An Introduction to ADHD Coaching

Responses to frequently asked questions about adhd coaching covering who needs an ADHD coach, the benenfits of AD/HD coaching and how to become an ADHD coach.

Q. What's a Coach?

A. Well it's not an entirely new concept. The practice of coaching, mentoring, training individuals has been around for a very long time. More and more, the idea of coaching seems to be broadening into areas of personal achievement such as academic studies, business and workplaces, as well as life at home. Almost everyone has had an experience of giving coaching or being coached at one time or another, perhaps because it happens rather naturally.

The Oxford dictionary defines a COACH as: a teacher, mentor, instructor, advisor, personal trainer, someone who specialises in offering private tuition to individuals and groups.

Q. What is an AD/HD Coach?

A. An AD/HD Coach offers specialised coaching services that are specially designed for people with AD/HD Specific Learning Difficulties, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Aspergers, and related problems.

Q. How do you train to become an AD/HD Coach?

A. At The Coaching Centre, our training courses offer an in-depth study programme into understanding the current facts and research findings available on neurological, learning and behavioural disorders, along with the best known methods, techniques and practical strategies, effective in designing and planning behavioural modifications and treatments within this population.

  1. We teach Coaches from a systematic and behavioural perspective and approach.
  2. Coaches learn how to recognise, identify, and strategize around a wide range of related problems.
  3. Coaches learn to conduct clinical interviews, draw up assessment plans, determine appropriateness of clients for coaching, make referrals, develop action plans with specific steps, prioritising goals, collaboration as a team member with doctors, teachers, parents, special needs departments, and community resources.

An AD/HD Coach becomes a private practitioner who offers a highly specialised service and sets the terms of that service delivery through a written agreement.

Q. Who needs an AD/HD Coach?

Anyone any age will benefit from having the skilled services of a coach. AD/HD coaching should be considered as one possible treatment option, when designing a multi-model treatment programme. Coaching should never be considered a replacement for medical or therapy treatments. It's greatest benefits are derived when combined with other treatments, addressing changes in routine and behaviour or when new skills need to be learned.

We are amazed by the results we get in AD/HD coaching. It seems to fill a gap that exists in available services for AD/HD client groups. The need for coaching is a very serious concern when you consider how often people describe feeling dropped and unsupported after receiving a diagnosis. Our AD/HD D sufferers have a need for quick results, perhaps that is why coaching is such an effective tool and such a popular choice in professional circles.

Clients, teachers, doctors, parents, all notice improvements in behaviour and performance in a very short period of time when there is a good relationship between coach and client. Parents say they especially appreciate having a coach because they are not nagging the child all the time.

AD/HD coaches also help people with other disorders to improve their performance and learn new skills. Anyone who has suffered with a life-long learning disability knows the devastating effects a lack of proper services can cause. Coaching skills should be taught to workers in special needs.

AD/HD underachievers are struggling with chronic disorganisation, procrastination, and general chaos. They will benefit immediately from having a coach to help them finish what they start and stay on track.

Q. What are some of the benefits of AD/HD Coaching?

  • Getting another chance. Having listened to thousands of stories from AD/HD sufferers, I am sure it won't surprise you to hear that some of the most critical learning experiences ended in total disappointment, negative feedback, feelings of failure, anger and frustration.
  • The long and boring controversy about whether or not AD/HD is real, hasn't helped to promote good services or dismiss the idea that this condition could be an excuse for laziness or craziness, leaving most to struggle silently.
  • Is it any wonder why AD/HD sufferers develop such an avoidance and dislike on the whole subject of getting help. They constantly fear asking for help on the basis of what people may think or say. Many report back that nothing offered to them has ever worked well, nor did anyone seem to care, so why bother. That can be a very difficult mind-set to shift.
  • For long time professionals in the AD/HD field realised that traditional therapy methods don't seem to really work. They went so far as to prove this in research. However, some behavioural therapies have been found to be helpful in AD/HD and the literature is now supporting methods like coaching.
  • What real choices do we have? I think if all we have to offer is more tablets, more hard work, and years of more therapy sessions, then I am afraid we had better get with the modern times and start to research and study the benefits of coaching.

