- What is the youngest you can work with a child?
I work with families who have children of all ages. Regardless of the age of the child, parents must be a part of the process. While each family situation is different, typically with young children the first steps involve parental education.
- I know my child is capable of so much more but the school won’t help; they say he just isn’t trying hard enough. I know how hard he is trying it just doesn’t seem to come together for him. What can I do?
First and foremost it is imperative that an IEP (Individual Education Plan) is developed so that proper accommodations are in place. Often the issue is not that a child with ADHD (or other learning disabilities) needs to try harder, it’s that they need to try differently. Until the proper accommodations are in place, it is almost impossible for a child to meet their potential.
- Why can he focus on TV or video games but he can’t sit down for more than 5 minutes to do homework or even eat a meal?
Unlike what most people believe, having ADHD doesn’t mean a person is incapable of paying attention. ADHD is more an issue with being able to first determine what they should be paying attention to and then being able to sustain that attention on ‘the right’ stimuli at the right time.
- My child doesn’t have a diagnosis, can you work with us?
Absolutely, I do not need a diagnosis in order to assist parents develop strategies that will benefit your child and your family at home. Without a diagnosis it is difficult to ensure proper accommodations are implemented at school but there are still many things that can be implemented to make home life better.
- I have ADHD myself and have managed to be successful. I keep trying to teach my teenager some of the organization strategies that I figured out on my own over the years. Why can’t I help my own son/daughter?
The teenage years are difficult for parents in the best of times! When you add ADHD into the mix, things can become so overwhelming for both parents and their ADHD adolescents. During those years, it can be impossible to get through to your own children so getting the help of a coach or other professional is often the only way to get your child to listen to anyone other than their friends.
- I know our whole family would benefit from a coach but we don’t live in your area, how effective can you be if you don’t meet with us in person?
While using Skype or FaceTime we have the feeling of being in the same room even though we might be at opposite sides of the country or world. In many cases, my clients find it easier to organize their schedule as they do not have to leave home or worry about someone coming into their home while we still have a face to face experience.
- My child has a diagnosis of ADHD and ASD, can you help us?
Absolutely, in fact ADHD is often diagnosed with one or more other conditions such as ASD, ODD, OCD, Tourette’s, various learning disabilities and anxiety disorders. Finding strategies that take all of these conditions into account tends to be more successful than treating individual symptoms.
- How do I know if coaching is the right next step for my child / family?
First and foremost…. I will not take a client unless I believe that I can help them. The way I work is very much as a team with my clients. If your child / family is ready to learn some new strategies and willing to put in the time and effort in an honest, non-judgemental relationship the likelihood of seeing positive results is high. As the client, you decide on the goals you would like to work on. This is about making YOUR life easier, not about what I want you to work on.
- My child doesn’t want me to get involved with the school and ensure that the accommodations in his/her IEP are actually being provided because other kids have said that it isn’t fair that everyone doesn’t get the same accommodations. How can I help my child understand that the accommodations are not creating an unfair advantage or cheating?
Discretion is the key and kids will be kids. The best approach really depends on the age of your child, but the school / teacher should help to ensure that accommodations are provided as discretely as possible. Having said that, we know that other students tend to find out, I always try to explain that ‘fair is the same as equal, fair means everybody gets what they need.’ Accommodations are simply a way of leveling the playing field, we wouldn’t say a person had an unfair advantage by wearing glasses, so a person who takes longer to process information needs more time to complete a task.
- What kind of timeline are we looking at?
Since each situation is individual and I do not use a ‘one size fits all’ approach, I do not offer a program that is based on a specific time frame. It will depend on the age of your child/ren and how committed you and your family are to working with me consistently.
- The school just gave my child a IEP and I'm not seeing a difference, can you tell me why?
Often the first draft of an IEP does not include all of the accommodations that might be required. It is imperative that an IEP is specific to ALL of a child’s needs rather than simply the basic accommodations that are associated with a particular diagnosis. Another key part of an IEP is ensuring that it is being fully implemented.
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R. B. London, Ontario
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J.H. Thornhill, Ontario
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