By Laurie Dupar,
No one loves you more – or drives you crazier – than family. Family reunions are a celebration of that affection and connection and serve a purpose. They give us a chance to spend quality time together and remember what’s exceptionally wonderful about being part of the same family or tribe.
The ADHD community is a lot like a family. And when people with ADHD gather, it’s anyone’s guess what will happen. Who will actually show up? Who won’t because they forgot? Or, who might even arrive a whole week early because they “got the date wrong”. What will happen when all that creativity, spontaneity, and brilliance join in one place? One thing is for certain; we wouldn’t want to miss it. Memories are made. Bonds are formed and we leave with a sense of gratitude that someone else “gets me”.
My name is Laurie Dupar, Nurse Practitioner, ADHD Life Coach and Director at the International ADHD Coach Training Center (iACTcenter.com). I’ve hosted the week long Succeed with ADHD Telesummit for the past eight years. Each year I invite 20-25 ADHD experts from around the world to share their favorite strategies for succeeding with ADHD.
What’s a telesummit?
Well, it’s like a conference except no traveling! You simply need a phone or computer and you can access the informational sessions from just about anywhere. Listen in from the comfort of your own home, office, car…or even by the pool. That’s definitely my favorite way to listen in!
In many ways hosting the Succeed with ADHD Telesummit year after year is like other reunions. Special people (in this case ADHD experts and people like you with ADHD) unite around the world. For a whole week we talk about what’s important to us about ADHD and share resources, information and tips. You get to listen into our conversations about key ADHD topics and take away fresh ideas, information and strategies for succeeding with ADHD.
And, like other reunions, there are those special “can’t forget” moments. Stories and memories about the people and what transpired that can be told over and over again and never lose their spark. I’d like to share some of these moments with you now, and extend an invite for you to join us this year on July 23-27 for this year’s Succeed with ADHD Telesummit.
In most families, there are those people that “started it all”. Their life is legend. They had pioneer spirit, courage and audacity. Maybe for you that’s a great, great grandfather or grandmother. For us in the ADHD community, one of these persons is the late great Kate Kelly. I’ll never forget when she joined me on the first Succeed with ADHD Telesummit. In many ways, Kate Kelly and her co-author Peggy Ramundo “started it all” with their 1993 book, “You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!”
I think my own grandmother would have described Kate Kelly as “a pistol,” a compliment meaning that she was full of surprises (Kate passed away way too soon in 2012). Kate Kelly wrote about adult ADHD, even before medical science had caught up with the fact that adults had ADHD. Having a conversation with Kate was like grabbing a tiger by the tail. I was never sure what she was going to say. Everything was possible and her comments came out unfiltered. Kate was driven, grounded and passionate about making a difference in the understanding of ADHD. Our conversation touched on the experience of adult ADHD including relationships, sexuality, and mindfulness. If you want to understand the history of the ADHD community, I highly recommend you read her book.
Another ADHD family member worth mentioning is Michele Novotni, PhD, author, and psychologist. Her book, “What Do Other People Know that I Don’t?”, addresses the common ADHD challenge of social awkwardness. Michele was on the Succeed with ADHD Telesummit several times and although I never knew what would happen, I knew it would be fun.
One year, wanting to demonstrate ways to improve social communication, Michele enlisted me in an unplanned role-play. Without any warning, I was on the other end of a conversation about turtles! To this day I still share her strategy of “asking three questions” to help show interest in a conversation. Whew! Her book is another I would recommend if you want some awesome, practical, doable ways to improve your social skills.
Then there are those surprises “plus ones” at reunions. People who show up seemingly out of nowhere with a message that is timely and important. And even though we might not hear from them again, they leave us changed. Some of these visitors at the Succeed with ADHD Telesummit provided resources and information about the emotional toll of having ADHD, eating disorders or the cost of ADHD on our finances. All provided that extra bit of support at just the right time. I look forward to meeting new faces and sharing new resources as more and more ADHD experts around the world join our “reunions”.
TotallyADD’s own Rick Green Will Be There
As with other reunions, there can be that one person that is the “life of the party”. Their brilliance is blinding, and things wouldn’t be as fun or interesting without their wit and presence. One of the guests that we always love to have join us on the Succeed with ADHD Telesummit is our very own Rick Green.
Over the years Rick has shared with us in his thoughtful and humorous way; how he maximizes his mindset, what to do when you feel disheartened and his journey with ADHD medication.
This year, you can listen in as Rick and I as talk about “If Only I Knew Then, What I Know Now!” I guarantee you will not be disappointed. Rick, you always have an open invitation at our “reunions”.
Reunions, and similarly telesummits continue because of a shared purpose and passion. For me, hosting and producing this completely free Succeed with ADHD Telesummit each year is my way of increasing the awareness of ADHD, helping you thrive, see your brilliance and provide for you the best resources available from around the world. But most importantly, the Succeed with ADHD telesummit “reunion” is a way for people to reconnect with their roots and find a sense of belonging.
Finally, I want to leave you with two things. One is a quote from a guest of this year’s Succeed with ADHD Telesummit, Ned Hallowell, who said, “Finding out you have ADHD is only the beginning…it can only get better.”
And secondly, I hope you consider this your personal invitation to join us for the ADHD peoples “reunion” this year by registering for the Succeed with ADHD Telesummit here. It wouldn’t be the same without you.