The Power of Edge Coaching

Since its inception in 2006, the Edge Foundation has demonstrated the power of its coaching techniques in the home, school and workplace settings. The effectiveness of our approach has been verified both in practice and by an independent research study. We wanted to share some of the elements that make the Edge coaching experience so powerful.

The Four Elements of Edge Coaching

There are 4 elements of the Edge Coaching approach that help make it so transformative.

Connection – A highly trained coach working one-on-one with a young person. Not parental, not disciplinary, not teacher, not therapist, and not just a well-meaning volunteer.

Agency – The youth directs the coaching session, not the adult. The coach asks “what is new for you this week?” Whatever the answer, the young person decides what to focus on and that becomes the agenda for the coaching session. The young person is in command.

Competence – The coach uses Edge’s non-directive questioning technique. This doesn’t direct the young person, but instead draws out a description and analysis of the problem being addressed, the young person’s goal, alternative strategies, and which strategy the youth wants to pursue in the coming week. The young person leaves the coaching session with total ownership of the problem, the goal, and the strategy to be used in the coming week. He or she feels competent to carry out the strategy for a week.

Repetition – Coaching sessions happen every week. If the strategy selected for the past week was ineffective, that is acknowledged and the coach and young person determine that a different strategy needs to be developed. This develops perseverance, grit and resilience.

What Makes Edge Coaching Different

Many programs have the first and last element: a caring adult and repetition, whether they bring in a volunteer to drill phonics or a peer mentor to talk about school problems. What makes Edge work is that we build AGENCY and COMPETENCE. We build attributes the young person is going to need throughout life – a sense of control, knowing that he or she is an effective person who can make decisions and control outcomes and practice recognizing problems and changing course when needed.

Edge uses the same techniques that executive coaches use with senior business leaders: draw out a clear identification of the issue, get the person being coached to identify alternative approaches and own a strategy, get together again in a week, identify and own the results, strategize and try some more.

Edge works with a lot of young people who have been given tutoring or mentoring but have not been offered a chance to make decisions and own outcomes. Our program has had great results even in the most difficult circumstances: with homeless youth, young people in foster care, and young people in the lowest income brackets at the most poorly performing schools.

The Core of Coaching

In the future, Edge will extend its coaching programs into new areas and in new directions. But the four elements above will continue to be what makes the Edge coaching approach one of  the most effective ways to help individuals with attention and learning challenges develop self-regulation,perseverance,willpower and grit.


Five questions to helps students reflect on their college semester

Five questions to helps students reflect on their college semester

1. What are some of the strategies that worked for you this semester that you would like to carry into next semester?

2. If you could make one change that would contribute to a better next semester, what would that change be?

3. Next semester, what resource might you take advantage of for supplementary help (like study groups, tutoring, the disability support office or Learning Center, and psychological services or the Wellness Center) so you can do your best work and develop your skills?

4. How are you networking with your professors and others about your work in order to get ideas
on what you can do enhance your skills?

5. What type of future experiences (this summer and beyond) should you be thinking about that might help to enhance your own academic goals?

As you welcome your child back into your home over the summer, keep in mind that the more you can provide students with opportunities to think about (and articulate) their own learning process, the more you can contribute directly to their improved performance. This may require some initial development of skills through modeling and finding time to process information; however, it will provide both you and your child with a clearer picture of how he or she thinks, and it can help you promote the kind of deliberate learning strategies that you want them to develop. Ultimately, metacognition techniques help our children become more successful learners by externalizing events that occur. With your help, you can assist your child with ADHD in creating a better future semester!

Christina Fabrey, MEd, PCC, BCC, ACAC is an Edge Foundation Coach. She is a certified life and AD/HD coach, and an ADHD Coach Trainer. Christina serves as the Director for the Center of Advising and Achievement at Green Mountain College (GMC), an environmental liberal arts college in western Vermont, where she previously served as the school’s director of academic support services and disability support provider. Christina currently incorporates coaching into her work with students with disabilities at Green Mountain College.

College Transitions are Tough: Talk Turkey about ADHD



Be prepared college students coming home have changed a lot. Talk turkey sometime during your visit about the transition to college life with ADHD.


Print out the PDF to mail to your student here: 5 Secrets to Surviving Freshman Year with ADHD


5 Secrets to Surviving Freshman Year with ADHD

  1. Give yourself a break. Take a smaller load of classes or do fewer extracurricular activities the first semester. Lightening your load will help ease the transition into the new responsibilities of college life.
  2. Advocate for yourself. If you don’t understand what is being taught, ask the professor for help (after class or during office hours). Check with student services about tutoring. Get together with classmates for group study.  Ask for help from someone who has previously taken the course.
  3. Don’t fall behind. The longer you wait to get help, the more difficult it is to catch up.  If you are running behind completing a paper or project, let the professor know – she will be more cooperative in working out a solution than if you wait until the deadline.
  4. Make ‘done’ your favorite four letter word.  Regardless of how long you spend working on a paper or project, it will never be perfect. Good enough allows it to be done! Just do it!
  5. Scout ahead for pitfalls.  Find a sophomore (ideally with ADD) at your school and ask him what he would have done differently if he’d had another shot at first year.

This is a new adventure in your life, work hard, play hard and enjoy it!  You can have fun and good marks as long as you keep up with the work “little bit by little bit.” Remember the tortoise won the race— all things in balance!


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