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Press Release: Charlotte, NC & College Admissions Counseling with Fine Educational Solutions

Dear Friends of Effective Students,

Effective Students opens a new location in Charlotte, NC providing trusted academic coaching and executive function workshops to students. In collaboration with Fine Educational Solutions, Effective Students expands offerings to include college counseling holistic career counseling services to students nationwide.  

ATLANTA, GA – [Feb. 6, 2024] – Effective Students brings nearly thirty years of combined executive function expertise to the Charlotte area through academic coaching and workshops. 

Effective Students™ helps build executive function skills so students can become self-directed and successful learners. Executive functions are a set of mental processes that enable us to set goals, develop plans and follow through. Students who seek a competitive edge or those who struggle to respond successfully to academic demands benefit from personalized instruction to do so. 

Students often want to do well in school but struggle to manage their time effectively or even know how to study. From learning efficient ways to study to planning ahead while staying emotionally regulated, students can be better equipped and more motivated to engage. 

Personalized coaching can help students overcome challenges and work through frustrations.  When students overcome challenges, they take a step toward developing Academic Grit. Effective Students™ partners with families to help students develop the confidence and competence to succeed. 

To support clients nationwide as they pursue post secondary opportunities, Effective Students has partnered with Fine Educational Solutions, a leading expert in College Admissions Counseling and Holistic Career Counseling. 

“Selecting the right partner is critical to ensure quality guidance and support and families as they intentionally prepare their young adults to flourish” shared Rachael Barron, founder of Effective Students.  “The role of executive function skills and college success are interdependent.  Selecting an expert in the field of executive functions ensures our students are understood and have the best opportunity for success at the next level.”

“We are excited to join forces with Effective Students to offer a research-based approach to executive function coaching in Charlotte,” said Dr. Kathy Fine, principal at Fine Educational Solutions. “This partnership aligns with our commitment to providing tailored educational support that empowers students to reach their full potential.”

With the strategic guidance Fine Educational Solutions brings and the exceptional experience of Effective Students in areas of learning differences and ADHD, this partnership provides students, educators and parents seamless support for well-rounded educational support to a larger audience of students in the US and internationally.  

Effective Students Charlotteis conveniently located near the Park Road Shopping Center.

About Effective Students

Effective Students provides individualized coaching and support for students who seek to gain competitive advantage as well as those with learning difficulties, such as ADHD, to advance their executive functioning skills.  Learn more by visiting the Effective Students website

About Fine Educational Solutions

Fine Educational Solutions is a college admissions counseling service that aims to provide students with a reflection of their personal and professional goals, helping them to gain a sense of direction and understanding of themselves and their future. Learn more by visiting the Fine Educational Solutions website

 

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A young black boy enthusiastically writing a math problem on a whiteboard, fully engaged in his learning process.

5 Benefits of ADHD Academic Coaching

Students with ADHD often struggle with executive functioning, meaning they can have difficulty starting and finishing tasks. However, executive functioning skills that these students need to succeed are teachable. Harvard University defines executive functions as learned skills that allow you to “plan ahead and meet goals, display self-control, follow multiple-step directions even when interrupted, and stay focused despite distractions.” Learning executive functioning strategies can make a difference for students K-12 in better academic performance and building life skills. 

At Effective Students, we focus on teaching these skills. This includes helping students to learn to evaluate resources, complete tasks, and remain focused enough to follow through and complete those tasks. Because executive dysfunction can impact students emotionally and academically, our coaching includes both academic management skills and social-emotional skills. Through executive functioning coaching, we help students with ADHD get the support they need to succeed. 

Because of that experience working with students, we wanted to make a guide on some of the critical benefits that ADHD academic coaching can provide. Read the complete guide to learn about some benefits of getting academic coaching for students with ADHD.

1. Builds Skills in Academic Management

For many students with ADHD, it can be challenging to keep up and manage all of the assignments and responsibilities of school. Whether that’s staying focused during lessons and taking good notes or doing homework and projects on time, without executive functioning skills— it’s challenging to keep up. That’s why building skills like time management, planning and prioritizing, and organization is a focus of our coaching so that students can better manage their academics. 

