ACO Conference April 12-14,  2013 Atlanta, Georgia

Proposals due
September 17
midnight EST
Proposals must be
submitted electronically

2013 Theme:
ACO Connections: Coaching the Heart and Mind

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ADHD coaches relate to clients both with heart and mind. We bring our learned and tested skills to the relationship along with compassion based on a deep connection to a client’s situation.

Creating a more coordinated effort for treating ADHD is needed between coaches, therapists, physicians, the justice system, the workforce, organizers, and our primary and secondary education systems – our partnering professionals. With a coordinated effort we can, per our bylaws, “serve as an informational link to the general public and other professionals working with people who are affected by ADHD.” Opportunities will broaden for our coaches as alliances are designed for the betterment of all those in need of support with their ADHD.

Together we can:

  • Increase the awareness and presence of ADHD Coaches around the world
  • Inform partnering professionals of the value of ADHD Coaching
  • Have a more profound effect on people with ADHD, by joining forces
  • Understand coaching boundaries with partnering professions
  • Learn to design strong alliances
  • Create business building opportunities
  • Expand our knowledge through research

It is time to connect and inform partnering professionals about the value of ADHD coaching, as well as the possibilities of partnering. It is time to connect and raise the status of ADHD Coaching to a level it well deserves. We are especially looking for fresh thoughts from seasoned experts on the following topics (detailed suggestions for each topic track along with general submission guidelines follows).

A note to all non ADHD Coaches wishing to speak

We continue to invite those with expertise in ADHD to speak to our coaches on topics such as research and neuroscience and positive psychology. Also we extend our speaker invitation to other professionals that have existing connections with an ADHD coach. For example, are you a learning specialist who has worked with an ADHD coach? Are you a therapist or someone who works in the legal system who has partnered with an ADHD coach? Are you a professional organizer who has worked with a coach? We welcome you to share your expertise and how connecting with an ADHD coach has benefited your client, patient, or practice.

  • For example, are you a learning specialist who has worked with an ADHD coach?
  • Are you a therapist or someone who works in the legal system who has partnered with an ADHD coach?

We welcome you to share your expertise and how connecting with an ADHD coach has benefited your client, patient, or practice.

A note to our international community

Life is different all over the world and that can mean different challenges for coaching. What, if any, differences or expertise can you share with us that works best? Perhaps you can join with another coach from another country to discuss those differences or barriers and how to overcome them. And, we are certain there are other things you wish us to know about coaching in your country.

Topic Tracks

  1. Business Development – For New to Advanced Coaches
  2. Partnering and Collaborating
  3. Research
  4. Master Coaching (in triads as well as 1:1)
  5. Technology for Clients and Coaches
  6. Self Care for Clients and Coaches

This conference includes two (2) pre-conference sessions, and a welcome reception on the evening of Thursday, April 11th, followed by 24 breakout sessions and two (2) Keynote speakers.

The conference agenda incorporates time for attendees to take advantage of the on-site self care options such as morning power walks, and an afternoon yoga refresher. You’ll also have an evening to explore Atlanta.

Topic Tracks

The categories listed below are designed to help guide you in developing presentation ideas that represent the theme of this conference. These categories will assure attendees a well-rounded choice of break-out sessions. Please determine within which category your presentation would best fit.

Special Request!

Please include theoretical considerations within your presentation, but keep in mind that coaches need practical and pragmatic approaches to implementing the information you provide. Be certain that your presentation does not move too quickly through a process, leaving the attendee saying, “great idea, but how do I do that?” We’re looking for presentations that engage attendees, leaving them with useful information and a concrete plan to follow.

I. Business and Development: For new to advanced coaches

Here are some topic ideas. Please feel free to expand on them.

  • The Basics: Coach Training & Credentialing

    The ACO receives questions on a regular basis on coach training and credentialing. A presentation is needed that can help coaches find continuing education courses. Also, prospective coaches have many questions on becoming a coach – choosing a school, credentialing and more. This workshop would include a listing of all schools available, all certification agencies, as well as places to find CEU’s.

  • Starting up a coaching business. What are the components?
  • Do you need a college degree?
  • Writing a business plan
  • Attracting referrals from other professionals
  • Writing a bio for presentations
  • Writing a basic presentation for a school, medical office
  • Using the ACO website for resources
  • Developing a CV/Resume
  • Building and maintaining a client base
  • Business opportunities with college students
  • Business opportunities with the justice system
  • Tapping into ADHD Schools in your area

II. Partnering and Collaborating

Whether a coach is new or seasoned, they face challenges that affect their ability to coach or for their client to be coached. Very often those challenges come from your client’s peers, healthcare professionals, or others who influence their daily life decisions. For that reason, the importance of working and interacting with our partnering professionals becomes more important every year. Let’s help coaches expand and develop more profitable businesses by teaching them new approaches to new challenges in the ever changing world we live in. Exactly how does a collaboration develop?

