Stigma, misinformation, and fears about ADHD continually flood us with negative messages. Pre-conceived ideas, ignoring scientific evidence, and misinformation combined with a bias against medication make getting diagnosed and properly treated problematic throughout most of the world. The truth is out there, but spreading the news is a never-ending battle. Having a month devoted to sharing information, encouraging treatment, and even celebrating a common experience can provide relief for many.
This month you can find many different sources to help you understand and treat ADHD. Take advantage of everything that is offered as it meets your individual needs.
Participating in ADHD Awareness Month We list a number of online events for this month as well as ways to find support throughout the year. You can spend just a few minutes, listen to short daily presentations or attend longer Webinars. Whatever you choose, you can get a great education in ADHD and experience a powerful feeling of belonging.
It can be a personal revelation to attend a conference with other members of the ADHD “Tribe.” It’s also good to see those many professionals who want to learn more about how to treat ADHD effectively.
Both the United States and Canada have conferences coming up. In Canada, October 4th– the 6thare the dates for CADDRA’s 2019 Conference and Research Day in Toronto, Ontario. (Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance) Sorry for the late notice. Save the date for next year’s conference now.
The 2019 Annual Conference onADHD: Better Together is being held November 7 – 9 in Philiadelphia, PA. – Individual ticket – $390. $60 discount with membership in CHADD, ADDA, or ACO, (Children and Adults with ADHD, ADD in Adults, and ADHD Coaches Association)
Getting educated about ADHD and finding some form of support for your journey is so important. But, beyond a feeling of community, there is a lot of personal work involved in coming to your own awareness of the unique way that ADHD is expressed in your or your loved one’s lives.
“The ADHD brain works by its own rules. There’s a perpetual need for stimulation or novelty-seeking behavior that’s characteristic of the condition. Creating structure and developing routines helps, as does an interest in the task or subject, a sense of urgency, or immediate consequences or rewards for their actions to help successfully manage their life…just knowing about ADHD isn’t enough.
There’s a process involved after you first become aware. First, there is the issue of getting a diagnosis. Then comes the process of getting treatment, Medication, therapy, coaching, and/or other tools and strategies only work when they are used.”
All too often, we only dwell on the negatives of ADHD. Andrea Nordstrom reframes the way we often perceive Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder purely as a deficit in The ADHD Manifesto. (2 ½ minutes) It’s a great pick-me-up if you’re ever feeling down about “being different.”
“We don’t do life the normal way. we do it the ADD way! We are not broken. We are whole. When we fuel ourselves properly, our drive accelerates us.” ~ Andrea Nordstrom
There is hope with ADHD. Educate yourself. Do the work. Understand that your child WOULD do better if they COULD. Support them emotionally, create structure and help them learn self-regulation. Accept yourself just as you are. As you can, do better, but remember to leave the criticism behind. It doesn’t help anything.
Learn more, Share information, Celebrate your uniqueness.
For beginners, a good place to start is the ADHD Awareness Month website. ADHD Myths and Facts: Know the Difference is hosted by CHADD, ADDA, and ACO (ADHDCoaches.com) This site takes an interactive approach inviting contributions from writers and artists as well as contests for video and meme creators. You may also view last years contest winners. Other material includes Webinar Recordings from 2013
The ADHD Awareness Expowill take place ONLINE October 1 – October 31, 2019 – They will feature 30 presenters for 15-minute videos. They have chosen theirBEST videos sessions from over the past 10 years. Sounds great! Sign up for regular emails.
ADDA presents TADD TALKS – (American Deficit Disorder Association) – “TADD Talks are an ADHD-friendly riff on “TED talks.” TED talks are 18-minute presentations on a variety of interesting subjects, TADD recordings are only 9 minutes long (we do have a shorter attention span, you know!) on interesting ADHD topics.”
2019 TADD Talks presented by ADDA Sign up to receive informative emails as their speaker schedule fills in.
ADDA Peer SupportGroups – Telephone based – Peer support calls tailored for numerous specific audiences For example; Women over Fifty, Parents of Adult Children with ADHD, LGBT community support, Entrepreneurs, and more. Sessions run for six weeks to eight weeks at a time with various starting dates. Many will repeat quite often throughout the year.
