Atlanta: Pathways to Wellness, Healthy Minds, and Resilience

by Sharon Weiss, MEd, and Marie S. Paxson

—easy to get to and well worth the trip. It has culture, great food and will host a great conference this November. CHADD’s 22nd Annual International Conference on ADHD—Pathways to Wellness, Healthy Minds, and Resilience—is devoted to making the trip memorable. The event will provide you with information and strategies you can use right away in your daily life.

Sometimes ADHD can make you feel isolated, but at CHADD conferences you can directly connect with others who understand exactly what you are going through. Virtual conferences and online seminars can be very valuable, but let’s face it: online slides and messages lack the power of a face-to-face meeting. Think of the difference between listening to your favorite music on your MP3 player versus attending a live concert. Nothing beats a conference as an opportunity for networking and mingling.

We are especially excited to feature three well-known and highly regarded keynote speakers who don’t usually make presentations at the same event. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to hear their wisdom without traveling to several different conferences.

In his keynote address, The Role of Emotions and Emotional Control, psychologist Russell Barkley will provide a thought-provoking discussion of how difficulties regulating emotions interfere with everyday life. CHADD leaders attest that it is the emotional side of ADHD that drives so many to seek help and treatment. Barkley’s presentation will offer strategies for managing these challenges.

Renowned speaker and educator Rick Lavoie will provide insights into the changes and continuing challenges facing educators today. His keynote, Tales from the Road, will combine personal anecdotes with a discussion of the trends, research, and legislation that shape our current “state of the field” of education. Audiences really respond to Lavoie’s warmth and humor. You will be retelling some of his stories of triumph for many years.

In the closing keynote, What to Do and Why: Strategies for Success, Sharon Weiss will bring her expertise and brand of humor to a discussion of the specific approaches that can make a real difference. Based on current research and drawing from professional experience, she provides a to-do list to guide listeners in the everyday challenges of dealing with ADHD. Attendees frequently remark that her sessions create a judgment-free zone that allows for frank discussion and the sharing of practical advice for ADHD’s most troublesome behaviors.

If science is the foundation for understanding pathways to wellness and healthy minds, this year’s program draws on some of the best and the brightest. Featured are neuroscientists Michael Posner and Joanna Fowler, who are members of an elite group of ten scientists awarded the National Medal of Science by President Barack Obama in 2009. We are fortunate to have these esteemed senior scientists discuss innovative neuroscience research.

ImageThe update of the DSM-V, the manual that is used to diagnose ADHD and other disorders, is one of today’s most talked-about topics. Some of the proposed changes are seen as long overdue, some are controversial, and all the discussions are fascinating. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the DSM-V from a panel of experts featuring Ann Abramowitz, Russell Barkley, Sam Goldstein, Joel Nigg, and James Swanson. The panel will explore the strengths and shortcomings of proposed changes in the diagnostic criteria for ADHD in children and adults. Panelists will provide their arguments within a research context and discuss how these changes will affect clinical practice, which will in turn affect every member of the ADHD community.

With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention located in Atlanta, the conference will feature CDC scientists in a discussion of the prevalence rates of ADHD. Part of the program will explore discrepancies between incidence rates and treatment trends. The science of ADHD will be center stage in medication updates, a discussion of neurofeedback, and a presentation addressing other nonmedical interventions. The popular Ask the Experts session will return, providing attendees the opportunity to dialogue with researchers. As in the past, speakers will address best-practice information for healthcare and clinical service providers.

The economy has placed educators in the untenable position of doing more with less. There are more children in every classroom and fewer resources to support the teacher. The educational needs of all children are met when we meet the educational needs of the student with ADHD. With this in mind, this conference will be filled with information addressing such important topics as classroom behavior management, bullying, helping the teacher survive the ADHD student, building resilience in students with ADHD, executive function, establishing successful partnerships with parents, and innovative approaches to teaching.

Moreover, the speakers presenting this information are some of the best-known and well-respected voices in the field: Mark Katz, Marlene Snyder, Chris Dendy, Ann Abramowitz, Sheryl Pruitt, Anne Teeter-Ellison, Ari Tuckman, Jodi Sleeper-Triplett, Sam Goldstein, Matt Cohen, Kevin Murphy, Russell Ramsay, and Robert Tudisco. And this isn’t even a complete list!

Our conference features the opportunity for those affected by ADHD to mingle with those who research and treat the disorder. Speakers offer generous time for question-and-answer periods during presentations, often stay to chat informally after their presentations, and are approachable in the public areas of the hotel. If that is not enough, we feature many exhibitors who highlight helpful products and programs that can affect your daily life.

We hope you will join us in Atlanta for this educational and some would say life-changing event!

Visit chadd.org to find the Schedule at a Glance, Conference Highlights, Preliminary Program, Continuing Education, Visit Atlanta, and other helpful resources.


Pre-Conference Institutes
Thursday, November 11
Friday, November 12-Saturday, November 13

A behavioral consultant in private practice, Sharon Weiss, MEd, focuses on parent and professional training. Marie S. Paxson is the immediate past president of CHADD.

This article originally appeared in the October 2010 issue of Attention Magazine. Copyright © 2010 by Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. All rights reserved.

Posted in: 2010, October