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What is ADHD coaching?
Everyone knows a coach when they see one. There are football coaches, tennis coaches, dance coaches, voice coaches and executive coaches. And for the daily challenge of life itself there are life coaches. Put simply, a life coach helps people meet the challenges and opportunities life presents. An ADHD coach is a life coach who is specialized in the unique challenges of ADHD.
ADHD coaching works the same way as an athletic coach, only the game is life. Your ADHD coach will work with you on the skills you may be missing and your game strategy. Over time you will get better at all the things that are hard for you right now. Things like planning, prioritizing, time management, and organization. Your Edge ADHD coach will also help you apply these new skills to achieving the things you want most. Check out some of our testimonials to hear how ADHD coaching has helped real students achieve their goals.
People all over the world are recognizing the benefits of life coaching in their pursuit of career and life goals. Many CEOs and top business executives find that executive coaches can give them the edge necessary to manage successfully and effectively when the stakes are very high.
At the Edge Foundation we believe that if a coach is good enough for CEOs, then it is good enough for our young people who are learning to succeed with ADHD.
Coaching is particularly well-suited to helping people with ADHD live better with the challenges of this disorder. Many of the strategies ADHD coaches offer are precisely the ones that are needed most. When self management, time management, and organization don’t come naturally, an Edge ADHD coach can help you develop these skills. In addition, the focused and personalized one-on-one approach of coaching works really well for young people with ADHD.
Professional ADHD coaching is not a substitute for traditional treatment for ADHD such as medication and therapy. But at the Edge Foundation we believe it is a critical and highly effective support mechanism for young people to learn to live well with the challenges of ADHD.
Here are seven major ADHD challenge areas that most ADHD coaches work on with their clients:
- goal setting,
- confidence building,
- prioritizing, and
- persisting at tasks.
Getting started: The Edge ADHD Coaching Program starts with a get-to-know you chat. These chats are free and take about 20 minutes. In this call, we’ll answer your questions, get a sense of whether or not you’ll benefit from ADHD coaching and make sure you understand the general terms and conditions of working with an ADHD coach. Once you and your coach have decided to proceed, you sign a contract and begin.
Intake session: The first session is a lengthy one and is sometimes called the intake session. During this discussion that usually lasts about two hours, you and your coach talk about what’s working and what’s not, what’s frustrating, and where you’d like to see progress. If you are under 18 years of age, your parents will participate in some of it. By the end of this session you and your coach will know what you are going to be working on and how you are going to work on it.
Weekly check-ins: After you’ve completed the intake session, you begin weekly 30-minute sessions with additional check-ins in between. Check-ins are usually preplanned and can happen as often as daily. Most students choose to suspend ADHD coaching during exams and holidays, but we strongly encourage you not to go more than two weeks without a session or at least a check-in.
The Edge program is designed to last for up to 36 weeks, basically one 30-minute session for every week of a nine month academic school year. Although the coaching contracts are month-to-month, we strongly encourage you to stay with coaching for two full school terms. The first term, you’re just learning the skills. The second term you’re learning how to apply them on your own with the support of your Edge ADHD coach. By the end of the second term, most students have internalized what they’ve learned and are ready to graduate from coaching! If you want to keep coaching, however, your coach will be happy to work something out with you.
For many people the idea of working on the phone, instead of meeting in an office, is just strange. Although there is no prohibition against meeting in person, all of Edge ADHD coaches are trained to work on the phone. We do this for several reasons:
- Using the phone takes transportation issues right out of the equation. You can get to your appointment just by picking up the phone – it’s a lot easier to be on time for your appointments!
- There are just not that many ADHD Coaches. By working on the phone, you still have access to coaching, even if there isn’t an ADHD coach in your community. And, you can “take your coach with you” where ever you go.
- A 30-minute appointment takes exactly 30 minutes. No commuting to and from the appointment, or waiting in the waiting room. Coaching appointments are therefore easy to fit into a busy schedule.
- A coach and client can stay in much closer touch through the phone and email than they can if they only connected in an office. It is this extra contact that very often makes the difference in being able to stay on task and follow through.
You can also meet with your ADHD coach on Skype!
Coaching is a partnership in which you and your coach define your goals and plan how to achieve those goals. You provide the goals — the coach provides structure, support and accountability. When selecting an ADHD coach look for someone who :
- Is certified through a reputable program that involves ADHD coach training geared toward young people.
- Understands the unique challenges you face with your ADHD in a school environment and in your life.
- Is flexible and one you feel comfortable with (this is not a decision for your parents to make – the coach is working with you!).
- Offers the option of working by phone/Skype or in person if necessary.
- Is comfortable working, as needed, in coordination with your therapist, tutor, faculty advisor or other professionals for your best interest.
A good ADHD coach will help you identify and gravitate towards your strengths, while navigating around your weaknesses. Working with the right coach you soon find you’re stronger at advocating for yourself and your stress is dramatically reduced because you are on track and following a plan.
It is your choice. Coaching may be suspended over exam periods, but oftentimes coaching support is most valuable during these busy, high stress times. Most students suspend ADHD coaching during school vacations and holidays. If you start coaching in the middle of the year, you may take the summer off and complete your second semester of coaching in the fall. Even though we encourage a nine-month commitment for optimal results, you can just try it for a month and see if coaching works for you.
By now it’s probably clear that working with a personal coach is unlike anything else you’ve ever tried. Because of the additional check-ins in between sessions, working with your ADHD coach isn’t just a once-a-week thing: the interactions support you all week long.
Intake Session Fee: The fee for the initial session, including the set up time plus the full two-hour intake plus a complete review of client data, is $400. The time and effort involved in conducting the intake is four times as much as for the weekly session, so it’s four times as much. It’s that simple.
Monthly ADHD Coaching Fee: The fee for the ADHD coaching, for the full, ongoing support of your Edge-trained coach including the regular 30-minute coaching session, up to daily check-ins between sessions, and additional resources as needed, is $400 per month ($100/week). Coaching progress happens over time, so consider this a month to month process toward success.
It’s less than $15/day to get you back on track and give you the tools you need to succeed long term.
Compare the above to some common (costly) things that definitely won’t help you succeed:
- A daily Starbucks habit (sugar and caffeine are not the best way to stay alert–your ADHD coach can help you develop healthier habits);
- A few bounced checks or credit card problems (your coach can help you manage your money and avoid these problems);
- A speeding ticket or parking ticket or fender bender, and the increased insurance premiums that will result (your coach can help educate you about the issues ADHD teens face when driving and encourage safe driving habits); and
- Failing a class (there goes that tuition! Your coach can help you stay on track so you won’t fail — you’ll do well.