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System design

Designing a toolkit for children to become more self aware, toolkit for parents/teachers to make their children become more emotionally self regulated, Independent and confident human being and incorporating the craft like crochet into the curriculum through thorough understanding of ADHD and it's environmental effects.

System design | System thinking | Giga mapping |  Systemic Asymmetry | Accessibility | Inclusivity | Neurodiversity |    Systemic intervention | design solution 


Project Duration

10 weeks


Prof. S Guruprasad

Project type


Scope of the project


The aim of the module was to understand the systemic thinking and its application with respect to looking at a problem with the wholistic research approach rather than linear view of looking at problems.

The goal was to understand sociological point of view through systemic lens and understand the impact of ADHD on society and vice-versa and Designing the solutions which can melt into the system without creating the chaos.

Systemic process

Understanding the topic and setting the system boundary.

Identifying the relationship between all the elements present in the system and mapping it as subsystems

Mapping tensions and Identifying key drivers for mental disorder like ADHD

Coming up with Systemic solution.

Gap Identified

Lack of self awareness

Society's expectations are too high to achieve and It becomes barrier for an ADHDer to become more self aware and be more self regulated.

Systemic Bias

There a big cognitive and systemic bias in the society which works for the Neurotypical people and ADHDer are left un-noticed.


People don’t always recognize ADHD as a serious condition.


An ADHD diagnosis, in and of itself, is not enough to qualify for disability benefits as Autistic, Dyslexic child do.

Proposed interventions

Making a toolkit for 8-10 years of children to make them self-aware.

Common struggle for children with ADHD that typically goes unnoticed is a lack of self-awareness. Self-awareness difficulties can negatively impact children’s social interactions and relationships.

Making a toolkit for parents and teachers for their kids/students to be self aware

Incorporating crafts like crocheting  into curriculum to increase attention span and reduce hyperactivity. 

Policy changes to have ADHD as an disability. 

Smart watch for an ADHDer to keep reminding some important notes.

Kit for the Kid


Why Systemic thinking was necessary ? 

ADHD comes in the umbrella of Neurodivergence and to understand the diversity in ambiguous way system thinking becomes necessary.

ADHD diagnosis is like Rocketship blasting off. It has become a everyday word for people to use like OCD, anxiety..

Differentiating between mental illness and disorder is yet to touch . It is genetic and not going go on their own.

Not only genetics but environmental factors and neurology plays a big role

Need to take ADHD seriously as it comes with one but goes with many other disorders

ADHD has become the controversial topic as it is either underdiagnosed or over diagnosed because of diagnosis criteria

Increasing prevalence

Disorder, not a disease

Multi- causal

Not one but more than one comorbidities involves


Will help in understanding the whole system considering all the factors behind ADHD


Will help to understand occurrence , accumulations, feedback loop , asymmetry , elements and their interconnectedness of ADHD

Will help to know the reality

Don't want to go through the whole project ? 


you can read it through poem. Just make sure to come back to see the solutions.


Understanding the topic and setting the system boundary


The research was conducted by going back and forth in data collection. The idea was to not only looking at periphery but going to the core to understand different behaviors and attitude towards ADHD.

Research study wanted to gather the data about...


Understanding ADHD mind


Cause of ADHD

Awareness of ADHD

ADHD diagnosis

Misconception  around ADHD

ADHD treatment


Primary research :

I conducted In-depth interviews with an ADHDer , their parents and siblings , Psychologist, Ayurvedic doctors  to get more knowledge about their life journey, Trauma, behaviors , society and them and their needs. Also went to Mental health institute to know how they are helping the children with disorders.

15 people were interviewed

including people with ADHD , parents and sibling of an ADHDer , psychologist, Ayurvedic doctor and BM institute of  mental health.

Secondary research :

Research articles, literature reviews, social media like Instagram, you tube etc.. gave me more idea about challenges and multiple subsystems present in the bigger system.


Let me brief you about ADHD...

adhd girl.jpg

ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. It is usually first diagnosed in childhood and often lasts into adulthood. Children with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active.


It is normal for children to have trouble focusing and behaving at one time or another. However, children with ADHD do not just grow out of these behaviors. The symptoms continue, can be severe, and can cause difficulty at school, at home, or with friends.


It is derived of genetics and external factors . It hits worldwide an average of 6–10% of children and 2.5–4% of adults . It also causes emotional self-regulation problems, executive impairment, and space and motor disorganization and may cause language problems in 30–40% of the cases


Thus, it is essential to understand the facts that interrelate ADHD with the cognitive and language development process, or particularly where and how ADHD neurobiological dysfunctions affect the dynamic of the neural network responsible for the receptive and expressive language structure in different child neurodevelopment levels.

ADHD means Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Didn't understand right?


Don't worry let me explain...

ADHD from childhood to adulthood
















Types of ADHD

There are three types of ADHD


  • Predominantly Inattentive Presentation: It is hard for the individual to organize or finish a task, to pay attention to details, or to follow instructions or conversations. The person is easily distracted or forgets details of daily routines.

  • Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Presentation: The person fidgets and talks a lot. It is hard to sit still for long (e.g., for a meal or while doing homework). Smaller children may run, jump or climb constantly. The individual feels restless and has trouble with impulsivity.


Someone who is impulsive may interrupt others a lot, grab things from people, or speak at inappropriate times. It is hard for the person to wait their turn or listen to directions. A person with impulsiveness may have more accidents and injuries than others.

  • Combined Presentation: Symptoms of the above two types are equally present in the person.Because symptoms can change over time, the presentation may change over time as well.


 Overlooks details


Difficulty regulating attention and focus

Diagnosed later in life

More likely to have internalizing disorders

Most common subtype among adult and females

Listening difficulties

Processing speed impacted

Loses objects

Fidgety and restlessness

Often diagnosed in early childhood

Often completes people's sentences

More common among males

More likely to have co-occurring externalizing disorders ( ODD and CD)

Often 'on the go' and has difficulty resting


Difficulty waiting turn

Often talks excessively

Sleep issues

Sensory processing problems

High rate of co-occurring mood disorder

Working memory impacted

Self esteem impacted

Executive functioning impacted




Want to peek into an ADHDers life?

adhd storytelling.gif

ADHD and comorbidities

DID you know ADHD comes with other disorders also ?


Let's just look at them !


Mood disorder

Anxiety disorder


Conduct disorder

Substance use disorder

Opposition defiant disorder

Dysthymia- persistent depressive disorder

Rejection sensitive dysphoria

Cyclothymia - mood disorder


Bipolar disorder

Language disorder

Sleep disorder




There are more than this

In general, individuals affected by ADHD often have other behavior disorders that impact their ability to function successfully. The comorbidity of ADHD with other disorders is between 60% and 80%.



The contemporary diagnosis of ADHD based on DSM-5 criteria requires the presence of 6 or more inattentive symptoms and/or 6 or more symptoms of impulsivity and hyperactivity in children. The criteria for ADHD are slightly different for adults: those aged 17 years and older need only demonstrate 5 symptoms to meet the criteria. DSM-5 further stipulates that symptoms must be present in 2 or more environments, begin prior to age 12, cause notable dysfunction, and not occur primarily in the context of a psychotic illness or be better accounted for by another mental disorder or medical condition.


much of the world uses ICD-10. ICD-10 refers to ADHD as hyperkinetic disorder (HD), and the diagnosis requires the presence of symptoms of both overactivity and inattention, present before age 6. Given inconsistencies in diagnostic criteria for the condition worldwide and over time, one may expect discrepant estimates of its prevalence from one region to another and over the years.

  • Scales and tools such as the Child Behavior Checklist, Conners-Wells, Vanderbilt, Swanson Nolan and Pelham are helpful

  • Brain imaging

  • EEG or MRI

Current treatments

Behavior therapy


  • SSRI

  • Ritalin

  • Adderall

  • Vyvanse

  • Dexedrine

  • Focalin

ADHD cure.jpg

Let's see What's been going on around ADHD


The Delhi High Court has asked the AAP government to identify children suffering from ADHD.ADHD per se is not included as a disability under the Persons with Disabilities Act 2016. 

Health Insurance

  • The comprehensive health insurance offers coverage for Autism, Down's Syndrome, Global Developmental Delay (GDD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Intellectual Disorders, Speech Disorders, and even Epilepsy in kids.

ADHD Pharmacophobia in Some Indian Communities

While ADHD prevalence is quite high in India, parents remain hesitant to subject their children to ADHD drugs. In fact, of those prescribed with ADHD medications, 83.3% discontinue taking their medicines within the first month Reasons cited by parents for stopping the medication are: side-effects, lack of effectiveness, problems at the hospital, and fear that the child is becoming addicted, among others. Parents, though, especially in the lower-income classes, have shown willingness to tap non-pharmacological methods

Non-pharmacological solutions | ADHD India

In India, there are alternative solutions being advocated:

Psychosocial interventions – involve behavioral intervention, parent training, peer and social skills training, and school/classroom‑based intervention/training.

Body focused - body‑oriented activities such as yoga‑based, physical exercises, sleep and mindfulness‑based interventions such as using breathing exercises with music therapy or attention training.

Cognitive-behavioral training (such as play therapy).

Neuro cognitive training - computer-based attention and EEG biofeedback training like the CogoLand game launched by Singapore-based Neeuro Pte. Ltd. alongside researchers from the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), the medical school Duke-NUS, and Singapore’s Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).

Setting the system boundary

Positive / Negative impact of environment on the people with ADHD

Identifying the relationship between all the elements present in the system and mapping it as subsystems


Subsystems |  Giga map through interconnection of subsystems | Nature - Nurture

giga map

Subsystem cluster



Evolutionary mismatch



Maternal diet

Pre birth

Drug abuse

Early birth

Brain structure

Gene expression alteration

Relative plasticity

Delay response








Course structure