Helping ADHD students get back on course

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ADHD coaching steers a student back on course

Jesse (not his real name) was an average college student majoring in engineering major at a big university.  He lived in a dorm room, went to class during the week and partied on the weekends. But one thing about Jesse’s college experience set it apart from many others’:  he has ADHD.

Jesse told us he figured out he had ADHD when a friend was diagnosed.  “So I went to get screened. After what ended up being a three-month-long process of tests and doctor visits, I was diagnosed.”

College is a particularly difficult time for students with ADHD.  Academic demands, increased independence, more free time, and a distracting environment, creates an environment where many untreated ADHD students are likely to fail.

“If I hadn’t got treatment,” Jesse said, “I can basically guarantee that I would have flunked out.” Fortunately Jesse found a medication that helped with focus, accommodations that allowed him to take exams in less distracting environments, and, perhaps most importantly, he found an ADHD coach.

ADHD coaches are commonly used in ADHD treatment, and students who received ADHD coaching have been shown to show substantial gains in their overall approach to learning. Neil Peterson, founder of Edge Foundation explains, “Medications do not work for everybody. They are not ‘the’ answer because medications do not teach skills — but coaches do.”

Edge ADHD Coaches work by helping a person with ADHD to organize their life on their own, rather than telling them what to do. The coach meets with a student once or twice per week, and helps him or her with goal setting, prioritizing, focusing, confidence, etc. The students set weekly goals and action plans to meet those goals and have e-mail and phone support from their coaches to help keep them on track.

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