Two black students collaboratively reviewing their homework, deeply engrossed in their academic discussion and learning from each other.

Every student also learns differently, so learning academic management needs to be taught understanding different learning styles. At Effective Students, we use interactive lessons, instructional videos, exercises, quizzes, and online materials to give students ways to learn executive functioning skills in different and engaging ways. By learning executive functioning through these different lessons, students will walk away with a skillset to help them manage their academic and personal responsibilities more independently. This focus on academic management sets students up for success and self-direction through the end of high school that carries into college.  

 

2. Helps Students Apply What They Learn

For students with ADHD dealing with executive dysfunction, starting and finishing tasks can be challenging. This experience can lead to frustration and parent-child conflict. Sometimes students even shut down, which may make it appear like they don’t care. However, frequently experiencing the disappointment of executive dysfunction does not mean students cannot learn academic management skills or will not be able to apply them in the future. Students have a better chance of succeeding academically with a program designed to help them become more independent in starting and finishing tasks. 

At coaching sessions with Effective Students, we help them apply academic management steps that have an immediate positive impact in helping them to get started and following through. Learning how to use these skills independently is baked into our process, so as students continue through coaching, they become more independent with these skills and can carry them throughout their academic careers. Students can better apply what they learn by getting important input from coaches and the opportunity to practice. That’s why our coaching is collaborative, so students can learn by doing and using skills in the real world, not just in academic coaching sessions. 

3. Fosters Social and Emotional Skills 

When they have ADHD and have trouble focusing and starting tasks, students can feel overwhelmed or like they’re failing. This can lead to increased stress levels, which can impact academic performance. In fact, stress can make ADHD worse. According to ADDitude, “Stress-impaired executive function diminishes working memory and impulse control, as well as mental flexibility and coping skills. Stress also makes it hard for people with ADHD to focus and sustain their attention.” That’s why students with ADHD must be able to manage stress levels and learn coping methods in stressful situations. At Effective Students, we focus on building social and emotional skills to help them manage that stress. We also focus on helping students cope with feelings of guilt when they lose focus or have difficulty. Because students with ADHD also struggle with flexible thinking when they face difficulty with a task, we help them learn to adjust to the situation.

A young man with glasses, showing signs of frustration as he grapples with a challenging homework assignment, embodying the struggle of the learning process.

Beyond the impact of stress on ADHD, many students may have lost some of the social and emotional regulation skills they learned in the classroom during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to NCES, “Eighty-seven percent of public schools agreed or strongly agreed that the pandemic has negatively impacted student socio-emotional development. Similarly, 84 percent of public schools agreed or strongly agreed that students’ behavioral development has been negatively impacted.” Working with students during the pandemic and beyond, we’ve helped students deal with this gap in socio-emotional skills for better academic performance in the classroom. Our coaching focuses on response inhibition to help students build emotional and academic skills that might have been lost over the last few years. 

 

4. Grows Ability to Maintain Focus

Many students with ADHD have difficulty dealing with distractions and maintaining focus. As a part of the social, emotional, and academic aspects of executive function, students must also learn to stay on task. While distractions at home and in the classroom are always a reality, there are key strategies students can learn to maintain focus. 

At Effective Students, our ADHD academic coaching focuses on building skills in focusing and limiting distractions. Working closely with our students, we teach them strategies they can use daily to boost focus in the classroom and while working on schoolwork. When students can stay on task to accomplish more throughout the day and on their assignments, they have better learning outcomes and feel successful. 

5. Allows the Successful Transition to a New Environment

All transitions can be difficult for students with ADHD. According to the CDC, “Transitions can be challenging for children with ADHD, and having to spend time doing schoolwork, homework, and family activities in the same space where parents may also have to do their work can create additional stress for students and parents.”