Note: I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve seen this article before, but it’s worth repeating. I know that I still fall into the trap of not taking care of the basics, then wonder why things are falling apart. It’s good to have a reminder that some answers are within our power NOW and that they can help solve more difficult problems as well.
Are you hydrated? If not, have a glass of water.
Have you eaten in the past three hours? If not, get some food — something with protein, not just simple carbs. Perhaps some nuts or hummus?
Have you showered in the past week? If not, take a shower right now.
If daytime: are you dressed? If not, put on clean clothes that aren’t pajamas. Give yourself permission to wear something special, whether it’s a funny t-shirt or a pretty dress.
If nighttime: are you sleepy and fatigued but resisting going to sleep? Put on pajamas, make yourself cozy in bed with a teddy bear and the sound of falling rain, and close your eyes for fifteen minutes — no electronic screens allowed. If you’re still awake after that, you can get up again; no pressure.
Have you stretched your legs in the past day? If not, do so right now. If you don’t have the spoons for a run or trip to the gym, just walk around the block, then keep walking as long as you please. If the weather’s crap, drive to a big box store (e.g. Target) and go on a brisk walk through the aisles you normally skip.
Have you said something nice to someone in the past day? Do so, whether online or in person. Make it genuine; wait until you see something really wonderful about someone, and tell them about it.
Have you moved your body to music in the past day? If not, do so — jog for the length of an EDM song at your favorite BPM, or just dance around the room for the length of an upbeat song.
Have you cuddled a living being in the past two days? If not, do so. Don’t be afraid to ask for hugs from friends or friends’ pets. Most of them will enjoy the cuddles too; you’re not imposing on them.
Do you feel ineffective? Pause right now and get something small completed, whether it’s responding to an e-mail, loading up the dishwasher, or packing your gym bag for your next trip. Good job!
Do you feel unattractive? Take a goddamn selfie. Your friends will remind you how great you look, and you’ll fight society’s restrictions on what beauty can look like.
Do you feel paralyzed by indecision? Give yourself ten minutes to sit back and figure out a game plan for the day. If a particular decision or problem is still being a roadblock, simply set it aside for now, and pick something else that seems doable. Right now, the important part is to break through that stasis, even if it means doing something trivial.
Have you seen a therapist in the past few days? If not, hang on until your next therapy visit and talk through things then.
Have you been over-exerting yourself lately — physically, emotionally, socially, or intellectually? That can take a toll that lingers for days. Give yourself a break in that area, whether it’s physical rest, taking time alone, or relaxing with some silly entertainment.
Have you changed any of your medications in the past couple of weeks, including skipped doses or a change in a generic prescription brand? That may be screwing with your head. Give things a few days, then talk to your doctor if it doesn’t settle down.
Have you waited a week? Sometimes our perception of life is skewed, and we can’t even tell that we’re not thinking clearly, and there’s no obvious external cause. It happens. Keep yourself going for a full week, whatever it takes, and see if you still feel the same way then.
You’ve made it this far, and you will make it through. You are stronger than you think.
“How well have you accepted your ADHD or that your child has Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder? Do you doubt the diagnosis or feel helpless in the face of the many challenges in your personal or family life?
ADHD is NO ONE’S fault, but once you know about it, it is your RESPONSIBILITY. You and/or your child deserve to handle everyday life without undue stress and strain. Why? Because you are WORTH it.
None of us are NORMAL. It doesn’t exist. All of us are somehow DIFFERENT. An article reporting on a Yale University study claims that all traits exist somewhere along a spectrum, “…Nobody is Normal. This complicates matters for medical professionals, but a moderate to high degree of impairment determines whether the criteria for a diagnosis is met. Since an evaluation for ADHD requires that impairment be present in two or more settings, some type of intervention is indicated and could be of great value. Choosing to medicate and/or develop an ADHD friendly environment and a “bag of strategies and tricks” helps to “level the playing field.” Get to know your strengths, the ways that ADHD impacts your life, and develop a few ways to DO something about it!
