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9th Annual Southeast Regional ADHD Conference Speakers

Concurrent Session Speakers


Dr. Billie Abney

 Dr. Billie Abney, an award winning science teacher, instructs high school classes in Anatomy, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Forensics, plus has coached tennis teams at both Southeast and Sonoraville High Schools in Georgia. At this time she teaches at Northwest Georgia College and Career Academy. As an adult with ADHD, Dr. Abney has developed several creative teaching strategies to actively engage her students. As the result of her innovative teaching approach in science, Dr. Abney was the recipient of the Georgia Teacher of Promise Award in 2009, the National CHADD Educator of the Year in 2013 and Georgia Biology Teacher of the Year in 2016. Abney was a chiropractor for 20 years and then decided to return to the classroom. She presents nationally and internationally on effective teaching strategies for students with ADHD and Executive Function Deficits. 

Dr. Joe AckersonDr. Joe Ackerson 

Dr. Joe Ackerson is a pediatric neuropsychologist and chair of the Alabama Statewide Sports Concussion Taskforce. He is currently in private practice and senior clinician at Ackerson and Associates which houses the Ackerson ADHD Clinic. Ackerson has been serving individuals with ADHD, Traumatic Brain Injury (including concussions), and other neurological and psychological disorders for over 20 years. He has served as director of psychology for Children's Hospital of Alabama and director of pediatric neuropsychology for The University of Alabama at Birmingham. He has 18 publications and over 50 presentations. Ackerson has served as a consultant for the NIH, several National Neurocognitive Study Groups for demyelinating and genetic disorders, and is currently on the Alabama Board of Examiners in Psychology. He has served as a board member for the Alabama Head Injury Foundation, the Epilepsy Foundation of North and Central Alabama, and Prince of Peace Catholic Church and School.

Ms. Kristen AntonKristen Anton

Kristen graduated from the University of Alabama in 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology.  In 2008, she enrolled in the University of Alabama’s distance program to complete her Masters in Social Work.  She has worked professionally in a variety of settings in Enterprise, Alabama as well as Clarksville, Tennessee.  She is currently under supervision to complete her Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW) and will be eligible to obtain this license in November 2017.  Her primary focus is children and adolescents and their families, with a particular interest in juvenile court settings. 

 Kristen was adopted as an infant by two mental health professionals:  Fred George (psychologist) and Leslie George (social worker).  When Kristen was 4 years old, her parents adopted a baby boy, David.  As an adult, Kristen was fortunate to be reunited with her birth parents.  Through these two new families, Kristen learned that she had a sister and brother from her birth mother, and a sister from her birth father.  Kristen is married to Jason Anton, who is currently active duty military.  He served in Afghanistan from 2012 – 2013, through the 101st Airborne Division out of Ft. Campbell, Kentucky.  Jason is a Chief Warrant Officer (CW2) and works as Blackhawk Instructor Pilot (UH-60M) at Ft. Rucker, Alabama, which is home of Army Aviation.  Kristen and Jason have two daughters:  Maddox, a 7-year-old second grader, and Lennox, a 3-year-old preschooler.   Taking into account “all” of Kristen’s parents, as well as her husband’s parents and step-parents, their children have a total of 10 grandparents.     

Dr. John BaileyDr. John Bailey

John I. Bailey, Jr., M.D. is the founder of the first ADHD clinic in Alabama, the Center for Attention & Learning in Mobile, and he treats ADHD and related conditions in the central Gulf Coast area.  He was educated at the University of Alabama and the UA School of Medicine and was residency-trained at the Medical College of Virginia; he has been board-certified in Family Practice for over 30 years.  Since 1995, he has treated only ADHD and related conditions - in approximately 4,000 child and adult ADHD patients.  He is a professional member of ADDA, the national Attention Deficit Disorder Association, which is the only national organization exclusively for ADHD adults, and has been on its Professional Advisory Board since 2003, and is the only member in the southern United States.  He participated in the early real-world research studies on Adderall and Adderall XR.  He has presented on medications for the last two ADDA national conventions, in Orlando and Detroit and has addressed our UA ADHD Conference several times.  Dr. Bailey is well equipped to deal with the impact of patients’ medical conditions on their ADHD; but he particularly specializes in precise medication adjustments for ADHD and in detection and management of associated conditions which complicate its treatment.   

