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Starting a support groupCADDAC would like to assist you with staring a support group in your local area.
Please contact us for: moral support, our collective knowledge of more than 60 years of running such groups, hints on how to access funds, and how to run a group without funds.
We would be delighted to place your group on our “Support Groups” page so other parents will be able to find you.
We would like to hear about your struggles with receiving ADHD resources and to help you network with other groups that support those affected by ADHD.
We would like to send you information on: up-coming events, advocacy work that we are doing, the latest news about ADHD and the latest scientific research that is going on.
Please think about becoming an organizational or individual member of CADDAC to assist us with doing this.
Tips on Setting up an ADHD Support Group
Type of Support group:
- Support groups come in all types and can use several formats
- There is no right or wrong way to provide support
- Decide on the focus for your group from the beginning - do you want to provide: parent or adult support - to provide information only - to provide networking on advocacy and school issues?
- If you want the group to be a casual chat group only, make this clear from the beginning
- Your focus should not be too broad or members will become confused
- Ask yourself if you are willing and able to provide ongoing support or will the support occur at group meetings only
- Be realistic about the demands on your time – how much time can you give on an ongoing basis?
- Make sure you have other people to help carry the load
- We all go through periods of crisis and times we feel depleted - make sure there are others to step in when this happens – discuss and agree to this right from the beginning
Possible Meeting Locations:
- Local community centers or recreational centers
- Some local grocery stores have community rooms
- Some police stations have community rooms
- Coffee shops (if this is a chat group)
How to start:
- Find another parent or parents to assist
- Find a place to meet (for free if at all possible)
- Spread the word with: flyers, school newsletters, community section of local papers, local TV community listings, list your group on the CADDAC web site
- When you have a core working group, make sure that you all agree on the format and focus
- Make sure that there are members in your group who can organize and follow through
- Parents of ADHD children often have ADHD themselves and organization is not their strength
- Decide early on who is going to take the lead – all meetings need someone to keep others on topic and prevent a single person from monopolizing the discussion
How to keep the Momentum Going:
- Realize that people are going to drift in and out of the group
- People may attend when they are going through a crisis and then drop out
- People who are not going through a crisis will not want to be involved if this is the only thing that is dealt with in the meeting
- Try and keep the sessions interesting for all those who are attending
- Speakers or presentations at some of the meetings will help to keep things new and will upgrade everyone's knowledge level
- Mixing parents of children with different ages can have its drawbacks, but also its advantages
- Parents of adolescents can offer advise and hindsight – but they may become bored if the only discussions are about issues they have already tackled
- Parents of younger children may become overly worried if issues discussed are about adolescents who are causing serious issues in the family
- Talking about parental feelings and how one keeps it together are great topics and frequently not shared
- Arranging a meeting for the spouses of adults with ADHD may be very helpful
- It will allow them to blow off steam and to trade strategies - but keep it positive!
- Remember supporters (those organizing the group) can become burnt out - share the load! This is the number one cause of groups dissolving.
- Make an effort to bring new members into the group to keep things fresh
- Don't become complacent and stop looking for new members