What If? – I have ADHD but I don’t let it stand in my way

That phrase, spoken more than fifteen years ago by my then-ten-year-old son, still brings tears to my eyes. He wrote this to his teacher on the first day of fifth grade. She had given him a “get to know you questionnaire.” This was his answer to her final question, which asked the students if there was anything else she should know about them.

If only we could freeze those moments. I would love to say that he continues to feel that way all the time but that is not our reality. Having children with ADHD and other executive function-challenges can be compared to life on a roller coaster. As a retired teacher, guidance counselor, and now an ADHD/EF coach, I feel that my experiences have prepared me for the next stage of parenting. But it is not easy. I have come to realize that it’s a marathon not a sprint.

Most parents, after their child is diagnosed, feel that they need to solve the problem. They want to help their children overcome their disability and protect them from the world.   Frequently, we feel that we did something wrong, that we must fix the situation or find a magical answer. I was no exception. After researching this topic for many years and filling several rooms with books on ADHD, EF and positive psychology, I have come to the realization that the best gift we can give is to accept them for who they are.

We do not need to give up future plans for our children but we do need to accept them as they exist. We can be aware of their weaknesses and help them develop their strengths. As parents, we need to help them recognize that as they approach life differently, they can achieve their goals.

Those diagnosed with ADHD and EF challenges must learn to adapt to our competitive society and to appreciate themselves. We also must help professionals, family members and others to refrain from squeezing our square pegs into round holes. What if, instead, we delighted in their differences? As their parents and coaches, we have the power to concentrate on their strengths, provide support when needed, and most importantly, not allow them to use their diagnosis as a crutch.

If these children are brought up to recognize their gifts, just imagine what they could accomplish. If we help them recognize their situation as an opportunity to develop strategies that will allow them succeed, they will become stronger and more adaptable.

I can only imagine the number of negative verbal and non-verbal messages that these individuals receive on a daily basis. What if they could depend on their families to be supportive and their homes to be an oasis of positive reinforcement? What if they could trust our verbal and non-verbal communication would instill a sense of well being, rather than a source of shame and inadequacy?

What if we were able to accept the fact that we, as parents, do not have the power to fix our children or find a magic answer?

What if we concentrated on what we can control, and helped our children realize that they are creative, resourceful and whole? What if we helped them recognize that life is not black or white? What if we helped our children realize that because of their differences, not in spite of them, they have much to offer?

What if every individual diagnosed with ADHD and executive-functioning challenges could say: “I have ADHD but I don’t let it stand in my way.”

Written by: Cheryl Breining, LMSW, M.Ed, MS, ACC, CPCC, Edge Coach, Certified Life and Parenting Coach, The Life Coaching Corner Inc., Contact her at www.thelifecoachingcorner.com.

 

 

Is your Student Lacking Emotional Intelligence?

You’ve witnessed the scenario, the semester starts off smoothly and the student is doing pretty well. The assignments are not too difficult and the academic year is flowing with relative ease. As the semester continues, usually shortly before mid-terms, turbulence takes over. The student suddenly becomes overwhelmed and overloaded, assignment due dates are rapidly approaching and time is running out. The student is not properly prepared and encounters difficulty finding the help needed to succeed. This may describe your ADHD student, but it can also define someone low in emotional intelligence. Those with ADHD may likely be low in emotional intelligence skills as well.

 

ADHD AND EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE?
When dealing with ADHD, we tend to focus on proficiencies related to time management, procrastination, organization, and memory. These skills are important, but we do not spend as much time discussing critical areas that relate to persistence, self-advocacy, flexibility, emotional control and stress management. These areas of personal development, called emotional intelligence, can be learned to help avoid academic disruption. Self-advocacy can help a student to politely and confidently say no to excessive campus activities; emotional control can help one properly confront a problem roommate; persistence can help a student to bounce back from a bad grade on a test to try again with new determination.

 

WHAT IS EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE?
Daniel Goldman, the father of emotional intelligence, states that life success involves only 20% intellect and 80% the ability to connect and build strong relationships with others. Those that are skilled at building strong relationships possess emotional control, self-advocacy, stress management, persistence and other such skills.  Emotional intelligence is defined as using emotions well to guide thinking and behavior. Studies show students with high emotional intelligence do better academically. High emotional intelligence also improves a person’s social interactions and helps one develop friendships and lasting relationships.

