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Tackling organization, clutter, and stress with hyperfocus (Wendy’s story)

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Need organization and decluttering tips? Wendy Zanders has tips for days. She also has ADHD. We don’t usually associate strong organization skills with ADHD. And yet, Wendy is a decluttering coach with ADHD. She moved to the United States from Trinidad and Tobago at 14. At first, she struggled to keep up with her classes. But then she discovered her secret weapon: hyperfocusing on cleaning to de-stress and bring focus to her school life.

Today, Wendy is a United States veteran, business owner, and mom of two kids who also have ADHD. When her son was being evaluated, she recognized her own symptoms in him. Find out how Wendy helps other families tackle clutter, and how having ADHD brings empathy to her work.

Episode transcript

Wendy: With the military, my job was maintaining the weapons and ammunition for our unit. I remember when I took it over, they didn't have anybody in there. Weapons were missing. Paperwork was missing. We were failing inspections. 

And every afternoon when you were looking for me, I was in that arms room, smelling like oil, smelling like, you know, dirt, because I was cleaning and organizing. And I couldn't believe that this was something that was just so natural to me and it's very calming for me. 

Laura: From the Understood Podcast Network. This is "ADHD Aha!," a podcast where people share the moment when it finally clicked that they or someone they know has ADHD. My name is Laura Key. I'm the editorial director here at Understood. And as someone who's had my own ADHD "aha" moment, I'll be your host. 

Hi everyone, and welcome to "ADHD Aha!" I am here today with Wendy Zanders. Wendy is a declutter coach and a personal organizer, you can find out all about her services at Wendy is also a United States Army veteran. Wendy, thank you for your service and, thank you for being on "ADHD Aha!" today. Welcome! 

Wendy: Thank you so much for having me. It was my pleasure to serve, and I will do it all over again. 

Laura: I have to ask the question that I imagine you get asked a lot right from the top — which, you know, there might be some stereotypes built into this question, but just know that we're amongst friends here as a fellow person with ADHD — How can someone with ADHD be a declutter coach and personal organizer? 

Wendy: You know, clients ask me that all the time, too. And I'm going to take us back a little bit when my family and I, we're from Trinidad and Tobago, and we moved here to the United States. I was 14. 

And I remember I was so overwhelmed the first year of ninth grade. People couldn't understand what I was saying and I was overwhelmed. It was just so big, so much happening at once, failing a lot of my classes. 

And then I remember in my 10th-grade year, I found my rhythm, right? So, on Friday nights I found myself cleaning my room and doing my laundry as a way to like, de-stress. And I didn't even know that was something that I was creating for myself, these systems that I was creating for myself. 

So, now I'm like on honor roll and being able to — it was high stress during the week, but on a Friday night, in order to calm down for the weekend, I'd find myself doing these rhythms, I guess you would say — like cleaning and organizing and simplifying my room, kind of like a reset. And that has really helped my ADHD a lot. 

Laura: So interesting. I love how something that is typically challenging for people with ADHD, not dealing with clutter and organization, is something that you actually found really fun. 

Wow. OK, I'm going to have a lot more questions for you about your tips for decluttering and organizing when you have ADHD, but, let's start with your ADHD diagnosis. You were not diagnosed as a child. You were diagnosed as an adult in your 30s, is that right? 

Wendy: Yes, I was in my early 30s. I have two kids. My son is 16 now, and my daughter is 10. And I remember when he was like in kindergarten or first grade — his teacher, I love that she was able to be an advocate for us, because I didn't know what it was — we just knew that it would be naptime and, he would be stealing Play-Doh and playing with it underneath the covers instead of napping. 

He would be very fidgety. And we did this assessment, so it was the parent assessment. And I'm checking off boxes and I'm like, "Wait a minute, this was me as a child," realizing when he got his diagnosis for ADHD, the same therapist we were working with, I was able to get my diagnosis as well. And I was so grateful because I just didn't know what this was. 

