… made my weekend past quite a busy one- with a lot of brain-work involved as well, so I didn’t have much of a weekend at all… Luckily I caught up on my sleep last week before I attended the 14th annual ADHASA AD/HD Conference. I attended last year with my mommy darling and learned an awful lot as well as getting some clarity on things I’d heard and read. This year it was just as interesting- and we were in a big hall with about 200 people in attendance.
Like last year the teachers, psychiatrists, psychologists and other therapists far outnumbered the parents in attendance- mostly because ADHASA sends notifications to schools and professionals but parents don’t hear about it unless they know about ADHASA… the seminar is aimed at providing as much information as possible about a wide range of AD/HD related topics so there are speakers from all walks of life… and it’s important to keep this in mind when you attend because a speaker’s opinion differing from yours can offend you unnecessarily. For the first time- and I have no idea why I’m so effing slow- the concept of combining dietary changes and medication gelled in my head. Up till now, in my subconscious at least, I’d always thought it had to be either or… EITHER diet changes plus supplements OR medication. Have I been asleep or what…? I could kick myself! And you know what- not one of the professionals Damien and I have seen in the last ten years has ever even hinted at the possibility of combining the two!
Anyhoo, there were 13 speakers, all highly knowledgeable, and all very passionate about their subjects- but one or two were definitely lacking in presentation ability. I know not everyone is a public speaker by any means, but my thinking is that if you ARE going to speak to people about something you’re interested in then you should maybe get training or something to do it in such a way so as not to lose your audience in 3 minutes flat. Presenting your point of view objectively instead of making your listeners feel like they’re being accused of something is vital when you‘re speaking on things as controversial as medical matters can be- and the one professor telling us that ADHDers are “abnormal” instantly had the hackles up on half the people in the hall!
I left the conference with the realisation that I have A LOT more on my plate than I thought I did… and I am now even more determined to start a support group where I live- the need for one is more apparent to me than ever before. I learned a lot of things I could SO have used when Damien was first diagnosed and I feel it’s almost a duty for me to share it with other parents who are just starting out on this journey.
An added bonus was that I got to meet Doula Mel in the flesh! She came all the way from Cape Town to attend the seminar! And just lemme tell you summing o’ bunnies o’ mine- don’t believe ANYTHING you read about Mel on her blog… not a thing! She’s FAAAAR better in person and I consider myself lucky to have met her! Not only is she gorgeous with a stunning bod- she’s friendly and approachable and easy going too. And unlike myself; she’s not hesitant to talk to people. Had I gone to the seminar alone I woulda prolly have stayed alone the whole two days- Mel chats to the people behind and in front of her in the queues (and we queued for coffee, lunch and the loo)… where I instantly get my back up if someone I don’t know speaks to me out of the blue!
Mel, I so enjoyed spending time with you at the conference and I do hope it’s not the last time we meet face-to-face! Maybe next time we can even visit a little more, maybe over a glass oif wine, or three…?