Topic: The topic I would like to address in my Capstone project is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the form of a podcast series. The context in which it will be discussed is through both an educational approach, and a personal experience approach. The topic will be highlighted under the guise that the diagnosis is often misunderstood, and there are many facets of the neurodevelopment of a person with the diagnosis that are overlooked, or not discussed enough. In a world built for neurotypical individuals, my podcast will seek to educate listeners on important pieces of the ADHD diagnosis that are thoroughly underrepresented amongst communities that are neurotypical. As a person with ADHD, who has met and discussed these issues with many people across the neurodevelopmental spectrum, I find myself often having to explain integral pieces of how my differences are a reflection of my diagnosis. I am often met with the response that these pieces of information and symptoms have never been presented to the individual I am explaining them to. It would make my life much smoother if a large amount of my traits and behaviors were to go without, or with less explanation. I am sure that I do not stand alone here, based on my activity in social media pages that highlight underrepresented ADHD symptoms. These accounts also post relatable and even humorous content that serves as a breath of fresh air for the community of followers who share the same hardships, and gives them an outlet to feel seen and heard. My podcast will be for listeners who have ADHD, a loved one with ADHD, or just those who seek more education on the topic. Normalization of a mental disorder requires formal research and education, but I believe often much understanding comes alongside the implementation of personality, and raw humanity as well. So, a podcast where myself and my guests can be both educational and authentically human is a beneficial way to deliver important messages about ADHD and its hidden parts. As for my professional goals and interests, my ADHD is a large factor in how I make decisions about my future and what can hold my captive attention, ensure a lasting passion, and align with my interests. A podcast, ironically, where I can “infodump” (a term which will be discussed in my podcast) about a topic that I am passionate about would be a dream job for me. To be a part of a research team, a social media manager, or the main act/voice itself all sparks my interest and passion as both a communications major, and aligns with the essence of who I am.  


Formatting: As previously mentioned, my Capstone project will be a podcast series. I believe that a podcast that consists of short episodes, titled by what category of ADHD symptom is being discussed is the best way to present the information. This is because in order to make a podcast about ADHD is to have it be ADHD friendly, and sometimes long form pieces of content that are not already a “comfort piece” can be daunting to those who experience it. So, the shorter episodes allow for a less tedious task to consume. I am planning on the episodes being 20-30 minutes maximum. The podcast will also contain guests based upon the subject matter. It will be published under a soundcloud account, which will be labeled under the name of the series. 

Example 1:

  • My podcast will take inspiration from this one by highlighting the parts of ADHD that could be considered shameful or difficult to discuss. For example, titles like “Transitions Treats and Dopamine Redirection” or “Eating Disorders & ADHD” are topics that I am looking into discussing and informing, as well as putting personal anecdotes where I see fit. Something I will be doing less than the series linked above is full episodes on advice on how to fix the issues. My podcast will focus more on the issue itself than tips to help, however sometimes tips will be discussed, just not as the focal point of an entire episode. Explaining the issues is my focus.

Example 2: 

  • My podcast will mirror this one because there are guests that tell personal stories that can be both humorous and educational. I believe that with podcasts, being entertaining is an integral part of holding an audience. Especially an audience catered to those who struggle with attention span issues. I probably will not have a guest for each episode like this one however, simply because I do not have access to enough interesting or relevant people like an established podcast series might.


Technology and Materials: For this podcast, I will need a laptop (which I have) and adobe audition software (which I also have). I will also need a reliable recording device, which I could rent from the comm department and return, depending on my recording schedule. Also, for the recording device, I will purchase a new SD card so that I can transfer the recordings to my laptop for editing purposes. 


Audience and Impact: My podcast will be for listeners who have ADHD, a loved one with ADHD, or just those who seek more education on the topic. The impact is to educate, spread awareness while also entertaining and normalizing ADHD traits/personalities.


Prior Experience:

My soundcloud page highlights 3 pieces of experience that ensures my confidence in my pitch. My podcast for Bill’s class, a soundscape using a recording device and edited in Adobe Audition for Steven Hammer’s class, and a podcast from Steven Hammer’s class as well. I will be challenged here because it makes these pieces of practice into a full fleshed series that cannot have silly editing mistakes or other flaws. 


Educational Experience: This project will utilize what I have learned in my comm classes in many ways. Firstly, we discussed and watched many podcast episodes. We studied algorithms and audiences, and what mediums may attract a desired audience. I have made two podcasts, and have used recording devices and editing software more than once as well. The ideas behind inclusivity in media related campaigns and projects was also discussed at length in a few of my classes. So, making a podcast related to a mental disorder will require me to call back to these discussions. We also had to work with others for a few of the projects in the comm department, so I have experience with interviewing and conversationality in a short form media space. 


Research: I will need to research many technical and medical terms for ADHD and its embedded facets. As I know a lot about the topic, I may run into topics where I am not familiar with the correct way to address and label certain levels of neurodivergence on a professional level. A lot of my research can call back to the educational experience portion of this proposal. I will most likely be digging into past assignments to refresh myself on areas of comm-related research that I have already conducted over the years. Also, I have access to speaking directly to my psychiatrist who manages my ADHD related issues if I have any questions about the diagnosis.


Obstacles: My biggest obstacle here is to be able to dig deep into my own vulnerability, which usually I have little issue with. But, even on days where I may wish to pretend I do not struggle with ADHD, I still have to meet deadlines for the project and give it my best effort. As for the technical side, I may need to make sure I have a good groove established when it comes to renting the recording equipment to ensure I have it when it is necessary. 


Timeline (rough)


By Next Week: Have the title of series, and title/subject of each episode, reach out to potential guests. Design a logo for the podcast page on soundcloud. Come up with how many episodes based upon this.


General: When the previous is figured out, come up with a schedule that consists of the following

  • Recording schedule (weekly? Bi weekly?)
  • Renting schedule
  • Editing schedule