I began to think about the power of self-acceptance and feeling worthy after watching “Take your Pills” on NetFlix. Once again, the ADHD community has come under attack by the popular media. The latest volley is in the guise of a documentary.
Jessica McCabe of the How to ADD YouTube channel reviews this attack and expresses her feelings well. “Controversy sells, and the media knows it. So a lot of what we see, read, and hear about ADHD and ADHD treatment either misrepresents the facts or is flat-out meant to scare us.” Jessica offers a more balanced perspective with science-backed information on ADHD, the value of medication and other strategies proven effective for treating ADHD. You’ll find her video near the end of the newsletter.
I was confused and disturbed by comments made by a few people interviewed for the program. Although most were diagnosed with ADHD, many didn’t really “own” their ADHD or take it seriously. Even while indicating a positive response to medication, some seemed to feel like they were somehow cheating by using it, and further, resented needing any intervention at all. Like too many of us with the disorder, they also questioned the necessity of dealing with their ADHD, believing that they SHOULD be able to do it all on their own by “just focusing” and “powering through.”
So many of us just don’t know enough to name the unique ways our own ADHD is expressed. We also don’t realize or track the benefits of medication or other strategies to create better coping skills. For help with this, see Response to Treatment Rating Scales on this site.
WHY do we have such denial? We struggle to accept help and develop twisted stories about ourselves. I feel this re-written history lies in not accepting ourselves, misunderstanding what ADHD is and is not, and not feeling that we are “worthy” of asking for help or support.
Happily, some people in the documentary accept their ADHD and appreciated the benefits of being appropriately medicated. Like those of us actively addressing their symptoms, they also talk about using proven treatments like basic self-care, coaching, therapy, and other ways to bolster executive functions and control their emotions. Realizing what “turned on” their interest-driven nervous system, they felt better able to cope with their weakness and harness the power of their strengths and values. You’ll find a number of tools to help with this in Self Advocacy for ADHD: Know yourself.
But, “so many of us feel unworthy. We feel that we’re not good enough, we don’t fit in, and we don’t matter. We’re overly self-critical, fixating on our flaws and failures. We think we need to be perfect and successful in order to have value.” ~ Sharon Martin, LCSW. This feeling is not specific to ADHD by any means. It is a universal plague on most of humankind. Martin writes about dealing with these destructive feelings in 5 Ways We Compromise Our Self-Worth and How to Rebuild It.
When you believe in your own worth and are willing to seek outside intervention to improve your life, ADHD need not be a barrier to success. You CAN find greater happiness in your life through knowledge, true acceptance of the disorder, and practicing empathy in how we speak and behave towards your child or self and seeking help. Don’t try to do it all alone!
ADHD Living has a wonderful article on the importance of outside support. “If ADHD is your challenge, support is a must. ADHD is a major mental health concern that can greatly impact your life and the lives of others around you. It deserves a certain level of time and attention paid to it.” According to Dr. Ned Hallowell, M.D., connection with others reinforces our feelings of worth and reassures us that we are NOT alone. People who care about our well-being can provide invaluable advice. I was lucky enough to have an ADHD support group in my own town, but you can find lots of ideas for finding support here. Other means of support are ADHD coaches and Coaching groups.
Feelings of unworthiness and non-acceptance of yourself confuse the issue of treatment and compound the problems inherent in ADHD’s impact on our lives. I found four new articles this month that expand on this theme. They offer valuable help for anyone interested in looking at ADHD in a new light and in learning about adjustments they can take to improve their mental health. My thanks to these three writers who have so graciously shared their work.
Freya Cheffers of Never a Dull Moment – Life and ADHD on Facebook shares two articles this month. Both offer a refreshing view of ADHD, outlining many positives of people with ADHD without ignoring their very real challenges in a neurotypical world. According to the author of the aforementioned study from Yale on no one REALLY being “normal,” “There’s a level of variability in every one of our behaviors,” and “no behavior is solely negative or solely positive. There are potential benefits for both, depending on the context you’re placed in.”
