When Kimberly Garver’s seven-year-old son was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, she felt “frustrated and desperate.” The Ann Arbor physician finally had an explanation for her son Michael’s difficult behavior, but she still felt unmoored by the experience. “It feels completely out of control,” Garver said. “These kids are so affected by it that they cannot function at home or at school. It’s an overwhelming diagnosis to handle on your own.” Garver discovered relief, though, in the form of a local ADHD/ADD parent support group, which provides education and a forum for sharing experiences and resources. They meet once a month with the group’s leader and moderator, A2 neuropsychologist Dr. John Milanovich, and invite guest speakers, from yoga instructors to teachers, to offer ideas and help. “I would say most support happens in the parking lot and the hallway,” Garver says, explaining that parents find a morale boost in talking with others with like circumstances. This year, the group was awarded status as a chapter of CHADD (national organization Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), and also has an offshoot group for adults dealing with their own ADHD or ADD. As for Michael? “He is 12 and he is thriving,” Garver says. The parent support group meets every second Wednesday of the month; the adult support group meets the fourth Tuesday of every month.
Both meet from 7 to 9 pm, with no charge to join, at the WISD Building, 1819 S. Wagner Rd. RSVP encouraged through meetup.com/annarbor-ADHD-ADD-support, although walk-ins welcome, too. For more info, visit www.chadd.org. —AO