In particular, transitioning from middle school to high school or high school to college can be incredibly stressful. Without the right skills and strategies for self-management and self-direction, even the simplest things, like learning and completing assignments, can be difficult, and students can quickly fall behind. Being in these new environments can also be distracting and overwhelming for students. That’s why having academic, social, and emotional executive functioning skills is crucial to weather these transitions. 

At Effective Students, our coaching helps students deal with these changes and has a toolkit for handling new situations and learning environments. We can ensure their transition goes smoothly by working closely with students on transitioning and dealing with an increased workload. 

Ready to Begin ADHD Academic Coaching?

Of course, this is a broad overview of the value of academic coaching for students with ADHD. While it can be daunting to go through the process, choosing a partner like Effective Students makes the path toward well-developed executive functioning skills more straightforward. If you’re ready to start considering coaching for your student, we’d be happy to discuss this further. 

At Effective Students, we’ve created engaging courses and insightful programs that help students develop a robust skill set of executive functions, leading to long-term success. 

We offer Effective College Connection and Personalized ADHD Coaching for Students to help give students with ADHD the foundation for a brighter future. These programs enable students to learn executive functioning skills and teach some of the essential skills needed for significant transitions like college. If you’re ready to find the right option for you, contact our team to learn more.

An executive functioning coach, professionally dressed, pointing at a laptop screen with an open educational software, providing guidance to a focused student sitting next to them.

What Is an Executive Functioning Coach?

Today’s world is full of growing distractions. Even within the classroom, students need to have developed or be developing effective executive functioning skills in order to wade through the plethora of screens, events, and other distractions competing for their attention in order to achieve their goals.

An executive functioning coach can equip students with specific skills to help them navigate these daily challenges so they can plan, organize, and complete their tasks with confidence. Executive function coaching can build students into self managers and thus, better learners, setting them up for success in school and beyond.

In this article, we break down what executive functioning is and how executive function coaching can support students for success. 

Defining Executive Functioning

An ADHD coach, passionately pointing to a specific passage in a book, as she imparts knowledge to an engrossed student sitting nearby. The scene captures a key moment of personalized instruction in managing and thriving with ADHD.

Executive function may sound like a lofty psychological concept, but let’s break it down. According to Harvard University, executive function is the learned skill set that allows you to “plan ahead and meet goals, display self-control, follow multiple-step directions even when interrupted, and stay focused despite distractions.” Executive function is often grouped with self-regulation, which is a person’s ability to control their responses to situations, emotions, and more.

Merriam-Webster, meanwhile, defines executive function as “the group of complex mental processes and cognitive abilities (such as working memory, impulse inhibition, and reasoning) that control the skills (such as organizing tasks, remembering details, managing time, and solving problems) required for goal-directed behavior.”

At Effective Students, we define executive functioning skills as those which fall into two categories: Academic Management Skills and Social Emotional Skills.  For students, executive functioning skills can be what makes the difference between success and frustration, the willingness to persevere or procrastinate. A bright student with poor executive functioning skills, which may also be called executive dysfunction, may struggle with evaluating resources, completing tasks, or even focusing on a test in front of them, even if they’re passionate about the subject area. 

The skills associated with executive function must be learned, yet they are not necessarily taught in a standard curriculum.  While the discrete skills fall into either category, we often observe the skills or skill deficits compounding.  For instance, poor time management skills can lead to anxiety, and, as a result, the student cannot start an academic task (task initiation). To solve the student’s challenge, one must have an ability to get to the root cause of what is holding the student back.  

What Is an Executive Functioning Coach?

An executive functioning coach, like the academic coaches at Effective Students, equips students with  skills to help them manage academics such as  processes for organization, task management, and planning. For students who struggle to evaluate resources, formulate plans, and follow through, an executive functioning coach can be a game changer, working alongside the student to develop confidence and competence so the student can overcome previous obstacles to success.

Typically, an executive functioning coach will inquire and clarify to get to know the student, his or her goals, challenges and personal wins as a way to build rapport and align themselves with the student. Effective Student coaches will balance a student’s goals with the goals of the parent, often fostering or bridging communication gaps. Together as a team, a coach and student can clearly define an obstacle the student is facing, then scaffold the steps to success and help hold the student accountable to follow through, while simultaneously connecting with the student emotionally. 

