Selecting your Edge Coach

So you’ve seen the video and read the research that demonstrates that ADHD coaching helps students be more successful in school – and now you’re ready to take the plunge and get a coach. You’re probably wondering how we find a coach that’s matched to your needs.

First and foremost, it is all about the connection you make with your coach.  It’s up to you – not your parents – to make the final decision about whether a coach feels right for you. And it all starts with the “Coach Match” process.

You already know that the Edge Foundation has recruited and trained some of the best coaches in the profession. If you choose an Edge Coach you know you are getting a seasoned life coach who is specially trained in working with teens and young adults with ADHD, someone who has been trained and mentored in this unique coaching specialty.

The Edge Foundation ADHD Coach Match Maker

Start by completing the Sign Up form. Don’t worry if the form looks intimidating or asks you questions you aren’t ready to answer.  You can always give Denise, our Coach Match Maker, a call to get your questions answered.

We ask you questions because we want to find out as much as we can about your specific needs.  Many people with ADHD, for example, have other issues they need addressed – like dyslexia, anxiety or depression.  The more information you provide us about your specific background and needs, the better the match Denise will be able to make.

Don’t worry, all the information you provide to us is confidential and won’t be shared with anyone without your permission.

If your parents are involved, we’ll also talk to them – with your permission of course – because they probably know you better than anyone else than you.

An ADHD coach suited to your needs and situation

After Denise has gathered all of the available information about what you are looking for, she’ll make a Coach Match.  She’ll send you background information about a coach picked specially for you. You’ll also be provided her contact information.  Before you agree to working with a coach, you’ll have an opportunity to interview with him.  You’ll have a chance to get to know the person a bit and see if he feels comfortable.  If you think the match is a good fit,  you’re done.  If you want to interview other coaches, Denise will help you with that.

We want to make it as painless as possible

Denise knows each one of our coaches well and strives to make it easy for you by making a good match for you the first time.

Some people are overwhelmed by the idea of interviewing coaches and ask us to pick someone for them. We can do that.  Other people want to interview several coaches to get a better feel for the differences between them.  We can do that too.

Bottom line, we have dozens of talented, well-trained, and experienced coaches for you to work with.  We are commited to finding a coach suited to your need and confident that you’ll find a good match at Edge.

Other resources:

Can coaching help people who don’t have ADHD?

Dear Edge Coach,

I don’t have ADHD, but I could really use some help getting on top of my school deadlines.  Could I sign up for an Edge coach even though I don’t have ADHD?

Signed, Robin M.

Dear Robin,


People all over the world recognize the benefits of life coaching in their pursuit of career and life goals. Many CEOs and top business executives use coaches to help them manage successfully and effectively when the stakes are very high.

If a coaching gives CEOs their edge for success, then the same strategies can be employed to help students successfully manage their lives and reach their full potential too.

Coaching offers strategies to help with seven areas that can hold a student back from success:

  1. scheduling,
  2. goal setting,
  3. confidence building,
  4. organizing,
  5. focusing,
  6. prioritizing, and
  7. persisting at tasks.

Although we talk a lot about ADD and ADHD at the Edge Foundation, we don’t care much about labels and diagnoses. If these are the things you struggle with, an Edge Coach can make a big difference in your life.

Was this post helpful?  If so you might be interested in these other answers in our Ask the Coach series.  Or ask your own question in the comments, and we’ll do our best to answer it!

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How You Can Help A Student With ADHD Succeed?

Dear Friend of the Edge Foundation:

We are taking this opportunity to thank you for the interest and support you have provided to the Edge Foundation in past years.  At this time of year when many of us are deciding about making end of year contributions, we hope you will choose to support the academic success of high school and college students with ADHD, many of whom are struggling to stay in school and complete their education.  Edge supports these young adults through our research-proven intervention of personal coaching.  Your continued support will help us provide that critical support to every student who needs it.

Edge’s year in 2010 was highlighted by the completion and release of the results of a two year, groundbreaking scientific study on the efficacy of coaching for college students with ADHD.  The study, which involved students on 10 college campuses across the U.S., showed conclusively that Edge Foundation coaching has a very significant impact on the ability of college students with ADHD to regulate their own behavior and meet the challenges of living with the disorder.  As a result of the excitement already generated by these results in the ADHD support community, CNN is taping a segment featuring our study, which will air in January 2011.

As powerful as the study results are, they alone cannot help us make this intervention accessible to all students without the necessary funding. Your tax deductible gift will help the Edge Foundation educate the public about this highly effective intervention and will enable us to help students, who would not otherwise be able to afford coaching on their own, to develop the structure, support and accountability that is crucial to students with ADHD.  With your continuing support, we will succeed at our mission of helping students with ADHD achieve their full academic, professional and social potential.

To make your donation to Edge, please click on this link which will bring you to the support page on our website.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Happy Holiday!