When Cheya’s son asked her about what kind of future he could expect, she shared her own story. She attributed her own experiences and accomplishments DIRECTLY to thinking and acting in ways that suited her NATURAL ways of learning and being. See Mum, Do You Think I have a Bleak Future? to listen in on this reassuring conversation.
We have one short video this month on validation and Jessica’s review of “Take your Pills” mentioned earlier. I link to another 1-minute video from ADDitudeMag and also include a 2 ½-minute classic just for fun.
Your Unique ADHD BrainChemistry – Produced by ADDitudeMag, this is a 1-minute video on the ADHD interest driven nervous system, as proposed by Dr. William Dodson.
Sh*t no one with ADHD says 2 ½-minutes) from TotallyADD
This tongue-in-cheek video was unfairly flagged for bad language, so take the time watch it to help keep it on YouTube. (Editor’s note: After 20 years of working on my foibles, these situations no longer apply to me – at least not very often.)
I’ll close with a mantra from Sharon Stone to help rebuild your feelings of self-worth. “My self-worth doesn’t depend on being liked or being perfect. I can choose to accept myself and live knowing I’m just as worthy as everyone else. We’re all different, of course, but there doesn’t have to be any judgment or comparison.
Today I will rebuild my self-worth by… “
Thanks for your attention. If you find help or reassurance here, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Joan Jager
(Image courtesy of adamr/FreeDigitalPhoto.net) Modified on Canva.com
We are lucky to have two posts this month from guest author Elizabeth Lewis, founder of A Dose of Healthy Distraction. We’ll expand on her work with a focus the on how it feels to have ADHD and the power of self- acceptance in finding new ways to meet the challenges of ADHD.
I struggle with feeling worthy, like I am ENOUGH, just as I am. (That I’m doing pretty well. …considering everything…most of the time.) I suspect that I am not alone in feeling this way.
But, I AM getting better and feeling more comfortable in my own skin. I’ve been blessed by many people who reassure me, who see and nurture my gifts with love. Support groups, coaches, and group coaching members have been a great help as well.
As you enjoy the final days of summer, consider this FREE 12-week self-coaching program that ADHD coach Linda Walker is leading again this year. Short videos introduce each segment with a simple assignment for the week. These help you develop small habits to build routines for accomplishing both daily tasks and larger projects. I had great results following the steps last year. Try it out!
Elizabeth Lewis delves into the emotions many people with ADHD deal with in Against the Wind: How it Feels to be a Woman with ADHD. Liz writes, “It seems like we are forgetful or careless. Sometimes we come off as self-centered or even lazy. But you are not lazy or unmotivated. And you are not self-centered.”
“ADHD is frustrating and infuriating. A lifetime of criticism, from our self and others, really takes its toll.” Woman and girls have traditionally been under diagnosed and feel overwhelmed by combined roles of working, homemaking and caretaking. But, man, woman or child – all report the frustration, racing thoughts, mental exhaustion, and irritability that Liz describes. These feelings reflect problems with managing well at home, school, in the workplace and socially. Because of these feelings of failure, individuals with ADHD often judge themselves unfavorably.
Shame and Acceptance
All too often children and adult with ADHD “view themselves as fundamentally different and flawed.” William Dodson, M.D. writes on this encompassing feeling and how to overcome its hold on us for ADDitude Magazine in “When the Shame of Living with a Disorder Is Worse Than the Disorder Itself.” He points out that “Feeling shame is different from feeling guilt. Guilt focuses on what is done. Shame focuses on who one is.
But, “What if you loved yourself, laziness and all? What if you loved yourself, all that is ugly and incompetent and mean, along with the beauty and brilliance and kindness?” In Unconditional Acceptance of Yourself, Leo Babauta of Zen Habits talks about this radical change. Acceptance does not mean you cannot make improvements in your life, Leo says, “Acceptance isn’t stagnation — you will change no matter what. You can’t avoid changing. The question is whether that change comes from a place of acceptance and love, or a place of self-dislike and dissatisfaction.”
