Frustrated. Hopeless. Worried. Fearful. Isolated. Judged. When Franklin mom Lisa Allen asked local families to describe what it feels like navigating life with a child with ADHD, these were the words they used.
Lisa has battled these emotions herself as a mom to a young adult with ADHD.
“I have often heard ADHD referred to as the ‘invisible disability’. Because it is invisible, so many don’t understand or relate to the children or the parents who are dealing with it on a daily basis.It is a lonely journey, as children are so quickly labeled and isolated because of their behavior and their struggles in the classroom and among peers.”
These all-too-common feelings of loneliness and hopelessness among families with children with ADHD is the driving force behind the support group that Lisa has created. It’s an ADHD Support Group, a group specifically designed for families with children with ADHD and aims to bring encouragement, education, hope and community to local families.
Last February, Lisa used the Next Door App to see if her community would be interested in some kind of support group and if so, what they would like and need out of a group. That’s when she received those heartbreaking descriptions, proof that some kind of support group was desperately needed.
“There is a need for community. A place where people can find companionship who are facing the same struggles. And there is a need for people to be educated,” she said.
Lisa, along with a small group of women, began formulating the details of the group, writing a mission statement, finding a space for meetings and even lining up speakers.
Speakers are booked through April of next year. Each speaker will focus on a specific topic surrounding ADHD. Topics include medication or not medication, executive function skills, 504, IEPs and working with school system, study skills and more. Also, a panel, consisting of people of different ages and genders who have ADHD will share their stories and answer questions.
The core mission of the group is to bring people together who are facing the same struggles, to create a sense of community and to provide hope. The group is “a place where many who are currently feeling alone and fearful can potentially find hope.They can find companionship with others who have children facing the same struggles and/or with those who have walked in the shoes before them,” reads their mission statement.
The group will host a kick-off meeting on Sept 5 at 6:30pm at The Good Cup in Franklin. It’s a time for everyone to come together, hear from the organizers, learn about the upcoming speakers and meet others. Beginning in October (which is also ADHD Awareness Month), formal meetings will be held the first Thursday of the month at 6:30pm at the Cottonwood Club House in Franklin (more details below). The meetings are open to all and completely free.
Experience has shown Lisa how hard the road can be and how important having someone to talk to is.
“If this reaches just one person, that would be huge,” she said.
For more information and to be added to the email distribution list, contact Lisa Allen at [email protected] or 615-423-9878.
Sept 5, 6:30pm – 8pm
The Good Cup, 2181 Hillsboro Road, Franklin
Beginning Oct 3, every first Thursday of the month (with a few exceptions)
6:30pm – 8pm
Cottonwood Club House, 180 Cottonwood Drive, Franklin