Fundamentals of ADHD Coaching for Families program is now ICF approved

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ADDCA is excited to announce the Fundamentals of ADHD Coaching for Families program is now an approved track within the ADDCA comprehensive coach training program as accredited by ICF.

All hours in the Family program are recognized as core competency training for students wanting to use the training hours toward their hours required for ICF certification and/or recertification. A student completing the ADDCA Family program will receive an ACSTH certificate of completion showing 93 hours of coach-specific training.

To find out more about this exciting program, click here.

Discovering My Real Me


by David Giwerc

Why can’t I be perfect? Why can’t I be the best? Why can’t I be the center? Why can’t I be the richest? Why can’t I be revered? Why can’t I be the star? Why can’t I be …? …and when I paused, I realized:

I never wanted to be perfect, I just wanted to be better.

I never wanted to be the best, I just wanted to be acknowledged.

I never wanted to be the center, I just wanted to be a key part of the circle.

I never wanted to be the richest, I just wanted to create abundance to share.

I never wanted to be revered, I just wanted to be loved.

I never wanted to be the star everyone sought, I just wanted to deliver the light so others could find their path.

I just wanted to be me. The real me!

The me that felt good whenever I expressed the natural, creative, passionate inner stirrings of my heart. The me that walked or ran or jumped or danced without worrying about what others thought or how my efforts would turn out.

I began to pay attention to what I really wanted. Letting go of all the amazingly maddening, made up “less than” stories: The illusions that had, for so many, many years, masqueraded as my friends. Finally I could surrender to the mumbo jumbo ME. And awaken to the realization of a transformational truth.

I can always be who I want to be. I just have to give myself permission!

David Giwerc 2/25/17

Stimulant Diversion Rising with Young Adults with ADHD

ADHD Education | Miscellaneous

Stimulant diversion, which can range from giving a friend a single pill to selling one’s prescribed pills to others, is on the rise; and young adults, particularly college students, are the primary source of this increasing and troubling form of prescription medication misuse.

By David Giwerc, MCAC, MCC

Nonmedical use of psychoactive stimulant medication for ADHD is an increasing trend within the overarching concern about prescription drug misuse among young adults, most notably college students. (1) Diversion rates for prescribed stimulants was 61.7% in one study.

Prevalence rates of nonmedical use on college campuses are rising. Stimulant-related emergency department visits have increased threefold in recent years. (2)

However, despite this steep rise in drug diversion, prescribing physicians who treat ADHD have relatively few clinical strategies for management of this pervasive problem. In fact, the non-medical use of prescription drugs in general, with attention on the stimulants, are the focus of research by NIDA.

Brooke Molina, PhD., of the University of Pittsburgh, presented preliminary findings during a research symposium on college students with ADHD at the 2017 APSARD Conference. She cited findings indicating a significant upsurge in the diversion of prescription stimulant medications, specifically among college students in treatment for ADHD. In addition to the public health concerns related to this trend, she noted that college students with ADHD may not be prepared for the social pressures placed on them to share their medications as well as the potential consequences for doing so, including legal penalties and their standing in school. It is important to note that drug diversion can be considered drug trafficking and applies to the illegal distribution of prescription drugs, including stimulant medications. Under federal and state laws, drug trafficking is a felony.

Dr. Molina noted a relative lack of strategies for addressing the growing problem of stimulant diversion among college students. Her research project team is developing and testing practical strategies targeted to effectively communicate the dangers/consequences of drug diversion to primary care providers and college patients who may not be aware of the consequences of giving away or selling their prescription stimulant medication to a fellow student.

In addition to dissemination of the sorts of educational programs being studied, there are initial steps that can be taken by prescribing physicians as well as psychosocial clinicians who treat college students with ADHD. Drawing from the sorts of strategies in Dr. Molina’s program, the first step is preparing students with ADHD that they will likely be approached at some point about sharing or selling their stimulant medications.

Another option is providing information about the risks in terms of potential legal culpability and the fact that expulsion from college is a possible consequence if they would be caught diverting medications. In fact, encouraging college patients to not publicize the fact that they take prescribed medications in the first place, or at least making sure that they keep their medications in some sort of locked container is a step that decreases the likelihood of facing peer pressure or the chance that their medications are at risk for theft. Lastly, anticipating and rehearsing some scenarios in which a student imagines they might feel pressured to share medications is a way to practice what to say in advance rather than trying to figure out what to say on the spot.

Despite these problems with diversion, the pharmacologic treatment of ADHD among college students continues to be important. Effective treatment allows these students, many of whom in previous decades would not have been identified with ADHD and therefore unable to get into college, to be able to manage their symptoms, demonstrate their skills, and pursue their goals. By taking a few extra steps to counsel students taking prescribed medications about the risks of diversion, we can start to reverse this disturbing trend.


