I went to the 2018 International Conference on ADHD, and I feel it is my duty to encourage you all to attend this year’s conference. Trust me. You won’t regret going.
1. TRIBE TIME
As an ADHDer, there is no greater feeling than being with someone else who has ADHD and thinking, “They get it. They know what it is like to have ADHD. They understand me.” Being with other ADHDers is glorious. I believe that, if you are not connected with other people who have ADHD, you are doing a disservice to yourself.
If you go to the conference, I guarantee you will walk away with new friends. At last year’s conference, I was nervous because it was my first time at one of those conferences, going through a rough time in my personal life, and was still the introvert I have always been, yet I still made new friends. At one point, I sat down for one of the keynote presentations and heard a voice behind me say, “Oh good, you’re here.” I turned around and the guy sitting directly behind me said that he had been meaning to strike up a conversation with me because we were both males and young adults (and there weren’t that many who fit that description there). We got to talking and discovered we had a lot more in common.
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What? You, too? I thought I was the only one.
— C.S. Lewis
2. GREAT SPEAKERS
By the end of each day of the conference, your brain will hurt. You will go from keynote speakers to breakout session speakers to more breakout speakers, and it will be fantastic. Yeah, there were a few clunkers in there, but the amazing speakers far outnumbered the boring ones.
3. THE TALENT SHOW
Yes, there is a talent show at this conference. When I first heard this, I was surprised. It seems like an odd thing to have at a conference about a mental health condition. However, I went and performed some poetry. It was incredible. We ADHDers are a talented bunch. There were all sorts of acts there. A Broadway actor singing. A lady nailed a Barbara Streisand song. Another lady did a traditional Indian dance. There was a puppet show and a sign language interpretation of Elton John’s “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting.” It was great.
This year’s conference is being held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I visited Philadelphia in 2001 and loved it. I am looking forward to returning.
When I came back from last year’s conference, I was motivated to be a better coach, start an adult ADHD support group here in Sioux Falls, and do better at managing my own ADHD. If you go, you might find yourself similarly inspired.
HOW TO REGISTER FOR THE CONFERENCE
As of the writing of this post, registration for the conference has not opened yet. However, register for the ADDA Insider, ADDA’s bi-weekly newsletter and get news about conference registration the moment it’s available.
At the age of 20, Alex Hey was diagnosed with ADHD. The diagnosis became the spark that encouraged him to become an ADHD coach. Hey is the founder of Reset ADHD, a company dedicated to helping ADHDers hit the reset button on their ADHD rather than admit defeat when the symptoms of ADHD rear their ugly head. To learn more about Alex and/or to hit the reset button on your ADHD, visit ResetADHD.com