I'm Alison Thompson, known to many as The Proof Fairy, and author of "The Boy From Hell: Life with a Child with ADHD". I am passionate about raising awareness of ADHD and helping families, and I am organising an ADHD Inspiration Day in Swindon in October 2014, to offer parents advice, support, information and the opportunity to meet other families.
Raising a child with ADHD is difficult yet with the right support, kids with this disability can and do thrive. I want to be able to give away fifty tickets to those parents who would benefit most from coming along, and I hope through this project you will help me raise enough money to fund the tickets.
My son Daniel was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 6, after his first permanent exclusion from school. We have been on a journey together that has included a second school exclusion and trouble with the police, but now at 16 he is an intelligent, caring, amazing young man with a bright future ahead of him.
As The Proof Fairy I edit, copywrite, build websites and help authors get their books ready for publication. I'd always wanted to write a book myself, though, and in 2013 I wrote and published "The Boy From Hell:Life with a Child with ADHD". Since then I have done a lot of public speaking on the subject. I have also recently trained as a coach and will be offering ADHD parent and youth coaching from September.
I know from personal experience how difficult it is to find support for a child with ADHD, and how isolating it can be to parent a child with this disability. Through organising the ADHD Inspiration Day I want to bring together parents and experts to show parents there is help available and to encourage them to support each other.
Some facts about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder:
- ADHD affects 5% of children, mostly boys, though girls can have it too
- ADHD is a biological, genetic condition, and is often hereditary
- ADHD symptoms include impulsiveness, hyperactivity, and difficulties with memory, concentration and focus
- Kids with ADHD are 80% more likely to have academic problems; teens are twice as likely to commit a crime and 4 times as likely to have a car crash; 30% of the adult male prison population has a history of childhood ADHD (often undiagnosed & untreated)
- Famous people with ADHD include Richard Branson, Will Smith, Justin Timberlake, Jim Carrey and Will.I.Am.
And did you know Commonwealth Games medallists Louis Smith and Ashley McKenzie both have ADHD, and have used their sport to help them overcome the challenges? With the right support and motivation ADHD kids can and do thrive ... but all too often doctors hand over a diagnosis and a prescription for Ritalin and parents are left to fend for themselves.
That's where my ADHD Inspiration Day comes into play. To be held in Swindon on Saturday 25th October 2014, the Inspiration Day brings together a number of experts in the field to give parents information and advice in a number of areas, including behaviour management, changes to the SEN process, mindfulness and meditation, nutrition, neuro feedback, coaching, sleep strategies and more. The intention is to inspire parents to support their kids even more to fulfil their potential ... Because these kids are amazing and with our support they can achieve anything.
I'm running the ADHD Inspiration Day as a not-for-profit event and keeping ticket prices as low as possible - but obviously I have costs to cover for the venue, speakers, marketing etc and the ticket price of £50 is proving to be a barrier to many families. Often the stress of raising a child with ADHD results in single parent families, or parents have to give up work to care for their ADHD child. And I know from personal experience that finding a spare fifty quid is a challenge, if not downright impossible.
I want to be able to offer 50 fully funded tickets, completely free of charge, so that those families who would benefit most from the event will be able to come along without worrying about the financial implications.
ADHD is something that touches the lives of many people, and has a huge effect on the community as well as individuals. I want to help as many people as possible, through raising awareness of ADHD, offering help, hope and support through my book and telling my story at events, by coaching parents and young people and through running my event. However, I can't do it all on my own - and I hope you will understand how important it is to support these families and help me fund these tickets and change the lives of fifty families.
"Alison Thompson spoke at our AGM. She recounted her experience as the mother of a child with ADHD and was an inspiring speaker. Her problems were daunting and she showed great courage and imagination in dealing with them. She explained her few mistakes and the lessons she learned from them. She also explained her successes and how she achieved them. Her presentation was lively and enhanced by endearing flashes of humour and self deprecation. I would warmly recommend Alison as a speaker to any audience of carers, related professionals and authorities."