An effective academic coach will instruct and then model the habits and skills that are most needed for independence and self-direction while staying humble and relatable. All the while, the academic coach will keep an open line of communication, plus encourage and celebrate the student as they develop skills and learn to persevere. 

Elements of Executive Function

Executive function is an umbrella term that covers a range of interconnected neurological elements, including working memory, mental flexibility, and self-control.

According to the NIH, working memory is the ability to store information for short-term, task-related use. Working memory is utilized in comprehension, planning, and reasoning.

Mental flexibility is the ability to adjust your attention and responses based on various demands, settings, or rules. 

Self-control is the ability to resist impulses, set priorities, and follow through on those priorities. Self-control also encompasses resisting emotional responses to unexpected information or situations and is dependent on self-awareness.

Working memory, mental flexibility, and self-control represent just three of the many interrelated skills that comprise executive function. A good executive functioning coach will help students understand the importance of each skill and how to leverage it for success.

Other skills related to executive functioning include:

  • organization, 
  • time management, 
  • planning and prioritizing, 
  • sustained attention,
  • task initiation (getting started)
  • emotional control, 
  • flexible thinking, 
  • goal directed persistence, 
  • metacognition (thinking about your thinking and self awareness), 
  • response inhibition (thinking before acting/texting/speaking), and 
  • stress tolerance.  

 

ADHD and Executive Function Disorder

A bored little girl struggles with her homework as her concerned parents look on.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can coexist with other learning difficulties for children, but what is the connection between ADHD and executive dysfunction? Executive dysfunction is a common, often central feature of learning disabilities and other disorders, including ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, says the Institute of Education Sciences. It can also absolutely occur in highly gifted and committed students in challenging academic environments.

Students with ADHD have unique challenges, though, and thus may experience executive dysfunction to varying degrees. People who do not have ADHD can still experience executive dysfunction. To learn more about the relationship between ADHD and executive function, read our article, “ADHD & Executive Functioning – The Chicken or the Egg?”

Executive function issues are commonly present in students with ADHD, and thus, students often experience significant benefits from executive functioning coaching. Students without ADHD can also utilize executive functioning coaching as enrichment and acceleration, honing their skills and developing better habits and skills before college, graduate school, or careers.

What Does Executive Dysfunction Look Like in Students?

Executive dysfunction can present itself in a variety of ways across students, making it hard to identify.  Some students may give up when they encounter difficulties or have an emotional reaction since they lack the skill of self-regulation, while  others may grow anxious from the pressure and stay up until the wee hours of the morning trying to perfect an assignment.

Students with executive dysfunction often feel overwhelmed by school, frustrated that it appears to be so much more difficult for them than their peers, which can lead to a perception that they are less of a student or are not capable. 

Utilizing an Executive Functioning Coach for Students

Students engaging in focused study on the floor, each absorbed in their laptops. Their organized surroundings and concentrated effort are a showcase of their developed study and time management skills, a result of their fruitful engagement with Effective Students.

When considering an executive functioning coach, it’s important to ask whether they plan to work on social emotional learning skills, academic management skills, or both. When students struggle with executive functioning, goal setting can be a helpful strategy, but goal setting alone will not cure or resolve skill deficits such as poor time management or poor study skills. Students appreciate direct instruction in how to overcome the challenges they experience with task Initiation or planning and prioritizing rather than discussing strategies to do so. Most students with ADHD are experiential learners, so coaches have to create experiences for students to learn.   

Overall, executive functioning coaching can help students work smarter instead of harder when the instruction is intentional, and students have the opportunity to practice lessons that have an immediate positive impact or outcome. With practice, when students develop strong executive functioning skills, they will find that they can apply them post-academia and into their personal lives and eventual careers.