Ms. Judy BandyJudy Bandy

Judy Bandy is an ADHD Coach and Educator with extensive background in supporting youth managing ADHD.  As a registered nurse, she served as a school nurse in a middle school for 10 years.  She developed a program supporting students with ADHD founded on education and executive function support, including working with teachers and parents.   Her further training as a Certified Life Coach and Masters of Arts in Adlerian Counseling and Psychotherapy equips her to individually coach clients, educate parents and teachers.  In addition, she facilitates Mindful Parenting Groups to allow parents to learn the skills to respond rather than react as they guide their child managing ADHD.  I am energized, passionate, and honored to work with individuals, families and schools navigating an ADHD diagnosis.

Dr. Stephen ChewDr. Stephen Chew

Stephen L. Chew has been a professor and chair of psychology at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama since 1993. Trained as a cognitive psychologist, one of his primary research areas is the cognitive basis of effective teaching. His research interests include the use of examples in teaching, the impact of cognitive load on learning, and the tenacious misconceptions that students bring with them into the classroom. He is the creator of a groundbreaking series of YouTube videos for students on how to study effectively in college which have been viewed over a million times and are in wide use from high schools to professional schools. More recently he created a series of videos for teaching on the cognitive principles of effective teaching. He was awarded the Buchanan Award for Classroom Teaching Excellence from Samford in 1999.  In 2005, he received the Robert S. Daniel Teaching Excellence Award from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology as the outstanding teacher of psychology at four-year colleges and universities. He was named the 2011 Outstanding Master’s Universities and Colleges U.S. Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He regularly serves as a keynote speaker and workshop leader at conferences on teaching in general and on the teaching of psychology in particular.

Mr. Brent Cosby Mr. Brent Cosby


Brent Cosby, M.S., native of Luverne, Al., is a graduate from Troy State University with a Master's Degree in Psychology and Counseling.   He is currently employed full time with Laurel Oaks Behavioral Health Center in Dothan, Alabama in the Marketing, Business Development and Community Education department.  In this position, he has developed parenting programs, professional education workshops, school based prevention programs for at risk youth, Motivational workshop, and customer relations training for the business community.  Mr. Cosby is a nationally recognized speaker for his expertise in developing and operating programs in the areas of child/family mental health, juvenile justice and child welfare. Mr. Cosby lives in Andalusia, Al. with his wife Dr. Emma Cosby and 4 boys, Cadyn, Caylor, Hank and Justin of whom he credits for his motivation to save the youth of today. 

Ms. Jeremy Didier Ms. Jeremy Didier

Jeremy is the Founder and Group Director at ADHDKS, Kansas City's award winning CHADDD Chapter and was named affiliate of the year in 2014. She was recognized as CHADD's volunteer leader of the year in 2013 and is a CHADD Parent to Parent teacher. Ms. Didier is a graduate of ADDCA(ADD Coach Academy), JST's 'Coaching Kids, Teens & Young Adults with ADHD' program and of the inaugural class of the Chris Z. Dendy Executive Function Training Camp. She is a Court Appointed Special Advocate(CASA), providing a stable presence in at-risk kids' lives. She is a Military wife, ADHD Adult and mom of 5 fabulous kids! She graduate from the University of Kansas School of Journalism. 

Dr. Kathleen Duryea

Bio Coming Soon!

Ms. Belynda Gauthier

Belynda Gauthier has been involved in ADHD advocacy since 1990 and is mother of a young adult with ADHD and other challenges. As the founding Coordinator of Louisiana Capital Area CHADD, Ms. Gauthier wrote a Parent/Teacher Handbook on ADHD and Related Disorders, and lobbied successfully for state legislation mandating health insurance coverage for ADHD. She has served on numerous local, state and national committees and boards involved in specials needs and mental health advocacy, and was named a CHADD Coordinator of the Year in 1998. Ms. Gauthier previously served on the CHADD National Board of Directors from 1999-2002, and returned to the Board in 2015. She is a long time Board Member for Families Helping Families, and currently serves on the Louisiana DHH Task Force on ADHD. She has 34 years of professional Human Resources experience, including 20 years as HR director for a large organization. During that time, she received the Employer of the Year Award from BACE for her work in employing persons with disabilities. 

