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“Everything I Wish I Knew 10 Years Ago”

Following my son’s ADHD diagnosis a decade ago, I felt lost, alone, and quite certain I could ‘fix’ him if only I tried harder. I was wrong on all fronts. Since then, I have found ADHD guidance, support, and acceptance — not to mention four books worth of lessons learned. Later this month, I’m sharing all of that during the Parenting ADHD Summit — a free online symposium of 38 expert-led sessions — and I’m giving away one “Empowerment Pass” here as well!

The following is a personal essay, and not a medical recommendation endorsed by ADDitude. For more information about neurofeedback, speak with your physician.

Life is one big paradox. It’s absolutely true that you get back what you invest in it. But sometimes you get more — including some aspects you would neither pursue nor choose of your volition, like a diagnosis of attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD). My son was diagnosed with ADHD nearly 10 years ago and I’ve become adept at making lemonade over the ensuing years.

At first, I just wanted to fix it for him. I couldn’t bear to see my sweet boy struggle so much. It really hurt this Mama’s heart. I became obsessed with researching ADHD — its causes, manifestations, and treatments — desperately seeking that fix I knew just had to be out there somewhere. I wanted to end the daily struggle, stop guessing how to improve my son’s behavior, and feel good about my parenting. Did I mention I was desperate?

Though I didn’t feel it at the time, I really did have a lot of control to shape this life we had been given. After the first few years, I genuinely accepted ADHD. That allowed me to start facilitating a life that works with and around ADHD. It also made room for all the wonderful aspects of my son to shine through, and illuminate our family life.

The more I focus on accepting the negatives and letting them be, the more our family thrives. Now, don’t get me wrong, lemonade isn’t all sweet — there are sour notes, too. We still struggle, but much less often than we did when I was searching for answers that didn’t exist.

Acceptance also shone a light down a path I’d never considered for myself — making a career out of helping parents of kids with ADHD. Reflecting on the first several years following my son’s diagnosis, I realized how much I wish I had known. No one told me how to settle into this special brand of parenthood, and it would have been a game-changer if I’d known the process from the outset.

[Self-Test: Could Your Child Have ADHD?]

Now, I’m bringing virtually everything I wish I had known a decade ago in one free online event: the Parenting ADHD Summit. From June 18 to 24, I will host 4 to 6 daily presentations from the world’s foremost experts and thought leaders on ADHD, parenting, special needs, and self-care. Did I mention all 38 sessions are totally free?

By the end of the Summit, I hope parents will leave with strategies that actually work for kids with ADHD — and a better understanding of how their ADHD brains work. After all, empowered parents empower children.

Even better, I’m giving away a Parenting ADHD Summit Empowerment Pass to one lucky ADDitude reader. The Empowerment Pass is an upgraded ticket that gives you forever access to more than 28 hours of expert information, a downloadable bonus from every presenter, a Summit Workbook, and two follow-up group coaching calls with me. This will be a fantastic reference library for anyone raising a child with ADHD.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Leave a comment below and share a question or concern about parenting your child with ADHD. What is your biggest struggle today?
  2. On June 15, 2018, I will randomly select one winner to receive the Empowerment Pass, absolutely free (it’s valued at $497).

Of course, you can register for free access to the Parenting ADHD Summit at any time at (that won’t change your ability to win the Empowerment Pass as an upgrade).

I hope to “see” you there!

[Related Read: The Single Most Helpful Strategy in Raising Your Child]