Executive functioning coaches who work with students may also be called academic coaches, but it’s important to note that they are not tutors. Tutors focus on a specific subject area, such as math, with the goal of improving grades. Academic coaches focus on teaching students processes and skill sets that can be applied to any subject with the goal of evaluating resources, creating a reliable plan, and consistently following through

With executive functioning coaching, students can:

  • Improve study skills
  • Manage time better
  • Build confidence
  • Learn to study efficiently
  • Become academically independent
  • Stop procrastinating
  • Become confident and competent in managing their affairs

At Effective Student, we utilize the Effective Student Method™ through online academic management courses, one-on-one coaching, and workshops for students.

 

Benefits of an Executive Functioning Coach

An executive functioning coach can help to bridge the gap between educator, parent, and student to better communicate about academic goals, skills, and expectations. 

At Effective Students, our courses, workshops, and coaching are specially designed with the needs of students in mind, providing hands-on experiences and practice to help cement key skills. Students can combine the engaging online courses with live virtual or in-person coaching, so they can talk about the real struggles they are encountering at school and create a plan to address those obstacles. 

A tenth grade student who took the Effective Student Method™ course said, “I learned tools to not only be a better student but to increase my abilities as a student. This class has opened my eyes and helped me to change my learning techniques for a better end result.”

The Effective Student program provides:

  • Increased academic achievement
  • Increased memory function
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Increased collaboration
  • Better behavior and focus 
  • Better emotional management
  • Better stress management
  • Better problem solving

The Effective Student Method™ Roadmap

The Effective Student Method™ course coupled with coaching is our most popular way to improve executive function in students, teaching them a step-by-step academic management style where they can see their progress. The course is appropriate for students from fourth grade to twelfth grade.

The course empowers students from the start, with an introduction that explains executive functioning and learning. Students are invited into the methodology rather than kept in the dark, becoming a partner in the process.

Next, the students delve into mini-lessons that focus on the pillars of organization, time management, and study skills. Throughout the course, students can schedule one-on-one coaching sessions to talk about what they’re learning with an expert academic coach who’s ready to cheer them on.

The Effective Students online course includes interactive lessons, instructional videos, exercises, quizzes, online materials, and a pacing guide for parents and students.

Discover Academic Coaching with Effective Students

Executive functioning coaching can make a world of difference for a student struggling to find academic success. At Effective Students, we carefully curated our programming to deliver impactful, engaging executive functioning skills to the students who need it most, launching them toward academic success.

If academic coaching may be right for you or your student, explore the Effective Student Method™ course and one-on-one coaching sessions. Contact our team to learn more.

adhd & executive functioning relationship

ADHD & Executive Functioning

adhd & executive functioning relationship

The relationship between executive functioning and ADHD can be messy and confusing. As a parent, you may be wondering, Is my child struggling because of ADHD or executive functioning difficulties or perhaps, both?  

ADHD is a diagnosis found in the DSM -V and according to the CDC, “People with ADHD show a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity–impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development”.  

According to the Center for the Developing Child at Harvard University,“Executive function and self-regulation skills are like an air traffic control system in the brain—they help us manage information, make decisions, and plan ahead.  

Clearly, there is lots of overlap—put another way, perhaps this is a question best likened to the relationship between the chicken and the egg. 

“Friends That Walk Together”

Have you ever heard the term ‘comorbidity’ used to describe a student with overlapping conditions? Comorbidity is a technical term occasionally used to describe two conditions which appear simultaneously in a person. At Effective Students™, we say these two friends often “walk together”.  

Understanding the nexus and relationship between the two conditions determines what is an appropriate intervention.  For instance, it’s important to assess the following:

  • Is a student struggling due to the absence of a skill?
  • Is a student struggling due to the presence of a behavior?
  • Is a student having a hard time executing because they don’t know where to begin?
  • Is a student struggling because they lack focus?

These key questions determine where, when and how to intervene.  Unlocking the full academic potential of a student experiencing overlapping conditions often starts with asking the right questions.

