Category: Blog

How do you explain ADHD to someone who doesn’t have it?

Did you know that had Einstein, one of the greatest inventers of all time with huge intelligence, been born at this time, he would have been diagnosed ADHD?!

I, Michelle Shavdia, 39 years old, am on a mission to raise awareness into the still misunderstood and stigmatised condition of ADHD, breaking it down one myth at a time such as people with ADHD are not intelligent.

I recently spoke on the panel at an event in London for a fantastic charity called Digital Boost who have been supporting and helping me this past year.  It was well attended, organised and good energy.  I wanted to share what I spoke about regarding my entrepreneurial journey with the audience of start-up entrepreneurs as it may help others too.  I am also including some excerpts from a newspaper article I wrote to give further information into ADHD:

‘I took the brave leap of faith to become self-employed in 2011 and set up my business Find Your Spark soon thereafter.  I did this through choice as I really wanted to use my skills to coach and support at risk young people and the job I was in, was not suited to my strengths.  Also, as is unfortunately the case due to us living in a world that is not quite set up for those who are neurodivergent still (which I did not realise I was at the time), I was not a great employee as I didn’t like to being told what to do as I had my own innovative, creative ideas that I wanted to put into place, which my employers weren’t so keen on!!!

So, I resigned from this job and started a Masters in Coaching Psychology at University for three years from 2012-2015 after having done a Psychology degree.

One of my greatest wins, which in part was due to the support I received from Digital Boost, has been taking the brave leap of faith for a second time to specialise in being an ADHD coach, which I started full time this year.  This followed on from having supported young people with ADHD in 2018-2019 not knowing that I had ADHD myself!!  I received my own late ADHD diagnosis in 2021 at 37 years old after years of not knowing what was going on with my brain that made me so different to my peers.

I now specialise in the condition of ADHD and am supporting those with and without ADHD one to one and in groups so they can manage living in a neurotypical world better.  I understand just how difficult it can be and the problems that come with having this condition despite there certainly being strengths as well.

There are still many misconceptions about ADHD.  One of these is that having ADHD means you don’t have enough attention and therefore are unable to concentrate.  The fact is people with ADHD have TOO much attention and notice EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE, ALL AT ONCE (much like the Oscar winning film of that name!!).

One way to describe ADHD is like having squiggles in the brain firing off in all directions, which is what makes it that much harder to concentrate.  But when we ARE focused on something that we are REALLY interested in, we can be known to hyper focus on it, much to the neglect of everything else around us (there have been countless times I have forgotten to eat as I have been so engrossed in what I am doing!!!)

ADHD isn’t something we grow out of; it doesn’t go away, and it is not something to be fixed.  Rather it is something to be managed and given ADHD is now thought to affect 6% of the population, it is important people understand what it is.  There are currently 110,000 people waiting for an ADHD assessment and the average waiting time is between 3-10 years.  So, the current system is not working clearly.

In business, as in life, we face challenges and let downs.  I have faced many and this year there were two that knocked me off my feet a bit and set me back somewhat.  However, I now see these setbacks as lessons and challenges to overcome.  Whilst disappointing I am now grateful for them as I truly believe that whatever is meant for you, won’t go past you so focus your energy on your interests, passions and what flows and don’t worry so much about things that don’t.

People with ADHD tend to experience imposter syndrome daily despite the qualifications, professional experiences, and accolades.  This is because they have spent much of their life, particularly if they are late diagnosed with ADHD, being told that they are mad, bad, crazy, lazy and stupid and compared to your peers and told, ‘why can’t you just be like them?!’  If you are told something enough times, you will begin to believe it.  Even at this Digital Boost event I felt like an imposter before, during and afterwards and yet I was invited to speak at it!!! The way I overcome this now is to focus on what has worked well for you and the successes you have had and use that to motivate and drive you forward.  Share this with others and don’t think it is boastful as on the whole, people love celebrating and helping people as not only can it make them feel good doing so but also it can inspire them to improve their lives.  We all just human beings having an experience through life so it’s important just to do your best and believe in yourself and the rest will fall into place.

Here are some techniques I have learnt to stay motivated and keep my growth mindset through the challenging moments:

  • Remember to focus on what you can control and don’t worry about what is out of your control.
  • Do your best to not compare yourself to others and just focus on what is for you / your lane.
  • And if its too much, just take a break and come back to it after going for a walk in nature listening to a podcast or having a nap/sleep. You will get through this even the challenging times, just have faith and know everything works out as its meant to so be your authentic self, be a good person and don’t sweat the stuff you wont remember in a year from now.

If you would like to learn more about ADHD, what it is and how best to manage it, get in touch by email or phone. We have two groups coming up for adults with ADHD and family members who wish to learn more on how best to support it.  Or if you prefer one to one, we offer ADHD coaching. Here are the Eventbrite links to book onto a group:

ADHD Awareness Group – Tuesday 30 January, 7pm-9pm (Colchester)  Buy One Get One Free Offer for £40 till end of December.  Then Buy One Get One free till end of January for £60.

ADHD Awareness, Self-Care and Support Group – first Wednesday of the month from 7 February 2023, 7pm-9pm (Colchester)

ADHD Awareness, Self-Care and Support Group – first Wednesday of the month from 7 February 2023, 7pm-9pm (Colchester) – DISCOUNTED GROUP TICKET

Alternatively email and she will send you further details.  Further details can be found at and @FindYourSparkADHD on Instagram. 

We look forward to hearing from and meeting you in due course!!!

