Helping Someone in His or Her 20s with ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic /
Image courtesy of imagerymajestic /

I started working with Jennifer around a month ago. She has some learning challenges along with ADHD. Tragically, she lost her mother two-years earlier. According to both Jennifer and her father, her mother would do everything for her. Jennifer needs help in a variety of areas including socially, academically and with life-skills.

This is a very tricky case. Not only does Jennifer need some major help with her skill set, I also need to educate her father about what is an appropriate level of intervention. I’ve decided to approach this from two angles.

I want Jennifer to understand Executive Functioning. Since she was enabled by her mother, she doesn’t have many skills of her own. This often happens when a child has learning challenges, but it can often times lead to learned helplessness. I always believe we learn from struggling. Having someone do things for us on a regular basis makes us rely on that person’s skills and less on our own. Jennifer understands that she has to become more self-sufficient, but cannot visualize what this exactly means. She works well with real-world examples and applications. Jennifer is trying to finish at a local college, so we’ve been working together on how she needs to present her needs to the school.

The other angle is educating her father. He admits this is new to him. His career kept him away from dealing with his daughter’s needs. He’s a good father, but his deceased wife dealt with the children. He’s very open to help and admits that this is much more difficult than he anticipated. I’m educating him on what is an appropriate intervention and how he communicates with his daughter.

There are so many different angles to address with this client that there’s no simple solutions. However, they’re open to the help and this is a huge first step in the process.

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit In addition to working with clients in-person, I also work with clients all over the United States and World online, please visit for more information. To learn more about my other services, please visit & I can be found on Twitter at ADHDGuru. You can also find me on Facebook, Google Plus and Tumblr. Feel free to email me at [email protected] or call 877.398.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.

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