What does an ADHD Coach do?

Lainie Petersen

An ADHD coach is a strategic life coach who specializes in working with people who have ADHD or ADD. Individuals living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or attention deficit disorder (ADD) may struggle with living up to their full potential. ADHD and ADD symptoms often result in a lack of ability to focus, plan, and follow through on the steps necessary to achieve a goal, creating a great deal of frustration in a person with the condition and those who love or work with the person. The ADHD coach provides third-party guidance and accountability to a client who wishes to manage his symptoms so that he can pursue the kind of life that he wishes to live.

An ADHD coach specializes in helping people who have ADHD to overcome the complications which arise from the disorder.
An ADHD coach specializes in helping people who have ADHD to overcome the complications which arise from the disorder.

Life coaches are individuals who work with others to help them manage their lives, define goals, and develop ways of achieving those goals. Just like athletic coaches, life coaches motivate their clients and help them come up with strategies to overcome challenges. An ADHD coach should have a good understanding of ADHD and ADD so as to tailor her coaching to the needs of someone who may have difficulty keeping on task and following through on commitments. An ADHD coach should also be able to help someone with ADHD or ADD break down the steps needed to complete a task or achieve a life goal.

Many coaches who specialize in treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have completed graduate studies in child development, social work, or a related subject.
Many coaches who specialize in treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have completed graduate studies in child development, social work, or a related subject.

For many people with ADD and ADHD, being accountable to a neutral third party instead of a spouse, parent, or boss can have a significant impact on productivity. As the coach has no vested interest in the client's accomplishments, the coach can take the time to observe the client and develop strategies from which the client is most likely to profit. The client, in turn, can explain his successes and failures to the coach so they can work together to address problems and move forward after both identifying their causes and possible solutions.

ADD coaching is not a substitute for therapy or medication. Some people with ADHD or ADD may have issues that are beyond the scope of an ADHD coach's practice. If someone with ADD or ADHD is unable to follow through on plans developed with an ADHD coach, she may require the services of a medical doctor, such as a psychiatrist, who can prescribe medications, or a counselor or therapist who can assist in dealing with more serious problems of self-esteem or ingrained behaviors. ADHD coaching should be understood as an adjunct, not a substitute, for traditional mental health care.

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