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How Coaching Helps ADHD

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 30 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
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There are numerous ADHD treatments available but not everyone chooses to take medication for ADHD. Within the group of those who do, efficacy varies and some people add in alternative, non-drug therapies that can help them manage their ADHD symptoms.

Testing a New Model of Coaching for ADHD

One such option is coaching. In a recent study, a new model of coaching was tested on people who suffer from ADHD. This particular model has been developed exclusively to help university students who struggle with the symptoms of ADHD. The aim of this style of coaching is to help students improve skills in the area of executive functioning and cognition.

Why Try Coaching?

Coaching is nothing new. In fact, it has been effectively used by many people, from individuals needing to identify and achieve goals to corporations who want to raise the performance levels of high-ranking executives. To date, very little research is available on how coaching might help people with ADHD.

Medications can be effective in treating ADHD and improving academic success and productivity. No study, however, has yet shown a situation where medication on its own improves the skills students require to meet university demands – all of which tend to involve a higher level of independent functioning.

Improving Executive Functioning

Executive functioning allows students to organise their thoughts, which supports stronger goal-setting and makes it more likely they will achieve these goals. It also helps them to self-regulate. All of these cognitive functions are thought to be key to students experiencing success at university.

Reduced Stress and Better Coping Skills

With regards to the coaching study, it was found that the students who participated in the experiment all believed that the coaching helped them to reduce stress. Often, students who have ADHD can feel the additional burdens of their symptoms, resulting in more stress during what is already a stressful time for all students.

Better Self-Confidence and Balance in Life

Further to experiencing less stress, students reported additional benefits. They felt more empowered and enjoyed a burst in confidence. Overall, study participants reported that they experienced much more balance in their lives. For anyone who has been a student, this balance can be challenge enough to obtain – let alone if a person is dealing with ADHD.

A Two-Year Study With Positive Results

The study was conducted over a two-year period and included students from more than ten different universities and colleges. Researchers followed the progress of more than a hundred students who have ADHD and were subject to the new style of coaching.

They used both quantitative and qualitative types of analysis, with results showing that the coaching model was very successful. It was effective at raising the level of executive functioning and other related skills.

Helping Students With ADHD Achieve Success at University

The study shows promise as a new method for helping students with ADHD manage their symptoms and attain the skills needed to function independently and effectively at university. While it is only the start of this coaching model, it will hopefully receive more research and attention to allow it as an option to more students who struggle with ADHD.

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Sometimes, coaching, nor drugs are the answers sometimes it is education and changing the delivery and or environment.Until this part of the live of ADHDers is looked at things will continue to move very slowly in terms of bettering the lives of these individuals. The "specialists" need to stop looking at the checklist and deal with the individual and I am talking about considering the fact that one may be an A or B type personality and how this may affect how the person sees themselves and or if that person has a disability such as arthritis or MS, etc. There needs to be more care for taken for those who DON'T have behavioural problems, or learning disabilities because these are the people who suffer in silence and when identified are subjected to a continued stream of ineffective waffle with now practical application.
Sistah Afroe - 3-Jun-12 @ 8:45 PM
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