What’s the process?
After a quick call to make sure there’s a match, we’ll meet face-to-face at your favorite coffee shop or hangout. I’ll ask you a bunch of questions to get an understanding of where you are now, where you want to be, and how we might get there. Then, I’ll get to work behind the scenes crafting a coaching plan made specifically for your family and its intricacies. We’ll set some dates on the calendar — most of the time, I’ll meet with your child as well — and we’re rolling!
Where do we meet?
Our first meeting might be over a cup of tea, or out for a walk in a nearby park. In most cases, it makes sense to visit your home — especially when working with the children. If that doesn’t work for you, we’ll figure out something else.
What do you mean about ‘holistic’? What kind of woo-woo am I getting myself into?
Holistic means we’re going to look at the whole picture of a full and busy life. It’s not just about one behavior or one environment. We may need to address needs at home, school, on the playground, and more. We might look at physical space, like your study area or playroom, in your house. We’ll get the whole family (no matter what form that takes) on board, because ADHD affects everyone involved. I want to check out your kitchen and talk about nourishing the Busy Brain. We may play in your outdoor space and see how to make best use of it. The things that affect your life and your child’s are the same things that affect ADHD, so let’s dig into them and put them to good use.
Is this the same as tutoring? Because we really need to do better in school…
No, it’s not tutoring. It’s different (and way more fun!) — but it will certainly help academically. Your child will learn the inner workings of her or his own mind, and how to shape them for the task at hand. That’s going to carry over into the classroom, family life, eventually the working world and more.
We won’t do math drills or direct reading instruction, although there are often ways to bring certain lessons into coaching fun. For example: rote-memory tasks sink in faster and easier while tossing a ball back and forth. So, if your child is currently trying to learn the state capitals, let me know that and we will work it into our coaching session in a fun and engaging way.
What is different about a strengths-based approach?
The first thing you’ll notice is the language: we’re not going to discuss ‘deficits,’ ‘disease,’ ‘disability’ or ‘disorder.’ We will talk about awareness, direction and intent.
We’re not about to start with what we “can’t” do. We’ll notice what we can do, and what can grow from that, and where we can add on new stuff.
We won’t insist on sitting still or being quiet. We’re going to recognize that there are challenges inherent to a mind and body that don’t stay still — while we also look for, practice and praise the positives in that aspect.
We’re going to start where we are and build on what already feels easy and natural. Most kids are natural movers, so movement often forms the early basis of our work. Before they know it, they’re building neural connections they didn’t even believe they could.
We’ll take the things that feel difficult and turn them over like a coin to look for the hidden strength in them. It doesn’t mean we can’t get real about the struggle — it’s really hard sometimes, and we’ll save space for that. Then, we’ll turn to the goodness.
It often requires some reframing, especially for parents: it’s no longer a burdensome diagnosis, but a learning style that’s just as good and valid as any other. It just takes a few extra tricks to put it to best use.