Getting homework assignments done can be a huge struggle for kids with ADHD. It is important as homework problems are often a reason kids with ADHD fail in school. However, with some planning, you can help make homework less of a struggle for both you and your child. .… READ MORE
This s a new webinar for parents of teens with ADHD and other executive functioning challenges learning to drive! This webinar offers you peace of mind. Gayle Sweeney and Ann Shanahan, creators of the “Behind the Wheel With ADHD” professional training program for driving instructors, have brought their research and experience on this topic to the Edge Foundation as a new webinar just for parents! This webinar will help you keep your teen with ADHD safe behind the wheel. Now available in recorded form for convenient listening anytime.
ADHD and college: a challenge you can handle
Do you get an anxious feeling when you think about school? Going to college is an adjustment for anyone, but when you have ADHD, the challenges are that much greater. However, college is a challenge you can handle if you go armed with the knowledge of a few extra things you can do to make sure your college experience is everything you hope it will be.
Do you have the 4 student qualities for success?
Successful students usually have four qualities that help them achieve their goals:
1. Sticking with things even when the going gets tough ( a.k.a. perseverance),
2. Ability to delay gratification and focus on the big picture,
3. Time management and organizational skills, and
4. Striking the right balance between fun and work.
Are you feeling discouraged already? No surprise. These particular skills don’t come easily to students with ADHD. Organizational problems, impulsivity and time management issues are actually the hallmarks of living with ADHD. You think, “If I just get this special planner, I’ll never forget anything again.” Or you promise yourself, “Next time I’m going to start working on my class reading at the beginning of the term instead of cramming right before finals.” It’s so easy to think, “If I just make myself do this… it’ll be fine.” But what if we told you that making yourself do it is the totally wrong approach?
Read more at: Your guide for college success
What are traumatic events?
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network defines a traumatic event as “a sudden and unexpected occurrence that causes intense fear and may involve a threat of physical harm or actual physical harm. A traumatic experience may have a profound effect on the physical health, mental health, and development of a student.” These events are often referred to as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). Traumatic events can arise from neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and psychological abuse.
The impact of trauma on learning
Recent neurobiological, epigenetic, and psychological studies have shown that traumatic experiences in childhood can have many long term effects.They can:
- Diminish concentration, memory, and the organizational and language abilities children need to succeed in school.
- Lead to problems with academic performance,
- Result in inappropriate behavior in the classroom, and difficulty forming relationships.
According to research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Kaiser-Permanente, these impacts can add up to poor academic performance, and later problems in life, including:
- Risky health behaviors,
- Chronic health conditions,
- Low life potential, and
- Early death.
Resilience can make the difference
According to a report published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, entitled Adverse Childhood Experiences and the Lifelong Consequences of Trauma, past traumatic events do not necessarily dictate the future for the child. The report authors cite the ability of “protective factors” that can counter adverse childhood experiences and build resilience that allows a child to thrive. They state:
“Children survive and even thrive despite the trauma in their lives. For these children, adverse experiences are counterbalanced with protective factors. Adverse events and protective factors experienced together have the potential to foster resilience. Our knowledge about what constitutes resilience in children is evolving, but we know that several factors are positively related to such protection, including cognitive capacity, healthy attachment relationships (especially with parents and caregivers), the motivation and ability to learn and engage with the environment, the ability to regulate emotions and behavior, and supportive environmental systems,including education, cultural beliefs, and faith-based communities.”
Toward a practice of building resilience
Today, research is leading to a better understanding of the role that non-cognitive capabilities – e.g., grit, self-control, perseverance and delay of gratification play in a child’s ability to succeed in school. Paul Tough, bestselling author of How Children Succeed and Helping Children Succeed, outlines this research in a recent article in the Atlantic Monthly, “How Kids Learn Resilience.” These non-cognitive capabilities form the foundation of the executive functioning skills everyone needs to perform well both in school and at work. Executive function coaching, a proven method for helping students with learning challenges, succeeds because it builds both interpersonal relationship skills and non-cognitive capacity.
At the Edge Foundation we know from personal experience how frustrating it can be to watch our children flounder. Even if they are bright and well meaning, they just can’t seem to keep it together, at least not without a lot of help. Watching the failures happen time and time again is maddening and heartbreaking. And those failures add up. For both of you.
We also know how hard it is to find the right solution: medications, diet, supplements, brain exercises, therapy, tutors, 504s, IEPs … the list of possible interventions goes on.
