for Teens, College Students & Adolescents
with ADHD/Executive Function Challenges
School and its accompanying expectations can sometimes feel like a tremendous burden for students and their parents. The time commitments, strenuous course loads, and concerns about the next step, be it college or vocation, can take their toll individually and on family relationships.
For students who have ADHD, the challenges can be even greater than what their peer’s experience. Homework may take longer and be more difficult to manage. Creating and maintaining organization may not come easily. Managing time to get schoolwork done, having sufficient sleep, and still having quality leisure time may seem like an impossible task.
ADHD Coaching Can Mean the Difference
Between Success and Failure
It is not unusual for teens and college students to want to take a more active role in managing their own schedules and plans. In fact, it is a healthy progression towards independence. Parents themselves sometimes grapple with knowing when and how to pull back in order to provide the space their children need to chart their own course.
A Certified ADHD Coach who is specifically trained and educated in helping young adults can help ease the transition, provide the support and teach the skills necessary to help students succeed and thrive. A Coach is not a therapist or a tutor, rather an advocate and partner to help individuals reach their full potential and achieve their goals.
How Does ADHD Coaching for
Teens, College Students & Adolescents Work?
Most people with ADHD have difficulty with their Executive Functioning, which regulates organization, planning, time management, working memory, impulse control and emotional regulation.
- Understand how the ADHD brain functions
- Recognize strengths and weaknesses of students with ADHD
- Offer suggestions, guidance, and accountability in a non-judgmental setting
- Are familiar with strategies to improve executive function and self-regulation
- Help students formulate realistic goals and explore strategies to succeed in their goals
Coaching generally involves weekly sessions and includes brief check-ins during the week to help with accountability toward your goals.
How Long Will It Take to Coach
My Teen or College Student?
Parents understandably ask this question, anticipating the expense and time needed for coaching. The answer, unfortunately, is it depends. Parents usually have a strong agenda for what needs to happen in coaching. The coach and the client, however, must do some exploring.
- Successful coaching outcomes depend on the coach and student (the “client”) creating a mutually respectful relationship based on honest communication. The relationship between coach and student is built on trust and confidentiality. This bond fosters the student’s progress by making experimentation safe. Both parties have to engage willingly in the coaching process, which should include a gradual education about how ADHD affects thinking and behavior.
- A coach needs to clarify the student’s agenda for coaching, which may not match the parent’s expectations. A student might say, “I want to get my mother off my back!” for her starting point, while the parent’s focus is on desired changes in school performance. Coaches focus on gradual progress so students can figure out what obstacles hinder learning. Parents who have their own coaching support will learn techniques to soothe their relationship with their student.
- Coaching involves changes in thinking and behavior. These happen gradually through experimentation and repetition. Coaches don’t tell students what to do; coaches encourage them to develop personalized and effective solutions. We also help students gauge the likelihood of success of the various solutions they propose.
- Coaches need to assess students’ learning styles, and strengths, as well as the lagging skills that affect their lives in and out of school. Mindful awareness becomes a critical source of growth. Students move forward when they discover how they learn and what strategies work best for them.
A more useful question than “How long will it take…?” might be “How do you know when it’s time to conclude the coaching process.” It is that lovely moment when the student demonstrates that he’s really “got this” and is ready to navigate confidently with new skills and understanding.
Realistic Expectations for Coaching
One month of coaching is usually not enough to change a client’s behavior. While it is long enough for the client to establish modest goals for change, it is barely long enough to experiment with new behaviors and see if they are effective.
Most coaches will suggest three months or a semester would be a fair trial for the student to practice problem-solving skills and evaluate solutions. For students who are dealing with poor executive functioning or other conditions that often accompany ADHD, a semester of coaching would solidify a base for change and growth.
Parents and students will reap benefits no matter the duration they choose for coaching. With growing self-awareness, students will start to experience more success. Parents will then find it easier to engage in constructive conversations with their children.
Sometimes parents need coaching, too, so they can better understand the executive function and emotional challenges facing their children. Parents who appreciate these daily challenges and acquire the parenting tools necessary are able to give more effective support to their children while building a better relationship with them. Parent Coaching goes beyond the brief communication that can take place with their child’s coach, who puts her energy on building the bond with the student.
To support parents in their role, PTS Coaching offers a separate program. Our highly trained staff of Parent Coaches understands the subtleties of parenting a complex child. Through the Calm and Connected© workshop series and private coaching sessions, parents gain insights and skills needed to reduce the stress and chaos they often feel. They also learn how to improve communication with and get better compliance from their child.
Pricing and Logistics for Student Coaching
- The coach is paid $550 at the beginning of the 4-week schedule. This fee includes four (4) sessions with the coach, each usually between 40 minutes and an hour at a time mutually convenient for the student and the coach.
- Coaching sessions are held in person or virtually via Skype or FaceTime, depending on preference and the geographic distance between coach and student.
- Direct coaching is reinforced by scheduled check-in appointments by email or text. Dealing with challenges and results between sessions accelerates awareness and skill building while emphasizing accountability and encouragement. Check-ins create continuity and bonding.
- After one month, the student, parent, and coach will discuss how or if the coaching is accomplishing the goals originally set out. This would be the time to mutually determine whether or not to continue, modify, or end the coaching experience.