Build It Again Bricks Update #2

Last Wednesday, I did an all-school assembly at Orchard Park Elementary! I had a blast! Sure the kindergartners were making bead necklaces in the front row the whole time and yelling out questions, but I stayed on track anyway!

The highlight for me was when during the drawing, Katy Perry’s Roar came on and the ENTIRE school started singing with the song as I completed my drawings. Talk about awesome!

A big thank you to Susanna at Orchard Park Elementary and Josh at Mercy Road Church for your help in pulling all this together!

Come to my FREE Seminar! ADHD 101 for Parents!

As many of you know, October is ADHD Awareness month, as well as Dyslexia Awareness month so I thought it’d be a good idea if I held a seminar for parents of kids with ADHD. The event is not restricted to just parents; If you’re a teacher who has ADHD students or an adult with ADHD, you’re welcome to attend!

I will do a short presentation sharing a bit about my background and then open it up for your most pressing questions. If you’d like to submit questions ahead of time, please leave them in the comments. Hope to see you there!


Southwestern Partnership for College and Career Success

This event was a huge success thanks in large part to Sherry and Barb. I definitely owe them a huge “thank-you”, not only for this event… but for the past 7 years that we have partnered. These ladies are dedicated to connecting students with careers they are passionate about.

Man was there some energy in that gymnasium!! The students were absolutely amazing. There were some students there that had seen me last year which was pretty exciting. I also got to perform one of my favorite drawings which was a real treat for me.

Every year with this group continues to get better. This was, by far, the best year yet and I am really looking forward to what next year has in store!

So many events, so little time!

Wow – it’s been a hectic few weeks! As you can tell, I am way behind on keeping you guys and gals updated. I’m actually preparing right now to leave for a whirlwind tour where Larry and I will be doing events in Vincennes, IN, Chicago, IL, Katy, TX and Washington, DC…all in the next 4 days! Phew! All that means is I don’t have a lot of time to say everything I’d like to say.

I would, however, like to take just a minute to reflect back on the past few weeks and thank the many people that coordinate the events where I speak. I know the amount of effort it takes to pull an event off – and everything has gone so smoothly. I wish I had the time to sit down and write a blog for each event I’ve had since August 20th.  Instead, I would just like to say a sincere “thank you” to all of the participants and coordinators for each of these events:

The Kentucky Migrant Education Program in Louisville, KY

Emerson Technologies in Sydney, OH

Sussex Technical High School, Georgetown, DE

Heritage School in Provo, UT

Brady Middle School, Cleveland, OH

SpringHill Camps, Evart, MI

Alabama Department of Education in Montgomery, AL

The Ft. Wayne Association for the Education of Young Children in Ft. Wayne, IN

Shawnee College in Ullin, IL

Grace Community Church in Raleigh, NC

Thank you to each and every one of you for your hard work.  You each make a difference in someone’s life every day!

Hobart School District & Brain Bombs!

Title: Hobart School District
Location: Hobart, IN
Description: Teacher In-Service
Date: 2009-08-19

Had a blast at Hobart! What a great school you have – I wish my school had been so well designed! And those brick scupltures were super cool!

Peggy! Thank you so much for your passion and enthusiasm for education – it’s always great working with folks like yourself! And thanks for the totally unexpected “pitch” for my ADHD-friendly “brain bombs” – looking forward to your ideas on a good name for these nutritious energy snacks.

Tony, Alley, Kathy – you guys were a tremendous help! Thank you!


As far as getting some sample “brain bombs” – please check back in a couple of days – we’ll try and get something set-up in our store.

You’ll be able to order samples and just pay shipping…for a little while anyway – the condition is that you complete a quick survey about your “experience” with the snack. I’m especially interested in parents with kids who have ADHD giving it a shot. I’d love to know if having one of these earlier in the day helps with concentration. 🙂

Let me know if you have any questions about it.

Have a great school year!

Atherton High School

Title: Atherton High School
Location: Louisville, KY
Description: Teacher In-service (private event)
Date: 2009-07-31

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve spoken to a group of teachers, so yesterday was a real treat – nothing better than giving teachers a pep talk to kick off a new school year! I really hope you all enjoyed the presentation and that you will go into the school year with a sense of anticipation of how you can influence and impact so many young lives.

A big thank you for Donna Buttice of TCO speakers for booking the event and also to Paulette for pulling together all the details.

Centers for New Horizons Conference

Title: Centers for New Horizons Conference
Location: Alsip, IL
Description: Conference for Day care Home Providers and Center Staff (private event)
Date: 2009-06-20

The Centers for New Horizons conference was a blast! It’s been a long time since I’ve had an adult audience with all the energy of a large group of middle schoolers, but you ladies know how to party! I got a little nervous when I took my jacket off to draw and there was whooping from the audience, but it’s all good. 😀

Sabrina, Cheryl, thank you both for seeing to Larry and my every need. And Valerie, thanks for being such a go-getter – I know you were a little worried about all the requirements, but everything was flawless!