Bob Ely, Chairman, South and Vale Carers Centre, Oxfordshire
"A BIG THANK YOU for coming along to our group! You were inspirational, encouraging and informative."
Mary Austin, ADHD Oxfordshire
"I thought you gave an excellent talk – the content was moving, practical and positive. I very much hope that you get the opportunity to speak more about your experience – without doubt it would be a great help to so many people who are facing similar scenarios."
Dorothy Burrows, Member of the 2013 Wantage (not just Betjeman) Literary Festival Committee
- £1: A big thank you on the event website and on Facebook and Twitter.
- £5: A PDF/Kindle copy of my book "The Boy From Hell: Life with a Child with ADHD", which has over 40 five star reviews on Amazon, or a PDF/Kindle copy of my new book "A Parent's Guide to ADHD", which I am writing now and hope to publish by the end of the year.
- £10: A signed paperback copy of either of my books
- £15: Show everyone you supported this project! I'll make you a personalised video that you can put on your website or in social media. You'll also get a Kindle copy of "The Boy From Hell" and my new book when it's out.
- £25: Contribute £25 and you're invited to a party at my house in Oxfordshire! There'll be beer and a buffet and the chance to meet other sponsors. There might even be cake! This is limited to 20 people as I can't fit many more in!!!
- £30: An MP3 of the main speakers at the ADHD conference, plus as many of the workshops as I'm able to record. If you can't make it to the event this is a great way to hear what went on!
- £45: Ticket to the event, plus collect a signed copy of my book "The Boy From Hell" on the day! (Limited to 10 - usual combined price £60+)
- £50: A year's membership to my ADHD Online Parents Support Group, to be launched in November 2014 (normally costs £100 a year). Your membership will include the opportunity to join two webinar/teleconference calls every month, where you'll get ideas and tips for managing your child's ADHD from me and guest speakers. There will also be a private Facebook group, a web forum and the opportunity to take the "hot seat" and get some coaching.
- £50: One hour's ADHD parent coaching, or one hour's writing coaching - perfect for aspiring authors! (Coaching sessions are normally £75 an hour)
- £50: Your logo on the event website and promotional materials as an official sponsor
- £75: Exhibition space at the event (including lunch for one person) (limited to 5))
- £75: I will write four blog posts on any topic you want - just given me the title, keywords or main points and I'll write the posts for you!
- £100: Online support group membership and a ticket to the ADHD Inspiration Day. It takes place in Swindon, Wiltshire on Saturday 25th October. (Only 10 available)
- £150: A facilitated skills audit for any not for profit organisation or governing body carried out by Great Expectations Consultancy (http://www.great-expectations-consultancy.com/) - normally £200. One only!
- £150: Online support group membership, a ticket to the ADHD Inspiration Day plus a one hour coaching session (Only 5 available)
- £200: 3 page WordPress website, including domain name and one year's web hosting. Normally £300. (hosting £50/yr thereafter) (Limited to 4)
- £350: 8 page WordPress website (normally £600) (Limited to 4)
- £400: 6 months having an email newsletter created for your business or organisation (normally £600) (limited to 4)
- £500: The opportunity of a lifetime - be the closing speaker at the ADHD Inspiration Day! There is a 15 minute slot to fill and you can use it to give a motivational speech to the parents at the event. Only one available!!
- Everyone who funds this project will also get a shout out on social media and their name on the sponsors section of the event webpage :)
The event will still go ahead, so long as I can sell enough tickets to make it viable (at least 30), but I won't be able to offer any free tickets.
What if my funding reward includes a ticket but I can't attend on the day?
You can gift the ticket to anyone you choose, or alternatively give it away as a competition prize (I would be happy to help!)
Where can I find out more about the event?
Go to www.adhdkids.org.uk/adhd-events for all the info!
If you have any other questions please contact me!