Coaching for ADHD High School & College Students
When working with teens, I wear many hats. I’m a mentor, a cheerleader, a teacher, a coach, and sometimes an authority figure. The sad reality is that the traditional American educational system is not set up for our success as ADHDers. This is especially true for those of us who struggle with executive function issues. (Click for more about Executive Function.)
Academically, I do not guarantee that your teenager will get better grades. It usually happens, but not by focusing on the grades. I work with my student clients on skills and focus on effort and learning. I have a special technique that I call scaffolding. I provide more support in the short term, while I teach skills. As the skills are learned I slowly withdraw the support until the student is capable of being on his/her own. Of course this is a gradual process that never occurs in a straight line.
I don’t promise anything socially, emotionally, or extracurricularly either. What I always work towards is a more competent, confident, happy, well-adjusted young adult. I’d like to think that is what all of us, as parents want for our children. It just happens that sometimes we need to let go of our expectations and let our children be who they are, and then help them become the best version of themselves.
I also pay special attention to the transition from high school to college. I strongly feel that every ADHD kid should have a coach to help him/her through this transition. College requires different life management and academic skills. I usually get calls about kids not doing well after their first or second semester when things aren’t going well. It is certainly not too late then, but I wish I got those calls during senior year or over the summer. Planning ahead can alleviate many struggles. And having someone like me in their corner can help a freshman deal with the unanticipated challenges college presents better than they might be able to on their own.