By Sarah D. Wright, Editor

ADHDAwarenessMonth_Color_SmallOctober is ADHD Awareness Month, and this year we are celebrating 10 years since ADHD Awareness Day was first authorized by the US Congress.

To mark this anniversary, here is a very brief overview of the history of the movement, and the important role that ADHD Coaches have played.

Ten years ago, in 2004, Senator Maria Cantwell and Senator Richard Durbin, with the help of ADDA and other organizations, co-sponsored senate resolution 370 recognizing ADHD as a major public health concern and declaring September 7, 2004 “National Attention Deficit Disorder Day.”

The passage of this resolution was a huge victory for the ADHD community. It gave federal recognition and national exposure to the facts that ADHD exists, is treatable, and that there are resources available to help people manage the condition. You can listen to the whole story in this 2011 interview with Michele Novotni on Jeff Copper’s Attention Talk Radio.

This resolution was renewed in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. In 2009, however, the US congressional rules changed, making it much harder to pass such resolutions.

In 2010, after stepping down as President of the ACO, I approached ADDA and CHADD to form the ADHD Awareness Coalition, now comprised by the ACO, ADDA, ADDitude Magazine, CHADD, and the National Resource Center on ADHD. Knowing that the congress was not likely to pass this resolution again, the coalition took the initiative of declaring ADHD Awareness Week and carrying on the legacy of the original 2004 resolution.

In 2010, ADHD Awareness Week was held the 3rd week of September. In 2011 and 2012, in response to many American constituents observing that September was so full of back-to-school activities that it was hard to make time for anything else, the event was moved to the third week in October. In 2013, the event evolved both nationally and internationally into ADHD Awareness Month, now held in the month of October around the world.

The ACO’s ADHD Awareness Committee first formed in 2010, and over the years has grown into a truly international team of dedicated professionals. The sole mission of this committee is to increase ADHD awareness around the globe through the efforts of ACO member coaches. You can contact them at awareness@www.adhdcoaches.org.

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2010 was also the first year that ACO member, Tara McGillicuddy, hosted her ADHDExpo, which over the years has become a great forum for disseminating information and awareness about ADHD to the public and for ADHD service providers to market their services.

ADHD Coaches are both experts and passionate advocates for people affected by ADHD, making ADHD Awareness Month activities a natural fit for us. If you want to read more about ADHD Awareness and get involved, contact Lisa Boester, the ACO’s ADHD Awareness Committee Chair, at awareness@www.adhdcoaches.org and check out these articles in Circle.


 
SarahDWrightSarah D. Wright is the author of ADHD Coaching Matters: The Definitive Guide, the first comprehensive review of and reference book for the ADHD Coaching industry.