ADHD coaches need specialised tools

As an ADHD coach, do you ever feel like banging your head against the wall?

I will be honest with you. I feel like that almost every day. I am seriously thinking of investing in a crash helmet…

I am one of only a handful of certified ADHD coaches in the UK. This has it’s advantages and disadvantages…

I LOVE being a pioneer and trailblazer. 

I HATE the self-doubt that often accompanies that. Since I am the first one doing many of the projects that I am doing, I don’t have “sounding boards” to bounce my ideas off. And that is incredibly frustrating.

I RISE to my mission and EDUCATE and EMPOWER about ADHD and how to live with ADHD successfully.

Fortunately, ADHD coaching is slowly becoming more accepted. But there is a very long way to go.

There is still a huge amount of ignorance about what constitutes proper ADHD treatment.

Successful ADHD management is “Pills and Skills.” Find out more about the little known facts about ADHD in my books here. 

The medical world in the UK and even in the USA, still has an awful lot to learn about ADHD.

I received two emails recently from two mums from across the globe, requesting ADHD coaching for their teenage daughters. Their daughters were both on the path to get  an ADHD diagnosis. I replied promptly of course. When I get an email from an ADHD parent or adult, it is my duty to reply as soon as I can. They are in pain. I plan my day so that I am NOT  too  busy to reply….

Details have been changed to cover anonymity.

LETTER from a mum in the UK.

“Hi Faigy

My 17 year old daughter is in the process of being assessed for ADHD . She has been with CAMHS for 3 years. She also suffers from anxiety and has depression. 
I would like to know if you can help her with ADD/organisation/attention problems and planning for the future?
I am contacting you as I saw on your website that you are spiritual. My daughter has discovered spirituality recently, and it is really helping her.”

Here is my response:

“Hi

Thank you for getting in touch. 

 I have a question for you, Could you rate the following out of 10, with 10 being top.

1.  How much does your daughter want help for herself?

2. How much do you want help for her?

If the answer to the first question is 10+ then I am happy to work with her. I assume, without knowing any more information and from past clients of that age that probably you may want the help for her, more than she does? I may be wrong here.

In my experience however teenage girls aged 15 are not yet open to really really really wanting help.

The youngest female  I have directly worked with has been 21, and she wasn’t really open to change, I will be honest with you.

So without knowing any more background information, I will comfortably say that I am more than happy to work with yourself. I do this regularly with clients. This is a double positive, as you learn tools to help yourself (no one is perfect) and then you change the environment for your daughter and you  model those for your daughter, which is the best and most powerful way for her to learn to manage her ADHD.

I am available to speak to you to discuss how we can support you and your daughter.”

I didn’t hear from her for 3 weeks.

When I emailed her, this was her response,

 “Hi Faigy

Sorry for the late response. My daughter had her ADHD assessment yesterday and now has an official diagnosis of ADHD inattention. The psychiatrist has suggested to hold off getting Lottie a life coach for now so she doesn’t feel too overwhelmed as they start her with a new regime.

When the time feels right I will show my daughter your website  and I agree with you that it has to be her choice.

When the time feels right we will contact you as I agree with you that ADHD coaching must be her decision.”

So what do you answer to that?

Here is my response:

“Hi. I am delighted that your daughter has gotten an ADHD diagnosis and that she has started ADHD meds.I hope to hear from you soon.I wish you well and only the best.”

Here is what I wanted to write:

“Hi. Thank you for your reply. I couldn’t help but feel frustrated when I read your email.  I could just move on and not respond. However as an ADHD pioneer here in the UK, a large part of my work is to EDUCATE.  Please forgive me if I write anything that may not sit right with you. I do not know your story, only from the information that you have written. 

I could just move on, but as an ADHD mum, many times over, I feel compelled to ask you the following questions. I ask you to please think about them. You do not need to reply to this email.

  1. You mentioned that your daughter was in CAMHS for 3 years. That is an awfully long time to be in the process, when she could easily get diagnosed in under 2 hours. This is the same story that I hear from clients nationwide. I better not say anything more.

  2. Even experienced ADHD professionals still think that ADHD management is done through the ADHD meds. This is not the case. For your daughter to unlock her potential,  she needs a combination of “Pills and Skills.” I am curious, that you were interested to start coaching, and through the advice of your daughter’s psychiatrist (who should know better) you decided to “wait” which means in my experience, I will never hear from you again.

  3. Being a parent is difficult. Being a parent of an ADHD teenager is even more difficult. I know this from personal experience. I am curious why did your psychiatrist not emphasis that YOU need support. And you, as the mum, have the most power to create change with your daughter, and it is so easy. 

I wish you well.”

Here is the second email from a mum in the USA.

“Hi Faigy, G-d  led me to your site.

My daughter 14, and I really want her to be successful.

I thin she needs ADHD meds and coaching, more meds than coaching.

Here is a brief summary of her personality.

She has tons of energy, is creative and thoughtful and has a lot of depth to her. She is the heart of the party and has lots of friends.  She is a leader. When she is motivated she has tremendous (unusually great) passion and energy to accomplish.  When she isn’t motivated,  it’s entirely different.  So her performance can be inconsistent.

(She is consistently inconsistent).

Her working memory is poor and she struggles academically in school. Her processing speed IQ is low. She has been diagnosed with a learning disability. But, I always felt she has some form of ADHD. 

Her room is a mess, she starts projects and doesn’t finish them.

She jumps from task to task and gets bored easily.

Her emotional world goes up and down like a yoyo.

 I think the time is right to help her as she wants to do well. I hope to hear from you soon.”

I replied and didn’t hear from the mum. I sent a follow up eamil 3 weeks later. Here is her response.

“Hi Faigy. My daughter wants to try the ADHD meds,  so we are going ahead with a trial of that. Thanks for following up.”

Here is my response,  I have yet to hear back from the mother.

“Hi. I have a question for you. Something doesn’t add up.Please can you re-read your first email. You were so excited that G-d sent me along your path. You sent a really detailed email about your daughter’s difficulties and strengths and how you want to help her.

Now you write that your daughter wants to try ADHD meds, and that’s all. As one of only a handful of certified ADHD coaches in the UK, my job is to EDUCATE.  ADHD management is PILLS and SKILLS at the same time. If you spend all that time effort and money to get your daughter assessed and medicated, you will be in a sense wasting your money, because the ADHD meds, which is amazing, (I am on ADHD meds) only helps for focus and sometimes anxiety. That’s all. It doesn’t help for most of the areas you mentioned in your first email. That is my job.

The first step is to buy my books and educate yourself. Contact me when you are ready.”

(I have read between the lines and I suspect the mum may have ADHD, and I can most definitely help her…)

I have obviously missed out a lot, (imagine, you would be reading this all day…) You get the idea. 

If you feel a calling to help your ADHD clients reach their potential, and you want a fulfilling, energising (entertaining for sure…) and totally enlightening career,  then join the FB group below and find out more…

Despite the daily frustrations, and my “head-banging” sessions, I must say that I LOVE my work! It is so rewarding. ADHD is one of the most common and most easily treatable mental health conditions. With the right ADHD tools my clients are consistently reaching their goals, in record time!

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