Posted on November 28, 2013 by Stephan Wiedner
We frequently get requests from exasperated parents who are looking for a life coach to help their child with ADHD. Getting a life coach for your child with ADHD may be a really great option for you and your kid.
This article explains the approach that life coaches take when working with children with ADHD or ADD and why this might be a good option for you.
The positivity approach to ADHD
There are two basic methods for approaching the challenges of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The first approach is to try to fix what’s wrong — usually with medication. The second is to look at what’s right.
Instead of viewing ADHD as a disability, ADHD coaches take a positive perspective that students with ADHD aren’t broken. Life coaches for children with ADHD don’t ignore the challenges associated with ADHD; rather, they help change the outlook that there is only one way your brain should function and teach children who have ADHD that a unique brain does not equal a dysfunctional brain.
How a life coach for children with ADHD works
In school, students learn by utilizing different skills sets. You can think of those skills as a toolbox, and people with ADD and ADHD don’t have the same toolbox as everyone else. Imagine trying to build a house without a hammer and nails. The result would be an unstable structure that could come crashing down at any moment — assuming it gets finished at all.
The truth is, many students with ADHD feel as if their life is about to come crashing down around them. They have difficulty with time management, punctuality, prioritizing responsibilities, planning, and organizing their lives in general. An ADHD life coach can show them how to adapt by using the tools they do have rather than focusing on the tools they are missing to build a successful, functional life.
Success story: How a child with ADHD benefited from a life coach
During high school and college, Clare Hunt struggled with constant stress and anxiety, self-criticism, self-doubt, distorted self-perception, and low self-confidence. She didn’t know it at the time, but she has ADHD.
“In addition to my emotional challenges, I also had difficulty with the practicalities of life — being on time, being organized, focusing in class and not daydreaming, getting things done, procrastinating, and remembering deadlines,” Clare said. “Basically, I had difficulty staying afloat with the day-to-day and often felt like I barely had my head above water. I always felt like a house of cards about to crash down.”
In short, what Clare needed was a hammer and nails, and she got it. “My coach helped me move from feeling like a victim to taking control over my ADHD — to see it as part of my identity but not let it take on too much significance in my life,” she said.
Her coach helped her realize that she was being too hard on herself and had actually created “workarounds and tricks” that helped her cope. She became more self-affirming and revamped her lifestyle to support her own health. Finally, her coach gave her practical tools to add organization and structure to her life, which she still uses every day.
According to Clare, working with a coach allowed her to follow her dreams. For example, she spent four months backpacking in South America, lived and worked in Sub-Saharan Africa, and pursued a master’s degree in business administration. She is confident and successful, and she credits these accomplishments to the work she did with her ADHD coach.
Life coaches for children with ADHD
It’s important to note that ADHD coaching is not a substitute for medication or therapy. In many cases, students with ADHD are very successful in a program that involves all three. In other cases, students can be successful with the help of an ADHD coach, making medication unnecessary. The important thing is that your child has the tools necessary to take control and lead a productive, happy life.
If you’re looking for a life coach for your child with ADHD, listen to a couple of the interviews below:
Jacqueline Sinfield, Life Coach for People with ADHD
Leah B. Mazzola, Life Coach for Young Women with ADHD
This article has been republished with modifications from the original story on Parenthood.com titled Using A Life Coach To Combat ADHD
Photo credit: cc on Flickr