is an ADHD trait. So there you have it live example.
Jillian Benbow: No, I mean, it's, it's fascinating. I love that you've created this and that. I mean, as you're talking about it, I was thinking this would be such a useful tool for a family. So whether, you know, say what you were diagnosed at at 26, 28, 26, Nope. 26 to 28 now. Yeah. And so like with your family, like what a great way to be able to have like discussions about things or, or even just say here, here are parents, like,
Rach Idowu: That's the feedback I'm getting from people. So people show it to their parents. Someone said they showed it to their mom cuz they think their mom had ADHD and she had always like denied it. And then she read the cards and was just like, oh, okay. You might be right. I have this. And I guess the one amazing piece of feedback I received. So I, I made these cards for doctor of ADHD because I was diagnosed as an adult. I can only give examples as an adult adult and may be preteens. But this woman sent me an email. I had posted it on Twitter and said the most amazing thing just happened. I bought the cards for me and I was reading them with my 10 year old stepdaughter and she saw the card on rejection sensitive dysphoria and it led her to go on YouTube and she feels so much better about it. And now she can manage it better. And that was mind blowing to me. So yeah, many different use cases. And I'm gonna send you a pack, Jill. Two packs. Yeah.
Jillian Benbow: Oh my gosh. Well I was gonna buy a pack. Tell, tell everyone, tell everyone where they can. They can find the deck and purchase.
Rach Idowu: They can find it on www.ADHDtraits.com. That's www.ADHDtraits.com.
Jillian Benbow: Traits. I'm gonna look it up while we're talking. Oh this is fantastic. Yeah. This, I, I just think this would be such a great tool even in like classrooms, right? Like just, it's kind of like such a great conversation starter. I can see a million use cases for it, but I know I'm preaching to the choir with that. Obviously. You agree? Yeah. Those are beautiful.
Rach Idowu: Thank you very much.
Jillian Benbow: Well, Rach. This has been so fun. We are gonna shift to the rapid fire round.
Rach Idowu: Oh, go for it. I'm sweating.
Jillian Benbow: Oh, don't sweat. It's fun. Like I mentioned before, there is no math and also, yeah, it's just for fun. So just the first thing that comes to mind that is your answer and just keep it like a sentence. I will want to respond, but I will not for sake of time. So with the first question Rach, when you were a child, what did you wanna be when you grew up?
Rach Idowu: I wanted to be a talk show host like Ricki Lake and Trisha. I'm not sure if you know, so like they were like the female versions of Maury and Jerry Springer, but yeah, don't ask me why.
Jillian Benbow: I love it. How do you define community?
Rach Idowu: Home. home, family. A sense of belonging.
Jillian Benbow: I love that. All right. Thinking about whether you literally have one or not. If, if you had a bucket list, what is one thing on that list that you have done?
Paintballing? I went paintballing early this year and I really thought I was Rambo on the field. So I said, I'm gonna go out there and just charge towards the enemy. I wanna get my money’s work. This session has ended in 30 minutes. Let me just go organs blazing. I got shot like five times in my chest and went just down. So I'm five foot two. I weigh maybe 54 kg. So I'm quite light. So yeah, it was a good experience though. And I have the scars to prove it. Oh
I can just picture it. And it's pretty hysterical.
Rach Idowu: Yeah.
Jillian Benbow: In the best way. All right. And then what is something on that bucket list that you have not yet done, but you want to?
Ooh, I want to go inside the submarine. I've watched so many movies and, okay, So I'm not the greatest swimmer and I'm actually, I'm not a really good swimmer. I jumped out of a boat, out of a boat two years ago in Greece and I almost died, but I'd love to go inside of the submarine to explore the waters. I'm not sure how that's gonna happen, but that's on my bucket list.
Jillian Benbow: There are no rules for bucket lists, so that's wonderful. I love it. So you mentioned you don't like long form reading, so this I'm not sure how this will apply, but is there a book in your life that you just think is like one of the best books ever?
Rach Idowu: It can't be a religious book. I can't just say the Bible, cause that's like easy, but the Alchemist. So I know it's like very cliché because it's on always all of these lists like “25 books to read before you're 25,” but it really teaches you that you are on your own journey, that in life you're gonna go through different trials, different tribulations. You're gonna meet some great people and some not so great people along the way, but you will always hopefully arrive at your destination and I guess meet the purpose you were always meant to have in the beginning. So it's such a good book for, for those of you feeling lost and those of you feeling like you don't know what to do with your life, that you just don't have a purpose. And I read that when I was in that position and it, it did transform my mind and, and my thinking. So the Alchemist.
