I was asked to speak at a local Optimists meeting a few weeks ago. My last workshop was held after their meeting and when the president saw my topic she was very interested. The Optimists raise money to help kids. They sponsor oratorical contests, etc. They want to help kids succeed. Their coffee mugs read “Optimists: bringing out the best in kids.” Good for them!
I was delighted to speak, since I could talk about ADHD all day long. I love the topic and love my work as an ADHD Coach. I had the president poll the members before my presentation to find out what specific questions they had and what they wanted to know. I knew I had about 20 minutes and wanted to make the best use of my time. The questions were good ones:
Are there signs or symptoms of ADHD?
Please give us a broad overview of what it is that you do.
Discuss medication vs. alternative therapies
Why are boys more likely to be diagnosed than girls?
The talk went very well. The members were engaged and their comments were great. Many of them had family members with ADHD. As I got to the 9 dimensions of ADHD a couple of people forgot one of the 10 promises of “The Optimists creed:”
“To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others…”
As I talked about time insensitivity one man started a rant about how when he worked for a certain corporation they were tired of people being late for meetings and so they fired anyone who came late. When someone questioned him about firing an employee he said, ”If you don’t fire him, I’ll fire you!”
Yikes!! No one said a word so I went on with my talk. I explained that as a coach I am not for or against medication (my husband and I both take meds). That is a personal decision. One woman piped up and said that kids didn’t need medication, their parents did! Again no one said anything and I went on.
Those moments remind me why I do what I do. There is so much ignorance out there when it comes to ADHD. I knew nothing I said would change those two peoples’ minds but I got so much good feedback from the rest of the members afterward. The president actually gave me half an hour as she could she how much everyone was enjoying the topic. It really was a great experience overall.
Lesson for all of us: “Don’t let crabby people get you down. You’re good enough, you’re smart enough and doggone it, people like you!