Laura: Wow. So, getting diagnosed as your son is going through the evaluation process. It's definitely not the first time that I've heard that. Actually, I think it's getting more and more common just based on even the conversations that I have on this show. Tell me more about your emotions. Was it a relief? Was it confusion? Tell me. 

Wendy: Oh my goodness. Yes, It was such a relief. And I had to go back in my memory bank of "Oh, that's what that was doing!" I remember my — I have, there's seven children and I was born to Trinidad and Tobago — and then was very militant with memorizing the multiplication table. That's one memory that I specifically remember. 

And, my dad was like quizzing my brothers and they were getting it. And he will come to me like, he will alternate the questions, right? And then he'll come to me and he's like "five times three!," "six times two." And I'm like "Oh, I don't know!," even though I knew it. But when you're rattling off like that, the anxiety was just too much. 

Or my dad thinking, oh, more tutoring is going to help me. And it just wasn't. So, I went to school all day and then I had tutoring after school untill into the night, plus Saturday school. So, the more and more tutoring, the more and more I was shutting down, because I'm like "This isn't working." And I felt like I wasn't smart, right? 

But when the pressure was off, I was smart. But when the pressure was on, was like and it was like very militant in the ways we were doing things in public school, that I was just really shutting down. So, I was very relieved when I got my diagnosis and be able to go back and forgive my parents because I was punished, right? 

Being able to forgive them and forgive myself and say "Look how far you came. And you didn't even know that you had ADHD and you were finding systems to help you along the way." I did a lot of that in the military as well. 

Laura: Right, Right. Last time we chatted, I think I remember you saying that the word "lazy" was used to describe you. 

Wendy: Yeah. When we moved to America, my mom was working with a family, and they would just kind of explain, like, what was happening with me. And it's like "Oh, well, she's being lazy, she's not working hard." And I'm like, "What do you mean I'm being lazy?" You know? I remember with my little sister, she would say, "You never play with me, you're always studying." 

So, my strategies for maintaining honor roll in high school was, I was memorizing. I was able to memorize, get to the class, take the test, vomit it all out on paper. But after I got my A, do not ask me what that was because I have no idea what I remembered. I can't remember anything because it was just, I was able to memorize it, to hold it in my brain and just dump it out on paper. 

I remember my sister always saying "You never play with me." So, I would find systems to say "OK, let me study for 30 minutes," and then we played a few games of cards. So, right? the Pomodoro Method. I didn't even know what that was, but that was my strategy for not being lazy. But, because it wasn't translating to A's and B's and stuff on paper. Yeah, it came off as me being lazy and not working hard or trying hard. 

Laura: Well, first of all, and this happens a lot on this show, people talk about how they either thought of themselves as lazy or other people thought of it. I'm listening to you describe all the hoops that you made yourself jump through in order to function, really, and to succeed. And that does not sound like laziness at all, number one. 

Number two, would you just mind briefly, explaining what the Pomodoro Method is, in case any listeners don't know what that means. 

Wendy: Yes, the Pomodoro Method is, you can work for a certain amount of time. Sometimes it's like 20-25 minutes, take a five-minute break or you can do 25 minutes on, 25 minutes off. To me, when I use a system, we go for as long as we want to go. When I have a task that's painful, I will say "OK, I'm going to set a timer for 20 minutes, and when that's done," but I give myself permission to go longer. 

A lot of times you get in your rhythm after like 20 minutes you're like "OK, I really hate doing this task," but you get to 20 minutes and It's like "Oh, it's not so bad!" And by then you're hyper-focused so you give yourself permission to keep going. Turn off the alarm, that's going to go off at 20 minutes, and just let yourself go. 

But I give myself that permission to say "If it's painful, we stop at 20 minutes. But if you're in your zone, keep on going." Because once we hyperfocus, you don't want to break that. 

