Kevin’s original exposure to ADHD issues, outside of being an ADHD adult, was a baptism of fire: He was a school teacher for four years. He developed a reputation for having a “knack” with ADHD kids and decided in 1998 to devote himself to the ADHD population full time.
Kevin is an academic specialist and has 13 years experience in helping kids, ADHD and assorted other underachievers, to succeed in school. In addition to employing an extraordinary assortment of learning style strategies and tools, he is a Math specialist and fluent in French, German, and Spanish. Kevin says that the key to success in school is “Creativity.” Each young person must be empowered to find his/her own special strengths to succeed in a way that is congruent with who he/she is. His services include:
- Academic strategies and study skills development
- Phone coaching (parents and kids)
- One-on-one coaching (parents and kids)
- Workshop development
- Teacher mentoring and support
- Liaison between families and school
- ADHD study groups (forming in the Detroit Area now)
Coaching for Parents: Parenting a child with ADD or ADHD can be an extraordinary challenge. Parents of ADD kids often find themselves caught in an unending cycle of frustration, negativity and chaos. Dealing with homework, chores, going to bed on time, getting up on time, and incessant video game playing are just a few of the daily battles parents often face. As an ADD coach (and an ADD adult), I am an ally and a resource to you as a parent, and I help you to develop strategies that enable you to support your child and still maintain your sanity. I will challenge you, on the one hand, to examine your behaviors to figure out which ones might be having a detrimental impact on your child’s self-esteem. On the other hand, I will invite you to impose logical consequences on your child instead of the arguing, cajoling and reward/punishment tactics that you may presently be using. I assist you, as well, in identifying the ways that you have been conditioned to react negatively with your child, and to begin to step out of the negative dynamics that can make your house somewhat of a toxic environment. Change starts with a shift in perspective. The first shift I want to offer you as a parent is that there is help out here and there is a different way. We can usually accomplish our work in 30-45 minutes on the phone per week. My preference is to break that time up over two sessions during the week.
Coaching for Young People: I struggled through grade school and middle school with abject boredom, extreme lack of organization, and the double-edged sword of being a great liar. The result was that when I got to high school, my academic self-esteem was in the gutter and I did not have the academic skills necessary for success. I did, however, have a powerful mentor who helped me develop study habits and strategies that were in line with my natural inclinations: Aerobic exercise before studying; Studying in short, intense bursts and then taking a break; Having a bulletin board in my room where I wrote down dates for long-term projects. I didn’t know it then, but my mentor was helping me to develop strategies and study skills that are perfect for an ADHD individual. He was a man who saw potential in me and took the time to help me understand myself and what I needed. That’s where I start with kids. Every behavior has a reason and I first work with kids to take responsibility for their behaviors and then to uncover the reasons for them. I am an academic specialist and the thing that helps me most with kids is that I know what it’s like from personal experience to be bored and seemingly unable to concentrate in school. I offer a wide array of strategies and study skills, but most of all I offer understanding. If I can get an ADD young person to believe in him/herself, then the rest of the work is easy. I offer phone coaching for ADHD young people and my travel schedule often permits one-on-one meetings.
Coaching for Teachers: I have the dual experience of having been an ADHD student, as well as a classroom teacher for five years. I understand the issues inherent with ADHD from both perspectives. I believe that the fundamental problem between teachers and ADHD kids is a lack of clear communication. Teachers that I know, for example, go into the profession out of a deep sense of mission to impact the lives of young people. ADHD students can be a detriment to this mission in two main ways: 1) Their inattentiveness to the teacher and general happenings in the classrooms can severely limit any impact the teacher might have on them; 2) Certain ADHD behavior can make classroom management quite challenging. I help teachers recognize the gifts and the gold of ADHD so that they can effectively engage these kids and preempt some of the disruptive and unproductive behaviors. One of the great obstacles is that the relationship a teacher has with an ADD student can quickly spiral down into negativity and reactivity. What I help teachers understand is that the ADHD mind is often supremely honed to garner a negative reaction or spark an argument. Once this understanding is achieved, the teacher can then choose to not react. The great mistake that many professionals, including myself, make is that we take typical ADHD behaviors personally. It’s hard not to. Not taking it personally, however, is the battle that we must fight within ourselves if we want to help these kids. I work with teachers one-on-one and I frequently come to teacher meetings after school and talk to the whole faculty. I am very open to e-mail communication with teachers as well as personal and phone consultation.
Public Speaking: My message is pure and simple: Celebration. I celebrate who we are as ADHD individuals. All of us experience difficulty and challenges with society being the way it is. But we “add” something incredible. We are the dreamers, discoverers and the explorers. We’re the ones who left our homelands to forge exciting new lives in strange lands. We are the risk takers who are driven to live on the edge, but who in the process show everybody else where the edge actually is. We’re rarely satisfied with the way things are, and that’s why we can be found as entrepreneurs, inventors, and in jobs that demand great physical and mental exertion. We want to change things, make them better, or at least more interesting. We’re the people that made you laugh in boring classes, the friend that you hung out with just because he was exciting, or the creative genius that made you think. A lot of us are great with our hands and have an uncanny inclination toward things mechanical. People are never bored when we’re around.
Comedy Workshops: A.D.D. For Fun teaches writing, performance and includes a showcase evening for friends and family. This pioneering program plays to one of the great strengths of many ADDers: COMEDY. As any teacher knows, ADD kids are often class clowns and, at their best, provide much needed comic relief. Some can be disruptive, however. Others simply “tune out.” A.D.D. For Fun challenges its participants to move beyond limiting beliefs and behaviors. Click here for more.