Neil Peterson                                                                          Robert Tudisco
Founder & CEO                                                                       Executive Director

P.S.  As a thank you for your contribution of $100 or more, we would like to send you a copy of Embracing the Edge, written by Edge Foundation founder and CEO Neil Peterson.

Why is ADHD coaching done over the phone?

Dear Edge Coach,

I hear ADHD coaching is done over the phone.  How can you do a good job when we’ve never met in person?


Julie M.

Dear Julie,

For many people the idea of working on the phone, instead of meeting in an office, is just strange. Although there is no prohibition against meeting in person, all of our coaches are trained to work on the phone. We do this for several reasons:

  • Using the phone takes transportation issues right out of the equation. You can get to your appointment just by picking up the phone – it’s a lot easier to be on time for your appointments!
  • There are just not that many ADD/ADHD Coaches. By working on the phone, you still have access to coaching, even if there isn’t a coach in your community. And, you can “take your coach with you” where ever you go.
  • A 30-minute appointment takes exactly 30 minutes. No commuting to and from the appointment, or waiting in the waiting room. Coaching appointments are therefore easy to fit into a busy schedule.
  • A coach and client can stay in much closer touch through the phone and email than they can if they only connected in an office. It is this extra contact that very often makes the difference in being able to stay on task and follow through.

You can also meet with your ADHD coach on Skype!

If you have more questions about coaching, please feel free to contact us. Click on the “Get More Info!” button at the top of the page and fill in the form. Someone will get back to you by the end of the next working day.

Do you have a question you’d like to ask our coach?  Please leave it in the comments.

You might also be interested in these other questions the Edge Coach has answered:

How to select an ADHD coach

Dear Edge Coach,

I’ve decided that an ADHD coach sounds right for me. What do I look for when selecting a coach?

Signed, Ready to work

Dear Ready,

Coaching is a contract in which you and your coach define your goals and plan how to achieve those goals. You provide the goals, the coach provides structure, support and accountability. When selecting a coach look for someone who :

  • Is certified through a reputable program that involves ADHD coach training geared toward students.
  • Understands the unique challenges you face with your ADHD in a school environment and in your life.
  • Is flexible and one you feel comfortable with (this is not a decision for your parents to make – the coach is working with you!).
  • Offers the option of working by phone/Skype or in person if necessary.
  • Is comfortable working, as needed, in coordination with your therapist, tutor, faculty advisor or other professionals for your best interest.

A good coach will help you identify and gravitate towards your strengths, while navigating around your weaknesses. Working with the right coach you soon find you’re stronger at advocating for yourself and your stress is dramatically reduced because you are on track and following a plan. Good luck!

What makes Edge coaches stand out above the crowd?

Dear Edge Coach,

What makes your coaches different from the other coaches out there?

Signed,  Shopping around

Dear Shopping,

It’s great that you are exploring what makes one coach better than another before you sign up.  When you work with an Edge-approved coach, you can be sure that the individual is an experienced coach who has taken additional steps to learn about the specific needs and concerns of teens and young adults with ADHD.  Our coaches meet some of the most rigorous standards in the field.

All of the coaches who go through Edge’s training program are well-trained life coaches who have a minimum of two years experience as a coach.  The Edge Training Team brings over 25 years of experience working with youth and 15 years focused on coaching youth with ADHD.  Our coach training program is designed to ensure consistent use of  the Edge coaching model and to provide coaches with the necessary skills and tools to coach teens and young adults with ADHD.  All of our coaches also receive follow up supervision and support once they complete the program.

If you’d like more information about what coaching is like, we hope visit our sign up page and watch a quick video.  While you are there, feel free to sign up for a coach or just get more information.  You can also call us at 888-718-8886.  Leave a message and we’ll get back to you within the next business day.  There’s no obligation.  We are happy to answer your questions and support your efforts to find the best coach for you or your child.  We want you to feel comfortable that when you choose to work with an Edge Coach, you’ll know your be in good hands.

Once you sign up to get a coach, you will have the opportunity to interview the coach to find out if you “click”.  If not, let us know and we will match you with a different coach before you start the actual coaching process.

We hope you’ll decide that Edge is the last stop you’ll need to make in your research efforts.

Do you have a question for the Edge Coach.  Feel free to leave it in the comments, below.

Ask the coach: Can a class replace an ADHD coach?

Dear Edge,

I see you have another training class for coaches running.  Why shouldn’t I just sign up for that instead of hiring a coach for my son?

Sincerely,  Sandy L.

Dear Sandy,

We’ve heard that some parents believe that they should sign up for ADHD coach training instead of hiring an ADHD coach because it’s so much less expensive.  We of course disagree.

Yes, understanding how coaching works can be helpful to you, but it doesn’t replace the value of getting coaching in real life for your student.  Why?