Research shows that it is a combination of things, a so-called multimodal approach, that often works best. The traditional multimodal approach is a combination of medication, therapy, and life style changes.
While professional coaching is not a substitute for this approach, at the Edge Foundation we believe personal coaching is a critical and highly effective part of the solution. More and more experts in the treatment of ADD and ADHD are advocating for coaching as the piece that has been missing up until now.
Why Coaching is so Popular
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 coaching gives CEOs their edge for success, then the same strategies should be employed to help students successfully manage their lives and their ADHD, and help them reach their full potential too.
How Coaching Can Help Students with ADD/ADHD
Coaching is particularly well-suited to helping students with ADD/ADHD. Many of the strategies coaches offer are precisely the kinds of skills that are needed most. In addition, the focused and personalized one-on-one approach of coaching works particularly well with young people.
Here are seven areas that Edge Coaches often work on with their clients:
- goal setting,
- confidence building,
- prioritizing, and
- persisting at tasks.
Although we talk a lot about ADD and ADHD at the Edge Foundation, we don’t care much about labels and diagnoses. If these are the things you child struggles with, an Edge Coach can make a big difference in your child’s life.
How an Edge Coach Can Help You
Raising a child with ADD/ADHD is tough on parents. Getting your child a coach can do more than help your child succeed, it can help you too, and even save you money over time!
- An Edge Coach can help end the homework wars. When a coach is working with your still-at-home child, you won’t have to spend so much time riding herd on the homework and making sure it gets done.
- An Edge Coach can help your student learn to be more organized so more homework will get handed in, there will be fewer things lost, and fewer frenzied last minute searches for misplaced things.
- An Edge Coach can help your student learn to manage time. Think of what life might be like without running late all the time or procrastinating until the last minute!
- An Edge Coach can help your student learn to manage money. Bounced checks are expensive mistakes.
- ADHD teen drivers are prone to parking tickets, speeding tickets, and accidents. An Edge Coach can help encourage safe driving habits and help avoid the expense, hassle, and perhaps heartache of driving mishaps.
- A failed college course is an expensive failure. An Edge Coach can help your student succeed.
- An Edge Coach is an expert in ADHD. Your child’s coach can provide you with the information and resources you and your student need, saving you time and money.
Having ADHD in the family is often a family affair. The benefits of working with an Edge Coach can benefit everyone.
The power of positive thinking
Focusing on our problems is normal: Everyone tends to focus on problems. It’s probably evolutionary in nature-we evolved in a dangerous world where being able to notice threats was key to survival. Therefore, negative, troublesome, threatening things tend to capture our attention like nothing else. Yet narrow and negative thinking can lead to stress and depression, which can lower performance and reduce connectedness, both in relationships and in thoughts.
The power of positive thinking: A broad and positive focus helps you identify more resources and make more connections. Positivity-feeling good-helps creativity, perseverance, confidence, competence, and even longevity. It is tempting to feel that health, wellness, and financial success are what contribute to happiness, but it turns out that happiness predicts these things, not the other way around.
In further studies of positivity and negativity, it turns out there is an ideal ratio between the two. The ideal ratio of positivity to negativity is between 3:1 and 11:1. In other words at least 3 positive thoughts to each negative one. In this range, people have the resources to change, grow, and bounce back from adversity. They feel both supported and challenged, which develops resourcefulness and creativity. Business teams operating in this ideal zone have the highest profitability, customer satisfaction, and performance reviews.
Too much of a bad thing: People who live in an environment where the positivity to negativity ratio is below 3:1 languish. They don’t have enough resources and inspiration to pick themselves up out of the muck and see all the things that are available to them. Unlike the more positive folks, they are on a downward spiral. Sadly, it is estimated that 80% of people fall into this category.
Turn up the positive volume!
Notice, remember, articulate and savor what is already there. Practice noticing the good stuff, because there is plenty of it around. From the aroma of that first cup of coffee in the morning (even if we made a mess making it), to the parting “Bye! I love you. Have a nice day!” (even if we had to say it several times because we kept forgetting things as we tried to get out the door), to the great coaching session where both feel pumped by the end, there’s a lot to notice and feel positive about. Notice, too, how we contributed to the good stuff, notice how we are actively creating the positive experiences. Then allow yourself to feel empowered to improve your life and develop your resourcefulness and creativity!