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Getting OUT of our Boxes: Reframing “talent”

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC


Getting ready for the 2013 ACO Conference in April

This year’s conference, again in Atlanta, will be the largest group of ADD/ADHD Coaches ever gathered. Come meet your colleagues and bask in the glow of ADD-literate transformation.

Over 100 ADD Coaches have already registered.  

We can make room for MANY more *IF* we have sufficient time to change the numbers with the hotel so that they can arrange the logistics BEFORE they sell the meeting and sleeping rooms to some other group.

CLICK over to ACO and register soonest!

A VERY different ADDed Attraction

Judith Champion (2012 ACO Conference Chair), Peggy Ramundo and I are organizing the first ACO Talent Show — this year in honor of the late Kate Kelly (Peggy’s You Mean I’m NOT Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?! and ADDed Dimension co-author).

Dean Solden (husband of Journeys through ADDulthood and Women with Attention Deficit Disorder author Sari) will be working his magic on the piano and acting as MC once more — as in the ADDA years, for those who remember those amazing (and hilarious) Talent Shows.

There will be a special video put together by comedian Rick Green (of ADD and Loving It fame), with edited out-takes from some of the footage from the original video that gained national prominence when it was featured on Public Television.

And YOU – let’s not forget to mention the STARS of this show!  

Come to the Cabaret!  Those of us who have been around practically forever are beyond eager to embrace our newer colleagues, and to reconnect with those we seem to meet only at conferences of this type.

NO black-and-white thinking allowed!

Don’t play small here — yes you ARE “good enough” to showcase.

WE  believe, as Kate always championed, that we ALL have talent of many, many types.  Dare I say it?  Many of us outstrip our neurotypical buddies in that department.

BlueBoxGraphicHOWEVER, many of us have been trapped inside the make-wrong box, afraid to lift the lid and let our LIGHT shine, for any number of reasons outlined here on ADDandSoMuchMore.

It’s PAST time to let yourSelf OUT of that box!

  • Several coaches will be singing – some, no doubt, for the very first time in public!
  • Susan Lasky (ADD Coach and co-founder of the New York Metro CH.A.D.D. chapter) will be flying point to make sure that those of you with visual talents can be included.
    (We will be asking those of you in the visual arts and hand crafts talent arenas to send in photographs, which will be projected onto a large screen – so get out those cameras NOW!)
  • Judith has written poetry for years, but never felt quite brave enough to share it. She will be sharing her poetry for the first time in THIS show!
  • Calling on the background of my first career as an actor/director, I will be developing an audience-participation improv that will, no doubt, be hilarious in the manner that only those with ADD can imagine (or believe!).
    Those who know me from classes will attest to the fact that I am pretty darned good at encouraging participation, and that, in over 20 years, NOBODY has been shamed for their courage yet!

This is your opportunity to get out of that box!

We are creating a low-light, coffee shop atmosphere for us to showcase our MANY talents in a safe environment: t-totally accepting and judgment free!

In addition to the requisite coffee and tea, a cash bar will be available during the show, for those who prefer another type of “liquid courage.”

We are asking for conference attendees to SHOW US YOUR TALENT!  —  whatever it may be.

This is a great opportunity for our community to celebrate itself, and to get to know each other better as friends as well as colleagues.

Please allow yourself to join in the fun. Anyone even mildly interested in participating starts by contacting She’s GREAT with admin, and will get back to you faster than many of the rest of us, card-carrying members of Team ADD.

SHARE this opportunity – and share ABOUT it

Tweet this, share it on FaceBook and LinkedIn – wherever you congregate regularly – pass it ON! This is your TRIBE – participate by inviting participation, even if you can’t be there personally.

I know that some of my regular readers have been around Camp ADD almost as long as I have – so you have your own experience with the ADDA talent shows of the past.  Some of you have shared talents – serious and silly – at that very show.

In the comments section below, I WANT TO HEAR from those of you who have participated “on-stage” AND those who have participated as audience members.

Don’t let me down, OK?  

  • Remember how scary the whole idea seemed to YOU at first, too – and how much fun it was to LET YOURSELVES OUT of the BOX!
  • Tell us what you did  (and at which conference, if you can recall), how it was received, how you felt before and after – anything that will extend a hand DOWN the mountain we are all climbing at different levels, following different time-frames.
  • It takes a village to transform a world!

Don’t let these great moments of ADD history fade away unacknowledged
and un-commented upon

  • Remember Patti and the Pips? (three very seriously professional ADD women who twirled batons, clad in sneaks and short skirts); remember the neurotransmitters and the hallway?; how ’bout the ‘funky chicken’ geese and the percussionist who played his body while Kate Kelly tap danced?
  • NOBODY who was there will ever forget the woman who could only make her public debut with her back to us — so she put her young son on the “stage” and we got to watch his face as she sang You Are the Sunshine of My Life straight into his heart. (It STILL makes me teary, and I’m sure that child’s life was transformed forever.)

Here’s YOUR chance to join the fun and become a legend in your own time.

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About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

2 Responses to ADDer’s Got TALENT!

  1. Thanks M, excellent posting!

    I’m so much looking forward to this April meeting after the outstanding first time experience last year. Love the ACO crowd, find the coaches walking right down my same path… working together to articulate, to redefine the complexity and the surprising intensity of ADHD denial. Details for balanced ADHD recovery matter – including meds.

    Last year I discussed the nuances of how coaches can use neuroscience discoveries for improved coaching strategies – it was a serious blast, and the attendees – just outstanding.

    This year I’ve drawn together details on how ADHD coaches can work even more successfully with medical referral sources, with details on how to walk that tightrope with politics on the one end and perhaps knowing too much on the other. I’ll go into details about what medical folk need from coaches and specifically how to prevent and then solve problems that might arise by working outside of a planned strategy. “Mastering Medical Connections – Details Matter” on Sat AM. I’ll be there Thursday – and will see you at the reception.

    I’ll also be doing some book signings down there and hope to present a brief report from my perspective on the excellent response we had with “New ADHD Medication Rules – Brain Science & Common Sense” [] It’s been a serious success and we’re just getting started. I’ve done 3 radio shows in the UK and can tell you the Western European folks are seriously interested in specific med improvements – much fun with the guys at the radio station in Dublin.

    Looking forward! See you down there… in high theater!


    • THANKS for the comment, CP – I only wish you were speaking in the PM vs AM timeslot so I could absorb it better. You know me in the AM – barely cogent!

      The rest of you – don’t miss his session – he is one of the FEW docs speaking out about the importance of neuro-BIOLOGY to meds response, and the info is truly fascinating. Jump over to the CorePsych blog too – the man is a DERVISH!

      Can’t wait to see you again in HOTlanta for the ACO converence. So grateful for your work on our behalf.


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