F R O M  T H E  P R E S I D E N T                

Seek the Best Answers

ImageLAST SUNDAY, I HEARD A SERMON about the necessity of living in the moment. It was a simple and beautifully drawn three-part invitation. Let go of the past and the anger tied up with what I did or didn’t do. Let go of the anxiety created because I don’t know the outcome of the choices I am making right now. Finally, take as much care as I can today, because today is all I am really guaranteed.

I know I have spent way too long regretting not understanding enough about ADHD and making mistake after mistake as I tried to do the best thing for my daughter. At some point, I had to acknowledge that I’d never even heard of ADHD before my daughter was diagnosed. My advice to you is to forgive and forget and continue to search for the best answers you can find for the challenges ADHD brings to you. CHADD can provide so much really good information in so many ways.

Given my past expertise, I think that, if I let myself, I could be really good at spending my time and energy worrying about what will happen in the future. Now that my daughter is grown and a mother herself, perhaps it is time to let her  worry about her future. Not the easiest thing to do, I grant you. She has a job and is working on her college degree. It really is time to let her future be hers. I do want to know what’s new and what might be a more effective approach in the future, but I will take that information and incorporate it into what I know and pass it along to those who need it.

It’s so easy these days to post a question on the CHADD Exchange and receive practical, hands-on advice from parents or adults who have been there and tried that and might suggest a different approach. Frequently, posters will point to helpful What We Know pages posted on the website of the National Resource Center on ADHD. Tons of information in both English and Spanish is available from the NRC, funded by the Centers for Disease Control through a grant to CHADD
.Look for an easier way to access information as CHADD rolls out its newly redesigned website in December. This really is an exciting time to be part of CHADD.

Speaking of exciting, I have to mention the International Conference on ADHD in San Francisco next month. Hyperboles aside, it is the single most overwhelming source of up-to-date information available to all. Please consider attending if at all possible. Connecting with others who deal with ADHD every day and hearing experts explain the latest research is an unbelievable experience. If attending this year is just not possible, select presentations will be available online for purchase shortly after the conference

Recently CHADD offered a webinar presentation on ADHD in Reality: Practical Tips for Parents.Five hundred people signed up to attend. Hopefully this will lead to the development of monthly virtual chapter meetings for those who do not live in an area with a local chapter. Volunteers are opening three or four new chapters every month. If there is no chapter in your area, you might consider volunteering and investigate what is involved in opening one with a partner.

CHADD’s Professional Advisory Board is working on several important issues. Members are asking about research into behavioral interventions and nutrition and the PAB is working on a rating scale that they will use to evaluate emerging research and new products. CHADD plans to add new position papers on comorbid conditions, ADHD and addiction (particularly smoking), and the connection between ADHD and eating disorders.

ImageWhat a wonderful time to be part of the CHADD family—and it really is a family. We deal with the same issues; we relate to each other’s problems and offer each other support and acceptance. I’m certain that CHADD has made a difference for my family. I invite you to participate as fully as you can to take advantage of what we have to offer each other. Help us celebrate twenty-five years of the CHADD family.

Hoping to see you in San Francisco.

Barbara S. Hawkins, BA, is the president of CHADD.

This article originally appeared in the October 2012 issue of Attention magazine. Copyright © 2012 by Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD). All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be reproduced without written permission from CHADD.
Posted in: 2012, October