Silicon Valley Adult ADHD Support

If you live in or are visiting the San Francisco Bay Area/Silicon Valley and seeking support for Adult ADHD—yours or your partners—you’ve come to the right place!

For more than a decade, I have led two free groups. They take place monthly in Palo Alto, near Highway 101, Oregon Expressway, and Middlefield.

Please note: You’ll find on this page two separate sign-up boxes: One pop-up form for this blog (ADHD Roller Coaster) and the other an embedded link for the Silicon Valley group.

COVID Update: The adult group is meeting monthly via Zoom. The partners group has always been “virtual” —e-mail-based at Links below.

Two Monthly Groups

1. Adults with ADHD (Third Wednesdays, 7:30-9:30 pm)

2. Partners (and Parents) of Adults with ADHD (Second Tuesdays, 7:30-9:30 pm): Until we can meet in person again, you are welcome to join the e-mail/website based group.

Silicon Valley Adult ADHD


Informal, Drop-In Meetings

These are drop-in groups. That means you needn’t register.  We have in the Adult group a core membership with new folks joining us each month.  The Partners group tends to be smaller; we require an RSVP and will cancel the meeting if a minimum number doesn’t plan to attend. So be sure to sign up so you can RSVP and receive these notifications.

The format is informal. We basically have group conversations based on members’ questions or sharing. I make sure that everyone who wants a chance to speak gets it. 

To receive e-mail notices of the meetings, complete the form below. E-mail is minimal—and confidential.

I look forward to welcoming you to a meeting of Silicon Valley CHADD.

Online Group for the Partners of Adults with ADHD

ADHD Partner– The platform is  (it works as Yahoogroups used to work):

  • You send an e-mail to the entire group and anyone can respond. The “conversation” is on your own time.
  • You send off your post and go about your business. Come back later to check responses.
  • You can receive individual e-mails or a daily digest, or you can read on the website.
  • I founded and moderate this wonderfully supportive group, with the help of many co-moderators whose partners (and often children) have ADHD. One of our veteran moderators has ADHD as well.
  • Please be sure to read thoroughly the instructions for joining the group.
  • The group was free to the public for 16 years. With the deluge of applications during COVID, I moved to a low-priced membership.  (Otherwise, members spent time and energy responding to new members who joined on a whim and otherwise weren’t participating.)

—Gina Pera



11 thoughts on “Silicon Valley Adult ADHD Support”

  1. Hello Gina,
    I am from the bay area and am looking for ADHD support groups locally. Are the sessions still being held on Zoom / Skype now that gatherings have been impacted by Covid-19 ? If yes, where can one find the details.

    1. Hi RK,

      Yes, our meetings have been halted during COVID.

      I am in the process of getting a Zoom meeting set up. I’ve had many other demands on me during this time.

      So, stay tuned, and sign up for the mailing list (on this post) to be notified!


  2. Is there a Covid-proof alternative for this meeting (zoom/skype/google hangouts meet/webx/other video chat platform) ? I assume not or it would be announced, but I have been known to be out of the loop.

  3. Update: Gina I have dug a little deeper and would like to share the outcome of our Patriot and Concerta journey.

    After attempting to locate Patriot pharmaceuticals Methylphenidate HCL ER 18mg in our area, after weeks of hitting road blocks and zero success, I broke down and called the company directly.

    I made a first call attempt and with desperation in my voice I pleaded for help and guidance, whilst sharing our personal story in detail with the first representative. I was told that my contact, whose name is “Noreen” would get back in touch with me in 24- 48 hours.

    Keep in mind, it’s been over a week and a half that our daughter failed with taking the other generic Trigen, which ultimately caused her to pull her eyelashes out and CONCERTA BRAND just caused too many horrible side effects. (we are one weird case I guess)

    After 24 hours I phone Patriot again and was assured that Noreen would contact me. Even though I was having to wait longer that expected I was comfortable with this company’s level of customer service representative experience both times I called. They made me feel important, listened to my concerns empathetically. The first representing even told me he could relate to me as he felt with this same issue with his son whose prescribed Methylphenidate.

