Beginning Treatment for ADD and ADD

Image courtesy of Ambro/

Image courtesy of Ambro/

I like to use examples from time-to-time from my work. I started working with this family to help with ADD/ADHD.The daughter is a sophomore at a local high school. They’ve tried other forms of treatment and the daughter resisted the help. They decided to work with me because they felt a coach would be the least-intrusive way to get her help.

Of course, like most families, they’ve dealt with many bumps-in-the-roads. The daughter has ADHD and isn’t living up to their expectations. They feel she’s disorganized and not really focused on her work.

Now, if I were to call her out on these things during our first meeting, how do you think the young lady would react? Do you think this is something she would like to do long-term? The key to building a relationship with any client is to prove that our work isn’t solely about obvious issues that he or she has been called-out about for years.

OK…so what does this exactly mean? I tell clients that our work is about a bigger picture instead of it being about these small issues like a disorganized room or too much time spent on the computer. We will get to these small issues, but if it becomes about these right away, the client will resist.

Resistance is the main reason why this young lady hasn’t been successful with other professionals. When she’s called out on her issues (and she knows these are present), she considers it an extension of her parents. Instead of letting the work naturally evolve to trust and respect, it turns into another adult in the room telling her that as she puts it…things that I suck at. If I become that person, she will totally lose respect for me and the intentions of our work.

Here’s my advice to any parent seeking help for a child…despite the need to fix everything, it is more important to build a working relationship with a professional before trying to fix the problems. Individuals with ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning deficits have been struggling for years. Offering quick fixes or trying to alleviate the problem without looking at the bigger picture will only mask the concerns. Plus, we know we struggle. Telling us we struggle is a quick way to have us not hear anything else.

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit To learn more information about some of the other services I provide, please visit and I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on Facebook and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest on ADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Tara does many wonderful things and you should check out her website here. Feel free to email me at or call 773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.


  1. Any intervention is futile until the person with ADHD owns the problem, and stops insisting it is the consequence of mean parents/teachers/employers.

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