1Wilens TE, Adler LA, Adams J, et al. Misuse and diversion of stimulants prescribed for ADHD: A systematic review of the literature. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry 2008;47:21–31.

2 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (January 24, 2013). The DAWN Report: Emergency Department Visits Involving Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Stimulant Medications. Rockville, MD.

ADHD Distinctions

ADHD Education

ADDentifiers are words that seem similar in meaning but when articulated identify the shifts the ADHDer is missing.

ADDentifiers describe the lower level of functioning and encourage the client to move up to the next level of ADDentification.

Interrupting is a negative habit or activity that stops the flow of a speakers communication or message. The ADHDer interrupts the speaker because of a desire to communicate or an impulsive thought triggered by something the speaker has said. This thought may be totally unrelated to the speaker's subject matter.

Clarifying is the temporary interruption, at the appropriate moment, in order to improve understanding and comprehension of the speakers intended message.

A dogged ADHDer has a determined course of action despite a sound rationale or belief in the action. They may be dogged in the determination of stubbornness or to prove a point.

When a ADHDer is devoted, they utilize their positive energy to accomplish their mission or objectives. They are devoted due to a strong belief and motivation in a cause or belief.


Doing things right is a behavior that promotes procrastination. i.e. "If I can't do it perfectly or be the best at what I am going to do, I won't do it at all." This type of internalizing impedes any type of progress or action.

When an ADHDer completes projects, accomplishes goals and tasks, without worrying about the consequences or doing it perfectly( black or white thinking), they are getting things done. By completing tasks they feel satisfied and learn from the momentum they have created. 

Don't worry about doing things right, just get things done!! You'll feel better.

When a ADHDer boggles (sensory overload), he/she looses all sensory function and literally freezes, finding it difficult to conduct any type of mental activity.

When an ADHDer is stuck , their sense or senses are temporarily halted. However, the ADHDer has developed a system or strategy to overcome this sensory block and is able to proceed via implementation of the correct solution.

Organization is the filing function of the ADHDer 's brain and can only be effectively utilized with a system that appeals to the ADHDer.

A System is a group of techniques (distinctions, affirmations, shifts), action steps, or programs (time steps, task master, impulsivity rundown) specifically designed to overcome a problem area or weakness (Procrastination, impulsivity, anger, forgetfulness, self-esteem) and assist the ADHDer in managing the deficiency. In a System , a determined, motivated attitude by the ADHDer is essential. The System is the strategy that is utilized to improve the organization skill of the ADHDer.

Understanding is comprehension from the mind without the emotion and endorsement.

Compassion is the ability to understand, endorse and perceive from the heart, mind and soul. It is a natural skill developed from knowing who you are and feeling totally comfortable with yourself. When you are compassionate, you understand, feel and exude emotions of what the ADHDer is going through in their life.

Understand says you're listening. Compassion says you understand and care.

Image is the impression or view others have of the ADHDer. The ADHDer's image by the community, the company they work with, may be that of an upbeat, positive, intelligent human being.

On the other hand, the ADHDer's self-esteem may actually be that of low-energy, negative, failure. Self-esteem refers to the image or visual picture ADHDer's have of themselves. Many ADHDers have a low self-esteem from years of being told they were underachievers. Always use positive communications with an ADHDer, they love it and are unaccustomed to it.

8. CAN'T vs. WON'T:
Can't really means an ADHDer can't do something in the way a person who has Polio can't walk or a person who is blind can't see. The Can't is a physical or neurological handicap that unfortunately produces the can't.

Won't is a reaction that an ADHDer provides when they probably would do something, but they won't because of an inherently learned ADD weakness (black &white thinking, procrastination, poor self-esteem). Won't is the defeatist attitude that the ADD individual has convinced themselves they are incapable of accomplishing a specific task or activity. They don't allow themselves to think about the possibility of success and assimilate won't into their everyday vocabulary. Won't means they can be convinced with effort (proper systems, languaging, distinctions, advising challenging, listening, success stories, identifying).

The challenge for the ADD coach is to find out what the ADD client Can't do, so time and effort are not wasted trying to develop systems that will never be utilized.

Commanding is communication via a directive or order which specifically states the task to be accomplished and their responsibilities. A Command is a message of control used to exhibit the Communicators power. It does not create a feeling of partnership or trust.

Delegating is the ability to communicate specific instructions with a positive attitude and message that motivates the ADHDer to complete a task or goal. When Delegation is implemented properly it can empower the individual ADHDer. It engenders a feeling of confidence in the ADHDer's ability to deliver and succeed. Delegation is a message intended to put the control with the receiver of the message, which says, " I have confidence and trust that you will do this assignment."

Finishing a task for an ADHDer, is their perception of having completed the project.. In reality, there are still elements that are left undone or hanging for someone else to come back and complete. When an ADHDer completes a project, task or goal, it is done and finished in its entirety. The whole assignment is completed and the ADHDer will not have to go back to finish the job, or even think about it.

