Years ago, about the time I decided to become an ADD Coach, I attended an ADDA Conference. ADDA stands for Attention Deficit Disorder Association. The ADDA is a national group that calls itself “the world’s leading adult AD/HD organization”.
That conference was one of the most memorable experiences of my life, and not just because of the experts involved or all that I learned. The most amazing thing to me was being surrounded by hundreds of adults just like me, who had Attention Deficit Disorder, and who totally understood me.
No more apologizing for being late, losing something, not “getting it”, being disorganized, etc. If I got fidgety during a presentation, no one gave it a second thought if I got up and paced in the back of the room. Women dumping their purses on the floor in an effort to find something was a common sight, and no one cared.
It was one of the most freeing experiences in my life, to be with people who knew what my life was like, because they lived it every day. Being able to spend a weekend in that environment without judgement or disapproval was almost like therapy.
I think that experience is one that everyone with Attention Deficit Disorder ought to have at least once, and more often if they can. It’s important for AD/HD adults to find others who understand them; someone they can talk to openly and freely. It’s equally important for kids with AD/HD to get to know other kids with ADD; to find a friend or two who truly “gets” them.
Support groups are a great place to start. ADDA offers support groups for adults, and CHADD does the same for parents of kids with AD/HD. Take a look at their websites and see if you can find a group near you.
One word of caution: not all support groups are created equal. Some are active and uplifting, and others are not. Some groups are sporadic in their structure, and others can turn into very negative gripe sessions. Still, it’s worth a look to see what’s available in your area. And if you don’t have one, you might consider forming one of your own.