    The second call I was given a reference number at the end of the call.

    After 48 hours Noreen called me that evening. She was simply amazing! Noreen was able to answer all of my questions and listened to me intently. I let her know how frustrating it was to have to hunt down this drug across our city with no luck in sight. I relayed to her how my local pharmacist at Winn Dixie could see on her computer system that their wholesale had listed Patriot on their vendor list but for weeks couldn’t order it. I let her know that my pharmacist and myself called Walgreens and was lied to by their pharmacist and we were both told that they didn’t have Patriot in stock and couldn’t order it.

    I let her know that our insurance, CVS CAREMARK as of 2020 showed that they would fill the generic form of Concerta on their new drug list. But, when we went to get it filled, CVS CAREMARK ONLY COVERS BRAND NAME CONCERTA now. (can’t use brand)
    Finally, I let Noreen know that I needed to know who had Patriot brand generic Concerta in our area, when was the last time they had ordered it, and can they consistently order the drug.

    What Noreen told me next was utterly shocking!

    Noreen said she would call directly to see what the hold up was on Winn Dixie as she was unaware of the dealings with Winn Dixie.

    Walgreens was a different story! She sounded professional angered with her tone and proceeds to tell me that Walgreens has no rhyme or reason to not fill the Patriot brand. *Walgreens has no blocks on ordering from Patriot; they must do an exception request- per their corporate office, and ALL pharmacists should know this. She even told me shes had several conversations with Walgreens corporate office to clarify.

    So WHY would Walgreens lie twice?
    Who knows!

    Long story short here is that we found the Patriot brand with the help of Noreen locating the one mom and pop pharmacy in our area.

    She promised to phone Winn Dixie (which she did the next day I found out) and spoke to their wholesale Cardinal.

    Noreen also promised to handle Walgreens to the fullest extent.
    Yes! I most certainly did call the pharmacist at Wslgreens and tastefully put him in his place. When he gave me the objection of ordering from Patriot, I told him to do the damn exception that his corporate office approved! He tried to tell me that the order of Methylphenidate from Patriot wasn’t guaranteed and that Walgreens wholesaler could send me whatever they wanted.
    (Noreen is handling this Phamacist now)

    As for other pharmacies that Noreen checked in our area, that can order and did order generic Concerya directly from Patriot pharmaceuticals here are the few she listed.

    Walmart (next city over)

    My advice to any of you is to call Patriot pharmaceuticals directly and be patient. Noreen will contact you back and do everything in her power to find the medication.

    Thank you for reading and thank you, Gina, for all that you do! For without you advocating for most of us, we would be lost!


    1. Wow, Mel, you are a bulldog! 🙂 Thanks for reporting the details.

      I have to repeat, though, for others who are reading: The Patriot authorized generic for Concerta IS Concerta brand. It is only re-packaged.

      Given FDA rules, it couldn’t be otherwise.

      The proof is that both say “Alza” — that is the proprietary technology for the delivery system that makes Concerta unique. And hard to replicate in a regular generic.

      I’m not sure that Patriot has as much say as Noreen seems to think it does. Much is also determined by the limits of one health-insurance coverage.

      At any rate, you did a great job of self-advocating! Kudos!


  4. As of today I do not see any approved authorized generic. Am I missing it?

    I also called my insurance company CVS Caremark and was told that my High Cost plan doesn’t cover any methylphenidate (generic or authorized generic Concerta) anymore.
    Our daughter has always taken generics and none of them worked until we found Activis brand. For two months she did great.
    We were never prescribed the brand name Concerta until 5 days ago, and we didn’t have a good experience on it. I’m so confused!