Low emotional intelligence stifles healthy social interactions. Low self-awareness and low self-confidence disrupts positive relationship building. The student may lack a healthy network of friendships and relationships with others, which can be crucial in social problem solving and motivation while in college. A student with low emotional intelligence is not comfortable approaching a teacher for clarity on an assignment or feel weird going to the disabilities office and asking for the necessary accommodations needed for academic success. This is because they have not built the relationships and comfort with those persons that would make interacting with them relatively easy. In some instances, the student is not even aware that an intervention is needed. Too often, instructors assume that the student is unwilling to try or not interested in learning.

 

DEVELOPING EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
Believe it or not, for some people, emotional intelligence comes naturally. This means that it is easier for them to create the bonds and obtain the information they need to achieve their goals. These are the people that can connect with everyone in the room. They may have been the class clown or the teacher’s pet in school. They were probably a part of the popular crowd. The good news is, emotional intelligence is a skill that can be practiced and developed.  Research suggests that by making a person aware of the skills that they are lacking and practicing the proper responses, one can develop the skills needed to improve their emotional intelligence. For a student, this can mean better friendships, better relationships with professors or improved interactions. For students with ADHD, developing emotional intelligence can ease the mid-semester rush and equip students with the tools needed to finish the semester as smoothly as they began.

 

Steven McDaniels is an Edge Foundation coach. He serves as the Director of Fitness and Athletics at Beacon College, where he previously served as the Director of Life Coaching.

 

Figuring Out How We Learn Best: Don’t Change the Peg, Change the Hole!

There is an old saying that “a square peg won’t fit in a round hole.” Yet much of education, especially for those of us with learning disabilities, seems to consist of trying to force this square peg into the proverbial round hole. But, can we change the hole?

It’s an established fact, people learn differently from one another. Not only do some people learn best by listening, some by reading, some by doing and so on. Some students learn best in large gatherings and others in small groups. There are people who learn best with lots of noise in the background. And conversely, some people learn best in quiet surroundings.

There are people who like to move while learning while there are others who prefer stillness. In lectures, there are people who learn best taking lots of notes and students who learn best with almost no notes at all.

A traditional school can’t possibly accommodate all these learning styles. The accommodation that helps the person who likes noise hurts the one who likes quiet. Moreover, allowing Bill to move around the room may distract John who prefers stillness. A lecture with 400 people is not a seminar with 10.

Although I would say that special-education schools and programs are better equipped to deal with this glorious variety, even the best can’t do it all. Outside of school, though, we can try to accommodate both our children and ourselves. And, importantly, we need to recognize that our own optimum learning styles may not be those of our children.

Simply finding out how you or your child learns best won’t magically make you learn everything easily. But it will help. Because, the hole may be closer to the right shape than you thought.

Written by Peter Flom PhD. He is a learning-disabled adult, a husband, a father a professional statistician and author of “Screwed Up Somehow, but Not Stupid.” Peter can be reached at: peterflomconsulting@mindspring.com.

Why is Checking-In an Important Part of ADHD/EF Coaching?

Checking-in is one of the most important parts of the ADHD/Executive Functioning-coaching models. It is one of the primary differences that separate life coaching from ADHD coaching. Although there are many aspects of the ADHD coaching process that support young adults in their quest to achieve academic and personal goals, the act of checking-in can make the biggest difference in their overall success. Accountability, reviewing weekly goals, positive responses and support between sessions are all keys to a student’s success with their coach.

Check-in methods, including time and content are discussed prior to the first coaching session. Check-ins can be done daily or every other day depending on an agreement between the client and the coach. Consistent communication is most important during the week between sessions regarding daily achievements, struggles and updates on the specific activity goals for the week. When a client checks in with a coach, they are taking the time to think about their school schedule, dates of tests, papers, applications and other academic and personal goals. The check-ins are usually short notes sent by text or e-mail to the coach.

Accountability and commitment to tasks are difficult for young adults with ADHD and/or Executive Functioning challenges. A client who checks-in during the week is committing to stay on task and avoid procrastination. According to a study done by Rabin, Fogel and Nutter-Upham in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology (2011) “the executive function domains of initiation, plan/organize, self-monitor, working memory, task monitor, and organization of materials were significant predictors of academic procrastination”. When the client checks-in with their coach, they are on the right path to complete a task and feel positive about themselves thereby avoiding the negative feeling they can get from procrastinating.

Another benefit of the check-in process is the support a client receives from an ADHD coach. The trust developed in the coach-client relationship, and the care shown by the coach, in a non-judgmental way, usually helps with motivation, self-assurance and encouragement. When a client is feeling low, checking-in gives the client the motivation to move ahead. When there is success, the client knows that the coach is there to celebrate.

