The Art and Science of the ADD Question


Don’t ask, DO tell

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

nicubunu_Broken_heartMy heart breaks when a client whose brain-style is NOT neurotypical tells me about past coaching relationships that haven’t worked out.  

I wish I could tell you that it is rare for me to hear about that sad reality, but that would not be truthful.

As I have continued to say since 1994, the truth of the matter is that coaches who don’t truly understand how to work with the ADD/EFD brain-style – even those who are well known for being highly effective with other types of clients – tend to do more harm than good with clients who have Attentional Spectrum challenges.

While I have empathy for any coach who wonders why they couldn’t be effective with any particular client, my heart shatters when I hear from clients with executive function struggles whose coaches don’t seem to wonder about their own contribution to their client’s struggles.

White cake with white icing (and a cherry on top!)ADD Coaching is not simply ADD icing on a “vanilla” cake!  

No matter how comprehensive your “vanilla” coach training, to coach ADD/EFDers (or ANY client with one of what I refer to as one of the Alphabet Disorders) you simply must Rewrite your Coaching Manual™ with an understanding of how the brain “normally” works, what’s going on when it works differently, and what’s needed to work with clients for whom that is the case.

Line drawing of a person throwing a piece of paper and a huge question mark into a trash can.What you will discover when you do is that there are standard coaching basics that won’t work AT ALL with the neurodiverse.

Never.  Nada!  No way, no how!

No matter what you’ve learned – or how well your vanilla skills work with how many bazillions of non-ADD/EFD clients . . .
you simply MUST throw them out when your client has ADD/EFD/TBI/PTSD – or any OTHER Attentional-spectrum, neuro-diverse component to their make-up.

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