Laura: Now, I got to keep all this in mind. Thank you. I'll contact you after the show. So, how has your diagnosis and like — and the simultaneous-ish diagnosis of your son — how has that changed how you approach your son when he is "misbehaving" or needs to improve at something? 

Wendy: Yes, that allowed me to be his biggest advocate. We homeschool now, but he went all the way through elementary school, and I loved that his teacher in the first grade had ADHD as well, and she shared that with him. And he was like, "Really?" He felt so proud when the teacher told him. 

And I'm grateful for her for sharing that part of her life, because when he got something right, she would say "Kiss your brain!" and he'll kiss his hand and then touch his brain. Right?

Laura: "Kiss your brain!" My kid's kindergarten teachers always say that, too. I love "Kiss your brain!" 

Wendy: Yes, and I love that, because then he'd say, "Oh, it's my ADHD." Or, you know, he is able to talk with her about that. 

Laura: Kudos to that teacher and to you. I can't even imagine what your amazingly organized homeschooling, distraction-free environment probably looks like for your son. And I also have to say Wendy, like what a stark contrast to what you experienced growing up. 

Wendy: Yeah. And you know, when it comes to homeschooling, we are not medicated. There are, for me personally, there are some days where I'm like "Gosh, I wish I could just get back on medication." But then I'd say, "You know what? You need to just calm down, write down your list. What are all the things that's overwhelming you and then you prioritize."

So, sometimes it might be like "OK, I'm just going to get back on medication," but you still have to have a process as well. The medication is — I mean, you can have it in collaboration — but if you're just on medication, you're not actually doing the list to get organized and prioritize. It may not be helping you. 

So, I know for us in our homeschool journey, we can't do eight hours a day of homeschooling. So, maybe even 20 minutes to say "Let's do 20 minutes of math and then we take a break" and we don't have, you know, where he's sitting at a desk. My son can do homework sitting on the porch, on the swing, you know, upside down on the chair, you know. 

So, let them be who they want to be and just have it in a safe environment, but really take those major breaks and I think that has been the biggest thing with our homeschool journey, doing interest-based. So, it's what he wants to learn and then doing small bursts of schoolwork. 

Laura: I really want to hear about your experience as — even though it was undiagnosed but, so you didn't know that you had ADHD — but your experience as someone in the military with ADHD who's been memorizing multiplication tables to get by, and has these systems. Did that work to your advantage? Did it make it extra hard? Talk to me. 

Wendy: So, in high school it was all about the memorizing and just putting it all on paper. But in the military is very different. You couldn't just memorize your general orders and then spit it out to the drill sergeant and then that's it. This is a lifelong skill that I needed to have. So, I always had my little "smart book," they called it. You have it in your cargo pocket and you're always memorizing. 

I made little notes in the column, memorizing my general orders and my ranks. And I had to commit it to memory. So, if I see a brass coming, I'm able to, like, recall it in my memory and I can visually see it. And I'm so grateful because the drill sergeant would be like, "What's this rank? What's this rank?" and again, the anxiety, right? 

But that is how I did it. I was making sure that I was studying it with friends and we would make it a game. And until this day I am still friends with my battle buddy from basic training, 23 years later. But that's how we were able to commit this stuff to memory, because it wasn't just memorizing the information for that moment. This was a lifelong skill that I needed to have. 

So, definitely making it fun, turning it into games, having pictures to connect it to. So, that was definitely something. And, with the military, my job was I was a unit supply specialist and unit armor. So, I was maintaining the weapons and ammunition for our unit. 

I remember when I took it over, didn't have anybody in there. Weapons were missing. Paperwork was missing. We were failing inspections. And every afternoon when you were looking for me, I was in that arms room smelling like oil, smelling like, you know, dirt, because I was cleaning and organizing and weapons weren't officially missing, thank goodness, they were in the shop for repair. 

But there was no paperwork showing that it was out of the arms room. So, I just loved that I was able to take us from a failing arms room to hundred percents, high 90s. 

Laura: So, did you develop the system to do that? 