Becoming an Effective Student

Being an Effective Student requires demonstrating skills across several key domains, which is why a roadmap is critical.  We often hear, my student lacks study skills, which may be true.  They also can’t study information they cannot locate. If they have ADHD, on their way to locating the information to ‘study’, they might find a ….video game. And if they find a video game…. Well you’ve read the book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Numeroff. Need I say more? In our house, we call this ‘squirrel’.  If you don’t believe me, watch a squirrel, they’re always distracted – but I digress.

Ask yourself the following questions: 

  • Are they self-aware enough to realize that they’re missing assignments or social cues? 
  • Is their testing performance negatively impacted by a lack of impulse control?
  • Do they learn the value of academic grit when persevering on a difficult assignment?
  • Do they even know how to begin so they can succeed? 

Effective interventions must address one before another to ensure we don’t coddle a behavior or consequate a lack of skills.  Using a standard, neutral target of effective practice such as a curriculum, is important to identify which is in play and where to start.  

Academic Coaches: Determining Individual Learning Methods

On the learning journey, a good academic coach will ensure the student becomes ‘aware’, while remaining relatable.  Awareness is the first step to making more intentional choices and ultimately, self determination.  Ei voila! Maturity!  If it were only that easy.

One last critical component is to determine a student’s learning method.  If a student is kinesthetic or experiential, it will not matter how many times they are told, they must experience outcomes to make different choices.  If they are highly verbal and are only given experiences without a dialogue, they will not understand and become discouraged.  Presenting the obstacle with just enough instruction, encouragement and challenge builds confidence and competence in a student.   

With the right instruction and tools, students can become their own decision makers and drivers of their own learning and success.  

Is the Effective Student Method right for you? Schedule a 15 minute consult here to learn more.

Why having ADHD is like driving a Maserati

Why having ADHD is like driving a Maserati

Kids with ADHD are often plagued by ‘going too fast’, a condition which impacts them academically and often socially.  When they ‘go too fast’, students get poor grades because they miss parts of questions, jump ahead steps in math problems, or struggle socially because they overlook social cues from teachers or peers.  While students with ADHD are quite bright and creative, they can experience setbacks on their way to completing graded work.

Recently, I was working with a studentwe’ll call him Joe.  Joe has a Maserati.  Under the hood, there is lots of (brain) power propelling Joe forward. Despite his best efforts to keep up in a competitive school, Joe regularly underperforms on nearly every test and quiz.  Joe had been taught to ‘review’ as a study skill (reviewing is not a skill but that will be covered in another blog).  After spending a few sessions with  Joe, we came to the conclusion that he had two problems: 

  1. Joe didn’t like hard work because he had a pretty good engine under the hood and up until middle school, he didn’t have to work hard.
  2. Joe was driving his Maserati through tests on mountain roads at about 70 MPH—not a recipe for success.

Giving Joe more time on tests wasn’t going to help him slow down, nor was testing Joe in a quiet place.  Joe had to learn two things: 

  1. There are no shortcutsno substitute for the hard work of learning.  
  2. HOW he was driving his Maserati was harming him.  

I had to use this car analogy with one of my own children when he was in grade school.  It was explained to him that he had two cars upstairs, a red one and a green one.  The red car is the Maserati, the green one is an F150.   Often the Maserati would speed ahead, leaving the F150 behind.  The heavy lifter, the F150, the great tower was not able to do his job well because the Maserati was too far out in front.  However, if the F150 and the Maserati drove together as partners, the best outcomes would occur.   

If a student has both ADHD and a processing speed delay, he/she has a Maserati and an F150.  It was once explained to me by the director of admissions at a private school that you may not initially get the right answer out of this student, but if you waited a little longer, you’d get a better answer.  

So what happened to Joe?  Once he was shown that he was wrecking his beautiful Maserati, repeatedly, he was willing to try a different approach.  The outcome was achieving 98/100 on a math quiz and 97/100 on a history quiz.  Joe’s on his way up the racing circuit.  He’s not a Formula 1 driver just yet, but he’s now experienced what it takes to get results, building a strong foundation for academic success.   

Not everyone learns to drive their Maserati so quicklybut they can with good instruction.

adhd and school performance

Why Students with ADHD Need Fewer “Strategies”

If you have a student with ADHD, he/she may have been recommended for a Study Strategies class.  

