Monday, November 7, 2011

Coaching Can Empower Youth with ADHD

Today's guest blog is by Jodi Sleeper-Triplett, MCC, SCAC.

I am counting the days until the CHADD conference in Orlando and imagine that you are equally excited! There are many reasons for my excitement—reconnecting with friends and colleagues, meeting new people and learning from the many ADHD experts from around the world. I am especially pleased to have the opportunity to share my passion for coaching youth with ADHD with the conference attendees. My breakout session, Empowering Youth with ADHD: Coaching Toward Success, is on Friday morning, following a must-see opening session with Rick Green, Patrick McKenna, and Umesh Jain.

For many adolescents and young adults with ADHD, coaching helps them learn techniques to become more focused, stay on task, and improve time management and organizational skills.

Coaching is a beneficial tool for many young people. At this stage of life, adolescents and young adults are yearning for independence, but they lack the basic skills for success. Life skills can be fostered through coaching and may include self-care, socialization, financial responsibility and self-advocacy. Each client is an individual, with unique needs. The coaching process is designed to meet the needs of the individual. This is not a one-size-fits-all process.

Choosing a coach who has experience working with adolescents and who understands the intricacies of the ADHD brain, medications and co-existing conditions is of the utmost importance. It is essential to work with a coach who has a good rapport with the client. The connection between coach and client, of any age, is essential for coaching to be a success.

Attendees will learn how starting the coaching process with adolescents and young adults with ADHD leads to improved executive functioning skills and self-confidence, leading also to greater success in adulthood. Through coaching, we are able to increase motivation, self-awareness, independence and self-worth. I will share the JST coaching model for successful youth coaching, focused on the whole person, not just on academics. As adults, if we don’t pay attention to ourselves and manage both our personal and professional lives, we struggle. Young people with ADHD experience the same problems and coaching helps!

This interactive session will provide background on the common difficulties faced by adolescents and young adults with ADHD. We will discuss the importance of confidentiality between coach and client and how parents can adjust to their role outside of the coaching partnership. Coaching demonstrations will provide concrete examples of the value of coaching for adolescents and young adults with ADHD. Young adults considering coaching are encouraged to attend.

I enjoy the opportunity for Q & A at the end of my sessions and throughout the conference. Often times you can find me chatting with others in the hallways between sessions, answering questions about coaching and learning from others what works and does not work for them or their children. So, when you see me at the conference, please tug at my sleeve and let’s chat!

See you in Orlando!

Jodi Sleeper-Triplett, MCC, SCAC, is the president of JST Coaching, LLC and the author of Empowering Youth With ADHD (Specialty Press/ADD Warehouse, 2010).

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Stress and Kids with ADHD

Today’s guest blog is by Jerome Schultz, PhD.

I have often said it’s fairly easy to diagnose ADHD and LD. What’s difficult is explaining the results of testing to students at a developmentally appropriate level so that they have a clear understanding of their challenges.

Way too many kids with ADHD and LD have no clue about how to conquer their challenges. Too many of them think of themselves as stupid. They confront challenges with an “I can’t” attitude. This way of greeting a task triggers the stress response in the child’s brain. You can hear the brain singing this tune now: We gotta get outta this place…if it’s the last thing we ever do! Even when kids hear teachers and adults say “I know you can do it,” this vote of confidence often puts them under more pressure. They think: “Easy for YOU to say, Mrs. Johnson!” I’ve been there—and I’ve failed.” So why are we surprised when they fight or flee? For kids under the chronic stress of ADHD and LD, there’s simply nowhere to run… nowhere to hide.

I invite you to attend my session at the CHADD conference in Orlando next week to learn how stress gets in the way of learning, and how if it’s not addressed, can lead to a deterioration in actual brain function.(Talk about going from the frying pan to the fire!) Learn how the DE-STRESS Model can turn this around and head kids in the direction of success. You’ll like what you hear. This approach costs NO money and it WORKS!

Want more of a preview? Check out my website and learn about my new book, Nowhere to Hide: Why Kids with ADHD and LD Hate School and What We Can Do About It, which forms the basis for this stress-reducing, cartoon-laced session at CHADD's conference. There will be a book signing after the event. Hope to see you there. Sign up early. Rumor has it that this will be a standing-room-only event!

Jerome Schultz, PhD, is a clinical neuropsychologist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of children and young adults with learning disabilities, ADHD, and other special needs. He is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School.