Get a good evaluation.
I recommended a psychiatrist, psychologist, or ADHD coach for an ADHD evaluation.
Sue, an ADHD coach, replied:
You bring up some good food for thought! I love your astute comment that “many professionals don’t understand that they don’t understand ADHD” – they got a few hours of training in it somewhere along the line and haven’t kept abreast of new research and developments, and I believe they do much more harm than good.
As a professional, well-trained, ADHD coach (who also has ADHD) I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that it isn’t the domain of an ADHD coach to diagnose clients. For that, we refer them elsewhere – although I can support clients in deciding if an extensive assessment is necessary (more likely if they are looking for accommodations at school, college or work, or if it seems likely that the ADHD is paired with another condition) or if they want a diagnosis because they would like to try medication. In my experience, if a “real evaluation” is a full assessment it will take many, many hours.
As professionals who also happen to have ADHD I think we do tend to have better intuition about clients who have ADHD though – while everyone’s ADHD is different, there are always some patterns we can pick up on because of personal experience. For me, it feels like I’m talking to a member of my tribe. But as a coach, I’d be unethical if I told my client this meant they did or didn’t have ADHD.
I also want to point out that as an ADHD coach, a client doesn’t require an official assessment/diagnosis of ADHD in order for me to coach them – The coach/client relationship is a partnership, so as long as someone wants to address something that looks like an ADHD trait – ie. procrastination, lack of organization, impulsivity, etc, then I can work with them. Our role is to help clients understand what is getting in the way of what they want in life and move them forward, and to be able to come at it from an ADHD perspective when needed. If I come to believe that someone will be better served by getting a full assessment or diagnosis, or working with a different kind of professional, I let my client know that.
- Sue and I agree that an ADHD coach would be a good person to know which psychiatrists or psychologists to refer to.
- I love Sue’s suggesting that we are members of a tribe. It does feel like that, doesn’t it?
- Thank you, Sue.