1 ) Emoti-glasses
Reading other people’s facial expressions is a crap shoot at best. Emoti-glasses would do the work for me, flashing “happy,” “angry,” or whatever accordingly for a few seconds across the lens.
This would give me time to gear up for an exchange or, alternatively, to turn around and walk (or run) like hell.
2 ) Mood shirt
The mood shirt is the opposite of emoti-glasses. Rather than flagging other people’s feelings for us, the mood shirt broadcasts our mood to others. Sure, you can still find the mood rings of yore, but they’re far too subtle for our purposes.
By the time someone’s in range to see the color of my mood ring, it’s way too late: they’re in my bubble and they’re either gonna love it – or not.
Smart appliances… and I mean, really smart
3 ) Kettle that reminds you
People with ADHD are maybe the only people who can burn anything, including water. There is nothing quite like the smell of a burning pot (I broke my kettle years ago and haven’t gotten around to replacing it).
I’d like to see something more aggressive than a kettle that whistles. I need one that screams, “Hey you!” as I walk up the stairs, forgetting I’ve left the water on to boil.
No: what I need is a kettle that will whistle, scream at me, then send a text message if necessary before I leave the driveway (or airport).
In the UK and EU, there’s the iKettle, but it just doesn’t fit the bill. The iKettle lets you turn the kettle on remotely, sets the water temperature, and has an auto shutoff. So far, so good.
But all this does nothing to help the distracted ADHDer who is wandering around the house, completely having forgotten that they were hankering after a cup of tea.
In lieu of sending a helpful reminder while the iKettle’s still boiling, your presumptuous applicance assumes you’ve changed your mind (you haven’t; your mind went on vacation. There’s a difference.)
4 ) Clutter alarm
Like a carbon monoxide detector, the clutter alarm would plug into the wall. Instead of detecting fumes, it would have sensors (or something; I’m not an inventor, don’t ask me) that would detect when your clutter has reached a toxic level.
What’s toxic? That depends on you. The clutter alarm would be customizable to your personal level of overwhelm. There could even be a warning alarm to let you know you’re reaching dangerously unproductive levels of mass and to allow you to take action accordingly.
For those of us who are coordination challenged
5 ) Decorative edge softeners (aka D.E.S.’s)
Sure, you can get door edge guards to protect car doors – but what about protecting something infinitely more valuable to me – my shins?
For those of us who regularly bump into doorjambs, furniture, walls, the cat, and such, I’d like to see an invisible or decorative spongy material available to protect not car parts but body parts.
Perhaps a strip of foam rubber you can cut into whatever length or shape you need (let someone else cut it for you, obviously) and stick to whichever nefarious edge is your most dangerous nemesis. If it’s invisible, no one needs to know (your family or co-workers will notice you’re yelling in pain less often. Maybe they’ll think you got new glasses or contact lenses. Let them.)
6 ) Bounce back fabric
For those of us who feel like the world is one giant pinball machine, and we are the balls not the players – wouldn’t it be nice to have an ensemble made of fabric that not only protects us from bruises, scrapes, sprains, and other injuries, but looked good too?
This holiday season, I’d love to receive a full ensemble of bounce back clothing, made of a fabric that could ricochet me up off the sidewalk, bounce me off the wall (no need for the DES’s come to think of it) and back on my feet.
The fabric would have to be lightweight, stylish, and of course comfy. The pieces would be tagless, seamless, and breathable. This might not be available for this year, but I’m willing to bet that I won’t be any more coordinated in 2015. I can wait.
7 ) Understanding
What if those around you understood your ADHD? What if they cut you some slack, supported you when they saw that you were flagging, got a kick out of you and told you on a regular basis, and loved you just the way you are?
While the other gifts are far-fetched, maybe with more education, more compassion, and more dialogue – this one’s achievable. Maybe not this year or even the next. But some day. And again, this one is worth the wait – but I hope we don’t have to wait long.
What about you? What would be a great ADHD-defying gift for you this holiday season?