Coach-Client Relationship

The results of Coaching can be amazing and immediate.

What is the role of a client?

Coaching is a process that happens over time Since it is a client driven service, you must possess a strong desire for personal growth and improvement. Coaching focuses on your being in action towards selfidentification, self -improvement, creating life balance, and reaching goals.

How does coaching work?

Regular meetings and check-ins are an essential part of the coaching process. The sessions can be done in person, by telephone, by fax or by email, which ever is preferable to you. However before coaching begins, you and the coach will need an in-depth, one to two hour initial meeting to develop the step by step plans needed to achieve goals.


AD(H)D Coaching is different for each coach and each client. Each coach has a preferred way of working and each client has different needs. Following the initial free consultation that will determine if coaching is right for you.

We will:

Work in particular skill areas such as time management and organisation which are often the clients primary concerns.

Together we will assess your strengths and weaknesses and you will learn how to compensate for those weaknesses and develop personal styles to draw on your strengths.

However, for the individual with AD(H)D, symptoms can become more frequent and/or severe during times of stress and fatigue. Paying attention to lifestyle issues in coaching helps individuals learn to promote their own well being.

The highly acclaimed techniques of Coaching, commonly seen in the sports world, are currently believed to be the most effective way to help people who suffer with the life-long effects of AD/HD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Aspergers and chronic low performance. The reason is simple: it is very effective. Coaching is not expensive and not a long-term complicated solution. Neither is Coaching a replacement for psychotherapy, it is a different skill.

The results of Coaching can be amazing and immediate. They are cost effective, and can dramatically improve one's ability to make important decisions, improve daily performance, improve learning skills, and excel in the attainment of life goals.

The client/coach relationship is built on understanding, honesty, and positive feedback. Realistic targets and expectations are discussed and contracted upon in a master action plan. The partnership begins with an assessment of one's real needs; an agreement is crafted around stated goals. The client is then guided, instructed, and encouraged throughout the specific steps towards the attainment of each goal, and changes and results desired. The coaching program is designed to end when the work is finished, and personal satisfaction has been achieved.

Who will benefit from Coaching?

Coaching will help most people, especially those who suffer from:

  • AD/HD: Attention Deficit Disorders
  • Dyslexia, Dyspraxia: Learning Difficulties
  • Aspergers; Social and Communication Disorders

Coaching often focuses on and aims to improve:

  • Poor time management
  • Disorganisation Academic problems including homework and developing good study skills
  • Career problems and employment planning
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Financial problems
  • Building up new skills in almost every area of life

Who should be trained to be a coach?

  1. People who already work with people in these populations,
  2. Teacher, Teacher Assistants, School Personnel, Personal Consultants,
  3. Special Needs Staff, and all other Care Workers,
  4. Counsellors, Mental Health Practitioners, Tutors, Trainers, Mentors

About the author: Ms. Dianne Zaccheo, MSW, Director and Founder of The Coaching Centre 13 Upper Addison Garden, London W14 8AP. Dianne Zaccheo is a Medical Social Worker, Family Therapist, Trainer and Coach for some 22 years. She is internationally recognised as an expert in the field of AD/HD, Aspergers, Learning Disorders, Behavioural Problems. Dianne has worked extensively with children, families and schools, as well as within many institutions as a trainer, practitioner and group leader. She has a wealth of experience in the fields of family therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, and coaching. She has developed a highly effective and unique model that encompasses therapeutic concepts with practical strategies and interventions leading towards empowerment and personal transformation.

Visit Diannes' site at

Visit for UK information and coaches. Anna of the Coaching Network in the UK advised us that they do have ".....coaches with professional experience of ADD /ADHD, although it doesn't show up as a specific criteria on our search engine at the moment (we're looking at some changes to the criteria so can consider adding this in). If anyone contacts us, we will refer them to the relevant coaches."


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APA Reference
Staff, H. (2009, January 4). An Introduction to ADHD Coaching, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 23 from

Last Updated: February 12, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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