What a Difference a Year Makes: The 2021 Conference on ADHD

Zara Harris

 Attention Magazine August 2021

 Download PDF

This time last year wE ANNOUNCeD that our Annual International Conference on ADHD for 2020 was going virtual. And go virtual it did!

We scrambled around learning new skills and developing new ways of doing a conference. While most of us lament the not getting together, it turns out that the feedback from the 2020 conference was favorable. We had more attendees, and those who came said how much they learned and enjoyed the freedom to do so from home. Who knew?

This year we fully anticipated going live again, but because decisions had to be made before the successful rollout of the vaccines, we were obliged to go virtual once more. The good news is that we are all so much better at this stuff a whole year later. We have a new platform and a team of experienced digital wizards to help us navigate this year’s Virtual International Conference on ADHD.

What can you expect?

Great keynote presenters will inspire and inform you (see the sidebar). For the general conference, we will have a phenomenal range of speakers with live question-and-answer sessions following each presentation. The conference will again highlight innovative programs that effectively address the needs and challenges of children, youth, families, and adults affected by ADHD. Learn about the latest research through scientific symposia and poster sessions, including a contribution from the American Professional Society of ADHD and Related Disorders (APSARD).

The ADHD Professional Institute (API) will once again be loaded with advanced content for physicians, mental health clinicians, educators, coaches, and organizers. The API presenters will include Dan Shapiro, Melissa Orlov, Roberto Olivardia, Maggie Sibley, Peter Jensen, Jeff Copper, among many others whose names you’ll recognize.

The 2021 conference will also offer an interesting variety of non-session activities, where you can join smaller groups to discuss specific issues. Examples include:

  • Authentic Connections Games, led by Roxanne Jarrett
  • You Mean It’s Not Just Me? A Townhall for Women with ADHD with Terry Matlen
  • The Good Kind of Lazy: A Lunchtime Pop-Up, with Liz Lewis
  • An Open House Training for Couples, led by Melissa Orlov and based on her book
  • ACO Presents Coaching Matchmaker
  • Our famous and entertaining Talent Show and more!

You’ll be able to wander a Virtual Exhibit Hall, where you can discover details of summer camps, special school and college programs that know our kids, and so much more.

And this year there will be a special competition. If you have attended the conference before, you can win a free registration. Send us a two-minute video on why you came to the conference and why you will attend again.

Stay up to date about registration, discounts, speakers, sessions, and non-session activities through the conference website.

Don’t miss early-bird registration!

We hope to see you there virtually.


Learn more about each of the 2021 keynote speakers on the conference website, http://www.theadhdconference.org.


Sarah Y. Vinson, MDSarah Y. Vinson, MD

The opening keynote will be presented by Sarah Y. Vinson, a triple board-certified child and adolescent, adult, and forensic psychiatrist. She is an associate clinical professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at Morehouse School of Medicine, where she was the lead architect and is the program director for the child psychiatry fellowship, the first and only at an HBCU medical school. She is also adjunct faculty at Emory School of Medicine. The co-editor of two books, Social (In)Justice and Mental Health and Pediatric Mental Health for Primary Care Providers, she has written book chapters and peer-reviewed articles on the social determinants of children’s mental health, child trauma, social media and children’s mental health, fostering resilience, the criminalization of mental illness, and the school-to-prison pipeline.

Caroline Maguire, MEd, ACCG, PCCCaroline Maguire, MEd, ACCG, PCC

The Friday keynote speaker will be Caroline Maguire, MEd, ACCG, PCC, a personal coach who works with children who struggle socially and the families who support them. She earned her master’s degree with a specialization in social emotional learning from Lesley University. The author of the award-winning book, Why Will No One Play with Me, Maguire is the founder of the SEL training methodology designed to teach emotional regulation, social and self-awareness, and responsible decision-making skills. She founded the only coach training program accredited by the ICF, The Fundamentals of ADHD Coaching for Families. She is a contributing editor to CHADD’s Attention magazine.

Dani DonovanDani Donovan

The closing keynote speaker will be Dani Donovan, a purpose-driven designer who creates ADHD illustrations. Her first infographic went viral within hours and amassed over 100 million views. In a few short months, her relatable comics and her #NeurodiverseSquad hashtag helped her quickly become a prominent voice in the online mental health community. Her influence has helped thousands of people seek diagnosis and treatment for ADHD. She will share the unbelievable story of how she stumbled her way into viral success through sharing authentic ADHD experiences. She will discuss the power of vulnerability, validating others’ struggles, and using visual communication to change how we talk about mental health.

With over thirty years of experience as a pediatric occupational therapist, Zara Harris, MS, OT, is licensed in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Specializing in helping students who are struggling with handwriting, homework, attention, time management, and organization, Harris has worked with international schools on three different continents. She is deputy chair of Attention’s editorial advisory board and a member of CHADD’s conference committee.