Categories: 2012, April
Marie S. Paxson
NEW ONLINE COMMUNITIES FOR CHADD MEMBERS, known as
Exchange, launched on February 14, 2012. Have you joined yet? Do you
have questions or hesitations? Read what people are saying about this
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
• A parent who needs to know about available school supports
like IEP, 504
• A CHADD volunteer who needs help with planning a Parent to
• 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
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.
Anthony Rostain, MD, MA, on the years of transition to adulthood
interview by Susan Buningh, MRE
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