How did you get into your job/industry?
I got into ADHD coaching because after getting diagnosed with ADHD in 2020, I wanted to find out everything I could on how to manage it. I ended up signing up to be an ADHD coach because I wanted more Asian representation in the ADHD/ neurodiverse community. I got into tech entrepreneurship because I wanted to carve out my own way to empower women with ADHD, especially people from minority backgrounds. I got into the education industry because one of the safest institutions I ever encountered was my old university. This is why I stayed in contact with them and got a part-time job with them.
Have you always wanted to work in your industry?
I never really thought I would be a coach. It sort of just happened and I believe that is what is good about having ADHD… to be open to where life leads you and not to plan ahead too much. Tech entrepreneurship had been an area of interest that also developed as I navigated the neurotypical world. Working in education had never been an area of interest until recently. I guess, I just did a very ADHD thing which is to dive into the industries that caught my interests and that is how I ended up being in 3 different industries.
Does it feel like a good 'fit' for you as a neurodivergent woman?
I’m not sure because there are still so many other industries I want to explore but for now, the flexibility of the industries and the not so strict structure fits well for me. I like managing my own time and having more autonomy over my time and brainpower. I do find it lonely working for myself so I would like to find an industry where I get to work with others who are creative and like-minded though.
Any anecdotes that you feel might be insightful?
The ADHD brain is wired for creativity and disrupting the status quo.
In Asian culture, neurodiversity is not discussed much and actually seen as a source of shame. The older generation associates having neurodiversity with a lack of intelligence. This is very difficult for people who are neurodivergent because we are raised to meet certain expectations such as being a doctor/ lawyer (think the Asian minority standard of success). We have been raised to think if work harder, then we can achieve. But as you know with neurodiversity, working harder is not the answer.
The impact of this is the lack of community support for neurodiverse Asians. I have spoken to Asian people living in Hong Kong, Japan etc. and I can confirm there is a lot of prejudice for neurodiverse Asians and support is nonexistent.
On Barriers to getting a diagnosis
I think the first barrier as explained above is culture. Many Asians feel ashamed about having a difference in learning, I myself hated the fact I was different because I couldn’t achieve what my parents wanted from me. This first barrier might make it hard for people to go out to seek a diagnosis in the first place as they may just opt to just “push through” and “work harder” to get by.