Dr. Fred George

Fred George


Fred George Ph. D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Enterprise Alabama who has been in practice since 1975 after serving four years as an active duty psychologist at Lyster Army Hospital at Fort Rucker. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Ph. D. program at the University of Texas in Austin. (And has been registered as an Irregular Post Graduate at the University of Alabama). His practice has included assessment and treatment of children, adolescents and adults including performing several disability evaluations a week since the 1970’s and several vocational rehab evaluations a month since the early 1980’s. His clinical practice has centered primarily on children and adolescents since the early 1980’s. Although this has included the full range of mental health difficulties, primarily it has involved evaluation and treatment of those with ADHD and ADD and all of their attendant problems. In the last year Dr. George has limited his practice to evaluation and treatment of preschool and school age children, evaluation of teenagers, evaluation of adults with ADHD, and evaluations for Social Security Disability and Vocational Rehabilitation Services. Dr. George has presented workshops since beginning his practice in ADHD/ADD, evaluating and treating behavior, mood, learning, and emotional problems in children and adolescents, stress management, and mental toughness. His most recent workshop was “Thirty Five Years In The Private Practice Of Psychology: Lessons Learned in the Assessment and Treatment of Emotional, Mood, Self Control and Attention Problems of Children and Adolescents.”

 Dr. George is married to Leslie who has been the spouse and child abuse social worker at the Family Advocacy Program at Lyster Army Health Clinic at Fort Rucker for the last twenty years. Prior to that she worked as a child protection worker and supervisor and a community resource specialist at the Department of human resources at Coffee and Dale County. He and Leslie have two children. Kristen (Anton) age 28 received her B.A. and Masters in Social Work from the University of Alabama and is currently working as a therapist at Clarkesville Family Therapy LLC. Her husband Jason is currently deployed to Afghanistan from Fort Campbell. Kristen has one child Maddox who is three and a half years old and another girl on the way. David age 24 is a Sargent in the Army MP Corp at Fort Stewart where he patrols the post, is a gate guard, and has been a team leader responsible for counseling two to three soldiers. Currently he is a squad leader and patrol supervisor who is responsible for 27 soldiers, counseling the NCO’s and supervising the counseling done by the team leaders. David was deployed for a year training Iraqui police, patrolling highways primarily as a machine gunner, and clearing houses of suspected terrorists. He is married to Kelly who has recently received her AA degree and is pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree from  Armstrong Atlantic State University, where she is also working as a tutor. In addition, she is the ghost writer for David’s counseling statements.


Dr. Nelson Handal 

Nelson M. Handal, M.D., DFAPA is the Founder, Chairman and Medical Director for Dothan Behavioral Medicine Clinic (DBMC) and Harmonex Neuroscience Research (HRX). As a practicing Board Certified Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist, Dr. Handal has dedicated much of his career to developing and implementing technologies that elevate the quality of patient care. His vision was born after many years of tireless work focused on perfecting a clinical model that uses technology, while implementing sensible, practical and modern clinical practices. 

Dr. Handal is the founder, owner and Medical Director at DBMC, a large and modern health clinic, which serves about 160 patients a day. Dr. Handal participates in extensive clinical research and has been primary investigator in over 40 clinical trials, including several studies for new ADHD medications. He is a national consultant and speaker. In the late 1980s, Dr. Handal was president of one of the first telemedicine referral services in the world and the system was featured in Business Week. In May of 2009, Dr. Handal was invited to testify before the United States House Committee on Veterans' Affairs regarding innovative technologies and treatments for veterans; Dr. Handal spoke about CliniCom®, an on-line psychiatric assessment tool he has been developing for the past 9 years used by close to 20,000 patients.

Awards include the 2009 Heroes in the Fight Award given by Mental Health America and The Excellence in Public MEntal Health Award for 2008 given by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). In addition, Dr. Handal has also been recognized as on of America's Top Psychiatrists for 2008 and 2007 given by the Consumers' Research Council of America. His private practice, Dothan Behavioral Medicine Clinic, has received the 2008 Best of Dothan Award in the Physicians category by the U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA). Dr. Handal has also received the 2008 Patient's Choice Award and the 2007 MEntal Health Professional of the Year Award for Alabama. In 1996, Dr. Handal was presented with the Clinical Scholar Award conferred by the University of Miami School of Medicine. Dr. Handal is also recognized as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Dipolmate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Dr. Handal completed residency training in General Psychiatry at the State University of New York Health Science Center at Syracuse in Syracuse, New York. After that, he completed his Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Miami School of Medicine in Miami. Dr. Handal is a member in good standing of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists. At the present time, he is Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Dr. Ruth Hughes Dr. Ruth Hughes

Dr. Hughes has been a national leader in the field of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder for many years. During her tenure as the DEO of Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD), she advocated with Congress and the federal government to ensure the rights and access to treatment for children and adults with ADHD. She instituted the widely recognized Parent to Parent Training Program which has helped thousands of parents learn to manage ADHD in the family and Teacher to Teacher, a training program on ADHD for teachers was launched. She has a son with ADHD who has taught her the most important lessons of living with ADHD.