I developed the system, yeah. Some people were saying, "Oh, can you help our other unit get their paperwork together?" So, I absolutely loved it and I couldn't believe that this was something that was just so natural to me. And I loved organizing and it was very calming for me. 

Laura: Do you think that there was hyperfocus happening there, too? Like you're getting into that ADHD groove and was it hard to pull away from it? 

Wendy: Oh, it was very hard. It was very hard to pull away from it because if you're in there for three hours a day, but you're really hyper-focused, sometimes people will be going home and I'm still in there. 

Well, my husband and I — we were on the same base, but he was in a different unit — So, sometimes he was working late and even though I got off early, I stayed. I'm like "If you're looking for me, I'm in the arms room." So, whenever he's looking for me, you can find me in the arms room, organizing and cleaning and being happy. 

Laura: I'm slightly similar in some of these ways, Wendy, where it's if I know that I have enough time to just get into that mode, I love to get into that mode. 

And for me — and I'm curious if this resonates with you — my mind feels so cluttered and disorganized sometimes that I'm almost like, superimposing like my mind onto all of these things, like literally the things that I can organize. And it feels good. It's like self-soothing. 

Wendy: It does, especially when you do a brain dump, right? Because if it's all just swimming around in the brain, then you can't really figure out which goes first. So, for me, I like to put things down on paper, write it all down, and then prioritize what I will start first. Now, sometimes what I should do first is not what I really want to do. 

Laura: Oh, give me an example. Give me an example. 

Wendy: So, I will alternate. So sometimes it's like, "OK, I really I mean, the kids are walking around naked. We need laundry to get done." But I really want to do this puzzle or I really want to clean this piece of equipment or whatever it is, and that's what I end up doing first. 

So, I tend to alternate between what I really should be getting done with something fun that I want to get done, and I alternate that way as well. So, at least I'm getting both done kind of at the same time. I would say, do something hard and then do something easy and alternate. Or even do two things that's easy and one thing hard. So, find a balance to where you're adulting and then you're also having fun. 

Laura: You're so good at sprinkling in these tips into your own personal experience. I love it Wendy. How does it feel in your body when you — either because you don't have time or there's some other block or — you're unable to do the organizing and decluttering that you know needs to happen. What happens in those moments? 

Wendy: There's a lot of anxiety and sometimes I get upset, but my children I know sometimes — I used to work for the FDA, so I used to get up at five in the morning...

Laura: You worked for the FDA too, how many lives have you had Wendy? 

Wendy: So, after the military — I did eight years in the military — I was a contractor for a few years and then I went on to be an executive assistant to a director at the Food and Drug Administration. I did that for eight years. 

Laura: What a lucky director that was. 

Wendy: Oh, my goodness. He didn't have ADHD, but he loved my systems, so I love it. And then I would get home from work, from a long day. You know, my husband and I are driving an hour and a half in opposite directions from the kids in school. We get home, we have three hours together. 

And sometimes I'm just so overwhelmed with work and all the adulting I have to do at home. So, sometimes you walk in the door and there's like a sock by the front door and it's not even about the sock. But then I'm like, "Who put that sock there?" And you become this monster, right?

Laura: Oh my God, totally. 

Wendy: And it's like, "OK Wendy, it's not about the sock." But I try not to get to that point where I am so overwhelmed that the smallest things become a big thing. So, for me is just knowing like, "OK Wendy, is not really about the sock," but really it could be about the sock, but really putting it into perspective as well. 

And helping the kids know like, "OK, you come home from school, let's get the things done so mom is not at a 100 when she gets home from work"

Laura: Sometimes I feel like such a cliche, too. I'm like, I get so angry and I'm like "It's not about the sock!" or it's not about the three dishes that were left in the sink or whatever. It's just, it just feels heightened. 

Wendy: It is. And we feel like we're overexaggerating, but we're trying to regulate our emotions, right? And bring ourselves down and not really have it so internal, but putting it down on paper like, what is happening internally, that's showing externally as well? 

