Thanks for looking into our ADHD MeetUp group! Below are descriptions of what we're all about in video and written format. If you prefer audio then play the video with your eyes closed. (The video is an excerpt from a fantastic talk presented at the Ann Arbor District Library on October 5, 2016. The full video is available here: http://www.aadl.org/node/348450 ).
We sponsor two different types of live events. The first are Psychoeducational Programs where we bring in an expert to speak about some aspect of ADHD. We are fortunate that there are many fantastic speakers in Southeast Michigan and many have spoken at our events in the past. That list includes everyone who is speaking here tonight. These talks are held at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District building on Wagner Road on the first Tuesday of the month generally and occasionally the second if necessary due to scheduling issues. There is always a lot of great information delivered but the best part, in my opinion, is that there’s always plenty of room at the end for questions and answers. You might hear or read about similar topics in other places but it’s a rare opportunity when you can get your own personal questions answered by an expert.
The other types of event we hold are peer support group meetings. These meetings are an opportunity for people with ADHD to get together with their tribe and share both their challenges and their successes. There is no formal program and the topics that we discuss are ones that the participants bring.
There are two venues for our peer support group meetings. On the third Saturday of every month we hold our ADHD Coffee Chats at 10 in the morning at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor on Ann Arbor-Saline Road. We also hold these discussion groups at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District on the Tuesday evenings when we don’t have a speaker scheduled.
As incredibly helpful as medication, therapy and coaching can be, there’s simply no substitute for the experience of being around people who get you. It’s hard to put into words. People with ADHD put a lot of energy into hiding their ADHD traits from others. Within the safety of the peer group people find they can be their authentic selves and be accepted.
Routinely someone will bring up something related to their own ADHD, something they would be really embarrassed to discuss in front of most people. But within our group when they tell their story they are met with knowing nods and smiles from people who have been there and understand. We discuss some fairly serious topics but we always have fun doing it. You can’t get a bunch people with ADHD together in a room and not have laughter.
The groups are as ADHD-friendly as we can make them. We don’t have a lot of rules but one is you’re not allowed to apologize for being late. We would rather people come late than not come at all. You can come and go as you need, no one is going to be offended. If you need to get up and stretch your legs after a while you can just do it.
Currently the peer support groups and most of the psychoeducational presentations are geared towards adults. We welcome interest in developing some of these same things for parents of children and teenagers.