Where and when are the meetings?
Beginning June 23, 2016, meetings will be held every first and third Thursday from 6:30 until 8:00 pm. The meetings will be held at the Church of St. John the Evangelist at the corner of Locke and Charlton in Hamilton. See below for maps and directions. Signs will be posted in the church to direct attendees to the right room.
Please note that there is no parking lot for the facility. There is free parking along Locke Street and the various side streets.
What is the group for?
We are a peer group for adults who have been diagnosed with ADHD. We are non-professionals who meet to share experiences on various topics related to living with ADHD on a daily basis. By attending our meetings, participants find support, kinship and encouragement, as well as coping strategies that help us become more effective in dealing with ADHD and how it affects our lives and the lives of those around us.
Who can participate?
In order to be a member and attend our meetings you must:
- be an adult over 18 years of age, AND
- have been diagnosed with ADHD, or are in the process of receiving a diagnosis
We determine eligibility on a case by case basis.
My spouse/partner/family member has ADHD. Can I attend your meetings?
We do not generally allow spouses or family members to attend our meetings unless they themselves have ADHD. The reason for this is to ensure that the group meetings are conducted in a safe, open and non-judgmental environment, where we are free to share what we need to share as equals with the same experiences.
However, an exception can be made for a new attendee who wishes to have a family member or friend with them for moral support at their first meeting. Also, we may occasionally hold specific meetings where we would invite family members or friends to join us on a topical basis.
If you are a spouse or family member looking for resources in coping with the ADHD person in your life, there are numerous resources in the community for you to discover.
Why do you restrict attendance to those 18 and older?
The reason for this is twofold. First of all, there are far more resources available in this community for ADHD children than there are for adults which is the main purpose of this group. Secondly, the adult ADHD experience is vastly different than that of a child or young adult, and children attending our meetings would tend not to benefit as we gear our program toward adult life and issues.
What are the group’s affiliations?
We are not directly affiliated with any medical, professional or societal organizations or agencies — we are a peer group which is self-governing.
To that effect, we do not permit the promotion or solicitation of any products or services at our meetings or our website. We furthermore do not permit any professional or commercial research. While we may invite guest speakers from the medical, psychiatric or professional community to speak at our meetings, their purpose in appearing would be to conduct themselves and their involvement within these guidelines for the benefit of our group.
Is there a cost to attend and do I need to register?
It is free to join the group or attend meetings but we do ask for voluntary donations of whatever people want to contribute and this all goes to the church which has graciously allowed us to use their meeting room for our group.
We have a registration system to manage meeting attendance system which is hosted at Eventbrite, but the ‘tickets’ dispensed there are free. It is not required to register your attendance through Eventbrite, but it is preferred as this better assists us in conducting the meetings and ensuring there are enough resources to accommodate everyone.
What happens during a meeting?
There will be an introductory portion where we catch up on each others’ progress during the past weeks. Following that will be a formal topic presentation that has been scheduled for the meeting. This may be presented by one of the facilitators, a group member or a guest speaker. Then at the end there is a goal setting portion and this will also be used to cover any news, information resources available to the group.
Are there any rules during the meetings?
The group observes a unified comfort agreement which covers, among other things, the following guidelines:
Positive Feedback only. Since and ADHD diagnosis carries with it so many feelings, some of which can be hard to cope with, we promote positivism within the group dynamic as a general rule. We do not judge others, criticize or do anything that would make another feel bad. We want to treat others as we would want to be treated, and we want to conduct ourselves in a manner that brings about positive change in ourselves, in others and for the group.
Share The Air. As ADHD people, we often have difficulty waiting our turn or giving others equal time to speak. Because we are all here for the same purpose, we want to make sure that everyone has a turn to share if they wish. So to this end, I feel this is an excellent opportunity to practice some skills we have learned when operating in a group dynamic, namely,
- giving others the time to speak by keeping our own contributions to the discussion brief.
- showing respect to others by not interrupting others.
- showing respect to the group by listening attentively and avoiding personal distractions and side-discussions.
If we feel that there is a need to gently remind someone (or the room as a whole, if need be) that we need to more closely adhere to the group`s guidelines, a facilitator or other organizer will quietly raise their hand as a way of indicating this. Each person who notices this action will also raise their hand quietly until the room is silent again and the meeting is again on track.
Don’t Give Advice. We are not medical professionals, doctors, therapists or experts in any field other than our own lives. So we are not qualified to give advice to others within the group. Our primary goal in attending the group is to share our own experiences in the hopes that others might gain something from it by listening. Instead of offering advice, we use language such as “I tried this in a similar situation and it really helped me,” or “I’ve been through something similar and I can relate to that.”
Reduce Distraction. When the meeting is going on, it becomes difficult to focus if there are random events occurring that divert our attention from the group. So we ask that the following rules be observed as best as possible.
- Please turn off, or set to silent, all cell phones, pagers or other noisy electronic devices.
- Please try to arrive on time and don’t leave in the middle of a meeting unless it is during a break.
We realize that sometimes such things can’t be avoided, but if we can all try our best to observe these rules as best we can, we will have productive and enjoyable meetings as a rule.
Confidentiality. It is important to remember that many people want to keep their ADHD diagnosis private from the world at large, therefore we do not discuss other members’ names, experiences or personal information outside the group ever. As a general rule, we use only first names within the group.
How do I become a subscriber to the site and access the forums?
Anyone who has created an account at the main page will be able to read the public forums and the various replies. If you want to contribute to the forums, we ask that you create an account. This will enable you to create topics and to reply to topics.
We also have a private forum at the request of our regular members which is hidden from public view. We intend this to be a safe environment where we can interact with each other away from the public eye. If you are a regular member who has attended three or more meetings within a six month period, you may be eligible to become a member of the private group. If so, you can email me and I will give you the appropriate permissions to gain access to the private group.