ACO Conference 2012: reflections on my return
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 6 Comments
Amazing! Start saving NOW to BE there next year!
by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
I just returned from speaking at the 5th Annual ADHD Coaches Organization [ACO] conference at the at the beautiful Crowne Plaza Hotel in Atlanta. WHAT an experience!
Congratulations to 2012 conference chair, Judith Champion, and her conference team, along with my gratitude for a simply stellar experience. What a banquet!
I have to second Dr. Charles Parker’s comment in the post-conference article on his Corepsychblog, “If you are an ADHD coach and haven’t yet connected with the ACO . . . now is the time to get on it and get cracking.”
Silver and Gold
As always, I made new friends as I connected with long-time friends and colleagues. I also had the pleasure of seeing former students “all grown up,” giving those of us who are “old-timers” brand new inspiration. I am still grinning ear-to-ear now that I am home and unpacked.
As usual, ADD Coaches came from across the United States and, as expected, many of our Canadian colleagues made the trip.
The surprise was attendance from as far away as Stockholm, Germany and Shanghai, eager to add their voices to the mix and to ask for our help bringing ADD Coaching to their countries.
As the founder of the world’s first ADD-specific coaching curriculum and co-founder of the ADD Coaching field itself, I was and am overwhelmed with gratitude for the beautiful garden that is growing now from seeds I planted decades ago. I stand amazed at all the “new varieties” being developed all over the world — without my having to lift a single shovel!
Meeting Colleagues “in person”
I always love adding 3-D faces and bodies to colleagues whom I’ve only met online or on TeleClasses, and this conference was dripping with that opportunity.
Among the many are Kricket Harrison, Linda Roggli, Maureen Nolan, Virginia Hurley, Cindy Giardina, Judith Champion, Joyce Kubik, Charlie Parker, Laurie Dupar, David Nowell – and those are just the business cards I can find immediately!
It was such a pleasure to finally meet ALL of you and to exchange a few words, however briefly, in our hustle to squeeze as much as possible into the relatively short time we had together.
I want MORE!
In fact, my ONLY complaint to the conference organizers would be the one I always wish I could send to Mickey following a DisneyWorld visit: I didn’t get to ride ALL the rides before it was time to go home — and I REALLY wanted to!
As usual, we were not the only conference at the hotel. Several attendees of the other, primarily technical, conferences choose to hang out with us during mutual break times. One of them even joined the ACO himself before he left!
As other hotel guests came across us in shared elevators and public spaces and learned that our ACO insignia identified us ADD professionals, many volunteered their own ADD experiences and shared how much better their teen and adult children were doing post-diagnosis and treatment.
Are we finally on the cusp of mainstream acceptance?
The opening keynote on Thursday, by Evelyn Polk Green, concentrated on diversity and the crying need for ADD information and coaching in minority communities. The second keynote, by Wendy Lippart on Saturday afternoon, enlightened us on her seminars in men’s and woman’s maximum and minimum security prisons.
Despite the fact that every day bagan far too early for my taste, this conference seemed less frenetic than many I have attended in the past. Breakout sessions were an ample ninety minutes, and were offered three to four at a time, two sessions in the morning and two in the afternoon. They were punctuated with thirty minute networking breaks, along with meal breaks that were long enough to network as well as chow down – because nobody wanted to miss the great food.
The quality and variety of conference sessions was impressive.
They included many topics frequently missing in ADD conferences geared to a more general audience of ADDers: in addition to a Master Coaching track, there were tracks for Neuroscience, Business Building, Technology, and Self-Care (including spirituality). There were sessions on delinquency prevention and the juvinile justice system, family communication, and working with adolescent girls.
The Innovative Programming and Communities track outlined coaching programs in prisons, schools, and a couple of new approaches to working with ADD — including Jay Carter’s Mind Mapping session, and Ron Minson’s Integrated Listing Systems (a combination of sound and movement that improve the ability of brain stem and cerebellum to process sensory information leading to the cortex).
Sharing the Wealth
Over the next couple of weeks I will post more of my impressions and some of my notes, in an attempt to share the wealth of information I picked up this past week. I will also share content from my own presentations.
I had already planned to post the content from the Conference Binder from both of my sessions in pdf format for those of you who were unable to attend. Once I have time to attend to more than a few catch-up details, I will move that item up on my to-do list, now that I have noticed that some of the brain parts on my Brain Part Imbalance Table (filed electronically to support my Brain-Based Coaching presentation), came across the ether only as a series of boxes.
Peggy Ramundo and I will add our dual presentation content to the ADD in the Spirit Coach Training section here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com.
As my colleagues are able, many of them will be writing articles about their experience of the conference, and many of the speakers will be adding content from their presentations to their blogs and websites. I will post links to their impressions and information here on this post, as well as those that follow on this topic, as a loosely organized blog-tour develops. So stay tuned.
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Wrap-ups from the speakers:
All links below open in a new window/tab
(read, close the window, come back here for the next stop on the tour)• Dr. Charles Parker
ATTENDEES ACO Conference Articles around the ‘net
- Keys Lost and Found (ACO Circle Post Conference article 2012 – with pictures)
- Imagine meeting… (redefineyourpotential.wordpress.com)
- ADHD Coaching: Thinking About Thinking (Dr. Charles Parker’s Corepsychblog 3/25/12