The one word that college students with AD/HD most often use with us to describe how they feel is “overwhelmed.” As AD/HD coaches, we are not surprised. We know that the feeling of not knowing where to start – or what to do next – can paralyze even the most capable college student, regardless if the student has AD/HD or not.
Why are college students with AD/HD often overwhelmed?
Transitioning to college is challenging for all young adults. College students must adjust not only to new surroundings, but also utilize a set of mental processes known as “executive functioning.” Executive functioning processes connect past experience with present action to help college students plan, organize, strategize, and manage time and space – almost completely on their own! For many college students, they are on their own for the first time! College students with AD/HD have special challenges adjusting to college because AD/HD is a neurological disorder that impacts executive functioning.
For additional information about Executive Functioning and How it Impacts College Students with AD/HD and other Executive Functioning Disorders, please click here.
How is AD/HD coaching different from other types of coaching?
Because individuals with AD/HD have impairments in one or more areas of executive function (Activation, Focus, Effort, Emotion, Memory, or Action), they often benefit from a coaching program that is uniquely adapted to fit their particular needs. This can include:
- shorter coaching sessions that facilitate focus and memory and
- coaching Check-Ins by email, text, or phone in-between sessions to help the AD/HD client follow through with “action steps” – i.e., coaching homework!
The Parent, College Student, Coach Partnership
Parents of college students usually pay for AD/HD coaching for their son or daughter. However, our primary relationship is with the student. The student must be willing and ready to articulate goals, show up for coaching sessions with an agenda, and develop a trusting relationship with his or her coach. We reward students for effort and honesty! Through a confidential student-coach relationship, we try to make it as safe as possible for students to be honest about their grades and other challenges at college.
While students may plateau or even slip behind at times, they will make substantial progress if they follow their coaching plans!! If the student’s parents are paying for their coaching, we develop an agreement with the student that we can contact the parent if the student does not show up for two or more scheduled coaching sessions or coaching Check-Ins. This means that we work together as a team – with student, parent, and coach all understanding the terms of the Coaching Agreement and a joint commitment on everyone’s part to the student’s success.
What is unique about LaMountain & Associate’s coaching services for college students with AD/HD?
1. Our Team Approach
Camille and Dennis have had extensive training and experience in working with people who have disabilities, as well as in coaching and helping young people transition to adulthood. We work as a team to complement each other’s strengths and skills so that college students have access to a full range of professional expertise and guidance.
For more information on Camille’s unique qualifications to work with college students with AD/HD, please click here to read her BIO.
For more information on Dennis’ unique qualifications to work with college students with AD/HD, please click here to read his BIO.
2. Three Levels of Coaching & Coaching Support Services
In recent years, we have learned that when it comes to coaching college students with AD/HD, “one size does not fit all.” Each student has a unique set of needs! Many students have co-existing conditions (such as learning disabilities, anxiety, or autism) that increase the complexity of their challenges. Colleges offer some individualized support for students with disabilities, but students often do not get enough help without additional professional support.We provide three different “levels” of customized coaching services. The coaching level determines both the frequency and types of interactions and communication between the coach and the student, as well as with the student’s parents (if applicable):
- Level 1: an average of 1-1 ½ hours of coaching and coaching Check-Ins each week
- Level 2: an average of 3-4 hours of coaching, coaching Check-Ins, and client support services each week
- Level 3: an average of 6-7 hours of coaching, coaching Check-Ins, and client support services each week
For additional information about our 3 Levels of Coaching for College Students with AD/HD, please click here.
How do I find out more about LaMountain & Associates’ coaching services for college students with AD/HD and get started with coaching?
- Complimentary Consultation – Either the parent or student requests a complimentary consultation (up to 30 minutes). We listen carefully to understand the parent’s or student’s concerns and to determine if our coaching services are appropriate. If the student is not on the call, we arrange for a complimentary follow-up call with the student to assess his or her personal interest and readiness for coaching.
- Review of Formal Assessments – Prior to the first coaching session, we review diagnostic and educational assessments if they are available. These might include psychological, neuropsychological, or psycho-educational assessments, as well as Individual Education Plans, 504 plans, and other documentation. These documents help us learn more about the student’s functioning and recommendations that other professionals have made.
- Intake Session(s) – We meet with the student in-person, by phone, or by Skype for two 1.5-hour sessions. During these sessions the student and coach clarify how they will work together to help the student achieve his or her goals. We sometimes refer to these meetings as “Discovery Sessions.”
- Coaching Level – During the Intake Sessions, we determine the level of support that is needed to help the student meet his or her goals. We make a recommendation to the student and the parent (if applicable) for Level 1, 2, or 3 coaching services (For information about our 3 Levels of Coaching for College Students with AD/HD, please click here).
- Coaching Agreement – The student and coach sign a Coaching Agreement, signifying that both parties understand the commitment and terms of the coaching alliance and partnership. If the parent is the responsible financial party, the parent also signs the Agreement.
- Follow-Up Coaching Sessions – We request that the student commit to a minimum of three months of coaching. The 3-month commitment helps to assure that the student learns, internalizes, and sustains strategies and behaviors for success.