For good examples of how this acceptance leads to successful change and self-advocacy, see “Know your Brain” (Link works) by Psych Central’s “ADHD Millennial” blogger Neil Peterson. He explains, “The key to making progress on managing my ADHD was the shift from trying to change internal things that I can’t control to changing external things that I can control… In other words, shifting from trying to change my brain to accepting my brain and trying to change my environment.”
Dr. William Dodson in Secrets of the ADHD Brain explains that with the ADHD brain, interest, a challenge, novelty, urgency or a strong sense of purpose help spur action We can develop routines for most mundane tasks but, we usually need an extra boost for projects. Medication helps with many symptoms, but you will need additional supports to manage your life well. Rather than focus on remedying areas where you struggle, you need to use your specific tools that get you “in the zone” and help you start each morning feeling motivated and capable.
What do you need to do to turn your brain on? How can you put your knowledge to work for you to adapt your life and environment?
Acceptance of their child’s diagnosis and meeting their needs is vital for parents as well.
In How to Accept your Child’s Diagnosis: Even When it Hurts, Elizabeth Lewis reveals her ongoing process. First and foremost, remember to enjoy your child. Love them, and seek to understand their differences – both their talents and challenges. You’ll also need to take personal time, grieve, and modify your vision for the future. Be ready to support and advocate for your child and teach them to ask for help to meet their own needs.
Liz admits that “I am scared and I am sad. But I know I am not alone. A diagnosis gives you the chance to learn and grow and provide the resources your child needs.”
But, “There is no “fixing” ADHD. There’s no cure. Nothing will erase its symptoms. When I realized that I couldn’t’ make ADHD better, but I could make life with ADHD better, things took a drastic, positive turn forward. Our job is to make life better, not to make the disability better.”
Podcast and Videos
One person who found a way to thrive with ADHD through self-acceptance is ADHD advocate and educator Jessica McCabe, founder of the popular YouTube Channel How to ADHD. ADHD pioneer Ned Hallowell interviews Jessica about how working with a coach helped her define her strengths and driving purpose. Listen to the Distraction Podcast: Jessica McCabe tells us How to ADHD. Link works. (20-minutes) Together with her fiancée/producer Edward, Jessica has developed a unique service that now has over 100,000 subscribers. Her friendly, “Hello brains!” invites viewers to enjoy her informative videos. You might also enjoy Jessica’s interviews with Hallowell.
Can’t afford a personal ADHD coach? You have other options!
ADHD Coaching groups and other coaching options, including self-coaching.
Most ADD Coaching Groups are offered periodically by just a few different coaches. To find them, your best bet may be Google or another search engine. I do know of a few regular groups. Some are rather expensive but are still less than individual coaching and a few are quite reasonably priced.
ADHD Think Tank – (Facebook link) An affordable ADHD coaching group offered by Jennie Friedman of See in ADHD . Includes a Facebook community for accountability, online meetings on first and third Mondays at 8 pm eastern. OFFICE HOURS on Wednesdays 8 pm eastern and body doubling on Thursday morning at11 am eastern. $50 a month! (Sign up now)
The ADHD Enclave – a place for women to meet for support, privacy, and information. A Mighty Network community with Liz Lewis from Healthy ADHD. $20 a month or $50 for LIVE version which includes three weekly small group support meetings on Zoom.