This consistent communication partnership can help a client overcome the roadblocks that get in the way of achieving short term and long term goals. The best part of the check-in process, is that it gives a young adult encouragement to compete their daily tasks – without nagging!

Clients new to the coaching process maybe confused and uncomfortable at first with the check-ins. After a few sessions, the young adult client should see the benefits of working with their coach as they find the right path to achieve their goals. Checking-in is an essential part of that coaching roadmap. To summarize, check-ins are an integral part of coaching and an important step to help clients master the skills they need to succeed in High School, College and their jobs.

Lynn Miner-Rosen, M.Ed., BCC, CSS, is an Edge Coach, and has been a Board Certified ADHD Coach for over four years. Besides coaching individuals with Executive Function challenges, Lynn also is a certified Career Services Specialist and works with young people helping them with their career life planning and adults transitioning to a new career or new job. Her website is: www.CoachLynnMR.com.

 

Shire Announces Sixth Annual Scholarship for Individuals With ADHD

Intended for U.S. Audience Only – Shire plc (LSE: SHP, NASDAQ: SHPG) announces the launch of the 2016 Michael Yasick ADHD Scholarship. The scholarship program is for legal residents of the United States who are under the care of a licensed health care professional for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and are accepted to or enrolled in undergraduate programs at accredited colleges, universities, trade schools, technical schools, or vocational schools located in the US.

The Michael Yasick ADHD Scholarship by Shire awards each recipient $2,000 in tuition assistance and one year of ADHD coaching services provided by the Edge Foundation to assist in meeting the challenges of higher education. Fifty nationally based scholarships and five employee-related scholarships will be awarded in June 2016. The deadline to apply is March 9, 2016.

Click here to read the full press release: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/01/prweb13152576.htm

shire-adhd-scholarships

The Gap-Year Edge

A gap year is most typically taken to explore a student’s interests between high school and college or perhaps during college. Participants can combine an array of experiences in a dynamic and hands-on fashion that will provide a significant edge in his or her development. Activities range from group programs focused on cultural immersion and service, to skill-based options such as Wilderness EMT certification, to worldwide internships and volunteer work.

Gap-year options can span a weekend, one-to-three months, or as much as a full year. Costs range widely with some placements providing housing and food in exchange for student labor while others involve fees or paid tuition.

The benefits of taking gap time are varied and numerous:

* Choosing, creating, and owning one’s life at an early age

* Relating classroom learning to the world

* Resting/rejuvenating outside the onerous aspects of schooling (the gap year is particularly effective for students with learning differences who often thrive outside a formal classroom setting)

* Exploring a personal interest in a particular field before pursuing it as a college major or career

* Increasing clarity and focus in college resulting in saving time and money (the average span in college is 5-6 years, not 4; gap-year students finish in fewer school terms than their non-gap year peers)

* Attaining higher GPAs, on average, than non-gap-year peers

* Building a resume and gaining practical skills before college or entering the work world

* Increasing self-confidence through handling situations away from home

* Attaining greater financial awareness through needing to focus on a budget

* Making smoother transitions into college and the work world after college

 

There are those who assume that planning a gap year is now a fairly simple task with the aid of the Internet, books and articles referencing this student option. The reality is not easy to accomplish well on one’s own. Potential pitfalls include poorly run programs where safety and insufficient activity can be issues. Or, there can be too much downtime at home due to insufficient preparation or structure. Other pitfalls include socially isolated placements that are invariably challenging.

Most adults recognize that it is harder to take time later in life to explore interests in this way. Gap time offers students a unique chance to gain personal clarity and power, an edge that stands them in good stead in college and beyond.

 

Written by Holly Bull, Ed.M
President
Center for Interim Programs
Princeton, NJ – Northampton, MA
www.interimprograms.com

 

Founded in 1980, the Center for Interim Programs has counseled gap-year students longer than any other organization in the U.S. Contact Ms. Bull at:  info@interimprograms.com or (609) 683-4300 to arrange for a complimentary interview.

 

What is Coaching All About?

retrain-your-mind

How does it work? What do you need to do?

Coaching young adults with executive-function challenges is about allowing the brain and the body’s nervous system to work together to for best results.

There are several ways of looking at coaching. One is coaching for compliance and the other is coaching for growth. Coaching for compliance is what happens when overt expectations are established so that someone must comply. Coaching for compliance is also about following rules and doing what is expected in a given situation. When we mention compliance or growth, we are actually thinking about how the autonomic nervous system is being activated.

