Having a professional background in parenting and wellness would make you think that being the parent of a child with ADHD would have been a breeze. While there were benefits there were times when my family and I needed support, guidance and a sounding board to figure out management and treatment options. We were exactly the same as all the other families living with the daily challenges of ADHD. Needless to say, I have run many “experiments” trying to figure out what would work for my son and us as a family. It is a life long process for all of us. With every year bringing different challenges, we are never “through” learning.
About 15 years ago, Lee Gehrls and I teamed up to educate parents and professionals. My position is the Parent Education Specialist at Resource Training and Solutions, an agency that offers parenting classes to the community for parents of school aged children. We offer many classes annually on a variety of topics. One of the reoccurring topics is ADHD. We have hosted many different presenters on many different aspects of that disorder. We have expanded the workshops to include children’s mental health issues because 30% – 50% of kids with ADHD will also have a co-existing mental health condition (e.g. anxiety, depression, anger, obsessive-compulsive disorder, etc). By working with A-D-A-MSM our workshops have provided educational opportunities to families who were struggling with ADHD and also families whose kids have mental health disorders without ADHD. We expanded another step by offering information to educators and by stocking a Media Center with materials on parenting, behavior and discipline issues, chores, ADHD and children’s mental health disorders to cover just a few of the many topics. All the Media Center materials are available for the community to check out for a nominal fee.
Working with A-D-A-MSM all these years made my joining the board a natural progression as a professional and a Mom. My son who was diagnosed with ADHD as a young child is now a young adult. Whether I’m in a workshop planning meeting with Lee or a board meeting, the needs of the child and family are always at the center of the workshops we offer. I have learned much over the years because of hosting all those workshops. My hope is that through experience and education, more families will be educated and learn to grow with ADHD.
- B.S. in Home Economics and Family Education from UW-Stout in 1974
- M.A.Ed in Family Education from UM-St. Paul, MN in 1984
- Certified trainer on Becoming a Love and Logic Parent from Golden, Colorado in 1995
- Competent Communicator from Toastmasters International, 2008
- Trained in “9 Essential Skills for the Love and Logic Classroom”, 2008
- Trained in “How much is Enough?” curriculum by Jean Illsley Clarke, author of the curriculum and book of the same name, summer, 2008
- Taught Home Economics at Apollo High in St. Cloud – 1974-1975
- Taught Home Economics at Hutchinson High school -1975-1978
- Taught Home Economics at Cathedral High School in St. Cloud – 1978-1993
- Employed at Resource Training and Solutions in St. Cloud – 1993-present
- Regional Coordinator of special needs committees for 2 years
- Regional Wellness Coordinator 1995-present
- Regional Parent Education Coordinator 1995-present
- Presently teaching and coordinating the parent and wellness programs for the 9 county region in Central Minnesota
- Behavior Management presentations for both school staff and parents, 1995-present
- Leadership position on many committees both professionally and in the community as a volunteer
- Hall of Fame for MN State Auctioneers’ Association Auxiliary, 2009
- Achievement in Education Award from St. Cloud, MN Optimist Club,2011