By Sarah D. Wright and Jodi Sleeper-Triplett

The 24th Annual International CHADD Conference was held in San Francisco in early November. With 1500 registrants it was the best-attended conference in years, and the line up of speakers and presentations was by and large excellent. CHADD Anniversary Logo

Among the coaches, however, there was a uniform concern that the coaching track was not what it could have been. This is important, not just for coaches to have sessions they can learn from, but also to educate the greater community about what ADHD Coaching is, how it helps, and how it fits into a multi-modal treatment plan for those affected by ADHD. As an emerging profession, we have to continually promote clear definitions of what professional ADHD coaching is so as to not have it confused with academic coaches, therapists, or organizers who find the “ADHD Coach” label a useful marketing tool.

With that in mind, members of the ACO are encouraged to submit proposals for the 25th Annual International CHADD conference that will be held November 7-9, 2013 in Washington D.C. These RFPs will be due in just two short months, so it’s not too soon to put your thinking caps on!

The following information and suggestions will help you develop and submit a winning proposal for this important anniversary conference.

  • All proposals must be submitted by January 31, 2013. They must be submitted electronically via the form that will be available at
  • All proposals must be complete and grammatically correct. Draft your proposal first in a word processing document where it is easy to review and spell check the entire proposal. Have a second person look it over to catch any mistakes you might have overlooked. Then cut and paste your proposal into CHADD’s online form.
  • Choose the COACHING TRACK when submitting your proposal. Otherwise it will not be reviewed by the coaching committee. We know of a few 2012 proposals sent to the wrong track which were rejected as a result.
  • If you submitted a proposal for 2012 and it was rejected, we suggest you contact Marsha Bokman at to get the evaluator’s feedback on your proposal. That should help you determine what you can do differently next time to increase your chances of being selected.
  • Research-based proposals are preferred. Here are three good sites for finding supporting research for coaching:
  • It is important to gear your proposal to the theme and goals of that specific conference. It’s a mistake to think you can talk about just anything. Of special interest for the 2013 conference are presentations that address cultural diversity. For details on the Selection Criteria and focus of the conference, please go to the CHADD website (NB: these might not yet be posted at the time of this newsletter’s publication).
  • Presenters are not allowed to market or self-promote during presentations. It is against CHADD policies. So don’t mention your business in your proposal.

Additionally, you should know that:

  • All proposals reviewed by the Coaching Track committee are blind. The committee members do not know who is submitting the proposal.
  • The review process is unbiased and the committee members each rank their selections privately. There is no coercion or collaboration on final decisions.
  • The review committee is not allowed to review or select their own proposals nor are they allowed to solicit specific proposals from others.
  • CHADD has the right to request a topic to be presented in a pre-conference workshop. If your proposal is geared toward pre-conference, please write it so it can be either pre-conference or general conference. The final selections and time slots are decided by CHADD, not the review committee.

So, start thinking about what new information you can present to the greater CHADD and ADHD coaching communities that will totally rock the 25th anniversary CHADD conference!