Your teenager is smart, energetic, and deeply wants to be a good student. But their ADHD has been interfering more than usual now that they are in a new grade, with new teachers, and (lots) of new expectations. When they were in middle school, you found ways to oversee homework and periodic backpack clean outs. And having their teachers essentially on speed-dial helped you rescue many projects and papers from certain doom.
But now? Your child is in high school and their willingness to let you oversee their schoolwork has, let’s say, diminished greatly. And who can blame them? It’s developmentally appropriate for a teenager to begin to crave independence and autonomy. It’s healthy for them to want to make their own choices about when and how to meet their academic obligations. However, you know what’s at stake better than anyone. It can be excruciating to watch your teen with ADHD think they have it all under control only to have unexpected assignments pop up and a whole lot of zeros populate their teachers’ grade books. If only they had the self-awareness to seek your help – or their teachers’ help!
That’s where an academic coach comes in for a teen with ADHD. When your child works with a coach, they have a dedicated professional who uses research-backed strategies to help your teen learn how to:
- Organize their materials
- Keep track of their assignments
- Study effectively
- Manage their time
- Conquer procrastination
- Follow through on their plans
But most of all, your child’s coach knows how to partner with your child so there’s no power struggle. No yelling. No slammed doors. Your teen sees their coach as an ally who helps them be successful and feel truly capable – not like a needy child. The coaching relationship allows for insights and growing self-awareness because they don’t have to fight it, as they would a parent who tries to intercede. With their coach, a teen can be vulnerable and truthful about their work without fear. Your child’s coach is solution-focused and has an eye on the ultimate goal: to enable your teen to gain self-knowledge along with a toolbox of strategies that helps them be independent, successful, and happy not just for today, but for years to come.
So, how can you tell if your teen with ADHD could benefit from an ADHD coach? Here’s a checklist of what to look for:
- They are often surprised (in a bad way) at the outcome of a test/paper/project
- They feel overwhelmed when they think about their schoolwork
- They feel frustrated that they can’t “keep it together” as well as their peers
- They are starting to doubt their ability to succeed
- Their grades do not reflect their potential or effort
- There’s increased tension between you and your child over their performance in school
While a “yes” to any one of these can indicate that academic coaching would be beneficial, checking off three or more is a sure sign that your teen with ADHD could use specialized support before they spiral into a cycle of failure (and you suffer countless sleepless nights). The right coach can change your teen’s life – and yours – for the better.