Moreover, when people want others to follow rules, expectations or orders then this is what is called coaching for compliance, or, being told what to do and how to do it.

The autonomic nervous system is composed of two parts, the parasympathetic and sympathetic systems. The parasympathetic nervous system generates neurotransmitters that help us relax, improve blood flow, lower blood pressure and think more clearly. In addition, activating the parasympathetic nervous system helps us feel calmer and it helps us make better decisions as well as allows us to learn.  Therefore the goal of coaching is to help the client activate his or her parasympathetic nervous system through a process of asking questions. This helps the client discover, dream, and envision a better life actually allowing the nervous system to think.

The sympathetic nervous system on the other hand is what takes over when the brain and body perceive a threat. This system is designed to respond to emergencies or what the brain thinks could be an emergency, as in the so-called “fight or flight” mode. The body reacts to stimuli by producing hormones that constrict blood flow and reduce blood to the brain for making decisions and responding to situations. When people are feeling anxious, upset, angry or afraid, they have activated the sympathetic nervous system.

Coaching for growth is about activating the imagination and providing the client with opportunities to discover and create the best system for realizing the activity and results they desire. Coaching is about discovery and testing various skills to see how they work. This process takes time. Then, it takes even more time to create long-lasting habits that will stay with the subject.

Once the client is able to realize good results through the positive activation of the nervous system, they will usually respond positively. This happens because they can better manage stress, generate better ideas, feel less anxious, increase their focus, make wiser decisions and altogether better manage life’s issues.

Coaching for growth is about removing expectations and replacing them with mutual agreements. Coaching for growth helps clients develop new solutions to issues without getting swallowed up in negative emotions. Coaching for growth is also about exploring and testing potential solutions. By finding what works best and then putting those processes into place through continual support and encouragement, clients can experience the positive force of success.

Coaching for compliance on the other hand may seem to work faster but it doesn’t produce a greater sense of well-being in the client. What’s more compliance-based coaching doesn’t really help develop the skills to solve problems in the future. Coaching for compliance assumes the best way to obtain results is to be Instructed how to get them. Therefore, if you follow the process, life will work out. It turns out that engaging the sympathetic nervous system for learning leads to more stress, more burnout, lower morale and less life satisfaction.

When coaching clients that are living with ADHD and other executive-function issues, coaching for growth takes additional time and much more effort. For many clients, their lives have been filled with negative messages. They have repeatedly heard: “You’re not focused,” “You’re too slow,” “You’re not working hard enough,” “Why didn’t you remember that?” “You can do better,” “Why aren’t you organized?,” “Why are you always late?,” and more.

If those with ADHD have heard these or similar statements, their sympathetic nervous system has been activated. This leads to “fight,” “flight” or “freezing.” These reactions are all-too common for young adults trying to manage their ADHD challenges.

By helping those with ADHD find new ways to think in a positive framework, coaches can help improve brain function, reduce anxiety, increase executive function and certainly reduce stress. When the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, good things can happen. For the coach, however, the challenge is creating the right balance between positive support and encouraging action.

We live in an age where society wants instantaneous results. To forgo the hard work that is needed, can threaten the best possible outcomes. For some people, achieving immediate results are more important than developing good processes for dealing with issues later in life. It is most important to realize that significant change takes time and consistent effort. So, positive habits can be created for the long haul.

 

Dan Weigold CPC, PCC, is an Edge Coach specializing in leadership development, career transition coaching and ADHD issues. He works with students and adults who generally have an engineering, scientific, project management or technical background. He is a member of the ICF, CHADD, ADD.org and the Association for Computing Machinery.

 

 

 

Practicing “Mindfulness” as the Key to a Peaceful Holiday Season

“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence.

When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.

— Thich Nhat Hahn

 

This holiday season is a great reminder of what truly makes memories that will last a lifetime. It isn’t the number of gifts we receive but rather the time we spend with our loved ones. In short, it’s the act of being present.

A person struggling with ADHD or other executive functions may need direction this time of year on how to become connected to the true gifts of the holiday season of love joy and compassion. The term “mindfulness” is the energy that helps us recognize the conditions of happiness that are already present in our lives.

As Thich Nhat Hahn, the renowned Vietnamese Buddhist teacher would remind the world to do — Be present, be in the moment and Enjoy life.