So, for me, I try not to grab the trash bag and say, "If you don't pick up your stuff right now, it's going in the trash," because that's not a solution for an adult. I say, "We're raising future husbands and future wives." So that's not a solution. 

We have to say, "Is there a reason why you have all of your books on the couch? I need you to put it away." Instead of just saying "OK, I'm going to clean it all for you. I'm going to throw it all in the trash." No, you need to be responsible for picking up your stuff and putting it where it belongs. Because these are life skills that we're teaching them. 

Laura: Your approach to that is so much more productive than mine. Because I get really upset. I'm going to be honest. I'll get really upset. 

And if there's a lot of clutter on the counters, even if the house is sparkling clean, if there's clutter on the counters, my husband sometimes — I mean, bless him, but still, he doesn't always understand — he's like "It's like it's just a few things that we need on the counter." I'm like "Just put them away because my brain... it's too much visual clutter for me."

Wendy: Yeah, it's overstimulating. 

Laura: Exactly. I'm like "Where does that go? Do I need to do something with that,?"

Wendy: Right. 

Laura: "You haven't opened your mail yet. Are you going to go? Do you want me to look at it?" 

Wendy: And it's so hard when somebody else's clutter bothers us and I try not to let it bother me. But I'm like "OK, if you're going to have your clutter, put it in your room. If you're not going to open your mail, I'm going to put it on your desk, like in your drawer or something so I don't have to see it." 

Because it piles up, right? So, sometimes it's so hard when you're living with other people. So when I'm working with my clients, sometimes they'll say "Can you work with my husband? You know, he's, you know, he's a hoarder or his stuff is everywhere." And I say, "You know what? If he's not on board, let's focus on you and what changes you can make." 

Laura: When did you start your business? When did you become a professional organizer and decluttering coach? 

Wendy: So, my business started in 2017. So I was working for the federal government at that time, working extra hours and you don't get paid overtime, but you get credit time. So, it's extra time that you can apply towards leave and things like that. 

But I had so much that I couldn't earn anything else. I didn't have any more time. I was just so overwhelmed that I couldn't just put more time. And I'm like, "I want to have this mortgage paid off. How can I make more money?". 

And then somebody told me, "Find something that you love and do it as a business." I said, I love to organize, and I didn't realize that I would go to somebody's party early — that's sometimes a little too early — and then I'll help them, like clean or get ready, put things out. And I remember... 

Laura: Oh my gosh. You're the best friend. Go on. 

Wendy: And I remember we had a couple of employees I was getting ready to start. And you know how sometimes in buildings you always end up with rooms that's full of junk, like old furniture and books and stuff like that. 

And they said "Hey, we have a director starting on Monday. We need somebody to clean this room." And I said, "I'll do it!" Because I get to get up from my desk and I get to clean. I get to de-clutter? What?! So, that was my jam. And that's when I realized that I love to declutter, I love to organize, and that's how my business got started. 

And so, I was working with clients at night and on a Saturday, and then I was working my full-time job. So, I'll leave work with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich eating that on my way to my client. And I loved it. Absolutely loved it. 

Laura: Wow. And I'm looking at your website. One of the descriptions in the "About" section is: "Wendy Zanders is your declutter coach and professional organizer who is passionate about helping special needs families like hers collect memories and experiences, not things." Love that. Do you work with a lot of people with ADHD? 

Wendy: Oh, absolutely. And sometimes the moms would reach out to me, say "Hey, can you work with my child?" But so many times the moms call for their child and realize they need help as well. They may not call it ADHD, but they're like "I was never taught how to declutter, how to get rid of things. My parents were hoarders so I have that tendency and I don't want to pass this on to my children." So, so many times people don't have the ADHD diagnosis, but they have the feelings like, I can't find stuff. I'm always late for appointments. You know, I'm missing appointments, I'm missing bills and things like that. So, that's how they come to me. 

