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ADHD Conference Speakers

Keynote Speakers

William W. Dodson, M.D., LF-APA

bill dodson headshotDr. Bill Dodson is a board certified adult psychiatrist that has specialized in adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder for the last 25 years. Dr. Dodson has been on the faculties of Georgetown University and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He was a psychiatric consultant to Georgetown University for 14 years and ran the Student Health Services for Georgetown for 4 years.

In recognition of his clinical contributions to the field of ADHD he was named a Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association in 2012. He was also the 2006 recipient of the national Maxwell J. Schleifer Award for Distinguished Service to Persons with Disabilities. He is one of two experts from the US to the World Anti-Doping program for the development of guidelines for the use of ADHD stimulant medications in the world’s athletes.

Dr. Dodson is in private practice in Greenwood Village, CO, specializing in adults with ADHD.

Dr. Dodson has also been a consultant and/or speaker for Shire Pharmaceuticals, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Neos Therapeutics, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, Sunovian Pharmaceuticals, Supernus Pharmaceuticals, Highland Therapeutics/Ironshore Pharmaceuticals.

Rick Green, CM, OOnt, BSc.

rick green headshotAfter graduating with a BSC. in Physics, Rick Green created public programs for the Ontario Science Centre.  In 1979 he became a full-time comedian, writing and performing in 700 episodes of television and radio. Rick is the founder of the groundbreaking website, as well as the producer of two outstanding documentaries on adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD): ADD & Loving It?! and ADD & Mastering It!

ADD & Loving It?! became a runaway hit on PBS earning critical acclaim, a New York Festivals award for Best Medical Documentary, and kudos from educators, coaches, doctors, and adults affected by Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Since then, Rick has interviewed over 75 of the world’s leading ADHD experts, and produced videos on every aspect of ADHD.

With a gift for blending information and humor, Rick is also well known for his television series History Bites; the alternative fiction literacy series Prisoners of Gravity; the long-running comedy series The Red Green Show; and as part of The Frantics comedy troupe. A frequent public speaker and advocate for adults with ADHD, Rick has been honored as one of The University of Waterloo’s Top 50 Science Graduates, has received the CAMH Foundation’s Celebrity Transforming Lives Award, and the prestigious Order of Ontario. Recently he was proud to be appointed to The Order of Canada.


Concurrent Session Speakers

Dr. Joe Ackerson, PhD

Headshot 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 is the 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.  Dr. 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. Jeremy Didier 

jeremy didier headshotJeremy 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 A. Duryea, DO

kathleen duryea headshotBio Coming Soon





Dr. Nelson Handal, MD, DFAPA.

Dr. Nelson Handal, PhD.Dr. Handal is the founder, owner and Medical Director of Dothan Behavioral Medicine Clinic (DBMC) a mental health clinic, which serves approximately 170 patients a day.  He is also founder, owner and Medical Director of Harmonex Neuroscience Research. Dr. Handal participates in extensive clinical research and has been primary investigator in over 80 clinical trials, including several studies for new ADHD medications.  In 2017, he was Chief Medical Officer for an award winning European ADHD study.  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 Unites States House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs regarding innovative technologies and treatments for veterans.  Dr. Handal spoke about CliniCom®, a patent pending on-line psychiatric assessment tool he has been developing for the past 10 years which is used by nearly 35,000 patients.  CliniCom® was a semifinalist in the Innovation Lab of the American Psychiatric Association in 2017.

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 one of America’s Top Psychiatrists for 2007 and 2008 given by the Consumers’ Research Council of America.  His private practice, Dothan Behavioral Medicine Clinic, 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 Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. 

Dr. Handal attended Medical School in Heidelberg, Germany and Universidad Mayor de San Andres, La Paz, Bolivia where he was born. Completed residency training in General Psychiatry at the State University of New York Health Science Center at Syracuse, New York.  After that, he completed his Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Miami School of Medicine in Miami, Florida.  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, PhD. 

ruth hughes headshotDr. 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. Jay Soileau Jr, M.D., FSAHM

jay soileau headshotDr. 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. Mark Thomas, M.D.

Dr. Thomas’ 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, M.D., FAAP

james wiley headshotDr. 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 Wisely, M.S., PhD.

dale wisely headshotDale Wisely, PhD. is Director of Family Life at Prince of Peace Catholic Church & School in Hoover, a suburb of Birmingham Alabama. He has been a child and adolescent clinical psychologist for 36 years. Prior to joining Prince of Peace, Dr. Wisely was the Director of Student Services and Community Education for 12 years with Mountain Brook School System, where he continues to serve as a consultant. Dr. Wisely practiced clinical psychology in Birmingham Alabama from 1983 to 2006 which included assessment, pediatric psychology, and psychotherapy. He was named to the 2018 “Top 50 over 50” class by Positive Maturity, a non-profit agency in Birmingham Alabama designed to enhance the lives of adults 55 and older through social service and civic engagement. Dr. Wisely has served on numerous Board of Directors’ including the Crisis Center, the Jefferson County Children’s Policy Cooperative, Alabama Children First, All In Mountain Brook, and the Alabama Child Death Review System. He is also former President of the Birmingham Regional Association of Licensed Psychologists, and the Alabama Psychological Association by which he has received the prestigious “Distinguished Service to Professional Psychology” award three times, most recently in 2018. Dr. Wisely received his M.S. and PhD. degrees in clinical psychology from the University of Memphis. He completed his clinical internship at West Virginia University School of Medicine, Department of Behavioral Medicine, in Charleston. Dr. Wisely also earned a Master’s in Theological Studies from Spring Hill College, a Jesuit college located in Mobile Alabama. Dr. Wisely served as senior psychologist at the Vaughan Clinic, now Children’s Behavioral Health, at Children’s Hospital of Alabama for 14 years. Dr. Wisely has taught and held adjunct faculty appointments at the University of Alabama, Spring Hill College, and the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Dr. Wisely writes and operates a public service website, Parenting Teen Drivers, which includes a free parent-teen contract which has been in wide use nationally for more than 10 years. 

Ms. Chris Zeigler Dendy

chris zeigler-dendy headshotChris 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.





For more information, please contact Sea Talantis at or 205-348-3014 or Mandy Guin at or 205-348-6222.