Get it Done with Lynne Edris of Coaching Advantages – Very professional, personalized and well organized – Look for coaching – Group coaching and choose your favorite (I can’t find a price, but I’m enjoying the free program I’m participating in right now (April to May 2020)
ADHD reWired Coaching and Accountability group with Eric Tivers – Limited to 12 persons – Meet three times a week for ten weeks on Zoom – Price unknown – Requires an interview to get in and registration is confusing. Some discounts may apply
Virtual Online Group with Coach Rudy Rodriguez, LCSW – Link works – Date and times to be announced. Meet on Zoom – 90-minutes for 8-weeks. – Slack for accountability. Includes two 30-minute private sessions and email support. Folder and handouts – Limited to 10 members – Check schedule – $450
ADD Crusher – A virtual coaching program from Alan Brown. 10 sessions in two Videos with Audio Companion. Four hours of ADD-beating instruction. Plus, PDF Toolkits for each of the strategies (or, Ways), provide “crib notes” to help you put the learning into action. – $96
Untapped Brilliance: How to Reach your Full Potential with Adult ADHD See Amazon for Kindle version (Link works) for $10 – By coach Jacqueline Sinfield – Self-coaching primer written In straightforward language provides practical advice and simple, easy to follow techniques. Order the paperback version from Jacqueline – $15 + $7 shipping from Canada (Book links on Sinfield’s page are disconnected.)
Online classes ADHD Classes
3 Core Series ADHD classes with therapist Don B Baker – Change the way you think about and manage your ADHD wiring. Start with Opening the Suitcase for $45. Discount when you purchase all three.
You’ll find a number of options, from Parent coaching groups or individual Parent coaching, blogs. and Facebook groups as well as books, audio and/or video material in our collection of Parent Training Providers.
NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health. They work to raise awareness and provide essential and free referral, support, education, and outreach surrounding mental illness.
Washington State ADHD Treatment Providers – Note: ADD freeSources does not endorse or recommend any provider or services listed. Nor should not being on the list affect your choice of provider. Most of these were chosen because they were associated with ADD Resources or local CHADD groups at some time.
Ark Institute of Learning in Tacoma assists students with a variety of learning challenges including; dyslexia, language disorder, nonverbal learning disorder/visual-spatial processing disorder, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, specific learning disorder or disability, and attention issues. Provides assessments, training, and support – – Nonprofit, but services are billed at a regular rate.
Conducts workshops for parents and others on laws governing special education, testing and assessment, IEP’s, communication, 504 plans and other topics as needed.
Staff assists parents individually to increase skills in working with their children’s teachers, therapists, and other team members to obtain appropriate educational services.
Provides information about resources and specialists in your community.
Has information about resources and laws in Washington and other states.
Office of the Education Ombudsman is an agency within the Governor’s Office created to help elementary and secondary public school students and families in Washington understand how the public school system works, how to find education-related resources and how to resolve conflict with schools. This organization is independent and neutral and not a part of the state public education system.
StaffSeattle office-Toll-free: 1-866-297-2597 Phone interpreter services available
Fax: 206-729-3251 OEOinfo@gov.wa.gov
Diagnosis and Treatment for Children
Catholic Community Services in Whatcom and Skagit Counties offers specialized ADHD assessment, counseling, and care coordination for children of families with low income. Treatment includes collaboration regarding medication evaluation and management with primary care physicians, psychiatrists, and community clinicians. The clinic also provides parent education, behavior management classes, school consultation, and parent/teacher education.
Child Development Clinic – the University of Washington has been operating since 1965 and serves approximately 200 children each year. Each child visits the clinic one to three times during the year and is served by multiple clinicians at each visit. About 80% of clients seen at this clinic are less than nine years of age. Over 50% of children served are insured by Medicaid.
Clients are diagnosed with an array of developmental disabilities including intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorders, motor disabilities, learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, communication disorders, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
I wish I could thank every donor for their interest and support. We couldn’t have survived without anyone of you. Here are just a few examples of the many ways that leaders in the field of ADHD contributed to our efforts.