Laura: I bet there's a lot of shame tied up in that, too, especially for people with ADHD. 

Wendy: Yes, there have been people that reached out, they booked a consultation with me and they say "You know, I've been watching you on social media for over a year and now I'm ready." Because sometimes they're realizing, "OK, can I trust this person to come into my home and not shame me?" They have hired professional organizers in the past that has embarrassed them because of the condition of their home. So maybe because they had that bad experience, they wouldn't have anybody else in their home but they know that they need help. So, they kind of follow people along and see, "OK, can I really trust this person to come into my home to help me declutter?" 

Laura: How do you approach with such empathy? Can you give me specifics about that? 

Wendy: Yeah. So, I've battled depression myself. In 2015 I lost my nephew in a car accident. December 22nd, it was very close to Christmas. And you know, the next year I didn't realize what depression was. 

I was a very happy person, always happy-go-lucky. And that there was this sadness that was just hovering over me and I would function at work. But then when I got home at night, I was just crashing into bed with exhaustion. And that happened for about three weeks. And I'm like "What is it?" It was the winter time, you know. But I was like, "This is something different."

And finally, my husband said, "Go see somebody about that." And that's how I got my diagnosis with depression. And so, my house was a mess. My son would say, "Hey, mom, I don't have any more clean underwear or clean pants" and I'll do a load of laundry just enough to get by, one load. We would eat out, you know, paper products so we weren't doing dishes. 

You know, trying to find ways to just survive. And I remember telling my therapist after about a month or two of working with her, I said "I miss cooking for my family. I need to get my house decluttered." Because at that point, everything was hard, extra hard and heavy. And she became my accountability partner. And I said, "By our next session I want to have my kitchen reset."

And I went home that day and I just went to my whole house and I just made a list of a whole bunch of different places because, again, I'm overwhelmed. It's like I do a brain dump. And I went into the master bedroom and I'm like, "OK, under the bed, two nightstands, dresser. OK, master closet, master bathroom." And that's went through every nook and cranny. 

Even if you had to break it down even smaller to, say, "dresser" "drawer one," "drawer too." Break it down to the smallest minute things. That really helps you start processing through. And that's how I got started with that, and just realizing that it is OK and I tell my story so then they know that I've been there. 

The same format that I worked to help myself out of the depression and get my house organized, that's the process that I use with them as well. 

Laura: Thank you for sharing that. I imagine your clients are just so grateful to work with someone who understands. What is your top tip for folks with ADHD when it comes to dealing with clutter or organization? 

Wendy: Honestly? brain dump. Because if your mind is cluttered, it doesn't matter what's happening out in your world, it's going to be cluttered. So, if you know that you have specific things that you need to get done, do a big brain dump. You can do a big brain dump on just one sheet of paper or you can create four boxes on one sheet of paper and say "home," "me personally," "business," "work," "house" and just do brain dumps for each of those sections. 

Sometimes I have to look at my life in compartments. I have to compartmentalize it in order to focus. Because if I'm thinking about all the different things that I have to do, I get nothing done. So, I have to compartmentalize those areas. 

We don't live our lives that way, but sometimes in order to focus, oh, you got to say, "OK, what is happening at work and what do I need to get done" and make that list. And for each child, sometimes you may have to break it up by child because their needs are so different. 

Both of my kids have ADHD, but they are functioning very different. So, if you have 3 or 4 children, break it out by child and what they need to get done as well. So, we'll break it down to the smallest common denominator sometimes. And that really helps. 

Laura: That's very beautiful in its simplicity. And I imagine like if you can encourage folks to allow it to be kind of a soothing technique. Also, Wendy, I didn't realize that your daughter had ADHD too. 

Wendy: Oh, we all have ADHD. Yeah. And it shows up differently. So... 

Laura: I was just going to ask. Yes, tell me. 

