How It All Started - IMPACT!
When we met each other as parents and coaching professionals attending an international conference in Atlanta, GA, we discovered quickly that we shared a common experience: using a coach-approach in parenting had transformed both of our families in ways we never thought possible!
As coaches certified by the International Coach Federation, with extensive training and personal experience in managing complex challenges such as ADHD, we knew that parents of kids like ours —kids with ADHD, anxiety, learning disabilities and more — needed more than they were getting to help kids navigate life's complexities.
There was a lot of support available for their children, but almost nothing available to guide the parents, themselves. And raising these kids was definitely not easy!
Parents of complex kids needed our help!
We understood clearly that:
- Parents want to learn how to help their kids without feeling judged or shamed because their kids struggle with challenging behaviors
- Learning to take a coach-approach could help parents strike a balance between guiding their kids, and empowering them to become independent
- Teaching the coach-approach to parents could transform other families as it had done for our families -- and for our clients!
We felt strongly that parents needed someone to provide the support to in order to help change their families -- and we realized that “someone” was us!
Who better than two professional moms, whose lives and families had been transformed by coaching, to pave a new path for other parents?!
A private sector business for the public good!
We decided from the beginning that we didn’t want to establish a non-profit organization, because we wanted to focus on parents, not fundraising.
We decided that we didn’t want to accept advertisers, because we wanted parents to be able to focus without distraction.
AND we were determined to make the coach-approach accessible to EVERYONE, regardless of their ability to pay. So we created a social enterprise, and we…
- launched a free website (starting with ImpactADHD.com) that focused on the “how-to” of taking a coach-approach – with practical tools that could be applied right away
- started collaborating with other professionals, inviting them to be Guest Experts so that we’d have content from a range of perspectives
- figured out how to provide low-cost support online and on the phone, so that resources would be affordable and available any time a parent needed support
- established a scholarship fund for our training and coaching programs so that anyone who really wanted help would be able to get it
Independence & Momentum
Our decision to stay independent made things more challenging, for sure. Since we were not a 501(c)(3) organization, we were unable to get support from a number of organizations. In those days, crowd-funding was not exactly an option as it is now on Patreon.
But we were determined, because we knew that parents needed us to provide a resource that was parent-centered while still focusing on what kids needed most.
Clearly, we weren’t the only ones who thought this was an idea whose time had come! In our first year, ImpactADHD®
- was recognized by CHADD (Children and Adults with ADHD) as an Innovative Program in the Spring of 2011
- launched our first beta website in August of 2011
- started our first online Coaching Group for Parents in October (that continues meeting monthly to this day) of 2011
- officially went ‘public’ at the CHADD conference in November, 2011
We’ve been back to the international conference on ADHD every year since — as exhibitors, regular presenters, consultants, committee members and chairs, board members, authors, and eventually as the co-creators of another Innovative Program in 2017— Sanity School®. Now, we return to CHADD each year with a community of professionals, the participants in our Sanity School® Certification Program, whom we’ve trained to bring the coach-approach to local communities. And just to bring things full circle -- that program was selected by CHADD as an Innovative Program in 2018.
In the years since we met each other, we’ve supported parents around the world, from more than a hundred countries, in profound and meaningful ways. And we’re proud to say that our efforts have been recognized beyond the extraordinary testimonials that come in from parents every week:
- ImpactADHD®’s behavior management training program, Sanity School®, was recognized as a 2018 National Parenting Product Award winner
- Our blog has been recognized by Healthline as a Best Of Blog for ADHD for multiple years running
- We have been asked to present in major cities and small communities from London to Melbourne and all across the U.S.
- We have trained and certified more than 50 professionals in our Sanity School® curriculum from local communities across the U.S. and in Norway, Canada, Australia, Lebanon, Malaysia, Ireland, and the U.K.
- We have given hundreds of training presentations and webinars on line
- We have served as a Parenting consultant for a special project of the American Academy of Pediatrics
- We are regularly sought out by the media for comment and education
- We were asked to write a book, Parenting ADHD Now!
In our community, parents come together to learn and grow without judgment or shame. Too many parents out there tend to put themselves last, but vitally need …
- support and solutions
- coaching and connection
- training and guidance
It wasn't long before we understood that 'Parenting with Impact' was essential for all parents -- those with all kinds of complex kids, and those with 'typical' kids facing complex circumstances or challenges. Eventually (when we had time to make it happen), in true Greek-mythology form, ImpactADHD® gave birth to its parent company, ImpactParents, which then spawned ImpactAnxiety. In time, other essential supports for parents will also become available under the ImpactParents banner.
For all of these resources, the foundation is the same: a coach approach to parenting empowers parents and teachers with the mindset and problem-solving tools they need to guide children and teens to become independent and successful adults.