Resources for Teachers with ADHD Students

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Edge Coach Training

The Edge Foundation will train selected members of your staff to be Edge Coaches to provide one-on-one coaching for students in the school setting. The training is a comprehensive, 3 day intensive training program, based on our many years of coaching at-risk students with learning challenges stemming from ADHD, dyslexia or adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).

 

Teacher & Staff Training

We will train your entire teaching and support staff in Edge Coaching techniques so they can be even more effective in their role and so they can communicate with all students in a supportive non-judgmental way.

 

Leadership Training

We offer leadership training to administrators, principals and other executive staff. This training demonstrates how   Edge Coaching techniques can be used to develop and enhance executive leadership skills in the school administration context.

 

Get Started

Contact us today to see how Edge Training can make a difference at your school.

 

Tim Kniffin
Program Director
WA Edge Schools Project
206.234.2597
tkniffin@edgefoundation.org

Derreck Torres
Program Director
CA Edge Schools Project
310.795.5333
dtorres@edgefoundation.org

Neil Peterson
Founder, Chairman, and CEO
206.910.7515
npeterson@edgefoundation.org

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No matter where you are you can get the Edge!

Our Independent Coaching Program provides Edge Coaches via Skype or phone for students and other individuals no matter which school you are in or where you are located.

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Are your sports making your ADHD worse?

Concussions May Cause More Brain Damage in Kids With ADHD

Children with attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may experience more disability after mild brain injuries than those without the condition, according to the latest study.

With more studies documenting the potentially long-lasting effects that concussions and mild brain injuries can have on intellectual skills, researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh decided to investigate how youngsters with ADHD may be affected by falls or trauma to the brain that often occur during high-contact sports such as football and soccer. Previous work suggested that ADHD can make children more prone to traumatic brain injuries, and that severe enough injuries can also contribute to a form of ADHD. So they focused on all children who were admitted to their hospital for mild head injuries from 2003 to 2010.

Mild traumatic brain injuries include any blows to the head that do not require brain surgery — which is the case for the majority of concussions.

(MORE: More Concussions Prolong Kids’ Recovery Time)

The researchers investigated 48 children with ADHD who had head injuries patients and 45 similar children who did not experience trauma to the head. A team of brain experts then gave all of the participants a detailed test to assess their cognitive abilities and track any new disabilities during follow-up visits up to seven weeks later. The measures recorded whether the children were able to function normally on their own, or whether they had behavioral problems or required supervision to get dressed or navigate stairs.

About 25% of the patients with ADHD suffered what the scientists defined as moderate disability in which the children were basically independent but still required some assistance with behavioral or physical problems, and 56% showed good recovery, or no residual headaches or abnormal findings on brain scans following the injury. By comparison, 98% of the children without ADHD reverted to their initial cognitive function scores after brief drops following the trauma and 84% had recovered completely.

MORE: NFL Players May Be More Vulnerable to Alzheimer’s Disease

The researchers say there may be several reasons why children with ADHD experienced more significant disabilities from their head injuries; for one, these kids may have already had some deficits in certain functions that progressed over time, and the testing may have simply picked up this deterioration, independent of the effects of the brain injury. It’s also possible that ADHD interfered with the healing process or made rehabilitation efforts less successful.

(MORE: High School Athletes Continue to Play Despite Concussion Symptoms)

That doesn’t mean that falling off a bicycle and hitting his head will leave a child with ADHD disabled. But the findings do suggest that the relationship deserves more study, especially given recent data among adults that connects concussions with cognitive problems and neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s. The results also highlight the need to be even more vigilant in protecting children with ADHD from head trauma, by ensuring that they wear helmets when riding bicycles or playing sports in which they’re likely to fall or get hit in the head. Doctors, too, may need to monitor ADHD children more closely after any head injury and consider more intensive treatment and rehabilitation strategies to help them recover.

The study is published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics.

The power of positive thinking: Focus on the present

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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!

What’s your biggest lie you tell yourself?

Executive Functioning is the higher function of your brain that helps you control and regulate your behaviors and emotions

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What is the definition of Executive Functioning?

“Executive Functioning is the higher function of your brain that helps you control and regulate your behaviors and emotions.”

Scientists believe that Executive Functioning lies in the prefrontal cortex of your brain. Many people find it helpful to think of Executive Functioning as the aircraft controller or the orchestra conductor for your brain and body. Executive Functioning keeps you in control of:

  • Scheduling
  • Goal Setting
  • Organizing
  • Focusing
  • Prioritizing
  • Sticking with it when it gets tough (a.k.a. persistence)
  • Impulsiveness

For example, when you resist telling someone off, your Executive Functioning helps you evaluate consequences (you might hurt their feelings or make them mad at you) and control the impulse to blurt out your opinion. When getting ready to leave the house on time, you use Executive Functioning to keep one eye on the clock and the other on the things you need to get into your backpack before you run out the door to catch the bus.

