Conference Attendees Speak of Community, Communication, and Education

The following are excerpts from different chat rooms on the topic of the ACO conference:

The ACO conference was also my first and I had a really good time. I knew virtually no one going in but met a lot of really nice people and learned a bunch of new stuff.

To all whom I met at the ACO conference, thank you for being so welcoming, open and gracious. It made a real difference in my experience at the conference. There was a palatable spirit of community and support among everyone that was authentic and energizing.

My thanks to all the ACO board members, volunteers and attendees who created that atmosphere.

Abigail Wurf, M.E.

Last weekend I spent a few wonderful days in beautiful Atlanta with fellow ADD and ADHD coaches from across the USA and Canada. It was an excellent opportunity to learn from other coaches as well a professional development opportunity.

The Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Coaches Organization (ACO) is an excellent resource for anyone looking for more information on ADD and ADHD coaches as well as helping to grow and promote the field. I would strongly recommend visiting the website and learning more about ADD and ADHD coaching through our organization.

While the sessions were quite educational, the richest learning opportunities came from our conversations. It was nice getting to know different coaches and professionals while at the same time learning about that person’s style. There are many wonderful and dedicated coaches promoting ADD and ADHD coaching. Each one of us has a differing style and offers services that directly impact the lives of our clients. If you are considering coaching as an intervention for your ADD and ADHD, I would strongly recommend speaking with a few different coaches and seeing who’s style makes you the most comfortable.

Jonathan D. Carroll, M.A.

Imagine meeting your family for the first time when you were an adult – or in my case, 45 years old.  This past weekend I spent three days with my family at the ADD Coaches Organization conference in Atlanta. I had to stay at the nearby Westin, because the Crowne Plaza was sold out.  For half the price and a much quieter environment, I was glad for this.  On Thursday night, ACO had a dinner and networking event.  My first surprise was that they were feeding us food I could eat!  Right now I am steering clear of dairy, grains, and acidic foods.  I quickly found a place to sit and met Donna.  Eventually we became the “newbies” table.  All of the ACO veterans were thrilled to meet us and to answer any questions we had about ACO, themselves, the conference, anything!

ADDCA was holding its conference next door, and as this ended they all trickled over to the party.  Finally, Jeff Copper arrived. David Giwerc, Dr. Charles Parker, Laurie Dupar, Jay Carter, Barbara Luther, and many other names I recognized from the ADHD and coaching world arrived that night and the next morning.  I was in ADHD resource heaven.

My attention is on the question “what next?”

  • I want to organize an ADHD/LD educational and vendor event in Portland Maine.
  •  have ideas for my web site to share with my designer.
  • I will start my own ADHD coach training at ADDCA next month.
  • I have plans with some of the other coaches to share information and collaborate on projects.
  • I want to get the word out to mental health professionals and educators about ADHD and about coaching.
  • I am on the path to create better awareness and availability of educated providers to support those affected by ADHD.
  • Everyone deserves to feel accepted, understood, safe, and valuable.

Thank you to my new ADHD family.  I met many of you and many I look forward to meeting in the future.  Thank you for everything you taught me about ADHD and myself this weekend.   It is all being used to create a million new ideas – a few of which will be manifested in my life in the near future.

Kirsten Milliken

ADHD Coaches Embrace Metacognition

ADHD Coaching: Thinking About Thinking

For the complete article by Dr Charles Parker on March 25, 2012 link here for his blog. It was too long to edit for an excerpt article.

I just returned from the fifth ADHD Coaches Organization Conference in Atlanta. The conference was a wonderful opportunity to meet other coaches and to join with them to address social injustice in their own communities and across the globe. It was also a great opportunity to meet face to face with many of the more than 100 Edge coaches, introduce them to each other, and to develop a sense of community around what we are doing for students with ADHD. Thank you ACO for providing a vehicle where coaches can come together and inspire each other become more involved in their profession and in their community.

ADDA President Evelyn Green’s plenary session explored the conference theme of social injustice and the ADHD community. For example, substance abuse and addiction traditionally receives tax dollars for treatment while ADHD treatment does not. And while ADHD does not discriminate across racial socio-economic and other cultural barriers, access to information and treatment does in fact discriminate harshly. Evelyn challenged us all to work on these social issues within our own communities.

I attended a session on behavioral coaching to prevent delinquency which explored how ADHD behavior focuses on instant gratification and ignores the future consequences of impulsive actions. Coaching establishes structure and accountability to at-risk youth and diverts them from anti-social and even criminal behavior.

My own presentation on ADHD and the Juvenile/Criminal Justice Systems reviewed the grim statistics regarding the gross over representation of individuals with ADHD in the criminal and juvenile justice systems as compared to the general population, and the interconnection of ADHD and addictive behavior. I explored coaching applications to divert youth from the system and as a solution to re-integrating formerly incarcerated individuals back into society as a means to greatly reduce recidivism.

Robert Tudisco
Edge Foundation