Coach of the Week – Karen Lowry

School Support and ADHD Coaching

We know that ADHD coaching is an effective strategy for our clients to learn about themselves, be
accountable to stated goals, and achieve those goals.  Those I coach are children, teens, and college students.  Since coaching is client centered and the responsibility of goal setting is the client’s, it is imperative that a client feels that the goal he is setting is attainable.  If there is struggling in school without school support, there may be some low self-esteem and a feeling of helplessness which certainly impacts that ability to decide what he wants to achieve.  Coaching can not be totally effective in cases of needed school support that does not exist.

Once the coach understands through the intake what supports may be in place, it is imperative that she begin to assess exactly what they are and how they impact the client’s success.  How does the coach accomplish this?  The following are points that can help with this.

  1. 504 or IEP in place? Compare accommodations/modifications with what the client/family states are his current struggles.
  2. Is it being followed?
  3. Grades?
  4. Homework Success?
  5. Teacher Communication?

An assessment of the above can trigger the need for further assessment of what is in place and the possible need for more strategies/support in school so that the client can feel that he has that scaffolding to achieve.

We have come so far in the areas of understanding and support of ADHD.  But unfortunately there continues to be a disconnect with many school administrators who believe that either ADHD does not exist.  Or that because it is connected with behavioral issues, the child should be able to control it.  How many times have I heard:  He needs to be accountable, He did it yesterday so he can do it today, he is lazy, he needs to focus…and it goes on.  Our children with ADHD can do all of that successfully with support and strategies.  And with that support, it is also important for our kids to feel able to self-advocate.


Karen Lowry is a graduate of two coaching programs.  ADD Academy, is one that is focused on adult coaching.  JST Coaching teaches effective coaching for children, teens, and college students.  Karen is currently a Board Certified Coach, BCC.

She is a CHADD Parent2Parent teacher to teach classes online and in the community to families who felt as overwhelmed as she had when her child was diagnosed. Karen also wrote a book, the Seventh Inning Sit, as she advocated for her son, in order to show parents that it was possible to achieve a child’s needs even though the parent is faced with a room full of professionals that presumably know more than the parent.