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  • Writer's pictureThuy Truong, M.A. Ed.

10 Unexpected Benefits Of Working With An ADHD And Academics Expert For Parents And Students

Updated: Mar 21



According to Scandinavian psychologist, Vibeke Krane and his research team, teacher-student relationships may play a critical role in students' academic performance, dropout rate, and mental health (Krane et al., 2016). Besides family environment, parent-student relationships, and peer interactions, the students' relationships with their immediate educators often are the biggest predictors of success and emotional health. For neurodivergent students who may need a more nuanced, multi-level emotional and academic support, working with a dual expert of ADHD and Academics may reap long-term beneficial results both on the ADHD side and the Academic side of things:


1. Your Child's ADHD and Academic Hidden Needs Are Met Fully

According to research, one of the hallmark characteristics of students with ADHD is that they often struggle with communication and self-advocacy skills. Furthermore, these core skills are critical for academic performance as students transition from primary to secondary education and beyond. That's why working with a dual expert who can identify your child's holistic needs from both the ADHD side as well as the academic side before the student himself realizes it is a huge benefit academically and emotionally. The student will still feel understood on more than one level even when they can't spell out their needs.


2. Parents Will Have Less Stress

Parenting neurodivergent children can be stressful and isolating. A recent study had found that parents of non-neurotypical children possess the stress hormones comparable to soldiers in combat (Dixon, 2021). Therefore, enlisting the help of a Certified Expert who is well-versed in both ADHD and Academics will reduce at-home stress for parents while their student is getting the help that they desperately need, despite those needs often go unspoken.


3. Less At-Home Battles

40% of students with ADHD do develop (ODD) oppositional defiance disorder (ADDitude). While these students do not misbehave intentionally, this does rupture family dynamics and create in-home friction. By working with an Expert who can calm the student's ADHD tendencies through meeting their emotional needs while keeping them engaged in the appropriate learning content, parents will experience less stress and friction at home, so they can focus on self-care and parent-child bond.


4. Your Child Will Be Ahead And Stay Ahead

Not only a Certified Educator and ADHD Expert can better identify and close skills gap that your child needs in order to transition from high school to college smoothly and masterfully than non-certified teachers since they have been formally trained in Student Development and Curriculum and Instruction. Research also shows that certified teachers have a statistically significant positive impact on students' test scores (Goldhaber et al., 2000) while other empirical studies have found Certified Teachers' students have made gains greater than one month or three quarters when compared to students of non-certified teachers (Vandevoort et al., 2004).


5. Increase Your Child's Processing and Learning Speed

For those who are not classically trained as teachers, it is quite difficult to imagine how to teach a child a brand new concept with new actionable steps and objectives in about 55 minutes. But it gets even far more complex when you are teaching an ADHD/LD student who has a very specific learning paradigm and a unique neural pathway in processing and absorbing information. And most of all, just because you have figured out how to help one child, that doesn't mean it will work with the next child. In order to increase an ADHD/LD student's processing speed, the lesson has to be creative, engaging, concise [working memory limitation at play], and kinesthetic. In essence, the Expert of ADHD and Academics has the formal expertise to motivate your child's heart and brain at the same time. Why? Because the ADHD and Academics Expert has curricular creativity to transform Text-Book Based learning modalities into Inquiry-Based learning approaches by combining ADHD Science with Learning Science. Research shows a significant positive result in pupil performance when inquiry-based teaching methods are implemented with neurodivergent students (Scruggs et al., 1993).


6. Your Child Will Have A Mentor, Executive Function Coach, College Coach, Writing Coach, Teacher, And A Friend

Studies show relational support and emotional fulfillment contribute to students' academic performance (Martin et al., 2017). Students often need a certified professional to teach them effective executive function and academic skills. However, they also need someone to listen and understand their experiences while accepting them for who they are instead of molding them into someone else. Neurodivergent students often struggle with making friends, so their need for a confidant and a friend is even higher. All students need a safe space to grow, learn, and feel accepted.


7. Your Child Will Learn More Than Executive Function Skills

The best way to habituate to executive function skills is through daily living implementation. But what is the best way for students to translate executive skills into life skills. This is where an ADHD and Academics Expert can provide your student a double advantage. Basically, the expert meets the student's ADHD needs by teaching them in the way that they learn best from a brain science perspective while identifying and designing tailored content that meets your student's specific needs succinctly and precisely. The result is the students learn without realizing they are learning; it is very natural and organic. For example, the ADHD and Academics Expert begins sessions by always having the student write down Today's Agenda consistently every session. So much so, that the student has learned to always start their homework time by writing down Today's Agenda. According to Jean Piaget's student development and cognitive development theories, students learn by actively building a mental model of their surrounding. Well, the ADHD and Academic Expert is someone who knows exactly how to help your child build that mental model, so their prior skills translate effortlessly into life skills.


8. Your Child Will Be Accepted And Not Coerce Into An "Acceptable" Neurotype

One of the best compliments I have ever received from students is that one day a student told me out of the blue: "You make me feel like there's nothing wrong with me." It really took me by surprise because one of my secret goals in the classroom was knowing each of my students to the point where if they turn in a paper without names, I would be able to figure out who it was based on content and penmanship when I returned graded papers to their rightful owners. That had happened a few times in the first decade of my teaching career. A lot of students were confused and amazed all at once how I figured it out. If you have never been trained as a certified teacher, small details like how a student dots their i's and curves their g's and other intricate patterns of habits are often overlooked, but to an ADHD and Academic Expert, the most minute details are taken into account to meticulously improve a child's education and emotional support. The point is not to cherry pick small details, but to ask the bigger question: How do these small details illuminate the sparkling perspective into the child's psyche, learning orientation, and emotional museum, so that I can design a lesson that the student will assimilate easily to both academically and emotionally? To achieve that goal, you have to accept and enjoy learning about who the child is. Acceptance and love are the first two prerequisites.


