First, coaches have had a huge hand in helping establish first ADHD Awareness Day and now ADHD Awareness Week, turning it into a worldwide movement.
Second, coaches have a tremendous ability to both promote the ADHD Awareness Week and to use this opportunity to educate the public about coaching as well.
Brief history of ADHD Awareness Week
In 2004, a confluence of events culminated in the passage of a US Senate Resolution that declared the 3rd Wednesday of September to be National ADHD Awareness Day. The passage of this resolution was a huge victory for our community. It gave federal recognition and national exposure to the facts that ADHD exists, it is treatable, and there are resources available to help people manage the condition.
Although many people and organizations contributed, Michele Novotni, Evelyn Green, and David Giwerk (founder and director of the ADHD Coach Academy), all played key roles in the passage of that resolution. You can learn more about those events from this Attention Talk Radio podcast.
In 2010, the ACO approached ADDA and CHADD to form what has become the ADHD Awareness Week Coalition, now comprised by the ACO, ADDA, ADDitude Magazine, CHADD, and the National Resource Center on AD/HD. The Coalition acts as a steering committee, identifying the date and theme for each year’s awareness campaign, and then engaging with both grass roots and national organizations to grow this movement.
So, in the relatively short span of eight years, a one-day event declared by the US Senate has evolved into ADHD Awareness Week, now held in mid-October and celebrated worldwide.
Coaches and ADHD Awareness Week
ADHD Awareness Week is in some sense a perfect match for ADHD Coaches. Coaches are in an ideal position to do meaningful grass-roots events and education, which in turn can bring you dividends in terms of exposure and recognition as experts in the field.
Several of our international coaches have seized this opportunity to make a difference and are leading the ADHD Awareness efforts in their own countries. For instance, Charlotte Hjorth in Denmark, Michele Toner in Australia, and Pete Quily and members of CADDAC in Canada.
Coaches like Tara McGillicuddy with ADHD Awareness Expo, and Jenifer Koretsky with the Virtual ADHD Conference have put in multi-year efforts to provide resources and raise awareness of ADHD in concert with ADHD Awareness Week.
Additionally, for several years now, the ACO’s ADHD Awareness Committee has been developing tools to help make it easy for you to get out in your own community and make a splash during ADHD Awareness Week. Many of you have been taking advantage of these. But if you didn’t or didn’t know about them, you can find them HERE.
Looking to the Future
A number of other coaches held various events this year to promote ADHD Awareness. You can read about those events in this issue of Circle. You’ll be inspired. I also invite you to also take a look at the tools the ACO’s Awareness Committee has developed for you, and start thinking about what you could do next year to promote both awareness of ADHD and the benefits of coaching for people affected by it.
Also think about joining the ACO’s ADHD Awareness Week committee, or even working with me at the national level at ADHDAwarenessWeek.org (for either, contact firstname.lastname@example.org). It’s incredibly rewarding work. And as proof of that, if you Google “ADHD Awareness Week 2012”, you’ll get over a million hits. Our combined efforts are paying off. So be part of something big. And plan ahead for next year’s campaign.
It might even be the best thing you ever did for your own business.
All my best,
Sarah D. Wright
ACO Interim President