Become More Aware of Coaching Readiness
Knowledge of ADHD and related issues can also help coaches, parents, and other care providers assess whether a young person is currently ready for coaching. When the neurobiological symptoms of ADHD have not been effectively addressed with medication or other targeted treatment, clients may not have a capacity to commit to the work of coaching. If a young person has just started taking a new medication and the dose is still not quite right, might that interfere with the coaching process? When coexisting conditions are present and untreated, how ready is that young person for coaching? Thus, it is valuable for coaches to be knowledgeable enough on both ADHD and possible coexisting conditions to recognize when one or more of these issues could be at play. Is a client showing up with alcohol on her breath? Does the client talk about his anxiety and how it is keeping him from being with others? Does the client disintegrate into tears every time she and the coach discuss her communications with her parents, or does she lash out at the coach in an angry rage when the coach poses appropriate questions? Any one of these situations could be a sign of emotional or mental health issues that need to be addressed before coaching can be helpful.
Knowledge of the fundamentals of ADHD thus provides a foundation for an ethical coaching practice. Coaches need to be sufficiently informed to detect when a client may or may not be ready for coaching, whether because of a mental health condition, a problem with substance abuse, or medication issues that need to be worked out. Along the same lines, an understanding of the various learning disabilities that may accompany ADHD will also provide the coach with valuable information that will help him or her coach effectively. With basic knowledge of learning disabilities and related symptoms, a coach will be in a better position to help a client with learning disabilities to explore strategies relevant to his or her learning style and to seek additional support where needed to help the client reach his or her goals (e.g., hiring a tutor or arranging for special accommodations at school or at work).