Support Groups 101
Would you benefit from joining a support group? Find out where and how can you find one that caters to parents of kids with ADHD.
In recent years, there has been a rise in the popularity of ADHD support groups. Would you benefit from participating in such a group? Where can you find one? What will be expected of you if you join?
For answers to these and other questions, ADDitude turned to Ruth Hughes, deputy chief executive officer for public policy and community services at a national non-profit organization, Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), headquartered in Landover, Maryland.
Who should attend a support group?
Any parent who needs help, whether to solve a particular parenting problem or to get emotional support.
Ideally, both parents will attend the sessions. That way, they can decide together how to use the information they’ve obtained. If it’s impossible for both parents to attend, one parent can go and report back to the other.
How does a typical support group work?
Groups vary in the way they’re organized, and in what is expected of participants. Some groups have a facilitator, who steers the discussion. Others are run by the participants, who typically number 10 to 20.
Meetings often begin with an invitation for participants to introduce themselves and tell why they are there. The rest of the meeting is typically devoted to an open discussion of the issues at hand, such as discipline, nutrition, and so on. Most groups meet once a month for 60 to 90 minutes.
What about privacy?
In most groups, there is a clear understanding that whatever is discussed is held in strict confidence – it doesn’t leave the room. If you’re uncomfortable with revealing confidential information in a group setting, you might consider an online support group.
How can I locate a group in my area?
Chadd.org offers a nationwide listing of in-person ADHD support groups. You can find a good online support group in ADDitude’s online directory, or at ADHDNews.com, BabyCrowd.com, and SchwabLearning.org.