SEE ME BE ME: Reianna Shakil talks inclusivity and ADHD

SEE ME BE ME: Reianna Shakil talks inclusivity and ADHD

Reianna Shakil is a product designer, innovator, and founder of Studio ZRX. She’s passionate about the circular economy and doing product with purpose, as well as being a role model for women like herself.

See Me Be Me is a podcast that spotlights diverse talent across any and every career path.

I think there needs to be more education and understanding about neurodivergence, and for people to not be so dismissive of it. Everyone has a variety of diversity in their brains, and people need to get down to the root of it. For example, with ADHD, a lot of people don’t actually know the science of it – they just see in the media that people are ditzy or scatterbrained, or late everywhere.

But actually ADHD is a 30% underdevelopment in the prefrontal cortex of your brain, which is the part that controls executive function. Executive function is responsible for things like prioritisation, organisation, planning, deadlines, time management. So no wonder that’s something I’m going to struggle with.

There’s also a lack of neurotransmitters: the way I like to describe it is, there is dopamine, but there aren’t enough Ubers for the dopamine to get where it needs to go in the brain or in the body. You need dopamine for things like starting a task – it’s not just the reward hormone, you need it for activation energy. You need the energy to start – and that’s what medication does for me!

So I would hope to see people having more compassion, being more inclusive, because if you’re inclusive from the get-go, you don’t need to differentiate. You wouldn’t have to treat people specially, and I wouldn’t have to feel like I’m asking for too much.

To hear more from Reianna about her experiences with ADHD, her design work, her thoughts on sustainability and what’s next for her innovations, check out her full episode, below.