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Coaching for Teens/Families

How does ADHD Impact School Performance?

According to Chris Dendy, ADHD expert, the majority of students with ADHD will experience some difficulty in school. Traits like inattention, poor concentration, language deficits, poor organizational skills, poor memory, poor fine motor skills and weak executive functioning can have significant impact!

What is Executive Function and How Does it Impact School Performance?

In 2007, researchers discovered that the brains of ADHD students mature three times more slowly than the brains of their peers. Because of this, even very bright students can perform poorly in school. When we speak of executive function, we are talking about complex cognitive functions that are likened to the brain's CEO. ADHD expert Thomas Brown compared cognitive functioning to a conductor working with an orchestra seeking to have them play "in concert." Problems with executive function can lead to difficulties such as:

  • Disorganization

  • Difficulty getting started

  • Difficulty sustaining effort

  • Finishing work

  • Remembering to do homework

  • Memorizing facts

  • Writing essays and reports

  • Completing complex math problems

  • Remembering what is read

  • Breaking down and completing long-term projects

According to ADHD expert Russell Barkley, 89-98% of children with ADHD have deficits in executive skills. This often becomes evident when a child begins middle school where demands on memory and organization are greater. We know that 2/3 of children with ADHD also have at least one co-existing condition, such as depression or anxiety!

How does an ADHD Coach Work?

Coaches support students with ADHD to reach goals by working on skills that they may be missing. Coaches work one on one with young people to create a daily customized plan for success. Coaching highlights and utilizes strengths to leverage the challenges of ADHD. Coaching may include;

  • Strength based assessments including learning style and sensory strategies

  • ADHD education and advocacy

  • School accommodations

  • Homework and organization

  • Routines and strategies for developing skills

Coaching is completed in-person, weekly for a minimum of three consecutive months and continues as long as necessary to reach the client's goals. Coaching my include brief phone contact and e-mail check-ins throughout the week as needed. 

What is the Parent's Role?

Adolescents coach for approximately 35 minutes one-on-one with the coach of the 45 minute session. Parents are brought in for the final 10 minutes in order to provide family education on ADHD, support and a summary and reinforcement of the session. 

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