Dr. Hughes also spent much of her early career helping establish the field of psychiatric rehabilitation, helping people with serious mental illnesses to recover and lead fruitful lives in the community.

She continues to present, train and write about ADHD. Her passion is finding ways to help young people with ADHD transition to adulthood. Her son, now an adult, is thriving.

Dr. Matt JarrettDr. Matt Jarrett

Dr. Jarrett is currently an Associate Professor and the Associate Director of Clinical Training in the Department of Psychology at the University of Alabama. Dr. Jarrett received his Ph.D. from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and completed a pre-doctoral internship at Children’s National Medical Center. His research and clinical interests are in the field of developmental psychopathology, particularly in the areas of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and anxiety disorders. His current research explores the interface of neuropsychological functioning and co-occurring symptomatology in children, adolescents, and emerging adults with ADHD. Dr. Jarrett is also the director of the Child and Adolescent Anxiety Clinic, a specialty clinic within the departmental Psychology Clinic.

Ms. Linda Mays

Bio Coming Soon!

Ms. Wendy Moon

Bio Coming Soon!

Dr. Eugene Roehlkepartain Dr. Eugene Roehlkepartain

Dr. Eugene Roehlkepartain is Vice President of Research and Development at Search Institute. He leads initiatives that focus on discovering what young people need to succeed in their families, schools and communities. He provides leadership for Search Institute's family engagement initiative, Keep Connected, which focuses on strengthening family relationships. Gene is author, co-author, or editor of more than 30 books and reports on youth, families and communities. He holds a doctorate in education from the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Randy Salekin

Bio Coming Soon!

Dr. Jay Soileau

Earl J. Soileau, Jr. MD, FSAHM  Bio  Dr. Soileau is board Certified in Adolescent Medicine, with additional certifications in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine.  He has spoken locally, regionally and nationally on ADHD, developmental and behavioral problems and conditions that co-occur with these.  In addition he has served a Co-Chair of the ADHD subcommittee for the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine for a number of years.  Two chapters in Adolescent Medicine Text Books have been authored by Dr. Soileau including the Neinstein Handbook Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine due out this year.  Two chapters in Adolescent Medicine State of the Art Reviews published by the American Academy of Pediatrics were authored by Dr. Soileau, as well, including one on psychopharmacology of ADHD and an update on ADHD developments in 2008 and 2014 respectively.  Dr. Soileau teaches medical students and residents through Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, School of Medicine, New Orleans, located in Lake Charles, Louisiana.   He is a board member of the American Board of Pediatrics Adolescent Medicine Sub-board.  He continues to see numerous children, adolescents and adults with ADHD and co-occurring conditions in his practice, working to improve conditions in their lives and the lives of their families.  

Dr. Despina Stavrinos Dr. Despina Stavrinos

Dr. Despina Stavrinos is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at UAB and Director of the Translational Research for Injury Prevention (TRIP) laboratory.  Dr. Stavrinos’ research program focuses on the cognitive aspects of pediatric unintentional injury – particularly resulting from motor vehicle collisions related to distracted driving.  To transform the frontiers of science, Dr. Stavrinos addresses applied injury prevention issues from a behavioral science perspective.  Her work continues to advance our understanding about how development influences basic psychological processes of attention, executive function, and cognition and how they impact real-world problems.  She has extensive experience in behavioral research with drivers with developmental disabilities including ADHD and Autism.  Her work involves distractibility, driving simulation, naturalistic driving, and the analysis of driving outcomes in drivers across the lifespan.  Her work with driving simulation has resulted in a better understanding of the underlying cognitive processes of distracted driving and has led to translational efforts to reduce this dangerous behavior. To stimulate innovation and address societal needs through research and education, Dr. Stavrinos has formed partnerships with industry, federal and state government, and DOT-funded University Transportation Centers. She has received a total of 17 grants as PI or Co-PI resulting in over 1 million dollars.  Her research collaborations span various disciplines including Psychology, Engineering, Medicine, Public Health, Computer Science, and Nursing and include key linkages to build capacity, leverage resources, and increase the speed of translation from discovery to innovation.  Dr. Stavrinos has significantly served the scientific community outside of her immediate organization through Journal Reviewing for over 30 psychology journals, Grant Reviewing for national and international funding agencies, Conference Abstract Reviewing for national and international scientific symposiums, and Professional Memberships through Association for Psychological Science and Transportation Research Board Committee on Operator Education and Regulation and by serving as Moderator for a Whitehouse Roundtable Discussion with Federal Motor Carrier Safety and Administration and the Alabama Distracted Driving Summit. In her role as Director of the TRIP Lab she has mentored nearly 100 students from various disciplines and involves women and minorities in research and educational activities to increase the diversity of our nation’s workforce.