• High school and college students do not want to hear anything from their parents about anything – it’s their job to break away and be independent
• The student, not the parent, sets the ADHD coaching agenda – it can be difficult to detach from your personal agenda as a parent and critical for your student to be empowered to direct her own life path.
• Just because you’ve taken the class doesn’t mean you have the experience our coaches bring to the table.  Sure you know your child, but we know dozens – and that gives us perspective on many different approaches that work, or don’t work, for different people.
• Edge coaches have received previous life coaching training and have at least two years of experience.  ADHD coaching is an advanced coaching skill that takes practice.  That’s why our coaches receive mentoring after they complete the class.  They also have access to the expertise and wisdom of the Edge coaching bench – when they find a problem they haven’t encountered for, they can bounce ideas and strategies off the team for input.

If you want to learn more about the coaching process, Edge Foundation coach training provider, Jodi Sleeper-Triplett has a great book at the printers on the topic that you can preorder here:   Empowering Youth with ADHD: Your Guide to Coaching Adolescents and Young Adults for Coaches, Parents, and Professionals

What’s your opinion, do you think the outside perspective of a coach can accomplish more than a parent’s influence?  Sound off in the comments, or join the conversation on Facebook.

My son doesn’t want an ADHD coach!

Dear Coach:

I know that my son would really benefit from a coach. (He certainly doesn’t want to hear me carping at him anymore!) Yet when I bring up the subject, he completely shuts down. How can I get him to agree to working with a coach?

Sincerely,  Denise W.

Dear Denise,

As you are well aware, parenting teens and young adults is a tough balancing act between providing support and letting your child succeed (or fail) on their own. We strongly encourage the student to be involved with all conversations with our coaches from the beginning. The more you, as parent, speak with the coach without the student involved, the less your child will want to talk to the coach. That’s why most coaches require that parents and their kids meet together with the coach during the first conference call so the student doesn’t feel railroaded into the idea of coaching.

It’s also helpful for the student (and you) to understand what an ADHD coach does. Often students think an ADHD coach is just one more person that will nag them about school, their room, etc. This is far from the case. A coach address whatever the student (not you) thinks is important. This could mean making friends or getting on a sports team are priorities for your son, where your priority is getting his grade up. In this example, we’d be working on helping him with his priorities: friends and sports. And, of course, as a student builds trust with his coach, other life issues – like grades – will inevitably come up and be addressed.

And, of course, everything that a coach talks about with your child will be confidential. It can be hard to let go as a parent, but it can really help your son relax about getting coaching to know that he sets the agenda and sessions are private.

Of course, there are always kids that just don’t want any help. In those situations you will need to determine what influence you have over your child’s behavior. Are they still living at home? Are you paying for their education? If you believe coaching is the best course of action for your child, you can set a clear expectation that he needs to participate. AND outline clear consequences if he doesn’t. Dr. Phil may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but his article on Parenting with Purpose may give you a good starting place for thinking about setting expectations for your child.

You can always set up a no-obligation introductory conversation between Edge and your son. Just fill out the contact form using the link below and we’ll get right back to you. Good luck!

Yes! Send me more information about working with an Edge ADHD coach!

Do you have a question for the Edge coach? Leave it in the comments or send it in an email to

Now what was this post about? ADHD & Forgetfulness.

Dear Coach:
My memory sucks! I’m only 21 and feel like an old person. If I need to go into a room for something, by the time I get to that room I have forgotten what it was I went in there for. I’m constantly repeating myself in conversations because I forget what I’ve already told people. Leaving notes for myself just doesn’t cut it. Is there anything that can help people like me?

Signed,  Forgetful

Dear Forgetful,
Memory problems and ADHD often go hand-in-hand. So please know you aren’t alone in your forgetfulness. There are, of course, lots of different things that you can do to cope with this type of challenge: writing notes on sticky pads or leaving yourself a message on your cell phone are two options. They key is to experiment with different reminder methods to figure out which works for you and why. For some people jotting down downs of notes solves the problem. But for people who are not visuallearners, that is learning primarily using their sense of sight, it doesn’t work so well. A person with an auditory learning style may need to hear the reminder (thus the phone message suggestion). And the string tied around your finger was a memory tool custom made for kinesthetic learners.

A skilled coach can help you learn about yourself, help you understand your strengths, and work with you to develop coping skills to compensate for your weaknesses. Edge coaches will not just recommend coping mechanisms but help you understand why some will work for you and why others may not. They will help you tap into your unique talents and help you to sharpen your edge.

ADHD and Learning Styles

For more information about how to use your learning style to your advantage when getting organized, check out:

If you’d like to discover more about your learning style, you can take a quick assessment here:

Another quick assesment can be found here:

For an interesting list of learning tools targeted towards each learning style (warning, this could be a time waster; there’s so much to click on!):

Do you have a question to ask our ADHD Coach? Please leave it in the comments.