I hope everyone walked away encouraged and inspired – I know it was a pleasure to spend the afternoon with you all.

Have a great summer!

5th Annual Lakes Health Conference

Title: 5th Annual Lakes Health Conference
Location: Okoboji, SD
Description: Continuing Ed event for healthcare professionals. Registration required.
Start Time: 8:30
Date: 2009-06-05

Had a great time at this event today, even if I almost did have a heartattack when I arrived into Sioux Falls thinking that I should have flown into Sioux City instead because those were the driving directions that my office had given me. It was stressful and freaky for about 2 minutes while I tried to figure out where I was and where I was supposed to be. In the end, I was at the right place and two hours later, I was checking into Arrowwood Resort in Okoboji. It would have been a long drive except that I was fascinated by all those electrical windmill thingies. Almost drove off the road a couple of times from staring at them for too long – they’re huge!! Major distraction too. I kept thinking about alien abductions and bees in a cornfield…don’t ask me why. ANYway, that there was what I like to refer to as an ADD Moment – total detour from my original thought which was to say how much I enjoyed the event and meeting all the fine people who made it possible.

A huge thank you to Marilyn and Rosie for putting it all together and for having the faith to book someone based on a recommendation and no first-hand experience – I’m glad that you guys were so brave! Massive kudos to Brendan Frasier…oh wait! I meant Nate, who took care of all of my A/V needs, going above and beyond! (Nate, man, I’m going to be watching The Mummy tonight – you inspired me!) My gratitude also to Peg and Berny, who were amazingly efficient at my table – they sold everything out!! Speaking off: I’ve had the office add the bundle I made available today to the store. Twenty five bucks including shipping…and if you leave me a nice comment, I will throw in an additional print as a thank you gift for stopping by!

It is always a pleasure to address health professionals from all different discplines and today was no exception! I hope that you guys remember the encouragement and take it to heart. Life is all about making a difference and you all certainly do that! Keep on, keepin’ on!

McCormick Tribune Center For Early Childhood Education Conference

Title: McCormick Tribune Center For Early Childhood
Location: Chicago, IL
Link out: Click here
Description: Leadership Conference (registration required)
Date: 2009-05-16

What an awesome event this was! I’m about to run out and hop on a plane for a trip to NYC, but I did want to let you all know how much I enjoyed being a part of your event! I looooooove speaking to educators – it’s fun and gratifying on so many levels. Thank you all for attending and for wanting to be your absolute best. Paula, Donna – you guys are the best! Thanks for making it come togeter. And Lila, that was one of the most moving and memorable intros that I’ve ever gotten – WOW!

Here’s a little clip of our time together; remember: Teachers can make a huge difference in their students’ lives!

God bless you guys!

Educator Conference 09 from Ben Glenn, The Simple ADHD Xpert on Vimeo.

W. Carrollton Middle & High Schools

Title: W. Carrollton Middle & High Schools
Location: W. Carrollton, OH
Description: Assemblies (Private events)
Date: 2009-05-14

Larry and I drove up to Dayton, the night before, in the middle of a pretty bad thunderstorm with 70 mile per hour winds whipping our car from side to side. That was fun! (not really) I had a really hard time falling asleep at the hotel because the wind and rain made it sound like some dude was driving his souped up John Deere tractor outside my window. It would have been a good time to have some earplugs or something. 🙂I was at W. Carrollton 2 years ago and my painting from that event was still hanging up in the high school cafeteria – cool! I guess I have the high school students to thank for my return visit – thanks for requesting me guys! 🙂


It was great to meet the superintendent of the school district, Rusty Clifford! Now here’s a guy who truly has a passion for students, teachers and for providing a positive environment for learning AND teaching.

A special thanks to Connie for making sure that everything was ready for the events; Haley, keep movin’ forward – wishing you a speedy recovery!

Guys, school break is just around the corner – finish strong, okay? and remember: Keep moving forward!

ps. Check out this video of Larry leading a clap-a-thon with the Elementary school kids. Who knew that clapping could be so tricky?

W. Carroltton School District Assembly from Ben Glenn, The Simple ADHD Xpert on Vimeo.

Kankakee County Teen Conference

Title: Kankakee County Teen Conference.
Location: Olivet Nazarene University
Description: Teen Conference (Private Event)
Date: 2009-05-12

Life has been hectic to say the least! To get out to the Kankakee County Teen Conference, I got up at 4:30am. Technically I could have slept till 5am, but for some reason my 2 year old thinks it’s fun to get up at 4:30am and play the ‘let’s wake daddy by repeatedly slapping his face in the dark’ game. Kids!

Thankfully, Larry was driving so I was able to sleep the entire 2.5 hour drive.

The conference went great! I kicked everything off with a keynote to the 900 8th and 9th graders who were actually, amazingly awake! After the keynote, the group broke up into a bunch of worskhops and I also did 2 of those. It was nice to have smaller groups to speak to as we could do Q&A and make it more interractive.

