Jackie Woodside is a USA today and Amazon bestselling author, TEDx speaker, trainer, and coach. She is the founder of the Curriculum for Conscious Living and the Conscious Living Summit and trains coaches around the world.
Her expertise is widely sought-after as a speaker and teacher. Jackie is certified as a coach and licensed psychotherapist with 30 years of experience in both fields. Ink magazine selected her book, Calming the Chaos, as one of their top 10 motivational books, Jackie offers special development training, keynote speeches, and retreats around the globe.
There’s such a need in our world for people to be talking about this space. Everything about neurodiversity was gloom and doom. Woe is me. It’s so hard. There’s so many challenges. And meanwhile, I’m meeting all these people who are successful. They’re like, my ADHD made me a millionaire. My autism made me a millionaire. My dyslexia made me a millionaire. I’m like, where are these stories for the kids who get their autism or ADHD diagnosis in school?
So that’s what we’re doing there. Dyslexia is another, another big one. The dyslexia, ADD, anxiety disorder triad comes with a lot of kids who have neurodiversity. Not only is Jackie neurodiverse, she’s raising a neurodiverse teenage young man. She has a 17 year old son who goes to the Landmark School in Beverly, Massachusetts, which is a school for kids with neurodiversity, language based learning disabilities, and ADHD or ADD.
Jackie was diagnosed with adult attention deficit disorder by the man who wrote the book about adult attention deficit deficit disorder, Ned Hallowell, who has the Hellowell center in Sudbury, Massachusetts. In her thirties, Jackie’s friends were teasing her about the fact that she probably had ADD, so she got in touch with Hallowell to prove them wrong. She had already, in her 20’s, been diagnosed with PTSD, chronic depressive disorder, and recurrent depressive disorder. Trying to heal herself from her neurodiversities led her into addiction, which she has since recovered from.
Frank King, Suicide Prevention speaker and Trainer was a writer for The Tonight Show for 20 years. Fighting Major Depressive Disorder and Chronic Suicidality, he has turned that long dark journey into 5 TEDx Talks and shared his insights on Mental Health Awareness with associations, corporations, and colleges. Depression and suicide run in his family. He’s thought about killing himself more times than he can count. Frank uses his life lessons to start giving people permission to give voice to their feelings and experiences surrounding depression and suicide by standing in his truth and doing it with humor.
Ana Melikian was born in Portugal and almost had to repeat the fourth grade due to bad spelling. Despite being diagnosed with dyslexia, she earned two master’s degrees and a PhD in psychology. She taught at universities in Portugal and Spain. Now living in the U.S., Ana combines her expertise in psychology with her trademark optimism to help audiences explore and embrace possibilities beyond their comfort zone. As a keynote speaker and the host of the Mindset Zone podcast, Ana helps audiences break through their mindset limitations, upgrade their minds’ operating systems, and achieve better results than ever.
Ana lives the life she has created for herself. She says that is her best definition of being successful. There are challenges, but that’s part of the beauty of it. She has the freedom of having control of her time to spend with her family, to travel, to visit her family in Portugal. Her business aligns with her purpose as she serves her clients.
How has dyslexia helped Ana find her success?
Originally, Ana thought her dyslexia was a handicap. She struggles mainly with spelling. She was a good student in general, but her spelling almost kept her from moving up through the grades.
Luckily, her teachers realized that spelling was her only problem, and so they let Ana progress. She kept improving as a student, but people around her saw there was something different about her. Portuguese is a phonetic language, and Ana could not differentiate certain sounds, even in high school. The psychologists in the school worked with her, but there was no specific program for dyslexics. Nowadays, she would have gone to a speech therapist.
Ana went to college and learned to speak English and Spanish. She studied and worked in Spain. She always believed she could overcome this challenge and still do what she wanted to do. It was relatively recently when she started to learn more about dyslexia, and understand the superpowers of it. One of the things that she didn’t realize before is that most dyslexics have problems with left and right, but at the same time, they have the tendency to see patterns, so math was easy for Ana. She didn’t know that that was one of the characteristics of many dyslexics. Because details are challenging, dyslexics have to see the overall picture to make sense of things. That always gave her an advantage that she absolutely leveraged even before she realized that was a superpower in her academic and professional life.