Here are some topic ideas. Please feel free to expand on them.

  • Describing what an ADHD coach does
  • How does an ADHD coach build a relationship with a partnering professional without offending or stepping out of the boundaries of being an ADHD Coach?
  • Designing an alliance between an ADHD Coach and a therapist, learning specialist, and more.
  • How can we collaborate to keep ADHD students in school?
  • How do you setup a collaboration with a college or university?
  • How do you get on the college or university referral list?
  • How do you partner with a learning specialist?
  • Our court systems need to know ADHD Coaches exist. Coaches can help rehabilitate first time offenders. How do you get on a referral list?
  • Whom do we partner with to solve addiction problems?
  • Starting an ADHD Center using partnering professionals
  • Defining the roles of different professions (perhaps a panel discussion)
  • Interventions for the adult in the workforce (perhaps bringing in someone from HR to present with you)How do you collaborate with HR departments with no ADHD coaches but need your services.

III. Research

There are a number of journals with articles on ADHD. In addition, as members of the ACO we are privileged to have access to the Journal of Attention Disorders (JAD). What can you glean from these articles? How and where can an ADHD Coach use this information? Let’s not just site the research. Lets teach coaches the context in which to use it. Using research does not come natural to all coaches.

Here are some topic ideas. Please feel free to expand on them.

  • How does research benefit the Coach when giving a talk?
  • How can it help the client?
  • Can you develop a template or scenario coaches can follow in their business?
  • How to setup a research paper on ADHD Coaching? Which partnering professional can help you?
  • How to write a research paper on ADHD Coaching? Where are the funding resources?
  • How can positive psychology effect our clients?
  • How does ADHD affect marriages? Adults in the workforce
  • Statistics on the dropout rates in high school and colleges.
  • Statistics on technology in the classroom
  • Expanding your business beyond 1:1 coaching
  • What is the research on addictive behaviors?

IV. Master Coaching (Triads and 1:1)

Master Coaches have put forth great effort to achieve the role of Master Coach. It is likely they have partnered with other professionals to help their clients achieve success. It’s a win-win situation. As a Master Coach, can you bring together a partnering professional and a client to demonstrate how this collaboration works? Below are some examples, but don’t hesitate to be creative.

  • Master Coach & ADHD college student
  • Master Coach & ADHD adult
  • Master Coach, Therapist & ADHD client
  • Master Coach, Lawyer & ADHD client
  • Master Coach, Learning Specialist & ADHD client
  • Master Coach, Marriage Counselor & ADHD client
  • Master Coach as a Mentor

Important! All Master Coach sessions should provide an introductory case study that covers the psychological barriers discovered prior to coaching. Then follow with a demonstration of coaching a life skill.

Here are other topics Master Coaches may consider:

  • Core Competency – Establishing and maintaing a relationship of trust with a client
  • Identifying the competencies in a coaching session
  • Establishing and maintaining a relationship of trust with a partnering professional

V. Technology for Coaches and Clients

For Coaches:

We request proposals on the current technologies used in coaching. Consider helping coaches understand the workings of remote communication through webinar, voice and other means of reaching larger audiences.

For Clients:

What technologies do clients benefit from the most. How are they used in a coach setting? How does technology help with organization? Accountability? Activation? What about technology in the college setting?

Here are suggested topics for coaches:

  • Technological support to enable group coaching
  • Communications via webinar or Skype anywhere in the world
  • Creation of videos for marketing and education
  • An understanding of how to use radio and television as a part of our marketing campaign and for world education on ADHD
  • Distribution of audio recordings to clients or potential clients, as a tool for ADHD education and marketing
  • Social Media

Here are suggested topics for clients:

  • What electronics work best for college students? Are they effective? How do you measure it?
  • How to coach someone using electronic devices?
  • What apps work best?
  • Electronic tools that help the ADHD adult, or student
  • What to do when technology fails? (It’s not working for them)

VI. Self Care for Clients and Coaches

Self-care should be something every coach practices. It should also be part of coaching our clients. With ADHD there are many anxious moments that need to be recognized, put into perspective and then dealt with. The first step is learning the many ways to help a client calm down and take positive steps to change.

Here are some topic ideas. Please feel free to expand on them.

  • How and when do we introduce self-care in a coaching session?
  • What if the client is uncomfortable talking about Yoga? Spirituality? A walk in the park?
  • What expertise can you share – including research – that moves the client from anxious and overwhelmed to calm and productive?
  • What method do you use? Nutrition? Exercise?

