Ever since my friend and fellow ADHD coach Alana Stern told me that Dr Russell Barkley was coming to speak in Israel next month, I've been incredibly excited and actually quite emotional in a way that I never expected to be...
For those who don't know, Dr Russell Barkley PhD is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry from Richmond, Virginia. His website describes him as 'an internationally recognized authority on ADHD' but in the short time I've been working in this field, my peers and I have come to regard him as the leading authority on ADHD in the world.
My life changed dramatically two years ago, when I stumbled upon this lecture of his on YouTube. At the time, as an adult with ADHD, with a child who I suspected had ADHD, I was looking around for tips and strategies for how best to support my child. If you've already clicked on the YouTube link you'll see that it's not a short lecture - almost 3 hours long in fact - which would normally be enough to make me click away in search of something more 'bite-size', but thank goodness I didn't. Little did I realise that I had happened upon a goldmine of wisdom that would go on to, quite literally, change my life.
The lecture was directed to parents of children with ADHD and claimed to offer the '30 Essential Ideas' that every parent needed to know. But what Dr Barkley gave me through this video was far more than just ideas;
He presented clear scientific evidence of the ways that ADHD brains differ from non-ADHD brains both structurally and developmentally, which not only helped me to understand my own personal ADHD story but also gave it validation.
He described the many challenges that come with having ADHD with a refreshing, almost brutal, honesty but then armed the audience with a set of ADHD management strategies that were grounded in science, proven to be effective, and left the audience feeling energised with a sense of hope, possibility and optimism at the positive influence they can have over their children's future.
He explained things with a humour and clarity that made the most complicated scientific research feel accessible and made profound parenting success feel achievable.
And he inspired, in me at least, a desire to learn more about ADHD and to help spread this understanding and sense of hope to as many families who are dealing with the challenges of ADHD as I could possibly reach.
Dr Barkley is the only YouTube contributor that I've ever felt the drive to write to, simply to thank him for his video, and I'm so glad that that's what I did. In his reply, he introduced me to Jeff Copper, who went on to become one of my teachers and mentors at The ADD Coach Academy and the rest, as they say, is history...
But there is so much more to say about Dr Barkley than this. A quick google search of his name will give you a flavour of the many pioneering books, articles and educational videos he has published, which continue to shape and increase understanding of ADHD across the world. You may also gain a sense of why I felt so incredibly privileged when I learned that he will be coming to speak a mere 20 minute drive away from my home.
So, if you live in Israel and you or anyone in your life is dealing with ADHD (and if you're reading this, I'm guessing there's a fair chance of that), I urge you, with all my heart, to take the time to go and hear Dr Barkley speak in Rishon Letzion on Sunday May 13th. And I promise you'll be pleased you did...
Click here for full details and to register for the event.