Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tools: How Does Coaching Help with ADD?

How does coaching help with ADD

When I say ADD most people get a picture in their minds of a hyperactive school boy, climbing the walls and acting out. While most people do know that people with ADHD have hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention, they don’t always know that it can be so much more subtle than that.

ADD shows up in varying degrees, in-fact no two ADD-ers are alike. We don’t all suffer with hyper-activeness, or impulsivity, in fact some of us can be way over at the other end of that energy spectrum. We may be inattentive only, or a combination of symptoms, which makes it sometimes difficult to diagnose ourselves. Also another facet that clouds the facts is that so many of the traits of ADD are common to all of us at one time or another. Have a look here at some of the traits

ADD-ers have problems with;

Sustained focus, organization, time management, self-regulation, procrastination, black & white thinking, perfectionism, impulse control, self-awareness, working memory, short term memory, emotional outbursts.

The fact is- all of us forget from time to time. Or procrastinate, or miss an appointment, or let our paper work pile up. So how do we know when our problems step over that line into an actual disorder?

I like to say you can define it by both degrees and impact.

For example, if you do all of those things just occasionally, and it has little or no impact on your life, career, school or family then I would say that by definition, it’s not a problem. If however you are constantly dealing with these issues and it does impact your life, then it has now stepped across that line into a problem for you.

ADHD can be devastating if it is undiagnosed and untreated, it can lead to a whole host of other issues, like; Addiction, depression, failed marriages and careers, money issues, failing grades, lost friendships and low self- esteem. However, if it is properly diagnosed and treated, all of the challenges and traits can be overcome or managed.

When people come to me for coaching, they are usually at the end of their rope, and they’re often in some kind of crisis. Their children may be about to be suspended from school or failing with their grades, or they may be facing the prospect of losing their job. Or maybe they are stuck in a career they hate, and they are just overwhelmed, all the time. They are typically just getting through their day, surviving, rather than thriving. They have often, sadly given up on dreams or goals because it’s too hard to get there and just getting through the day takes up all of their energy.

So how does ADD coaching help? Well unlike talk therapy, coaching is a partnership and generally our focus is on the now and the future, as a coach I use my coaching skills to help to bring self- awareness and self- regulation, and by reflecting back to you what I see and hear, I also give you some accountability, and we work together to make sure that it is set up in a way that works best for you.

We also look at the systems for your life, to find ADD friendly ways to organize your time, stuff and thoughts etc.

We systematically go through your obstacles and find out what’s blocking you and together we find processes to put in place that help eliminate or minimise those obstacles. We also stay in touch in-between sessions to help remind you of your goals, and to tweak here and there when things aren’t working for you.

From a practical stand point, I may help you to set up accommodations at your school or work place that help you to do better. I may help you find ADD friendly systems to organize your time, home or work life, or to make your schedule more predictable. I can help you to find ways to deal with that mountain of paper work, or else we can find ways to change your life so you do not have to procrastinate. In other words we tailor the coaching to fit your specific needs and challenges

I believe in staying flexible about how I coach so that I can respond to my client’s needs, this isn’t common to all life coaching, but this is crucial for ADD clients. This may mean, home visits, tele-coaching, Skype calls, emails and texts or I.M. in-between sessions to help keep you on track.

Coaching has been proven in the last decade to make a considerable difference to ADHD-ers lives. All the experts in the field now know that although medication or other therapies can offer some or a lot of relief, pills don’t teach skills. At the end of the day it’s proven again and again in studies that a multi-modal approach is the key ingredient in order to achieve sustained success.

Multi-modal simply means combining treatments, such as medication and cognitive behaviour therapy, or medication and coaching, or exercise, diet, nutrition and coaching.

Either way the upshot of it all is that what you do about your ADD depends on what you want to get out of life. The more you would like to achieve, the more support you are going to need. Coaching isn’t however a crutch, most clients complete about 3- 6 months before they are able to begin to coach themselves. After that, dropping in for a session only as and when needed.

If you are curious about coaching and would like to learn more to see if it could work for you, most coaches give a free Discovery or consultation/coaching session. That way you can ask all your questions, find out if coaching would really benefit your situation and see if it’s a good fit for you.

