Connect on the CHADD Exchange

ImageMarie S. Paxson

, known as the CHADD Exchange, launched on February 14, 2012. Have you joined yet? Do you have questions or hesitations? Read what people are saying about this wonderful resource.

Although CHADD has two hundred (and counting) local support groups and chapters, not every community has access to these valuable resources. Even if you live in a community with a CHADD support group, there are times when you just can't attend a meeting. Or perhaps the speaker or topic the meeting is featuring doesn't affect you. So CHADD is pleased to offer an alternative: CHADD Exchange, online communities with separate forums for parents, educators, adults with ADHD, professionals who treat ADHD, and CHADD volunteers.

CHADD Exchange offers you a unique opportunity to learn from others who are facing exactly what you are facing. Do you have a question about ADHD that you would like answered quickly by others in similar situations? Are you thinking of trying a new strategy, but want to run it by your peers before you try it? Do you need to vent about a frustrating situation? Do you need to form a circle of supportive individuals?

All of this is available online. Conversations are limited to CHADD Exchange members, in your category only, and you may create a screen name to protect your privacy. The forums are easy to navigate and you can have the messages delivered in a number of ways. You will not receive individual emails unless you set up your account to do so. If it is not your cup of tea, you can unsubscribe at any time.

I encourage you to take this new resource for a test drive! CHADD is committed to providing you with the best possible information, support, and advocacy in the most convenient, user-friendly manner possible.

Marie Paxson is the immediate past president of CHADD.

Even for the computer-challenged

Barbara Hawkins

My computer is not my friend. If there is a chance to mess something up, I will find it. If there is a mistake to be made, I will make it. My friends on the CHADD Board of Directors may remember the time that I was serving as Acting Secretary and suddenly many hours’ worth of board meeting notes were in Chinese. How I did that is anyone’s guess!

I thought creating CHADD Exchange was a fabulous service the organization could offer its members. I knew, however, that getting on the Exchange and serving as a moderator for a discussion was going to be a challenge for me. And it was. It took me more than one try to get on and I had problems even creating my profile. Fortunately, CHADD’s staff was available to help. It took a little time, but I made it and I love it. I’m not the most active poster, but I really enjoy seeing the questions and responses that are being “exchanged.”

Barbara Hawkins is the president-elect of CHADD.

Our greatest resource is each other

Barbara A. Fowler, MA

CHADD Exchange enables each person to connect, share, learn, and grow. CHADD supports people and now takes that support a step further. It has been amazing to be a part of the extraordinary creative process of people sharing their stories and how they accomplish tasks. Some examples include different ways people use "body double" (a technique by Linda Anderson), how music affects motivation and completing a task, and people sharing idiosyncrasies of how they work. Hearing from a number of groups reinforced my continued need to educate parents, schools, and the public about ADHD. I am amazed at the talent and wisdom in these groups. Some stories are heartbreaking. The hope is for people to find others that have experienced similar situations. There is hope in sharing. You learn you are not alone and you can thrive again. It's a new era—your online sharing can be anonymous if you choose.

The power of groups is well documented. In The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy, Irvin D. Yalom talks about how the interplay of others’ experiences, providing information, imitating others’ positive behaviors moves people toward success. It is with telling our stories that we can instill hope, encouragement, reinforce positive experiences, and learn new strategies for change. I do believe in the power of groups, caring for one another, witnessing change in others, and providing information that moves people to grow, change, and succeed. It is a privilege to be part of the CHADD Exchange.

Barbara A. Fowler, MA, is an ADHD specialist and coach in Charleston, South Carolina.

Gain support, information, and perspective

Karen Lowry

Do you fit any of these categories?

• A parent confused about how to help a child with school behavior interfering with success
• A parent who needs more information and support surrounding homework
• A parent who needs to know about available school supports like IEP, 504
• A CHADD volunteer who needs help with planning a Parent to Parent class
• A CHADD volunteer who has questions about support groups
• An adult with ADHD, a spouse of someone with ADHD, a parent of an adult child with ADHD
• A parent who has taken or is taking a Parent to Parent class

Log onto one of twelve communities to gain support, information, and perspective. It is often lonely when there is no one to talk to regarding issues surrounding ADHD. Be among a community to feel safe and to know that we are all here to offer information and strategies that have worked. View responses to questions and concerns promptly. Come and interact with communities who can help with the struggles that impairments of ADHD can create. The avenues of ADHD support, whether it be support groups or classes, can be also aided on these newly updated communities. Become a part of a community!

Karen Lowry, author of The Seventh Inning Sit (BookSurge, 2009), leads a CHADD chapter in New Jersey.

This article originally appeared in the April 2012 issue of Attention magazine. Copyright © 2012 by Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD). All rights reserved.
Posted in: 2012, April