What are the positives of having ADHD? Living in a neurotypical world when you are not a neurotypical girl series.

Following on from Sam Thompson winning ITV’s ‘Celebrity Get me out of Here’, where he was praised for shining a light on his ADHD, this article will explore the positives of having ADHD. Sam Thompson shared with Marvin and Josie Gibson, saying how he was ‘not ashamed’ of the condition and that he hopes by talking about it, it can raise awareness.

I, Michelle Shavdia, 39 years old, am on a mission to also raise awareness into this still misunderstood and stigmatised condition of ADHD, breaking it down one myth at a time.

One of the biggest misconceptions about having ADHD is that the condition itself is negative and that having it makes you a mad, bad, lazy, crazy, evil person.  As shown by Sam Thompson so beautifully whilst he was in the Australian jungle, this could not be further from the truth.  Sam Thompson demonstrated to the public all the positives of having ADHD.  Being charming, engaging, entertaining, fun, excitable, enthusiastic, with a can-do attitude and positive energy.  Yes, he may have forgotten to do some things such as keep an eye on the rice (I blame Nigel for this to be honest), not been able to take in instructions and may have been ‘messy’ however the positives far outweigh these things.

It breaks my heart when I hear children and young people say that they ‘hate having ADHD’ and that there is ‘something wrong with them/their brain.’  There is nothing wrong with them, their brain is just wired differently and it now my mission to help spread this message and reduce the stigma and discrimination those with ADHD feel based on the misconceptions people have.

I now specialise in the condition of ADHD as an ADHD coach and am supporting those with and without ADHD one to one and in groups so they can manage living in a neurotypical world better.  I understand just how difficult it can be to live in a world that is not set up for your brain and way of being and the problems that come with that.  ADHD coaching is practical intervention that specifically targets ADHD executive function issues and working memory and emotional regulation issues.  These include supporting planning, time management, decision making and organisation.  ADHD coaching is also useful to help those with ADHD understand their brains better.

If you would like to learn more about ADHD, what it is and how best to manage it, get in touch by email or phone.  I offer a free 20-minute phone call which you can book via and then there are many options, the main ones being:

  • One to one ADHD coaching, which we can deliver online or in person.
  • ADHD Awareness group, next one is on 30th January 7-9 pm and is BUY ONE GET ONE FREE FOR £40 till 31st December and £60 BUY GET ONE FREE thereafter.

Come join us to learn how to cope with ADHD and learn skills and strategies that works for you in all areas of your life as part of a supportive group of likeminded, non-judgemental people.  This is for those who are diagnosed, awaiting diagnosis or simply curious as well as for family members who would like to know how best to support their loved one with ADHD.

Further details can be found at and @FindYourSparkADHD on Instagram or @FindYourSpark on Facebook. 

We look forward to hearing from and meeting you in due course!!!

Let’s talk about Neurodiversity: understanding and awareness: Do you know the difference between ADHD and Autism?

ADHD and autism are two distinct neurodevelopmental conditions however often people get them mixed up as there are neurobiological overlaps and similar symptoms.  The main three overlaps are sensory, interoception and social integration issues.  People with ADHD tend to get distracted by external stimuli going on around them and those with autism tend to get distracted by internal stimuli such as their thoughts.

Additionally, these two conditions frequently co-occur with ADHD presenting in 30-80% of individuals with ASD and ASD presenting in 20 – 50% of individuals with ADHD (van der Meer et al, 2012).  Did you know it wasn’t until 2013 that a provider could diagnose both conditions?! Mindblowing!!

And yet they are two very different conditions, with specific treatments and support plans required for each condition.

People with ADHD tend to crave novelty and variety, find it challenging to focus on one task at a time, find emotional regulation and inhibition a challenge as well as social cues due to their attention not being focused on one thing at a time.

People with Autism however tend to crave familiarity, find comfort in repetitive behaviours and routine therefore have strict adherence to routine, have a high need for verbal context and find reading social cues a challenge to do intuitively.

These are the main differences however there are many overlapping similarities (see picture).

I am now teaming up with Rhiann Marchant who is a fully qualified teacher, SENCO and specialist teacher in the field of autism to deliver a collaborative training bringing together our excellent specialist minds in ADHD and Autism. As a fully qualified ADOS-2 and 3DI Clinical practitioner, Rhiann now runs SENsational Minds, an independent diagnostic and post diagnostic support service for children, young people and adults with autism. With her background in specialist teaching for autism in education combined with her diagnostic knowledge and understanding, she can provide excellent bespoke support and advice to families in how best to support their child’s needs following assessment. Her services include diagnostic assessment for autism, psychoeducation and support sessions, individual school support and EHCP advice.

Together Rhiann and I are combining our years of knowledge and experience of both ADHD and autism to bring to adults, parents, and young people a professional training about the conditions of ADHD and autism.  This will be held at the Chill Out Centre, Stanway, Colchester on 21st Feb.  It is for those who are diagnosed, awaiting diagnosis or simply curious as well as parents, family members, professionals who would like to understand the neurodivergent brain

A testimonial received from the last sold-out group in January: ‘We attended the awareness session as our son is currently in the process of being diagnosed and it was so informative and we have come away more confident and knowledgeable, thank you so much, it was amazing and such a lovely bunch of people.’

If you would like to join us on the below dates, please get in touch by email phone 07928 132 387 or find these events on Eventbrite:

And, If you require further details these can also be found at and you can follow us on @FindYourSparkADHD on Instagram.

Skip to content