The single greatest predictor of academic success is Executive Functioning.
It’s even more important than IQ!

Research has shown than Executive Functioning is a critical part of academic success. Some scientists even believe it is the single greatest predictor of academic success. Symptoms of Executive Functioning impairment may include:

Inability to regulate attention, distractibility, carelessness, forgetfulness, difficulty completing tasks, poor time management and perception, lack of organization, procrastination, difficulty following conversations, hyperactive behavior (such as excessive talking and restlessness), impulsive behavior ( such as blurting and interrupting), and short-term memory loss.

ADHD & Executive Functioning Impairment

EVERYONE can have Executive Functioning troubles at different times – it’s all a matter of degree.

ADHD is one type of Executive Functioning impairment. Some other causes for Executive Functioning impairments include head injury, extreme stress, childhood trauma, depression or autism.

Scientists have been struggling for decades to get a clear definition of the cluster of symptoms we now call ADHD.  For example, Dr Thomas Brown of Yale University supports the view that ADHD consists of a constellation of Executive Functioning impairments in the area of the brain that supports attention. He identifies Activation, Focus, Effort, Emotion, Memory and Action as the “Attention” related Executive Functions that may be impaired when you have ADHD. Dr. Brown calls this cluster of attention-related symptoms, ADD Syndrome. Other names for ADHD throughout time have included: AD/HD, ADD, ADHD, Executive Dysfunction, Minimal Brain Dysfunction, Regulatory Control Disorder, and Dysexecutive Syndrome.

The challenge with understanding how ADHD and Executive Functioning are interrelated is that EVERYONE can have Executive Functioning troubles at different times – it’s all a matter of degree. When you have ADHD you are more often challenged by Executive Functioning than people who don’t.

For example, most people can usually make themselves pay attention to tasks, even tasks that are boring, when they have to. People with ADHD find it muchmore difficult to make themselves. They have difficulty being able to manage their mind to focus on tasks they need to do when those tasks are not immediately interesting.

Remember, not everyone with Executive Functioning challenges has ADHD. That’s why you should work with a professional to obtain a proper diagnosis if you suspect you have ADHD or another Executive Functioning impairments.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Each of us is born with the same set of Executive Functions. However, ability in each of these areas varies on an individual basis. For example, some people have amazing abilities to manage frustration but have poor working memory. All of us get distracted and have trouble focusing at times. Consider, everyone feels sad at times, but that does not mean a sad person should receive a diagnosis of depression.

Each person has their own, unique set of strengths and weaknesses. The key is to be introspective and understand yourself — know your strengths, your challenges, your passions, your aversions.

Just as some people mature faster than others and develop different strengths, people with Executive Functioning impairments have a range of experiences with how the condition manifests over time. And it’s also why so many people can benefit from the individualized attention that an Edge Coach brings to helping you find successful workarounds for your Executive Functioning impairments.

How an Edge Coach helps

The role of an Edge Coach is to help you address your Executive Functioning challenges with structured support and accountability.  The long term goal is to help you figure out strategies and accommodations to work with your unique personality so you can accomplish everything you need to get done to achieve your goals.

You can learn to work with your strengths– for example hyper focusing on things that you find interesting. And you can learn ways to stick with it to complete those boring tasks– like filling out paperwork or passing a prerequisite class.

Your coach is your advocate, but, more importantly, helps you to self advocate. He or she gets to know you and finds ways to help you succeed in your life.  Your coach will help you build up your confidence and reach your goals.

Edge Coaching Works

You challenge is NOT that you aren’t trying hard enough. Your Edge Coach will help you see a fresh perspective. 

You are probably already trying pretty hard, aren’t you?  And it’s not that you aren’t smart enough either! The problem lies in having a brain that just works differently, and so needs a different approach to managing these every day responsibilities.

Edge Coaches understand how to work with your Executive Functioning impairments. Each coach has met the rigorous standards set by the Edge Foundation and has trained to work with students and young adults with Executive Functioning challenges, like ADHD. They know how to help you discover your many strengths and talents – hidden and known – and bring them into the forefront. They are passionate about making a positive difference in the lives of students and young adults. And most of all, they are ready to help you.

Learn the life-long skills to accentuate your strengths and work around your weaknesses

Our research proves that Edge Coaching works. In a 2-year study:

  • Edge-coached students show substantial gains in their overall approach to learning – their Executive Functioning actually improves!
  • Our students also show significant improvement in their ability to organize, direct and manage cognitive activities, emotional responses and overt behaviors.
  • Students were able to formulate goals more realistically and consistently work toward achieving them, manage their time more effectively, and stick with tasks even when they found them challenging.

We are passionate about making a positive difference in the lives of students and young adults with Executive Functioning impairments, like ADHD. And most of all, we are ready to help you. Get more information today!