It is always heart-warming to get positive feedback from my clients. I am always so inspired when they report back the changes that they have made, in areas that we haven’t even discussed! This is the power of ADHD coaching.
During ADHD coaching sessions, clients report back that in the past week they have made great changes, and we haven’t even spoken about them. When you work on one area, other areas automatically start to improve. This is because you are working on the root of the challenge, which is improving your brain’s overall executive functioning. It is then to be expected that other areas in the brain improve as well.
The following is a letter, that my client’s daughter, who has ADHD, sent to her teacher. She sent it during Lockdown, requesting support for herself when school starts. My client was working on learning skills to support her own ADHD. At the same time, she learned to support her daughter who also has ADHD.
“Dear Miss Smith
My name is May and I am looking forward to being in your class this year.I live with my Mum, Grandma, Grandpa, my Uncle, my Labrador dog, and my Great Grandpa lives next door.
Fred and Jane live round the corner, they are friends, but we adopted them into our family when I was little, and they spend lots of time with us. Jane is six months younger than me and goes to school a few miles away. I also have a little brother, [age 2] and sister [age 1] who live ten miles away with my Dad and Step Mum.
My favourite lessons are Art and Music, I like reading and out of school I like to ride horses, swim, ride my bike and play tennis, I walk my dog every morning and also like to explore the common and find new swings to play on.
I am going to need lots of your help this year as I have recently found out that I have ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder] which makes sense to me, because I have always found it impossible to blend in with everyone else and I often struggle settling down and getting on with my work. Unless I am engrossed in something, I find it hard to stay focussed and ignore distractions, so I fidget and remembering what I’ve been told to do and what I thought I knew yesterday is sometimes impossible! When I am under pressure my brain just goes blank! so for instance, I HATE it when people are counting down, because I’m running out of time.
I have also found out that I have Dyscalculia, which I’m quite pleased about, as I thought that I was just useless at maths and used to get really angry with myself when I couldn’t learn my tables or tell the time! It just didn’t make any sense and I thought I was being stupid because I have to use my fingers, or equipment to work out my tables every time, yet I am very good at things like spatial awareness, so things like perimeter or area just make sense to me. Sometimes I get really frustrated and need help calming down but having a minute alone can really help.
I am scared about coming back into the classroom with ADHD as I have always kept it a secret and used my fingers under the desk. I have a weak bladder so I really do need to go to the toilet a lot, but I have sometimes stayed in the toilet to avoid doing things that I know I won’t be able to do, but my grandma says that I must own my ADHD and that if I’m brave, you will help me to be the best that I can be.
For the last few weeks, My Grandma has been home schooling me [she used to be a teacher] and she’s been helping me learn new things and trying to help me to understand how I learn best. She’s been talking to the Special Needs Co-ordinator at school about it too and I’ve learned that I need to break down tasks into little bits, keep scrap paper by my side to write notes, tell myself that I’m doing well and regularly remind myself to get back on task, (I hope that you can help me with that too). When I am fidgety or distracted I often need to get up and have a little walk to get my thoughts back on track and I have a glitter jar which sometimes helps my thoughts to settle.
I’m not always good at recognising all the things that I do well, but my superpowers are that I am inquisitive, I often notice and work out things that other people miss [which also makes me kind of nosey] I am tenacious, because I keep going and always try, but I can be very stubborn too! I am also resilient; so, I stick at things and work through problems and mostly stay cheerful. I love pleasing people and getting praise and I can be extremely helpful.
I would like to do some jobs around your classroom, I would really like to be a sink monitor [to clean up paints, or science experiments] and if you need a pencil monitor, I love to sharpen pencils and coloured pencils so maybe that’s a good way that I can move out of my place and do a quick job before I get back on with my work.
I would really like to know who else will be in your class and whether you have taught many children with ADHD? And can you tell me if I will get any extra help, or be doing any special work out of the classroom? And do you live near to school and do you have any children of your own?
I hope that you have a lovely summer and I will look forward to seeing you in September and I am a bit nervous about going into year six, but looking forward to going on the residential with you.
May, age ten”
If you are a mum of an ADHD child, take heart. The journey is most likely going to be harder, but with the right tools the results will be far more rewarding. It’s a cruel world out there. You need to teach your ADHD child to advocate for themselves. If they learn this very important skill, they will be well on the way to their success.
Click here to access more tips on helping your ADHD child in school.