9. Better Results And Less Meltdowns

Imagine, a college student who comes to a coaching session telling you he has been fainting in his college classes twice in the last two weeks and he is much behind in homework. He's worried. How shall you help him? While academic performance is important, the main drive behind that objective is emotional motivation. According to learning science, student motivation is everything. In one study, students' ability self-concepts show the strongest association with academic performance (Steinmayr et al., 2019). In essence, the ADHD Expert knows how the student thinks from an emotional perspective and can pull him out of the rabbit hole while giving him concrete academic tools to stay on task and meet academic expectations. So with my college student, I counseled him and helped him be in a positive mindset first, then giving him concrete, effective learning strategies to help him feel grounded emotionally and academically. In the end, he passed the semester with all B's despite emotional and medical difficulties.


10. Your Child Will Work With A Patient Listener And Expert Who Will Validate Their Experience

Yes, grades and school are important for a child's future. However, this should not be the sole and singular purpose in the curriculum. Because deep down, every child wants to have an "I get you and you get me" experience to maintain a healthy mindset and strong self-esteem. It will boost their self-efficacy and increase their optimism inside and outside of school. According to nine literature reviews, teacher-student relationship quality has been proven to positively affect students' mental health and dropout rate (Krane et al., 2016). In addition, "mental health in adolescents is critical for not only students’ everyday experiences but also their academic performance (Sagatun et al., 2014). The findings of teacher-student relationships research had suggested that high-quality relationships can act as a protective factor for student success and mental health. All in all, the human connection will enrich the students' soul while the right expert will re-invigorate the students' mind.


When you care about a child, they just know. To me, teaching is really about seeing the student beyond what they tell you physically or on paper. When you can see the students crystal clear and accept them as they are, feel their personalities and the inner workings of their mind and heart without much official explanations, then I think that is something valuable to the students' cognitive and emotional development. Because true understanding and acceptance don't always require so much words or ink. It must be felt with the purest of hearts.


If you think your child may benefit from working with a Certified ADHD and Academics Expert, learn more and book a free consultation here.


 

References:


Dixon, E. (2021, September 18). Autism and Maternal Stress. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-flourishing-family/202109/autism-and-maternal-stress


Goldhaber, D. D., & Brewer, D. J. (2000). Does Teacher Certification Matter? High School Teacher Certification Status and Student Achievement. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 22(2), 129-145. https://doi.org/10.3102/01623737022002129


Krane, V., Karlsson, B., Ness, O., & Kim, H. S. (2016). Teacher–student relationship, student mental health, and dropout from upper secondary school: A literature review. Scandinavian Psychologist, 3, e11. https://doi.org/10.15714/scandpsychol.3.e11


Martin, A., Burns, E., & Collie, R. (2017). ADHD, personal and interpersonal agency, and achievement: Exploring links from a social cognitive theory perspective. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 50, 13-22. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2016.12.001


Olivardia, R. (2019, August 30). What Is Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)? ADDitude. https://www.additudemag.com/what-is-oppositional-defiant-disorder/


Sagatun, Å., Heyerdahl, S., Wentzel-Larsen, T., & Lien, L. (2014). Mental health problems in the 10th grade and non-completion of upper secondary school: The mediating role of grades in a population-based longitudinal study. BMC Public Health, 14(1). Retrieved from: http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2458-14-16.pdf


Scruggs, T. E., Mastropieri, M. A., Bakken, J. P., & Brigham, F. J. (1993). Reading Versus Doing: The Relative Effects of Textbook-Based and Inquiry-Oriented Approaches to Science Learning in Special Education Classrooms. The Journal of Special Education, 27(1), 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1177/002246699302700101


Stamp, L., Banerjee, M., & Brown, F. C. Self-Advocacy and Perceptions of College Readiness among Students with ADHD. Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability, 27 (2), 139-160. Sum 2014. EJ1040529


Vandevoort, L. G., Amrein-Beardsley, A. & Berliner, D. C. (2004, September 8). National board certified teachers and their students’ achievement. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 12(46). Retrieved [October 1, 2023] from http://epaa.asu.edu/epaa/v12n46/.


 



 Thuy Truong, M.A. Ed.

As a Certified ADHD Professional/Coach and Licensed Educator for 18 years, Thuy's holistic approach combines Learning Science with ADHD Science to design brain hack strategies that foster students'/individuals' long-term independence, motivation, and self-management skills. She is diligent in understanding her students and adults on all levels (ADHD, Executive Dysfunction, Autism, Dysgraphia, Anxiety, Depression, Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors-BFRB, Written Expression Disorder, Specific Reading Comprehension Deficit-SRCD, ADHD and Syncope-fainting spells). She listens deeply and spots the missing piece very quickly then she swiftly turns around to personalize tailored strategies to meet her clients' unique needs. She believes in evidence-based practices as well as giving the student/individual the best of all worlds: learning science, cognitive science, and ADHD science. Her favorite part is recognizing the missing puzzle and customizing the "brain hack" in a language that is unique to that individual while meeting all their needs. She especially enjoys helping students/adults translate their challenges into actionable steps and likes letting them know that they are well loved!


Learn more about how Thuy marries a student's cognitive style with brain hack strategies here.





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