ADHD Coaching

National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines are clear about medication being used as part of overall care package of care for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). While medication will often be the mainstay in majority cases and by far produces the best results, the psychological therapies do have their place and will often work best with medication. The non-pharmacological approaches, often described as ADHD coaching, include a variety of methods, some influenced by age, others by the nature of presenting issues comorbid with the core symptoms of ADHD. Below we have provided a broad outline of the work one may need to consider with an ADHD coach or a psychologist / behaviour nurse specialist.

Under 5’s some evidence supports use of –

  • Parent training (Triple P / Webster-Stratton / 123 Magic)
  • Behaviour modification / star charts or points-based incentives
  • Parent – child game
  • Classroom strategies
  • Self-soothing strategies

Above also helpful with appropriate modifications and adaptations with those between the age of 5-10 years. Generally, past age 10, some of the above methods are likely to have limited effects and the focus needs to shift other forms of psychological approaches of ADHD coaching such as –

  • Motivational interviewing
  • Attention training / cognitive remediation training ( to enhance working memory via games, mnemonics, forming paired associations. This can be done with the help of paper pen exercises or digital approaches e.g. http://www.c8home.com/games
  • Improving executive functions – visuo-spatial/organisation, inhibitory control, set-shifting
  • Mindfulness
  • DBT based approaches of distress tolerance and self-soothing to improve emotional regulation
  • Relentless problem solving
  • Mentoring and role modelling
  • CBT based approaches for anxiety, mood, negative self-beliefs
  • Biofeedback – doubtful evidence
  • Manage dyspraxia, Speech and Language Therapy , Dyslexia through suitable recommendations as made by an Educational Psychologist / OT
  • Special Dispensations – extra time, break out time, quiet room for exams

Some of the above may be suitably achieved via self-help, we are providing links below to useful books worth considering.

Smart but Scattered: by Peg Dawson 


Other ADHD related links:

Assessment Process and broad outline and Nuances in assessment of ADHD

Pharmacological treatment of ADHD

QB Computerised test for ADHD