Here is a list of some ways you can help create a peaceful holiday: being mindful can bring you joy in every moment.

 

  1. Be connected to your breath. Conduct a simple breathing exercise of inhaling and saying to yourself, “I am here” Then, breath out and feel the air leave your body for a few seconds. This can bring you back into the moment and leave you feeling connected with yourself, again.
  2. Pick a healthy way to take care of yourself. Take a walk. Walking mindfully and slowly while paying attention to the sensations on the bottom of your feet offer other personal experiences. Notice how the body moves as you walk with awareness. Take one step at a time.
  3. Prioritize your time. Start each day with a few minutes of quiet time. Reflect on the day ahead to help you prioritize your tasks and stay in tune with your emotional state. Recognize important things that need to be done. Identify any stressors and decide how you plan to address them. This process can help you follow through successfully each day.
  4. Actively listen to one another. As students get excited for the holidays and receive an academic break from school, it can be a stressful time in the household. Elementary students are exploding with boundless energy while anticipating once-per-year events. High school and college students are studying frantically for their final exams. Parents are preoccupied with navigating their holiday to-do lists. The combination of a feeling overwhelmed, being excited with the seasonal events and the reality of academic stress can severely affect family relationships.

Now is the time to encourage one another to identify the feeling. What emotion are you experiencing? Are you sad, stressed, angry, anxious, joyful, disappointed, excited or embarrassed? Accept the authenticity of your feelings and express the emotions verbally.

By expressing your feelings in a rational way, it is the only way to release the emotion. Conversely, by being the active listener, you can demonstrate that you are present and validate the needs of others.

When you practice mindfulness, you are in a state of concentration. Because you are aware, and can sustain that awareness, it is said that you are concentrated. By being fully concentrated, you have an opportunity to make a breakthrough – and to achieve insight.

This practice of cultivating stillness in your life, loving speech and deep listening will bring joy and happiness to others and yourself. This holiday, achieve the true gift of happiness and joy by being in the moment and being present for others. It may be the most joyous season yet when all feel that their needs are being heard and therefore met.
Michelle R. Raz, M.A. Ed. CSS, is a professional Edge Foundation executive function coach and educational consultant in Steamboat Springs and works nationally. She is a member of CHADD and ACO. Learn more on her website at www.coachingacademics.com.

New Methods Enhance Driver Training of Teens with ADHD

As trained ADHD coaches, we appreciate new, promising research that shows driving instructors who utilize a coaching strategy to communicate with their students to be more successful.  To date, there has been little research conducted on the impact of coaching as a learning technique for the driver education community.

One standout exception is Dr. Jonathan Passmore, a renowned British author, speaker, coach, and internationally respected psychologist who came to the driver training industry in 2010. His first impression of the field was that it was dismissive of any approach to improve. He compared this perspective to the medical practices of the 18th century where experience without scientific method was enough. Today, we will not accept a new drug that is not subject to scientific evaluation. Yet, sadly, the driving industry in the U.S. operates without the benefit of the scientific method. The driver education culture is slow to embrace new methods, technologies and programs that enhance the new-driver training experience.

Dr. Passmore developed a coaching method hypothesis for use in driver education. Specifically, he proposed that coaching, as a training technique would mitigate the risks associated with teenage drivers, thereby increasing skills and reducing accidents.

As ADHD coaches and authors of Behind the Wheel With ADHD, we see the value of connecting the coaching method with driving instruction. This is especially important for those teens with ADHD. A typical driving lesson finds the instructor in the passenger seat calling out commands to an often-nervous novice driver. As most in the ADHD community are well aware, ordering a string of varied instructions is not an effective way to communicate with these students. The situation is further exacerbated by the new driver’s anxiety.

In his research (which is still continuing in England), Dr. Passmore found that driving instructors who utilized his coaching approach — in both classrooms and behind-the-wheel lessons — believed their teaching style improved. They were also able to offer students more feedback and to work collaboratively to set clear goals in each car trip. What’s more, they frequently engaged their students as active learners.

Someone with ADHD who is trying to master driving skills encounters challenges due to impairments of executive functions plus a probable maturational lag. In addition to these problems, there are challenges encountered at each level of skill building. Driving is a complex behavior that involves three organized levels of competency: operational competency, tactical competency, and the highest level, strategic competency. It is the strategic level where we train driving instructors to use the coaching approach. This instructional approach engages their students as active learners. Strategic competencies include skills related to planning, choosing the route, preemptive decisions and also developing an awareness of the learner’s deficits such as impulsivity, distractibility and inattention.

