I recently started watching YouTube videos to try and understand combined autism and ADHD. I hate gathering information from a video format. In addition to the inability to absorb information at my desired pace and style (which involves writing notes in the margin), videos also limit my ability to scan for worthy content. As an autistic, I’m in search of clarity and helpful information. In written format, I can quickly scan ahead to see if something is worth my time. I cannot do this in video format.
However, I cannot abandon videos at this point because there simply isn’t enough written information about ADHD and autism. So I’ve started reviewing short videos on the topic. I also started an essay providing summaries of these helpful video resources so that future AuDHD have a written version to review and know what good stuff to jump to (You can see my top 3 video recommendations here).
Here’s where the need for a second essay came in: I encountered videos I didn’t like. I didn’t want to put summaries of these videos in my “helpful videos” essay. I also didn’t want to just delete my summaries.
When it comes to learning to work with our neurodivergent minds, I think it is equally as helpful to understand what we don’t like and why. These things provide key insights into what our brains are actually craving.
For example, here’s my brief summary of a video I didn’t like.
The video creator (I cannot find this person’s name … though I think there’s also part of me that didn’t prioritize researching hard enough to find it), did a good job of sharing their lived experiences of how ADHD and autism conflict.
However, my mind kept wanting clearer, more concrete points and summaries. For example, they jump into examples of autism and ADHD without explaining assumptions underneath, such as what characteristics are attributed to ADHD and what is attributed to autism. For this reason, it’s not a video that I would recommend for someone who is trying to learn and understand more.
My dislike of this video shows that I want to know the underlying assumptions and facts that someone is relying on before I can accept and understand their next points. This actually pops up all of the time in my conversations with people. It’s one of the reasons I’m constantly called a “deep” thinker and talker. I’m always going ten layers deeper because I want to understand what underpins people’s opinions. I want to know what they are feeling. I want to know what they are thinking. I want to know what opinions, facts, and arguments they are referring to.
This little analysis provides me with more information about my AuDHD self. Before I dived into why I didn’t like this video, I didn’t see the connection with wanting to go ten layers deep.
Let me provide another example with another video I didn’t like:
Again, this video creator, Don, makes underlying assumptions that the audience understands autism and ADHD, and automatically jumps right into how they contrast.
Furthermore, while I appreciated 5 concrete points, they weren’t particularly insightful or new. These insights underscore the points I made above and also highlight my desire for new information. I don’t want to be told the same things over and over. No, I am searching for clarity on a topic. That means the current information I have isn’t sufficient and I want more. I need NEW information.
I also found this video hard to watch for two reasons. First, the video is dim with a bright ring light in the background. The contrast between the colors made it painful for my eyes to look at. This highlights an autistic characteristic of mine within the sensory system. I have a difficult time with bright lights, which is particularly poignant when there is a dark background.
Second, Don spoke extremely fast. Although he acknowledges this is due to his ADHD, I still found it hard to follow and keep pace. Yes, I also tend to speak fast when I get excited, but my brain needs time when listening to think about what someone is saying and absorb the information.
So the next time you start mining the web for information about autism or ADHD, try keeping track of what you’re not liking about the content you find. That might actually provide you with more information about your autistic/ADHD self.