Drs. Ned Hallowell and John Ratey were early supporters, contributing articles for the Adult ADD Reader that helped fund the organization. Hallowell gave numerous talks in the early years, including a Training Seminar for Professionals and was our first main Conference presenter. Perhaps, your first connection with ADD Resources was talking with Cynthia at home or later calling the office for help after seeing the phone number listed in the Resource section at the back of their classic book, Driven to Distraction. (Link works)
We could always count on Daniel Amen, of Healing ADD (Link works) and PBS fame, to attract a crowd. He often donated his time when presenting for us and once contributed a free ADHD evaluation, complete with SPECT Brain Scans, to a fundraising raffle. Did you enter to win? Ted Mandelkorn, M.D. from Mercer Island was also a wonderful friend. Always generous, he wrote an extensive article on ADHD medication, presented at the first Parent and Teacher Workshops and every conference thereafter for gratis. David Pomeroy, M.D. not only presented, he also served on the Board for two terms. Therapist Don Baker and ADHD coach Pete Terlaak both led the Seattle support group at different times as well as serving as Board president. (Pete Terlaak – http://coachforfreedom.com/)
Non-profit organizations depend on the kindness of friends and strangers. You could list services for free in Our National ADHD Provider Directory, but many chose to contribute through Professional membership. In time, we built a group of loyal members who provided a solid funding base, but other donations also helped provide services we wanted to offer. Many authors sent us a number of their books to contribute to our growing Lending Library. Sam Goldstein sent us copies of his documentary on Resilience DVDs after presenting at a conference.
Sandra Reif donated enough training DVDs and other material to provide every Teacher a bonus packet worth more than their cost to attend the workshop. Chris Zeigler-Dendy (link works) made her great “ADHD is the Tip of the Iceberg” posters available at cost, so we could send them out to schools to post in the teachers’ lounge. Sari Solden came to lead our intimate Women’s Retreat in 2004 and gave a public talk the night before as well. William W. Dodson, M.D. arranged to have his speaking fee covered after realizing how tight our budget was. These are a just a few examples of how strangers united in service became a positive force in spreading ADHD awareness. Please help support those ADHD nonprofits who still serve the public so well.
Note: We couldn’t have succeeded without the support of local ADHD professionals. We depended on them both to promote our organization and to present for support groups, a workshop or at a conference. A large number also supported our work through membership. Many of the providers listed in this informal collectionWashington State ADHD Treatment Providerswere chosen because of their involvement with ADD Resources or CHADD affiliates.
Always good to see you again. Now, let’s get work.
Our board members have been some of our most important volunteers. Board members play an important role in the governance of a nonprofit. Serving without compensation, they determine the Mission and Vision of the organization and plan how to best provide the services that further those aims. “Rather than steer the boat by managing day-to-day operations, board members provide foresight, oversight, and insight.” (1)They also work to ensure the financial stability of the organization by raising funds and providing careful stewardship.
In other words, it involves a lot of boring meetings, careful planning, following strict rules and guidelines, meeting deadlines and lots of other things that don’t come naturally if you’ve got ADHD. Happily, a number of people, including a few neurotypical types, took up the challenge. It was always a “working board,” with members taking an active role in planning and hosting events as well as tackling larger projects at times. Sometimes it was creating new services and pursuing grants to help achieve them. Twice it involved collecting fresh material to update the ADD Reader. It’s never been an easy or immediately rewarding job. You had to really believe in the work to keep going.
A few had come to the organization looking for help for themselves or their family but ended up giving much more than they received. Some were support group facilitators who took on the larger leadership role as well. Others were professionals who worked with ADHD concerns, had been presenters, and joined the cause when asked. Occasionally, they were just friends that believed in the value of our work and felt they had something to offer. We’re grateful to have had such a diverse and hard working group of individuals.
Support group leaders are often the first friendly face that people associated with ADD Resources. Few have taken on the challenge. Yet, many have served for a number of years. Their commitment to the organization and members of their group is evident at every meeting. They must plan for, schedule presenters, and host welcoming and informative events every month.
Keeping the meetings interesting and on track, not allowing people to wander too far off topic and to keep peace amongst a diverse group, is a real art. For years, they also had to store and haul the group’s Lending Library, cartons full of books and audio and video tapes, back and forth to meetings. Facilitators provide new understanding and valuable tools for coping with the challenges of ADHD. Seeing and hearing about the positive results and changes lives of their members is their highest reward. We’re so grateful that they felt the position of leadership important enough to be worth the effort.