Driving instructors who use coaching  (e.g. Asking questions, actively engaging students, providing feedback) are creating a “learning laboratory” in the car. There both successes and failures are explored equally. As the needs of teenagers with ADHD and other executive functioning challenges become more defined and we step up in science, education, medicine and technology to meet those needs, we are hopeful the driver education community will adapt.  We offer our training program for private driving schools and public school instructors so they can better serve students with learning challenges. Part of our training program highlights Dr. Passmore’s work as a valuable resource. His approach can integrate coaching skills with driver education training for the general benefit of all drivers.

Behind the Wheel With ADHD professional training program is the creation of Gayle Sweeney and Ann Shanahan and is available to any commercial driving school or public school that offers driver education. Parents who wish to enroll their teen in a driver education program that offers this specialized training should check the website or request their local program contact Gayle or Ann to arrange approved training and certification.

Gayle Sweeney and Ann Shanahan, co-authors of Behind the Wheel With ADHD, authored this blog. Their website is www.behindthewheelwithadhd.com.  For more information, contact them by email or phone:  gayle.shanahansweeney@gmail.com; annshanahan55@gmail.com or, 630.674.2738 (Gayle) or 312.428.1133 (Ann).

Their 90-minute webinar Behind the Wheel With ADHD for parents and coaches is sponsored by the Edge Foundation, each month. Check out the webinar at https://edgefoundation.org/parents/webinars/ and sign up today.

End of Spring Semester –Building Metacognition in Your College Student

Between the end of the spring semester and planning for upcoming travel during the summer, our college students with ADHD and Executive Function challenges may not be allowing themselves time to process the celebrations and challenges of the end of the semester. When this happens, a valuable opportunity to improve students’ learning skills is passed over. However, parents can help their children take advantage of this opportunity and develop more awareness around their learning processes by asking open-ended questions designed to promote metacognition.
Metacognition, or thinking about thinking, is the regulatory system that helps a person understand and control his or her own cognitive performance. We use metacognition regularly because it is embedded in tasks that require us to plan how to approach a given learning task, monitor our comprehension, and evaluate our progress toward the completion of a task. Metacognition operates on a spectrum that ranges from simple awareness of our thought processes to exerting deliberate control over them. All people possess some degree of metacognition; however, everyone can benefit from becoming more conscious of how to develop more control over how they process their thoughts.
Having a weakness within key mental skills, or the executive functions (activation, focus, effort, emotion, memory and action), is a common characteristic of ADHD. With underdeveloped executive functions, it is not uncommon for our students with ADHD to be “living in the moment,” making little effort to consciously process and evaluate information and events. Recent research indicates that metacognitively aware learners are more strategic in their approaches to projects than unaware learners, allowing them to plan, sequence, and monitor their learning in ways that directly improve performance.
Because metacognition plays a critical role in successful learning, while your child is home from college over the holiday break, try out some of these reflective questions to encourage their self-assessment:

Five questions to helps students reflect on their college semester

1. What are some of the strategies that worked for you this semester that you would like to carry into next semester?

2. If you could make one change that would contribute to a better next semester, what would that change be?

3. Next semester, what resource might you take advantage of for supplementary help (like study groups, tutoring, the disability support office or Learning Center, and psychological services or the Wellness Center) so you can do your best work and develop your skills?

4. How are you networking with your professors and others about your work in order to get ideas
on what you can do enhance your skills?

5. What type of future experiences (this summer and beyond) should you be thinking about that might help to enhance your own academic goals?

As you welcome your child back into your home over the summer, keep in mind that the more you can provide students with opportunities to think about (and articulate) their own learning process, the more you can contribute directly to their improved performance. This may require some initial development of skills through modeling and finding time to process information; however, it will provide both you and your child with a clearer picture of how he or she thinks, and it can help you promote the kind of deliberate learning strategies that you want them to develop. Ultimately, metacognition techniques help our children become more successful learners by externalizing events that occur. With your help, you can assist your child with ADHD in creating a better future semester!

Christina Fabrey, MEd, PCC, BCC, ACAC is an Edge Foundation Coach. She is a certified life and AD/HD coach, and an ADHD Coach Trainer. Christina serves as the Director for the Center of Advising and Achievement at Green Mountain College (GMC), an environmental liberal arts college in western Vermont, where she previously served as the school’s director of academic support services and disability support provider. Christina currently incorporates coaching into her work with students with disabilities at Green Mountain College.