Velocity is the speed at which ADHDers react to situations and/or events in their lives. Their velocity is due to the impulsivity that ADHDers inherently have as a result of a deficiency in the neurotransmitter activity of the prefrontal cortex. Velocity of a quick reaction occurs due to the ADHDer's unique wiring.

Direction is a focused response that the ADHDer learns to implement based on sound rationale and information gathering that allows "thinking" time for a controlled rational response. That control restores the ADHDer to utilize their mental energy to provide a specific direction for their actions. Velocity occurs as a reaction. Direction occurs as a response based on sound information, planning and a specific focused goal.

12. GULP vs. SIP:
For Entrepreneurs, gulping is a dangerous way to run a business. Gulping is a pattern of behavior that results in an entrepreneur's inability to make rational/logical decisions as it relates to their business. If the business were a glass of water, the entrepreneur's enthusiasm and impulsivity would create such a huge thirst that he would want to GULP all the water to quench his thirst immediately. Once that water has been gulped the business has depleted it's entire reserve.

It is better for the Entrepreneur to Sip his glass of water, savoring each sip and monitoring and protecting his reserve. This also allows the Entrepreneur the ability to develop a business based on a rationale plan rather that an impulsive reaction. The chances for success and enjoyment are greater when the Entrepreneur sips rather than gulps.

Dreaming is the beginning stages of the creation of the Entrepreneurial vision dreaming starts off as a page dream of fantasy of the things that the entrepreneur loves and has a passion for. It is created and stored in the subconscious mind but begins with a dominant thought in the resting state of the ADHDer. Vision takes the dream and makes it reality. It manifests itself through the conscience mind and it is a synthesis of the Entrepreneurs dreams, values, passion, desire and the life they want to live. By articulating their Vision on paper as a means to creating a business that meets the life of their dreams, the business starts to take shape in the real world and can be communicated to the people who will help make the vision a reality.

Written and developed by David Giwerc, MCC

Happy Thanksgetting

Happy Thanksgetting Published on November 26, 2015

by Jay Perry Chief Talent Champion / Take Charge of Your Talent

On the last Thursday in November, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, a harvest festival with parades, football games, and plenty of food. Many people use the Thanksgiving season to reflect on all they have to be grateful for. And most of us have a lot to be grateful for. With apologies to Martha Stewart, gratitude is a good thing. Wouldn’t it be great to be in the presence of that gratitude all year long?

And I think I know how we can do that. We have to celebrate Thanksgetting.

Thanksgetting is the skill of actually experiencing the appreciation and love that people have for us. Sounds easy but often it’s not. Take a moment to reflect on what you do when you are acknowledged? Do you let it in? Do you deflect it? Do you judge it? Do you compare it to your own valuation of worthiness?

“No, no. It was nothing” may be polite conversation, but it also restrains the universal flow of gratitude. Something magical happens when you truly accept another’s gratitude and esteem for you. It increases in value. It is a gift that people want to keep giving, because it is so well received. Think of it this way….. if you cooked dinner and set it in front of your family and guests only to find that they all thought it was impolite to eat, how would you feel? Certainly not like washing the dishes or cooking the next day.

I’ve been to plays that I truly loved and felt exhilarated by applauding at the curtain call. But only because the cast was truly accepting the applause, “getting” my thanks. And when they did I felt thanked for thanking them and back and forth and so on and so on until we were all virtually saturated with gratitude.

I’ve also been to plays where the actors didn’t seem to care at all that I was grateful. Maybe they knew (even if the audience did not) that something had been screwed up, or were impatient to be somewhere else…. I don’t know…… I do know that I wanted to express my gratitude and, in their way, they said “No thanks, not interested.” The flow of gratitude stopped right there.

Feel adventurous? Ask a friend to acknowledge you for something… anything. Uncross your arms and your legs, take a deep breath, and let it in. Notice what happens. Does it start getting uncomfortable? Do you want to make a joke or recross some body parts in a defensive posture? Keep trying until you really let it in. You’ll know when it happens. Energy will be released…. A big smile may come or maybe tears.

I think we humans are caught in a cycle. We want to love and to be loved. We actually do fairly well at generating the loving part…… but until we become experts at being loved the natural flow will remain dammed up.

Help break the cycle…. Celebrate Thanksgetting.

Accreditation Matters - Find Out Why

Coach Training

All ADHD coaches (and their training) are not created equal

David Giwerc, MCAC, MCC, and Jeff Copper, MBA, PCC, PCAC, CPCC, ACG talk about the importance of going through an accredited coach training program.

Earning a certification from an accredited ADHD life coach training program distinguishes you as an elite professional ADHD coach.

