For you, the start of the new school year or the beginning of basketball season always means the same thing. You're short of the supplies and equipment that your children need to start. So at the last minute, with other parents also shopping for the same stuff and your children grabbing everything in site, you become overwhelmed by the venture- which is exacerbated by your ADHD. In the end, with an excessive bill, your kids have a lot of what they don't need and are short of what they do need .Your self-esteem also plummets in the process. On theother hand, "Coaching can help you get through the storm and plan for the next one with greater finesse and poise, while maintaining productivity as well as self care," says ADD coach Karen Perlman.
Having a family member with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Ms. Perlman's navigation through its battleground drove her to learn all she could and eventually begin work as a coach. Already a licensed therapist and Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner by AADP, she says, "I became inspired to share this wealth of knowledge and experience."
Today, many of Ms. Perlman's clients face not only the challenge of their own ADD, but also the ADD of their children. "An ADD mom will be hard pressed to help herself and her child without support," she says.
Even within the first coaching session, Ms. Perlman will help employ organizational strategies to get her clients through the ever-changing demands of each day. She's also a phone call away if the mountain gets too high. In addition, she and her colleague Wendy Mach will develop behavioral interventions at school and home to address the child's needs. In turn, momentum is built by gaining positive ground in areas in which the mom lags behind - thus advancing self-esteem. "With that under control, a mom can begin to address and tackle her other goals on the wheel of life," she says.
At work, the ADD adult may fall behind due to a lack of focus that drives her to frequent breaks. Actual goals become crystallized as anADDcoach helps the client define the tasks and exercises sheneeds to address in order to adjust to the condition.
"They might consciously build in breaks and organize themselves in a way that is more ADD friendly," she says. Breaks fitting into the structure of the day may help them focus during the intervals of work that remain.
But ADD coaching does more than identify weaknesses and try to fix them. -"An ADD coach will help take areas of strength and build upon them to unleash potential," she says.
Strengths like creativity and the ability to multitask certainly fit into the profile of a successful business personor entrepreneur. Nevertheless, having ADD can also produce an effect called"Hyperfocus," which causes someone to hone in on a particular piece of work. "This can be a great asset," she says, "but it can also blindly set aside all other obligations." Identifying its occurrence and not getting swept away is a key element a coach will get clients to strive for.
In other words, someone like Ms. Perlman helps those with ADHD embrace their situation and work within its framework. "It really boils down to being a challenge of interest," she says. Meaning that people can be taught ways to bring interest to the mundane tasks of necessity and rejoice in things that truly bring satisfaction.
If the current career is lacking the latter, she'll help design "a system of accountability" that charts progress and moves toward something meaningful with a statement of purpose. "A mom will be able to say, "I can create the work and life I love and here's how I'm going to do it step by step,'" she says.
Back in school, a parent's ADD translates into a 30% chance that their children have it.If both parents have ADD, the percentage jumps to 50. As result, children daydream, don't wait their turn, have difficulty following group instruction and tend to fidget andblurt out more in class. It follows then that they may do poorly in school, despite often times being quite bright.
"The parent must always advocate for their child," she says. This means establishing relationships with school personnel and obtaining IEPs, when necessary, so kids get necessary school services.
Ms. Perlman's role coaching a parent can filter down and translate into empowerment for the child. "Parents learn to employ patience and understanding, create structure and predictability, and determine what it takes to harness the talents and strengths of their children," she says.
In the end, being the best mother you can be means applying those nurturing maternal instincts to yourself. "The key is balance, and to achieve balance, busy moms need to take stock of their own lives in order to help their kids and family," she says, "and that's where a coach can help."