    The brand name Concerta she tried for 2 days that caused her constant eye pain, light sensitivity, gave her an ongoing headache and she almost had a mild panic attack at school. The teacher called me and told me she was not herself for two days and that it was a bad experience. We pulled her off of it.
    Now, there is no more Actavis and Teva, Trigen, and the Brand name doesn’t work.
    We have no more options.

    1. Hi Mel,

      I sympathize with your confusion. I’ve done my best to make the mind-bogglingly complex and variable simpler….but there’s only so much I can do. 🙂

      You might want to re-read my posts on this topic, including this one:

      Bottom line:

      The “Actavis generic” WAS the brand Concerta. It was only marketed as a generic (that makes it an “authorized generic”). Now, a company called Patriot is marketing it. CVS Caremark, however, has been playing all kinds of games with customers. And, they refuse to communicate via press release or any other means what exactly they are doing.

      To emphasize: There is no difference between what you had with the authorized generic and the brand. They are the same. The exact same. Look for “Alza” on the pill to confirm.

      So, either the dosage is different or something else has changed with your daughter. As children grow, their response to medication might change. Is she consuming caffeine? Getting enough sleep? Eating healthfully? These are all factors that can affect medication response.

      Also: hormones can have an impact, including during the menstrual cycle. Some women might need a little higher dose one week of the month for that reason.

      I hope this helps,
      Gina Pera

    2. Gina I have been following you closely for quite some time now. I have learned a plethora of information from you. We have tried 3 different generics over a 7 month period. One of those gave our daughter a nervous tick that caused her to pull her eyelashes out. We immediately stopped that horrible generic made by Trigen pharmesuticals this past Summer.

      *I immediately filed a report with them and also sent this information to the FDA through email.

      We then took a break and focused on getting the nervous tick under control and then started Methylphenidate ER made by Actavis in the months of November and December. Our daughters grades made her honor roll in 5th grade. She was doing so well.

      The actual brand Concerta prescription was filled 5 days ago at Winn Dixie as well. On the first and second day she complained of headaches, light sensitivity, disconnected feeling, and she was completely zoned out that her teacher had to postpone her testing because she couldn’t think straight. That second day she suffered a mild panic attack. The school RN called me along with her teacher and said it was really bad. I immediately stopped the brand name Concerta.

      I do not understand why our daughter did well on the Actavis. I was so hopeful that the brand name would be the best choice. I’m afraid to put her back on it and am so confused as to what to do.

      Our prescription plan is through CVS Caremark and we do not use CVS to fill prescriptions.
      On the FDA website, at this time, there are no generics.

      Thank you for your feedback and support. Our situation is a little different. Possibly, we will figure it out. Until then I will continue to research on my own, follow the FDA, and keep up with your current information.


    3. Hi Mel,

      When you say “methylphenidate ER made by Actavis,” what exactly are you referring to? I’m not aware of Actavis ever making its own generic. Actavis delayed its own generic when Janssen agreed to let it sell the brand as a generic. That’s why we’ve had the cheaper authorized generic for so long.

      Actavis was still doing that when it was purchased by Teva. The contract with Janssen ran out sometime after. Then Teva issued its own generic (perhaps the one that Actavis had in mind years ago).

      If I am misunderstanding or don’t have knowledge of a generic made by Actavis, I apologize. It’s been hard to keep up with all these moving targets.

      My question: Did that Actavis methylphenidate generic say ALZA? If so, that was brand. If not, it was a “true” generic. One that I never heard about (but it’s possible!).

      Why did your daughter have a different reaction? An individual might do better on a methylphenidate generic (methylphenidate is the ingredient in Concerta’s delivery system) than brand Concerta. It all depends on that person’s biochemistry and the release profile (at what rate it enters the blood) that works best for that person.

      If you know your girl does well on a methylphenidate generic (MPH for short), there are many other choices. They include:

    4. Aptensio XR
      Metadate ER
      Daytrana (patch)
      Ritalin (generic available)
      Ritalin LA (generic available)
      Methylin (generic available)
      Focalin (generic available)
    5. I hope this helps,

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