Accreditation Matters article series - Part 1   – Part 2   – Part 3 Part 4

ICF Converge 2017

Community Events

When: August 24 - 26

Where: Washington DC

Registration: Register here

ICF Converge 2017 is your opportunity to connect with coaching colleagues from around the world and deepen personal and professional relationships. It will also take your coaching education to a new level. As an ICF Converge participant, you won't just learn. You'll do, as you take concrete, specific steps to strengthen your coaching skills, build your business, and engage in crucial conversations impacting the global coaching community.

International Conference on ADHD Sponsored by CHADD and ADDA

Community Events

When: November 9th - 11th, 2017

Where:  Atlanta GA

Registration: Coming soon

Your one-stop shop for a world of expert insight on the latest in ADHD treatments, advancements, research, and more. Don't miss your chance to network with leaders in the ADHD field.

Accreditation Matters: How are Certification, Credentialing, & Accreditation Different?

ADHD Education | Coach Training

To recap our first 3 articles in the series:

Now we will talk about the different types of ICF and PAAC certification.

When looking for a quality ADHD coach or ADHD coach training program, it’s important to remember two things:

  1. Quality coach training programs are accredited (by ICF and PAAC)
  2. Individual coaches apply for certification as a credentialed professional coach (from the accredited program and/or ICF and PAAC).

Accreditation Process

Accreditation indicates that a coach training school has had their program scrutinized with rigorous external reviews, audits, and quality testing by an authoritative, independent organization. Becoming an accredited coach training program is a rigorous process to assure that the program curriculum meets the high standards of the accrediting body.

The accreditation process includes a comprehensive investigation by highly trained, knowledgeable assessors who thoroughly review a school's curriculum. The program must cover the Code of Ethics, Core Competencies (which are the foundation of skill sets necessary to successfully facilitate the coaching process), and the Definition of Coaching. Also, eighty percent of all training time must be live interaction (in-person, telephone conference, and/or webinar) allowing the opportunity for real-time interaction between the trainer and students.

ICF and PAAC accredited coach training programs must provide start-to-finish coach training and a minimum of 125 training hours. Partial programs can obtain recognition for their coach-specific training hours (ACSTH) after they undergo a similar assessment process.


A trainee who has completed an ACTP (Accredited Coach Training Program) program’s requirements, including the requisite number of recorded client coaching experience hours, will receive a document/diploma verifying their school’s program certification at either a basic or advanced level.

They can then submit their validated certificate and required documentation to the ICF and/or ADHD coaching PAAC with an application and fee.

Once ICF and/or PAAC have received the coach’s certificate they must then take/pass an ethics exam. When the certificate and their proof of passing the required ethics exam has been received by the governing body, the coaches applicant will automatically receive their certification designation or credential from the ICF and PAAC. Note: PAAC requires more coaching client experience hours than ICF so the coach may have to wait longer to submit their PAAC application until acquiring the requisite number of client coaching experience hours for certification.


A credential is awarded to a coach who has applied for certification, met the stringent training and experience requirements, and successfully demonstrated a specific level of proficiency with core coaching competencies. Coach certification is a globally recognized and respected testament to the knowledge and competency of a certified coach.

Levels of ICF and PAAC Certification

As mentioned earlier, ICF and PAAC both offer 3 levels of certification. The credential levels are:


PAAC certified coaches are required to renew their credentials every three years by obtaining continuing coach education credits, as well as current ADHD education credits.

Savvy clients recognize that not everyone who calls themselves an ADHD coach, or even a certified ADHD coach, actually has coaching experience, training, knowledge, or the skills to successfully engage/empower them to achieve their desired goals. There are many programs and coaches who are providing their own certification and have no affiliation or connection to professional accrediting and certifying bodies.

By establishing high professional standards and a strong code of ethics, organizations like ICF and PAAC ensure that the coaches they credential will offer a high level of knowledge, skill, and integrity. PAAC certification also indicates a standard level of competence that clients can expect when they work with a certified ADHD coach.

Knowing that not all ADHD coaches and their professional training and/or certification are equal allows the educated client to question and identify the right professional ADHD coach to assist them in reaching their personal and professional goals.

Part 1Part 2 Part 3 – Part 4

Accreditation Matters - Find Out Why - Video

Academic Success Center, Led by ADDCA Graduate Michele Oelking, Wins Tulane University Award

Coaches in Action

The Academic Success Center team at Tulane University, led by ADDCA graduate Michele Oelking, was recently awarded the President's Staff Excellence Award.

The President's Staff Excellence Awards are annually granted to Tulane staff members or teams who exhibit outstanding achievement in their contributions to the university by either increasing productivity within a department, contributing to significant cost savings or exceeding expectations of service.

Tulane University President Michael A Fitts said “The students’ Success Center is a success. I hear about it across the country, and it’s something that I wish I had when I was in college.”

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