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Neurodivergent people consistently face less optimal outcomes than neurotypical people in education, their careers, and other areas of life. Anecdotally, personal knowledge management (PKM) is a useful tool for neurodivergent individuals. However, there is sparse research involving the information practices of neurodivergent adults in the field of library and information science (LIS). A survey with both close-ended and open-ended questions, partially based on Dervin’s Sense-Making Methodology (Dervin, 1992, 2000), was distributed online and received over 300 self-identifying neurodivergent participants. The results indicated that neurodivergent people use PKM most heavily in the Learning, Job, and Everyday domains for the purposes of Managing Tasks and Projects, Building Knowledge, Creating, and Self-Improvement. Common PKM activities engaged included Storing Information and Using It Later, Remembering What Needs to be Done, Understanding and Ideating, and Planning and Prioritizing. The most helpful benefits of PKM that were described were Connecting Ideas, Improving Thinking, and Having Fun. Overall, key themes regarding neurodivergent individuals’ PKM usage included Reducing Stress, Memory, and Externalizing. These findings provide a foundation for a much-needed LIS research agenda exploring the PKM practices of neurodivergent adults.

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My advisor recently asked me to suggested some online communities for a student who was recently diagnosed with ADHD. Here’s my response.

The biggest ADHD community I’m aware of is r/ADHD. It’s not specific to students, but there are plenty of college students there and it’s a pretty supportive community most of the time. The post history is an absolute gold mine of practical tips and strategies and personal experiences. The only thing I don’t like about this community is that the mods have a weird vendetta against the term neurodiversity and are dead set against discussing ADHD as anything other than an impairment or disability.

r/ADHDers was created in response to the anti-neurodiversity stance of r/ADHD. It’s much smaller, but it’s also very supportive, and explictly pro-neurodiversity.

ADDItude Magazine has a pretty useful Facebook group for adults with ADHD. (As a general note, I find that the “for adults” qualifier is useful so many ADHD resources that sound helpful at first turn out to be for parents of children with ADHD.)

Also on Facebook, there are several great groups that use the naming format “Neurodivergent [Topic] Crew” — for instance, “Neurodivergent Self-Care Crew” or “Neurodivergent Cooking Crew.” I’m not aware of any that are student-specific, but since a significant portion of ADHD student struggles involve just dealing with everyday life on one’s own, these could be helpful. (A caveat is that there is a variety of flavors of neurodivergence in these groups and there’s usually one person per comment thread who wants to kick up some kind of drama.)

Jessica McCabe, creator of the *excellent*, must-watch YouTube channel HowToADHD, runs a lively Discord community, but you have to be part of her Patreon to join it (minimum $2/month). Dani Donovan is another ADHD creator who sometimes collabs with Jessica; she does some extremely relatable comics and is on TikTok and Twitter.) ADHD Mastery is another good YouTube channel, with very practical tips from an ADHD-PI person.

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