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General Submission Guidelines

NOTE: The Speaker Proposal which starts on page 11 of the required download was created to allow you to fill it out and email it as is. If you have any difficulty with this form please contact (Please include 2013 Conference RFP Question in the subject line).

*Please submit your completed application electronically to
no later than midnight (EST) on September 17, 2012.

*Please answer all questions in this proposal.
Incomplete applications may be disqualified.

About the conference

We expect approximately 150 ADHD coaches at this conference, as well as therapists, primary and secondary school specialists, and other professionals that work with ADHD. Two Pre-conference sessions , 24 breakout sessions and two Keynote addresses are planned. Each breakout session will be offered only once.

About the sessions

Individual sessions are scheduled to last 90 minutes. Please plan your presentation to fit the scheduled time frame.

It is essential that breakout sessions are not sales pitches but instead help advance ADHD coaching based on a particular topic or area of expertise. If you have any questions about this request, please do not hesitate to ask.

Here are some ways you CAN market your business before, during, and after the presentation:

  • You may give out a brochure, business card or promotional gift;
  • You may mention your company and any major accomplishments in your bio (remember 100 words total – we count them) for the program guide, website and in your introduction at the breakout session;
  • You may encourage participants to contact you directly if they have any questions about the training program;

However, NO sales (books etc.) are permitted during the session. Books and materials may be offered for sale thru the conference book store. Information about book sales will be made available to speakers at the time of session acceptance.

Please note: NO session attendee contact information will be provided by the ACO. You may pass a sign-up sheet allowing participants to opt-in to receive further information from you but MAY NOT require that information of participants in exchange for seminar materials.

Other opportunities

Whether your proposal is accepted or not, we may invite you to participate as a speaker in our Expert Speaker Series interviews. These monthly interviews are an ACO member benefit and are led by experts in their fields.


Handouts are an essential piece of a successful presentation. They are included in the conference notebook handed out to all registered conference attendees. They help participants decide which sessions to attend and provide learning opportunities in and of themselves. For this reason we ask that handouts for the notebook be informational documents that can stand alone and be readily understood by those who do not attend your session.

If you will be using a power point presentation, please include it with your informational document in a format that permits attendees to take notes on it during your presentation, and is large enough to allow attendees to read the slides on the handout.

Proposals will be selected the week of November 5, giving you time to submit your handouts and/or power point presentation by January 1, 2013 for inclusion in the conference handbook. If the informational documents are not received by that date, you will be required to bring copies of your handouts and power point presentations for distribution to attendees during your presentation.

If your presentation is accepted, you will have time to register for the conference using the Early Bird Special of $100 off the registration fee. The Early Bird Special is good through December 1, 2012. All speakers will also receive a 1-year paid membership to the ACO. If you are already a professional or associate member, it is extended one year. If you are new to the ACO, you will receive a 1-year associate membership.

Proposal selection criteria

  • All professionals with topics of interest to ADHD coaches are encouraged to submit proposals; remember – non-ADHD coaches looking to present must show their connection below with an ADHD coach.
  • Any coach who wishes to submit a proposal must be a member of the ACO or work in tandem with an ACO coach.
  • There is no limit on the number of proposals one individual or group may submit.

The decision of the committee regarding proposals being accepted will be based on:

  • Relevancy of presentation topic to ADHD coaches as outlined in the Topic Tracks;
  • Well-designed, innovative 90 minute presentation including valuable content for attendees and time for interactive participation and questions by participants;
  • Experience of presenter relating both to knowledge of the topic and skillfulness as a presenter.

FYI: In the past, proposals have been turned down for the following reasons:

  • There were just too many quality proposals for the number of slots;
  • There were two or more quality proposals on the same or similar topic;
  • Some proposals were considered too repetitious of past presentations to this audience;
  • Some proposals were considered to appeal to too narrow a group of conference attendees;
  • Some proposals contained either too little or too much information to discern the objectives of the proposal.

If your proposal is selected, you will be contacted by the Conference Committee during the first week in November with instructions regarding signing a speaker contract, submitting handouts for your presentation, and information regarding your books, CDs or DVDs that you wish to be included in the ACO Conference Book Store.

This additional information must be returned by January 1, 2013.
Specific instructions for completing the proposal document:

When submitting a proposal, please be clear and concise. Make it easy for the Speaker Selection Committee to understand why this presentation would be of value to conference participants.

Keep in mind the topics for programming are selected in part on the current theme of the conference (ACO Connections: Coaching the Heart and Mind) and based on the vision and values of the ACO as described on the website here:

If any parts of this proposal are not complete, your proposal may not be reviewed.
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