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ADHD and Play – Not Just for Kids!

Play is beneficial for all children, not just children with ADHD, and also for all adults! There is great healing in humor.

Adults often make life all about work. Learn how play, and wordplay can benefit your relationships, job, mood, and impact your Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD

I love making up and sharing words, I’ve been doing it since I was a kid and began speaking.

Now I do this regularly to improve my emotional intelligence, working memory, social skills, and to get outside my own comfort zone.

By doing this, I’ve learned to flip anxiety into creativity, boredom into a brain game, distractions into directions, and icebreakers into warm relationships.

messytasking (mess ee tas keen) v.  Multitasking with less-than-favorable results. (i.e., being sloppy with your multi-tasking.)

Sometimes we need therapeutic humor to recover from a bad experience, or at least, to find the humor in it and grow as a person.

If you’ve been struggling with something that’s been getting you down (and you want to get yourself back up and move on), making up words can help you learn to laugh at your mistakes and failures.

How, exactly? By giving them fun names that others can relate to.

multicrashing (mull tee cra sheen) n.  When you physically collide with someone because you're distracted by a digital device.

I’ve found that when you can address something with a positive mindset, you’re more likely to forgive yourself and tackle them with success the next time they’re bound to happen. Plus, your triumphs and shared struggles help others.

Healing with Humor

“Grantasms” are the names I give to my comic and meaningful word creations. I create them daily for laughs, personal growth, and creative inspiration.

They’re inspired by my own true stories, and they help me better connect and converse with people everywhere. They also playfully encourage others to do the same.

synapstuck (sin napp stuhk) n.  When the synapses in your brain don't function correctly, which for an ADHD person is 90-99% of the time.

appnesia (app nee shuh) n.  Having so many apps on your phone that you forget why you put them there or what some of them do, exactly.

Aren’t those just made up words? Non-words? That’s something I hear a lot.

To me they’re all real words, just with a “twist” — i.e., a different take on something familiar that brings mystery, creativity, joy, and an invitation to a conversation.

Creative communication

I like to say my Grantasms are “word fungasms” or “wordgasms.”

Because they’re mine or the stories are mine, I use my first name given to me by my parents, “Grant,” to share my connection to the words with others. They help me express myself better when existing words in our standard dictionaries fail me.

carjackass (kar jak ass) n.
When you open up a car in a parking lot and sit down in the seat, only to realize that you just opened someone else's car.

When I encounter unfamiliar and awkward situations in social company, Grantasms are my stress-free (and stress-relieving) creativity for even the most unfamiliar and awkward situations.  This improves my confidence and charisma. 

They’re more than fun icebreakers; they’re “ice-crushers!”

Indirections (en dur ek shuns) n.
When your GPS sends you far off course from your intended destination.

Laugh at the behavior you want to fix

Peter Shankman, ADHD speaker, and entrepreneur uses twisted words as a “prompt” for changing routines. Making up words helps him focus on the behavior he wants to fix, sort of like turning one’s struggles into a creative game.

“I’ve been in situations where I started doing something, and I completely forget why I’m doing it,” says Peter.

“Then what I try to do is I try to figure out what I was doing that caused me to forget it… It’s about setting up those rules, those rituals that keep you sort of on task.”

whiteout (why tout) n.  Blanking out while seemingly conscious. You forget what you're doing while in the middle of doing it.

gymnesia (jim nee zhuah) n.  Opening every unlocked locker in your local fitness center because you forgot which locker you used.

“I thought I was the only person who takes a picture of their gym locker number every single time!” Peter shared with me, while I shared with him the picture of myself the last time I did it before I remembered the take-a-photo-beforehand routine.

By coming up with the word, “gymnesia,” I could laugh at my own behavior and have some great mental imagery to prevent it from happening again.

Quirky Empathy

Many of my Grantasms are tongue-in-cheek, but I also create them for human connection—a social bond through a funny, shared experience.

Through them, I can better express myself and be a better listener.

I discover we’re all unique, yet not all that different. The more I create and share them, the more I learn about other people and myself, and how we’re connected—including with people I wouldn’t otherwise ever think to have anything in common!

maybeD (may bee dee) n.  A person who talks about ADHD like it's a passing thing.

Playful Mindfulness

notifriction (no teh frik shun) n.  The anxiety felt from too many notifications coming out of your digital devices.
Grantasms book cover

I wrote an entire book about my made-up words simply because I love making people laugh, and talk with each other. I now know there are other people all over the world like me.

Twisted words can be more than just for laughs and trying to impress people; we believe that it brings us all to a better place.

We don’t have to go through life distracted, lonely, depressed, misunderstood. We really can get along better than we think.

Go ahead – share some made-up words below. Grant says it’s OK, and so does Rick!

“I realized that I do this, too, making up words, I wonder if everyone who has ADHD and/or dyslexia plays around with words in this way?”

– Rick Green, TotallyADD Founder


Grant Crowell headshot
Grant Crowell

Grant Crowell is the author of GRANTASMS: Twisted creative words for cool people!, available now on Amazon in paperback and eBook.

Born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai’i, with a long adult-ing in the Chicago burbs, Grant now lives in Durham, North Carolina, with his “spousish” partner, Karen. By day (and sometimes nights), he works as a learning facilitator of virtual events for Dell Technologies. His first solo book, GRANTASMS!, is the culmination of many years of word creations from his big ideas, small wonders, and unfinished business.

Grantasms (book intro): twisted with words (on YouTube)

Faster Than Normal Podcast Interview: https://www.fasterthannormal.com/adhd-social-wordsmith-media-manager-grant-crowell/

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One Comment

  1. katomismom June 28, 2020 at 10:02 am

    One of my family’s favourite word mashups was accidentally coined by my youngest daughter: “misunderheard”, as in “I misunderheard your instructions.” It is very useful for those times when you have to explain why you did something and the answer is that you did exactly what you (thought you) were told.

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