Study Strategies classes typically function as a ‘study hall’ and are an opportunity for students to complete homework assignments. ‘Study strategies’ are built into the block and given as suggestions or ideas for students to ‘try’ to see if they work. We often find, however, that for students and parents who are learning how to study with ADHD in school, Study Strategies classes can be counterintuitive and may not always provide the best solutions. Too many ideas and tips are piled onto the student’s plate without proper direction or prioritization and these can often lead to self-defeat and overwhelming feelings.

Executive Function ADHD

As we walk through and encounter the many challenges that life has to throw at us, the need for strong executive functioning skills becomes non-negotiable. Executive functioning is the ability to organize, plan, problem solve and execute. The necessity to focus our attention and carve out linear, step-by-step plans is the key to creating well-balanced outcomes for well-adjusted people. ‘Study Strategy’ classes—while useful for learners who have adept focus and time management skills—can often have the opposite effect on kids with ADHD and hinder their ability to improve their study skills. 

As a parent of a student with ADHD and a successful academic coach of learners with ADHD, students with this condition DO NOT NEED the lists of ideas or suggestions that these ‘study strategy’ classes offer.  In truth, these individuals have more wonderful ideas in a moment than they know how to process. Often, adding those extra ideas and suggestions, it can further exacerbate the problem of executive dysfunction—being prone to frustration, incapable of staying on track, and unable to start tasks, let alone finish them.

How To Motivate ADHD Students

Rather than saturating your ADHD learners with 5-10 study strategies, focus on the ones that are practical and show the most promise for each individual. Students with ADHD, just like any highly talented athlete or musician, benefit from training in a process that simplifies complex tasks and enables them to focus on what’s important. Students need practice in that process, encouragement to follow through, accountability when they don’t, and awareness of how they’re performing overall.   

Effective Students offers workshops and courses designed to motivate learners who struggle with the symptoms of ADHD by teaching them the methods behind fostering healthy executive functioning skills. By following these modules, students will learn the steps required in developing stronger time management, better resource organization, improved planning and task prioritization, and responsible impulse control. Learning to master these skills are motivating in and of themselves because they lead to favorable academic outcomes for the students and can minimize the feelings of frustration that result from being overwhelmed and disorganized. 

“What should I ask if my student is recommended for a Study Strategies class?” 

Great question!

Studies Strategies classes are a great time for a student with ADHD to practice their executive functioning skills, but for the class to be effective and not just a ‘study hall’ here are some questions to ask: 

  • What curriculum do you use? 
  • How is the class time structured?
  • How will you determine a weakness in my student? 
  • What is he/she expected to learn in your class? 
  • How will you measure his/her progress other than their grades? 
  • How will you teach my child to become independent with a process rather than dependent on you as the teacher? 

The answers to these questions can give you a framework for how your learner’s time is going to be spent. If you are given the impression that the teacher is able to spend 1:1 time with your kid and offer beneficial tips that cater to ADHD homework strategies and other study skills then this is the best case scenario. If the classroom is a larger size and 1:1 attention might be overlooked, which is most likely the case, then having that time with an academic coach could be a great opportunity for effective time management in these kinds of classes.

ADHD and difficulties in Executive Functioning, otherwise known as executive dysfunction, often go hand in hand.  The official term for this is comorbidity, which is when two conditions ‘walk together’ or co-exist.  

Students with ADHD often struggle in key areas of executive functioning which can manifest into incomplete schoolwork, mismanaged materials, and neglecting time to study for tests and work on long-term projects. Giving students more strategies and time to attend to these tasks doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to be able to complete them. This extra time, if not managed correctly, is going to go to waste. An effective Study Strategies class will have a concise, methodically driven curriculum and quantifiable progress evaluation metrics that work in tandem to build upon a student’s study habits, habits that will carry on throughout their time in school and prepare them for what comes after.

As the saying goes, 

Give a man a fish, feed him for a day.  Teach a man to fish, and feed him for a lifetime.