Diane O’Reilly ACG is a professional ADHD coach, who trained at the ADDCA coaching academy, NY. She is also a member of the ACO (ADHD coaches organization,) CADDAC (the Canadian centre of ADHD advocacy) and practices in Oakville.

You can find out more about Diane at 905 599 2485 and e.m

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Meat and Testosterone Connection

Over the last number of months I've had many clients asking about the importance of protein intake. Many women don't intake enough, some clients are vegetarian. Please take a look at this article to find out more about the hormonal connection related to meat consumption:




Saturday, September 10, 2011

Step-Ups: An Excellent Exercise for Leg Shape

Coach Poliquin shares a super exercise for functional strength to balance out development for maximum performance.


Add this in with your regular leg routine and notice excellent changes in your leg shape, strength and stability.



Thursday, September 8, 2011

ACE Article: Kids in Motion

Check out this article from ACE to keep your kids fit:

Kids in Motion

By the time they reach high school, 64% of children are no longer physically active. Why?

If your kids fall within this group, you don’t have to sadly shake your head. You can set a good example, be a role model and do the right things so your kids will, too.

Get off the couch and get on a bike with your kids. Introduce them to exercise that’s fun. Eat healthy. Instead of high-calorie foods and snacks, turn to fruits and other healthy foods. And once you get kids moving in the direction of fitness, chances are they’ll keep going for the rest of their lives.

Start ‘em Young

Becoming a healthy adult starts with being a healthy child. Many chronic diseases of adulthood have their beginnings in childhood. For example, it is important for kids to build strong bones, so that by the time they’re in their 20s, their peak bone density will be higher and their risk of osteoporosis will be decreased.

There are also childhood diseases that can easily be prevented by proper diet and physical activity. Children can suffer from diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure—these aren’t just adult ailments.

An hour of physical activity per day is recommended for children. It is also recommended that screen time (TV and computer time) be limited to two hours per day. Children who are fit can avoid the above health problems. They also do better in physical-performance tests. They have a stronger self-image, more self-confidence, less anxiety and stress and they demonstrate greater improvement in skill- and health-related fitness.

When you consider the facts, it makes good sense to encourage physical activity when your children are young. Parents, teachers and fitness professionals all have a role to play. Each can help kids think positively about exercise and motivate them to make regular physical activity a lifetime pursuit.

Mom and Dad Are the Best Motivators

As a parent, it’s up to you to play the biggest part—bigger than a teacher, more important than a fitness professional. Your children look to you for examples on how to talk, dress, act and lead a physically active—or inactive—life.

Set a good example for your kids. Instead of spending the evening in front of the television, find some activity that will keep you moving. In warm weather, bike outdoors. If it’s too cold, get a stationary bike, a treadmill or a trampoline.

And it’s never too late or too early to help your kids build strength and endurance. Push-ups and pull-ups are an excellent way to build upper-body strength. Jungle gyms and monkey bars are great for kids because they utilize their own body weight. And they’re loads of fun.

Make sure your kids have the proper protective equipment, such as helmets and knee, elbow and wrist pads. Also make sure the athletic equipment they’re using is the proper size for them. You wouldn’t want to swing a bat as tall as you, so buy equipment to fit each child.

Keep in mind that kids are not always naturally limber and that their muscles may be tight and vulnerable to injury during the growth spurts that occur during the elementary years. Be sure to include stretching as a part of your fitness activities.

Make sure that you concentrate on the positive aspects of exercise. It’s a chance for a family to be together, to share good times and have fun. Avoid competition, discipline and embarrassment—things that can turn good times into moments of dread. Praise your children for trying. Encourage their interest in other sports and other activities, which will help them take ownership of their fitness.

It’s Really up to You

You can’t tell kids that being active is fun. You have to show them. So take your kids hiking, biking, dancing, sledding, swimming and in-line skating. Skip rope or shoot baskets with them.

Plan outings and activities that involve walking, like a trip to the zoo or the park, a nature trail hike or even a walk through the mall. Remember: If you want your kids to be healthy, happy teens and adults, it’s up to you to do something about it.

Additional Resources

ACE’s Guide to Youth Strength Training DVD
American Council on Exercise—Youth Fitness by Avery Faigenbaum & Wayne Westcott

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—Healthy Youth!:
American Heart Association—Exercise (Physical Activity) and Children: