Jay Miller

New Project 31 Tweets of Neurodiverse Encouragement

Aug 17, 2022 10:15 AM

We've all seen these motivational posts on social media designed to get follows brighten our days.

I've looked at these posts wondering do they actually help. I believe they initially did. But overtime, the desire for people to find a solution was only matched with peoples desire for influence.

My development philosophy is "Helpful or Fun, and in the best cases BOTH". When I create projects, my hope is that I can make things that are helpful to others. This definitely fits in the "both" category.

I've been public about getting diagnosed with ADHD as an adult. I, like others, viewed neurodivergence (ND) as a negative personality trait. This changed only after I had wonderful neurodivergent people show me that a diagnosis didn't have to come at the sacrifice of success.

All that to say, I wanted to improve how neurodivergent folks can provide encouragement one another.

I've created a form that ND folks can fill out. It's anonymous, it doesn't try to over-classify based on individual traits. It serves a few purposes:

  1. It provides a little insight and understanding of where folks are coming from.
  2. It allows people to openly share to their comfort.

The goal is to send a motivational message on Twitter (hopefully from an account not my own) each day. The goal is to share real messages of encouragement for folks who have been recently diagnosed or are considering seeking diagnosis or treatment.

Why Is This on a Developer Blog

First of all, developers are people, and mental health is one of the biggest reasons people exit tech.

I've learned that many folks (including myself) got into tech without knowing they were neurodivergent. This isn't a blanket statement or me trying to match successful tech folks to mental health diagnoses. It's an observation. As I speak about my diagnoses, people reach out to me sharing they were also recently diagnosed or have been considering getting diagnosed. Neurotypical folks

Also there will be some technical details in how this will be implemented. That said, the project won't work without contributions.

How You Can Help

If you are neurodivergent, please fill out the form at https://aka.ms/jm-ndform-2022. No personal identifiable information will be collected. There are a few question s I hope to share some collective results, but also the last question is a personal message that once reviewed (again no PII or hatred) will be sent out.

My goal is that enough people can share their story that we can get a full year of encouragement.

Again the form is at https://aka.ms/jm-ndform-2022.