As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, one of the things we hear time and time again from our conference attendees is how unique the IOCDF conference is, especially when it comes to being family-friendly. At IOCDF, we really aim to make the conference a resource that is open to individuals with OCD of all ages, as well as their family members and loved ones, in addition to mental health professionals.
Jack Lindley first attended the Annual IOCDF conference in San Diego last year with his mother Liz. This year, not only are they attending, they are back to run a kids program called “Icky Sticky Fun and Games,” in addition to helping with the OCD 4 Ping Pong event. Jack, a high school freshman, will also be participating in the Teen Success Panel. In this blog, Christina Albano interviewed Jack and Liz about their involvement in this year’s conference.
CHRISTINA: Can you tell us a little about the talks you will be presenting at this year’s Annual Conference?
LIZ: We will both be presenting “Icky Sticky Fun and Games” on Saturday at 10am and participating in the PingPong 4 OCD event on Friday evening at 7:00 with our friend and event founder, Kevin Putman.
JACK: I will also be a part of Dr. Patrick McGrath’s “Teen Success Panel” on Friday at 1:45.
CHRISTINA: What makes your talks unique? Why do you think Conference attendees should go?
JACK: Icky Sticky Fun is meant for kids! We will have stations that connect to everyone’s personal OCD. For example, there will be the “Name that Sound” station and the recycled (potentially contaminated) instruments station. On the teen panel, I just want to give hope to others like me when you think you are at the point of no return.
LIZ: Kids will enjoy taking part in unique challenges in a fun setting with peers. It’s a great opportunity to build confidence and earn a “win” against their OCD. We also guarantee some fun surprises!
CHRISTINA: Tell us a little bit about you, what you currently do, and how you became involved in the OCD community.
JACK: I am a freshman in high school and I have OCD. The sole reason that I became involved in the IOCDF is because of my mom! When I was diagnosed, she did as much as she could to help me.
LIZ: Initially, an important part of helping Jack was to become involved in the activities of the IOCDF. However, it has evolved into more than just helping our family. As a volunteer for the new affiliate, OCD-Midwest, I am excited to help raise awareness and understanding, fundraise, and support professional and family education in our community. We are planning a PingPong 4 OCD event in Cincinnati (our hometown) on September 8, in addition to several other events.
CHRISTINA: Have you been to an IOCDF Conference before?
JACK: Last year, we went to our first conference. The most memorable experience was seeing all the people with OCD… the people like me.
LIZ: I agree with Jack. In San Diego, we participated in Virtual Camping and it was amazing! We both still carry with us the hope and inspiration we felt during the conference last year.
CHRISTINA: After taking a look at the IOCDF Conference schedule (in the Conference Brochure), what workshops are you most excited about attending and why?
JACK: I am looking forward to Ping Pong for OCD, the keynote address, and the “Can Harry Potter Cure OCD?”
LIZ: Some of my favorite writers/speakers and researchers will be presenting. Dealing with silent compulsions is a challenge, so I won’t miss Jon Hershfield presenting “Bringing Clarity to Mental Rituals.” I am always looking for new information regarding PANDAS so I will also attend Swedo, Hornig, and Murphy’s discussion and the research updates, lead by Dr. Lewin. I’m going to Dr. McGrath’s presentation, “Don’t Try Harder, Try Different.” He offers specific strategies and I use a lot of his key phrases in response to Jack’s OCD.
CHRISTINA: Since you are not from the local Chicago area, what are you most excited about doing in Chicago while you are there for the Conference?
JACK: I am excited to see the Magnificent Mile.
LIZ: I’m looking forward to the food and shopping! Although we’re not from Chicago, we know the best pizza is at Uno’s and Garrett’s for popcorn. Both are right around the corner from the hotel.
Thank you both for talking with us! Jack and Liz’s workshop “Icky, Sticky Fun & Games!” is in the Kids and Teens track and will be held from 10:00-11:00 am in the Chicago Ballroom “F” on the 5th floor of the Marriott. The “Teen Success Panel” that Jack will be presenting on, along with a few other teens, is also in the Kids and Teens track and will be held from 1:45-3:45 pm in the Clark Room on the 4th floor.
Ping Pong 4 OCD will be held on Friday evening at 7:00 pm until late in Chicago Ballroom A, B, C, & D on the 5th floor of the hotel. For more information about other special programs that are going on throughout the Conference weekend, take a look at our Conference Program page on our website here: http://www.ocfoundation.org/About_Conference.aspx#Program_Details.