Jillian Benbow: That's beautiful All. All right. You live in one of my favorite places, London.
Rach Idowu: Okay.
Jillian Benbow: But if you could live anywhere else in the world, where would you wanna live?
Rach Idowu: Panama? It just looks really nice. Rich culture, great food, sunny and just lovely people. I feel like I'd just be stress free. So I'm gonna say Panama.
Jillian Benbow: I think I, I think I wanna join you.
Rach Idowu: Happy to have you on my, my little estate in Panama.
Jillian Benbow: Excellent. All right. And final question reach. How do you wanna be remembered
Rach Idowu: As a helper? So as someone who helps people, I, I think, I mean, I know I have people pleaing tendencies, but someone that has made a difference in people's lives and that has caused other people to make a difference in other people's lives because I started that and became the catalyst. So yeah, as a helper, that's, that's it.
Jillian Benbow: I love it. And it's such a like community builder response.
Rach Idowu: Oh, I promise, I did not think about this or, or planned. My brain does not go that far.
Jillian Benbow: I, I actually think most people who are really good at community building, like it's it and are drawn to, it kind of have a lot of these similar, similar passions, multi-passionate but also just wanna help.
Rach Idowu: I agree.
Jillian Benbow: Well, Rach, this has been so wonderful. I feel like I just made a new friend, which is so exciting.
Rach Idowu: Yay.
Jillian Benbow: Let, yay. Let our audience know. Where can they, where can they find you? What's your substack? What's your, your handle? All the things.
Rach Idowu: If I forget, do jump in, I shouldn't because it's all the same. So on Twitter, adultingADHD, on Instagram, adultingADHD, my substack is adultingadhd.substack.com. And my discord channel is NDprofessionals, but it's not open. So feel free to DM me on Twitter. It's my, my DMs are open if you'd like to join that community. And thanks so much for listening. I mean, if you have ADHD or suspecting that you have ADHD, please check out a bunch of social platforms. I was anonymous for a year and a half on Twitter. Didn't have an avi, nobody knew my name. So if you are someone feeling vulnerable, lonely, and you don't want to be open about your ADHD, try being anonymous, because that way you can still connect with the community. And everyone's, most people are very like lovely and, and warm. And if you do want to, to and find out more about ADHD, or this is something you are kind of debating, if you're able to, do see, do see a healthcare professional and, and share your concerns. And if they turn you down, do push for a diagnosis. And I hope you're able to advocate for yourself and take some examples before you go.
Jillian Benbow: Yes. Awesome. I love that. We'll we'll end on that mic drop. Thank you so much for being here today.
Rach Idowu: Thanks Jill. Amazing conversation.
Jillian Benbow: And that was the interview with Rach with ADHD. I had so much fun talking to Rach if you are listening, I just think you are the greatest. She and I actually spent probably at least half an hour after we wrapped the recording, just chit chatting about life and ADHD and writing books and all sorts of things. So lovely. Definitely go give her a follow wherever you like to follow people. Let's talk about the episode. Let's get in. I think, as I said in the intro and I'd love to talk about again is just the importance of as community builders that we know what's going on. Like for example, I have never considered font having that much effect and that the cutesy fonts that I might be drawn to, you know, making something in Canva to, to put in the community or, or whatever it is.
Jillian Benbow: Maybe you use Illustrator cuz you're yeah. Don't brag just cuz you're good at digital art and I'm not, but that's okay. I use Canva. Maybe that cute font, not everyone can appreciate. Right. It's, I’d never thought about that. So I think it's good. I think it's good to have these conversations and just keep them in mind when we're doing stuff. When we're building community. For example, I think about when someone first joins your community and how you relay onboarding information to them, having multiple ways for people to consume that. So maybe there's videos, maybe there's written form. Maybe there's a checklist. You know, it's not that hard for us to create that. And if it broadens, who participates in that thing we want to happen. We want people to go through our onboarding. Then I think it's good for everybody. I don't know. What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts. You can tag @teamSPI on Twitter. You can tag me directly at Jillian Benbow. Very original name And yeah, I think I'm gonna leave it at that. I think there's a lot to ponder. Go check out Rach, and I will see you next Tuesday.
Jillian Benbow: You can find Rach on the internet as expected. Find her at RachwithADHD, but on social, substack, Twitter, Discord, she is at adultingADHD, and definitely go check out her site with her cards. It's ADHDtraits.com. Your lead host for the community experience is me, Jillian Benbow. Our executive producer is Matt Gartland. Our senior producer is David Grabowski, and our editor is Ray Sylvester. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. Theme music by David Grabowski. See you next Tuesday.