On January 5, 2023, the world lost a pioneer in pediatric psychopharmacology and child psychiatry, Dr. Joseph Biederman. Dr. Biederman was dedicated to the examination of the causes, diagnosis and treatment of ADHD across the lifespan. As noted in a tribute from the American Professional Society of ADHD and Related Disorders (APSARD), “Joe is one of the most accomplished child psychiatrists in the world, a virtually unrivaled leader in the ADHD field, the founder of our organization, a good friend to many of us, and a guiding light to many outside his personal orbit. He was truly a giant in our field with a brilliant mind and compelling personality.”
I am grateful to have had the opportunity to spend time with Dr. Biederman at various professional events over the years in the U.S. and in Mexico. Joe was a warm and welcoming man who acknowledged everyone with a smile and a twinkle in his eye. Whenever we talked, he was curious to learn from me, which was humbling and deeply appreciated. I was treated with respect and kindness which was refreshing after years of dealing with professionals who looked down on ADHD coaching as more fluff than substance. Not Joe Biederman. At the 2017 APSARD conference, Joe invited me to return and share my knowledge of ADHD coaching and current research at the 2018 conference. It was then that I had the opportunity to co-present a research symposium on Emerging Evidence for the Effectiveness of ADHD Coaching. His desire to share innovative practices and support other professionals was unparalleled. I will always remember how he made me feel valued and respected, a gift he gave to all who had the privilege of knowing him. May his memory be a blessing.