Tag Archives: Coaching ADHD clients

Coaching as a tool for those with ADHD/ADD

“I prefer to distinguish ADD as attention abundance disorder. Everything is just so interesting . . . remarkably at the same time.” — Frank Coppola, MA, ODC, ACGA

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) affects approximately 5% of the population in America.  The impact of ADHD/ADD is significant in terms of lost opportunity and decreased productivity for those impacted.   While there is no cure for ADHD/ADD there are many ways to cope with the disorder.

While coaching is an effective method to work with those to who are diagnosed with ADHD/ADD coaches are not qualified to make the diagnosis of ADHD/ADD and those who feel that they have many of the ADHD/ADD symptoms should get a reliable diagnosis to ensure that the symptoms are not caused by something else.

ADHD Categories

There are three categories of ADHD (ADHD includes ADD). 

1. Combined ADHD, which is a combination of all ADHD symptoms.

2. Inattentive ADHD (this is what most people call ADD) and shows up as having difficulty concentrating and loss of focus.

3. Hyperactive-Impulsive behavior and is recognized by high activity, high energy behavior.   These people are able to focus they just can’t sit still.

What does ADHD look like?

The symptoms that are most obvious are:

1. Difficulty paying attention, a loss of focus in a conversation, compulsive daydreaming, easily distracted, constantly shifting attention from one thing to another and not completing tasks on time, disorganization, carelessness (partially completed work, or high incidence of mistakes), inability to focus in on the conversation (switching subjects in the middle), lower social intelligence (inappropriate comments and remarks, lack of contextual sensitivity).

2. Can’t sit still, must keep moving and talking, a general restlessness.  

3. Impatient (want it now), speaking before thinking, intruding on others (with different conversations), need to be first in line

While these symptoms show up in everyone from time to time most of the time “normal” individuals are able to manage their behaviors.  The person with ADHD is going to have a history of being easily distracted, on the go and being impulsive.   In school ADHD may result in social isolation, lower grades and greater discipline problems.   The ADHD person will likely not even be aware that they are different and see themselves as normal and wonder why others are behaving as they do. 

WebMD has a quick ADHD assessment that can be taken to get a first look to see if ADHD might be what you are dealing with (you or someone you know) .

Once a reliable assessment has been made for ADHD/ADD options for treatment or coping with ADHD/ADD can be made.   While there is no cure for ADHD there are many ways to minimize the impact that ADHD can have.   One of the options for those with ADHD is to work with a coach so that the individual can start creating new positive habits.  

Coaching ADHD clients

There are numerous benefits of using a coach for people with ADHD.   A coach can work with the client to improve confidence and a positive self-image which will help in all aspects of life from career decisions to improved relationships.  Some of the topics could include:

1. Daily planning  (getting the day organized)

2. Creating small moments for focused activity (reducing hyperfocus as well).

3. Using color to create focus (as the mind is distracted, intentional distraction helps provide focus).

4. Carelessness reduction   (improve the quality of the work)

5. Accountability (non-judgmental methods to boost confidence while increasing commitment)

6. Generating positive self-esteem

7. Organization of space, clutter reduction in small steps lessening the chance of overwhelming the ADHD person.

Coping with ADHD

Getting the right amount of sleep, adequate exercise and having a good balanced diet are good first steps in managing ADHD.   Other interventions include coaching which is a great tool to help create the necessary coping mechanisms to thrive in a world that is continually getting more chaotic.    It may be that in the future that those with ADHD will be in demand as they are often highly creative and always thinking and those qualities will be what businesses and schools desire, but until then coping with ADHD and creating positive habits will help those with ADHD be successful.

I was trying to daydream, but my mind kept wandering.” — Steven Wright, comedian

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