26 special education terms you need to know

Last week we spoke about how to become a better legal advocate for yourself.  Part of that process is gaining an understanding of all of the terminology that surrounds special education.  Here’s a list of the most commonly used terms and their meanings.

504 Plan

A plan setting forth services and/or Special Accommodations for a child with a disability, pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of Counterpart of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

A Federal anti-discrimination Statute that can be used to protect students with disabilities from discrimination in pursuit of a major life activity (ie Education). The Act prohibits disability based discrimination by agencies receiving Federal funding.

Assistive Technology

An external device or functionality that seeks to remediate a learning disability, or other disorder, or to provide equal access to educational services to children with disabilities.

Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD, ADHD and ADD)

This general term encompasses Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), hyperactive, inattentive or combined types.

Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)

A plan of positive behavioral interventions, made a part of the IEP of a child whose behaviors interfere with that child’s learning or their peers.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

Set of administrative regulations established by the United States Department of Education to interpret IDEA.

Committee for Special Education (CSE)

Sometimes referred to as the special education team, that is required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to provide an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to address the needs of children from Kindergarten through High School Graduation, or the age of 21, who qualify for Special Education Services pursuant to the statute.

Committee for Preschool Special Education CPSE

Similar in operation to the Committee for Special Education, but deals with children from two years of age up to Kindergarten.

Co-Morbid Disorder

A disorder, or Specific Learning Disability (SLA) that is present along with another functional disability.


Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Addition) published by the American Psychiatric Association. It is the main diagnostic reference for mental health professionals in the United States.

Due Process Hearing (Impartial Due Process Hearing)

An impartial hearing which commences upon a formal request by either parents or LEA. The hearing is conducted before an Independent Hearing Officer (IHO) or Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who takes testimony under oath and presides. The hearing is stenographically recorded and a written decision is required to resolve the dispute between the parties. Either party can appeal the decision of an IHO to a State Review Officer (SRO).

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Federal Statute that ensures both the right to privacy and access of a student’s educational records. It is important to note that the protection of this law for children under 18 belongs to the parent and/or legal guardian, while that protection switches to the child at age 18, subject to a few limited exceptions schools and parents must obtain written consent of the student to share educational information.

Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)


Independent Hearing Officer (IHO)

An officer appointed by a State Department of Education to hear disputes between parents and school districts at a Due Process Hearing. Depending upon the testimonial record, an IHO has the authority to subpoena documents, and/or order either side to comply with his or her directive.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

An Educational Statute enacted by the Federal Government and codified under 20 USC 1400. IDEA governs children up to the age of 21 or up to achieving their high school diploma. The statute, now referred to as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, ensures that children with qualifying disabilities receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).

Individual Education Program (IEP)

An education program required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, to be designed to meet the specific needs of a disabled child who qualifies for Special Education. The IEP must contain annual goals and be reviewed on an annual basis.

Learning Disability (LD) or Specific Learning Disability (SLD)

A disability category under IDEA which includes disorder s that affect the ability to understand and/or use spoken or written language, or which may be manifested by difficulties with listening, thinking, speaking, reading, writing, spelling and/or performing mathematical calculations. LD or SLD also includes minimal brain Dysfunction (AD/HD), dyslexia, dysgraphia developmental aphasia and other disorders.

Least Restrictive Environment (LRO)

A requirement under IDEA, that special education and/or related services be provided in, or as close to a main stream environment as is possible or practicable under the circumstances.

Local Educational Agency (LEA)

The local school district responsible for providing services to a student or group of students.


A procedural safeguard under IDEA to resolve disputes between parents and LEA’s. Mediation is a voluntary alternative to a to a due process hearing and may not be used to deny or delay a due process hearing. The medication must be conducted by a qualified and impartial mediator who is trained in effective mediation techniques. The decision of the mediator is non-binding and a disagreement between the parties can still be the basis for a due process hearing.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

is classified, in DSM IV as an anxiety disorder characterized by distressing intrusive thoughts and/or repetitive actions that interfere with the individual’s daily functioning.

Occupational Therapy (OT)

is a related service used to remediate deficits or developmental problems with sensory integration and fine motor skills.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

refers to a recurrent pattern of negative, defiant, disobedient and hostile behavior toward authority figures lasting aat least six months.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (504)

A Civil rights statute prohibiting recipients of Federal funding from discrimination on the basis of a disability.
Special Education PTA (SEPTA) – Branch of the local Parent Teacher Association specializing in issues concerning children with special needs.

State Review Officer (SRO)

An officer appointed by the State to review the decision, on appeal, of an Independent Hearing Officer (IHO) after a Due Process Hearing.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

is a disability category under IDEA which includes acquired injury caused by external physical force and open or closed head injuries that result in impairments. It does not include congenital or degenerative brain injuries or injuries caused by birth trauma.