Jodi Green trained as an ADHD coach on a course in the US after her eight-year-old daughter was diagnosed with inattentive ADHD.
She soon realized that “there wasn’t a lot of support for parents of children with ADHD” and decided to train as an ADHD coach.
Green, who runs a practice in Melbourne, says he has witnessed a surge in interest in his services after a bout of Insight on ADHD aired on SBS in 2021. She also saw an increase in inquiries driven by pandemic lockdowns, as people with ADHD struggled to cope with the loss of routines in their daily lives.
Working from home, many people couldn’t rely on their colleagues, meetings and workplace dynamics to “keep them on track,” Green says. “We work with people to put structures in place to help them do what they need to do.”
Although she hasn’t had coaching herself, Panzarino says she can see how it could improve the quality of life for someone with ADHD. “For a lot of people, having someone sit with them and show them some of these little workarounds and little ADHD hacks for everyday life can be a really helpful experience.”
Kate (who did not want her last name published) sought support from an ADHD coach when she was diagnosed in her 50s. She says the sessions with her coach have helped her find practical solutions to “roadblocks” in her life, such as time blindness and punctuality.
While she waited to see a psychiatrist, a specialty that often has long waiting lists, Kate says an ADHD coach provided the practical help she needed.
An ADHD coach doesn’t focus on how you feel, says Sydney-based ADHD coach Mark Brandtman. “I teach [clients] skills or what I would call things to manage their life better, to improve their self-esteem, to see what is tripping them up.
These may be forgetfulness, emotional regulation, or time awareness issues. “People with ADHD, children and adults, are time blind. What’s five minutes for us could be five days,” says Brandtman, who adds that trainers typically charge between $100 and $200 per session.
A common strategy for people with ADHD is to outsource time management using reminders, alarms, and calendar notifications: “Simple tricks like, for an adult in an office, making sure that his computer announces the time every half hour,” he explains.
The incidence of ADHD
ADHD affects around 5% of the population, although some experts believe the condition is underdiagnosed. Services such as Monash Health have reported an increase in ADHD referrals recently.
ADHD has historically been thought to be more common in boys and men; however, there is growing evidence of equal prevalence between the sexes.
Research shows that girls with ADHD tend to be inattentive rather than hyperactive. “While hyperactive ADHD is usually recognized by an inability to sit still or fidget, inattentive ADHD can show up as daydreaming or loss of concentration,” says Green.
Tamara Cavenett, president of the Australian Psychological Society (APS), says it’s important to note that the diagnosis of ADHD is based on functional impairment. “It’s not just about whether or not people have an attention problem, but whether or not it’s causing significant difficulty in their lives. This is a very important criterion,” she says.
“I would definitely encourage anyone who is worried about this to seek evidence-based diagnosis and treatment.
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