Connect & Recharge in Atlanta

 Attention Magazine Summer 2017

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HAVE YOU HEARD THE NEWS? CHADD and ADDA will jointly host this year’s Annual International Conference on ADHD. And it will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, from Thursday, November 9, through Sunday, November 12. That’s right–one extra day to learn all about ADHD from the foremost experts in the field. One extra day to network with others who share your journey of living with ADHD.

Online registration opens in June, so you will soon learn more about how the conference is evolving to meet your needs. Watch for discounted early registration rates and other deals to make your attendance possible. To give you a taste of what’s to come, here’s a little about the keynote speakers.

Adam Gazzaley, MD, PhD

The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World

Dr. Adam Gazzaley, (above) a neuroscientist and trailblazer in the study of how our brains process information, will take us on a journey into how and why we struggle with interruptions and distractions that emerge from both our inner and outer worlds. We all encounter competing demands on our time and try to sort through the information overload we all face. Our brains were not built to process all the information that constantly bombards us. Children and adults with ADHD are even more likely to have difficulties sorting through this flood of information and making the best choices. Dr. Gazzaley will offer practical advice, based on cutting-edge research, to bring some calm to this information storm.

A professor in neurology, physiology, and psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Gazzaley is the founder and executive director of Neuroscape, a translational neuroscience center engaged in technology development and scientific research of novel brain assessments and optimization tools. He is also the cofounder and chief science advisor of Akili Interactive Labs and JAZZ Venture Partners. He has filed multiple patents, authored over 100 scientific articles, and delivered over 500 invited presentations around the world. He recently co-authored The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World (MIT Press, 2016). Dr. Gazzaley has received many awards, including the 2015 Science Educator Award from the Society for Neuroscience.

Georgina Peacock, MD, MPH, FAAP

Focus for the Future: Individual- and Population-Level Perspectives on ADHD

Dedicated to the health and development of children and adults across the lifespan, Dr. Georgina Peacock applies her personal passion and knowledge to a critical leadership position at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She is the director of the Division of Human Development and Disability at the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. In her role at DHDD, she directs CDC’s public health approach, which helps children and adults with disabilities get the most out of life by supporting programs, surveillance, research and policies that facilitate better healthcare, increases in accessibility, and inclusion. DHDD also works to optimize child development for those at risk for high-impact conditions so children can reach their full potential in life.

Dr. Peacock will relay her experiences assessing and treating children with ADHD, and the implications of those experiences on CDC’s public health activities to support families, get children and adolescents the right care at the right time, and educate professionals and decision makers about ADHD.

Matthew Cohen, JD & Paul Grossman, JD

The Dear Colleague Letter on ADHD

Paul Grossman, JD, (left) served for over 40 years as a civil rights attorney for the US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, and in that capacity he worked on every type of education discrimination matter. Toward the end of his career, while reviewing his caseload, he concluded that few students suffer more from stereotyping, low expectations, misperception, and impatient hostility than do students with ADHD. Hear the story of how these concerns eventually led to OCR’s issuance of the Dear Colleague Letter concerning the rights of students with ADHD on July 26, 2016. Grossman will describe the history, key provisions, and significance of the DCL, including its relationship to key elements of disability rights law that are significant for adults.

Matt Cohen, JD, (above, right) has been the principal litigator in a number of important special education cases and is the primary or collaborating author of several amendments to the mental health and special education laws of Illinois, as well as working on legislation at the federal level. He was CHADD’s president from 1999-2000, and served on the board from 1995-2002 and the public policy committee until recently. He is the author of A Guide to Special Education Advocacy: What Parents, Clinicians and Advocates Need to Know. Cohen will provide practical information on ways to use the DCL to advocate for children with ADHD, and an overview of the importance of the Endrew F. Supreme Court decision in relation to the right to a free appropriate public education for kids that are receiving special education and how to advocate for services that meet the higher Endrew F. standard.

Sari Solden, MS

Now I Just Have to Learn to Do It Without the Cancer!

A psychotherapist in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Sari Solden has counseled adults with ADHD for close to 30 years. She is the author of the pioneering books Women with Attention Deficit Disorder and Journeys Through ADDulthood. She serves on the professional advisory board of ADDA and was a past recipient of their award for outstanding service by a helping professional. Her areas of specialization include women’s issues, inattentive ADHD, and the emotional consequences and healing process for adults who grew up with undiagnosed ADHD.

In a very personal yet universally applicable talk, Solden will open up about how the past year of treatment for early-stage breast cancer has taught her lessons about living life successfully as an adult with ADHD. These are lessons that can help all adults with executive function challenges understand the similar issues of stigma and shame as well as how to face any of life’s more serious difficulties in a way that actually leaves us more whole, connected, and centered than before.