What can an ADHD coach provide that campus services can’t?

Dear Coach:

What is the difference between what a coach can provide my college student versus what on campus services can do?


Dear Noreen,

An important difference between a coach and an on-campus service provider is that when working with a coach your child is the client. The on-campus support, while good, is always part of the school. This is a significant difference because a student needs a person who is on her side. If she perceives someone from a campus office is working on behalf of the school’s objectives for the student instead of what the student wants for herself, it can put up a barrier to their relationship.

A student may not want to visit the on-campus service provider or disability office because of a perceived stigma.  You and your coach are the only people that have to know you are getting help.  Thus it is more private and may be more comfortable for your student.

The goals of coaching are set by the student — not the teacher, advisor or the parent. The student and coach develop a plan to work toward those goals and the coach provides structure, support and accountability along the way. A coach steps in when a student is no longer willing or able look to his parent for structure, support and accountability — either because he has moved into a developmentally-appropriate independence phase or has moved away from home.

Unlike tutoring or mentoring, coaching empowers the student to develop structure support and accountability on their own. Most coaches also work with the students to understand how to work around their weaknesses and maximize their strengths.

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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