Oh, it shows up very differently. Like with my son, he's very impulsive. And when he turned 13, he really calmed down. He was very hyper, but now he's very chill. But his mind is racing and then he's driving. He's working. So, if we're not careful, impulsivity comes out. 

And with my daughter, her ADHD is more when we're doing her schoolwork on the computer, like we can't have anything else, then is distracting for her. 

Laura: Got it. So, more like hyperactivity, impulsivity for your son, and with your daughter more this distractibility, sounds like, interesting. Wow. Wendy, how do you help people deal with New Year's resolutions? 

Wendy: I don't like New Year's resolutions. I've tried them. I feel that it sets us up to fail. When I'm working with clients, like, I don't do sales. I don't because I don't want people to feel like "I need to wait for decluttering my life to go on sale." Right? When you say "I'm ready to make a change," that's when you jump in. 

So, don't wait for January 1st to say, "You know what? 2024 is going to be the year that I'm going to declutter my home" Start today. What can you start now? Because when you start having those systems and those processes, you're able to carry it on. There's no finish line for decluttering and organizing. This is a lifelong thing. 

You're always going to move into new phases. Even if you declutter your closet, in a couple of months you have to do it again because the kids are getting older, they're outgrowing clothes, they're getting old. So, you always going to have to redo, but it's not on the grand scale like when you first started. It's more like, let's reset. 

Laura: Are you familiar with the term "Doom bags?" "Didn't Organize, Only Moved?" 

Wendy: Yes. So, a lot of times when I'm working with my clients, they're pulling those bags, those doom boxes. You have somebody coming over, maybe your mom's coming over, whatever, and you just say, "Just put it in the bag. Just put it in the box, put it in the container, put it down in the basement or put it up in the master closet." But the thing is, you don't take it out and then you don't get rid of stuff. So, if your mail normally goes on your island in the kitchen, if you put it in a doom box and now you put it in the master closet upstairs, you've lost it. Now you can't process it and you don't take it back out, then that's gone forever because you forgot where you have put it. So, yeah, those doom boxes? Oh, absolutely. We start taking one at a time and processing through it. 

Laura: Wendy, what is next for you? You've done so much already. What are you hungry to do more of or less of? 

Wendy: I want to get to the point where I'm able to provide scholarships for families. I never want anyone to have a consultation with me and say, "I can't afford your services." The only discounts that I do right now — I do 10% military discounts for my military community — but I want to be able to partner with nonprofits that say "I have families that need support." Whether it's virtual or it's in person, I want to be able to provide scholarships for families, because this is very important and nobody should have to sit in their clutter or in shame because they can't afford to do this. I want to be able to do something and be able to help families. 

Laura: I love that idea. And if I know you, you will create a great list that lays out exactly what you need to do to get there. So, I believe in you. Wendy, it's just been so great to talk with you today. Really refreshing and really helpful. It just feels like you approach everything with such a growth mindset and it's infectious. It's really lovely. Thank you, Wendy. 

Wendy: Thank you so much Laura, for having me on the podcast today. I had a great time and I'm so excited for all the other people that would really lean into their ADHD and work with their brains and not against them. 

Laura: You've been listening to "ADHD Aha!" from the Understood Podcast Network. If you want to share your own "aha" moment, email us at I'd love to hear from you if you want to learn more about the topics we covered today, check out the show notes for this episode. We include more resources as well as links to anything we mentioned in the episode. Understood is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people who learn and think differently discover their potential and thrive. We have no affiliation with pharmaceutical companies. Learn more at "ADHD Aha!" is produced by Jessamine Molli. Say hi Jessamine! 

Jessamine: Hi everyone. 

Laura: Brianna Berry is our production director. Our theme music was written by Justin D. Wright, who also mixes the show. For the Understood Podcast Network, Scott Cocchiere is our creative director, Seth Melnick is our executive producer, and I'm your host, Laura Key. Thanks so much for listening. 


  • Laura Key

    is executive director of editorial at Understood and host of the “ADHD Aha!” podcast.

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