Dr. Mark Thomas

Dr. Thomas’s career has been devoted to a passion for providing care and improving the wellbeing of adolescents and young adults. At each stop along his professional journey, treatment of patients with ADHD has taken an ever increasing proportion of his medical practice. After several years at the University of Alabama where he held a dual appointments in the Student Health Center (where he ran a busy ADHD Clinic for university students) and in the University Medical Center Department of Pediatrics (where he held a teaching appointment and was the attending physician for the Adolescent Clinic), Dr. Thomas returned to private practice in 2013 to open Tuscaloosa focusMD.  This practice is devoted to providing comprehensive and accessible care for ADHD and related conditions in adolescents, young adults and children.  In addition to his clinical pursuits, he has continued to make frequent presentations concerning ADHD in adolescents and young adults and has also been involved in related research.  As a Fellow of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, he has served as co-chairman of the ADHD Special Interest Group and the ADHD Committee.   He is also involved in CHADD, the international support group for children and young adults with ADHD.  Research interest include ADHD services in university student health centers; diversion of stimulant medication in the college setting; and the relationship between ADHD, executive functioning deficits and health risk behaviors.  He has also continued to be active in writing with publications appearing in Journal of Attention Disorders and Adolescent Medicine State of the Art Reviews. For several years, Dr. Thomas has been privileged to co-chaired the organizing committee for this conference. He is very appreciative of the efforts of the wonderful conference staff, the dedicated committee members / volunteers, and the illustrious faculty members with whom he served.

Dr. James Wiley Dr. James Wiley

Dr. Wiley is Board Certified in Pediatrics and practiced general pediatrics for almost 20 years in Dothan, Alabama before moving to Mobile and founding Focus-MD, a network of clinics devoted to evidence based diagnosis and treatment of ADHD and related disorders, in 2008. He attended the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee and graduated from the University of Alabama School of Medicine. He did his residency in pediatrics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Children's Hospital of Alabama. He is Past President of the Alabama Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Immediate Past District X Vice-Chairperson for the AAP. He is currently serving as Content Expert for the AAP Chapter Quality Network QI Collaborative on ADHD. He is listed in Best Doctors and was honored as a Mast Pediatrician by the Children's Health System of Alabama. Dr. Wiley brings the perspectives of a patient with adult ADHD, a parent of children with ADHD and a pediatrician that specializes in ADHD. He enjoys water color painting, fishing and tennis.

Dr. Dale WiselyDr. Dale Wisely

Dale Wisely, Ph.D., is Director of Student Services and Community Education at Mountain Brook Schools and has been a child and adolescent clinical psychologist for 33 years. Dr. Wisely earned his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in clinical psychology from the University of Memphis. He served his clinical internship in psychology at West Virginia University School of Medicine, Department of Behavioral Medicine in Charleston, West Virginia. Wisely is past president of the Birmingham Regional Association of Licensed Psychologists. He is past President of the Alabama Psychological Association. He has twice won the Alabama Psychological Association's Distinguished Service to Professional Psychology award. Wisely has served on the Board of Directors of the Crisis Center, the Jefferson County Children's Policy Cooperative, Alabama Children First, All In Mountain Brook and the Alabama Child Death Review System.

Ms. Chris Zeigler DendyMs. Chris Zeigler Dendy

Chris Zeigler Dendy is a former educator, school psychologist, and children's mental health professional with more than forty years experience in these fields. Perhaps more importantly, she is the mother of three grown children with ADHD. Dendy was inducted into CHADD's Hall of Fame in 2006 and received a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 for her outstanding contributions to the field. She is the author of four popular books and three videos on ADHD. Her first book, "Teenagers with ADD and ADHD" has sold over 100,000 copies. She was the lead author for the CHADD Educator's Manual and is a co-founder of CHADD's Teacher-to-Teacher training program.