I really enjoyed meeting everyone and want to do a special shout out to Shelby and her mom, Karen, fellow ADDers! Shelby’s a writer, putting her wild, ADD imagination to good use. Send me a copy of your book when it’s published, ok?

A big thank you, to our sponsor, Linda! I’m glad that the frame building exercise doubled as laughter therapy for you guys – you did an excellent job by the way!

Last, but not least, I ran into my good friend Steve Troglio, who was one of the other workshop speakers at the conference. Steve and I have known each other for about a  decade, our path crossing at various events. Steve has a phenomenal program for youth – if you’re looking for a great presenter for your next teen event, look Steve up. Tell him I sent you!. Check out his website: CLICK HERE!

After the last workshop, Larry and I packed everything up and headed right back home! Long day, but well worth it!

Kaneland School District

Title: Kaneland School District
Location: Maple Park, IL
Description: 1p Assembly (Private Event)
6:30p Parent Event (Open to the public)
Date: 2009-04-06

It was great to be back at Kaneland High School yesterday! In the afternoon, I spoke to a large group of 5th and 6th graders who will all be transitioning to a new building next school year. It will be quite a change for most of them, as they leave their small, old schools behind and merge with a bunch of other middle schoolers in the district in a large, new facility. I can see how that could be both exciting and intimidating.  I love speaking to this age group – they have just the right kind of ADHD energy!

The evening presentation was phenomenal! The school had 114 people pre-register to attend, but we ended up with almost 300 people as students dragged their parents to see the presentation. Thanks guys! Appreciate you braving the nasty weather to come out and show me some love!

As always, every event is an opportunity to meet some incredible people who are making a difference in the lives of students and the community. I was really impressed with the kinds of things that Fran Eggleston, the principal at Kaneland McDole Elementary School and also the head of their Special Ed., Programming is doing with their students. One of them is something that I touch on briefly in my book, but it’s the concept of giving kids with Learning Disabilities, even younger kids, an opportunity to have a say in how they can learn better. I think it’s really important to allow some degree of control in a situation where a person may feel like they have no say whatsoever – I wish somebody had asked me what I thought back when I was diagnosed! So, go Fran!

A huge thank you to Christi, the Super Secretary, and your husband for putting together such stellar frames for me. Textbook! And also to Sara Mumm for all your help!

Thanks for having me back, Kaneland. Hope to see you all again in the not too distant future!


Chicago School for Agricultural Sciences

Chicago School for Agricultural Sciences
Location: Chicago, IL
Link out: Click here
Description: Assembly (private event)
Date: 2009-05-05

I got up at 5am this morning to drive up to do a couple of assemblies at Chicago School for Agricultural Sciences – probably one of the most unique high schools I’ve ever been to! This is no regular school, but an actual farm! A 70 acre farm to be precise – the school’s campus is the largest farm in the Chicagoland area – how wild is that!? I got to tour the school and had the pleasure of meeting

Lucy the pig, the school’s mascot. I was also completely fascinated by the tanks of “home-grown” tilapia – kinda wished I brought my fishing pole – it could have been a good fishing day for me!

The school is super competitive to get into and it really felt like the students took pride in being there. I met some awesome people today: Maggie, Mike, the dude that wants to be, not just any vet, but an International Vet and a few more whose names I just can’t remember!! I’m really, really bad with names, but  I’m great with faces. I might not remember your name, but I’ll know I’ve met you somewhere – does that count?

Lucille, our sponsor, was great to work with and I wanted to thank her for all her hard work in making these events possible.

I hope you guys have a great rest of the year and finish it out strong.

Now I’m off to do some fishing on my mom’s pond in Dixon, IL.

Over and out.

Vincennes Lincoln High School

Title: Vincennes Lincoln High School
Location: Vincennes, IN
Description: Assembly (Private Event)
Date: 2009-05-04

Today was definitely one of those days when my own motto of  “keep moving forward” was put to a good test! First, our GPS lady took Larry and I to a location that WAS supposed to be Vincennes Lincoln High School, but was in fact, in the middle of nowhere. Thankfully we were not running late, so we circled around a couple of times and then decided to ask a jogger for directions. I think we scared him. lol He gave us a pretty weird look. I’m guessing that there aren’t too many high schools  in Vincennes. 🙂

When we finally found our way to the school, we encountered some unforeseen set-up difficulties that sent us running to the local Walmart. I was getting tense, wondering if we’d have to start the assembly late. (I really, really don’t like to be late!) Good thing that Walmart was not even 5 minutes down the road so I was still able to set up in time to face a VERY energetic crowd. You guys were wired! I kept thinking, “Is today Friday? The day before summer vacation? This group is AMPED!” Turns out it was none of those things; apparently you all were just really happy to be out of class for an hour. Hopefully it was an hour well spent. 🙂

I enjoyed meeting all of you and especially Blake, Jonetta, the Senior girls who were our greeters and the art teacher with all those sisters – hope they enjoy the book! A big thanks to Mr. Parsley for bringing me in – hopefully he’ll have me back in a few years.

love, peace and hair grease!