All About ADHD

What is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neuro-developmental condition, which means that it affects the chemistry, structure and function of the brain. It is also called a spectrum condition which means that symptoms show up differently in different persons in different degrees of severity. Some people with ADHD have a challenging time with organization, task initiation, hyperactivity, while other people with ADHD may not be physically hyperactive and may present as inattentive with memory issues. ADHD influences that part of the brain that is in charge of what we call “Executive Function”.  Executive Functions are a set of abilities which includes focus, planning, impulse control as well as our ability to make decisions. Some ADHDers may experience intense feelings and strong emotional reactions.

It is important to be aware that ADHD can also come with co-occuring conditions such as anxiety, depression, low self-confidence, OCD, etc. Trying to navigate environments that are structured for neurotypicals can be demoralizing and even traumatizing to people who struggle with any kind of neurodiversity.

This is why there is no one-size fits all way to manage the unique challenges of ADHD.

Counselling and ADHD coaching help us have a real understanding of how ADHD shows up in our lives and gives us the space to develop personalized ways to manage it better. Recognizing how to harness the positive strengths that come with ADHD, which include boundless energy, creativity, ability to hyperfocus on areas of interest, quick thinking and a unique ability to see connections others miss, is a crucial component of supporting someone with ADHD and helping them thrive.

ADHD image

What are the common signs and symptoms of ADHD?

The three hallmarks of ADHD include difficulty sustaining attention (inattentiveness), impulsivity and hyperactivity. The term “Attention Deficit” is really due for an update because many people with ADHD are actually able to pay attention, in fact, the ability to hyperfocus is an ADHD strength.

It’s important to know that gender, resources, conditioning, talents, coping skills, co- occurring issues etc can influence how ADHD shows up for you or your loved ones.

Here are a few challenges that our clients have shared with us:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Poor time management
  • Challenges with organization, prioritization and planning
  • Inattentiveness (difficulty concentrating and focusing)
  • Having an inconsistent attention span
  • Being easily distracted
  • Making careless mistakes – for example, in schoolwork
  • Tuning out, not listening to instructions
  • Inability to process too much auditory or verbal stimuli ( ex. verbal instructions)
  • Fidgeting, skin picking, being unable to sit still, especially in calm or quiet surroundings
  • Needs to move around to be able to absorb information
  • Excessive talking
  • Interrupting, blurting, inability to wait their turn
  • Impulsive  and risk taking behavior
  • Continually starting new tasks before finishing old ones
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Extreme impatience
  • Big reaction not commensurate to trigger
  • Fear of real or imagined rejection (RSD)
  • Discomfort in being perceived
  • Feeling spaced-out, brain fog
  • Feeling Burnout
  • Feeling paralyzed into inaction when trying to accomplish goals
  • Constantly changing activity or task
  • Inability to deal with stress
  • Being unable to stick to tedious tasks or complete time consuming projects

How is “Executive Functioning” connected to my ADHD?

Executive Functioning is a set of cognitive or mental skills that help us manage ourselves and our resources to accomplish tasks and goals.

Let’s take a practical example: You want to plan a trip to Bali with your friends. You will need executive functioning skills to organize the logistics, to stay motivated and actually do the big and mini tasks required to make the bookings. Executive functioning also comes into play in keeping your focus while managing everyone’s passport details and in remembering their special requests. The part of the brain responsible for executive function is the same part that helps you stay emotionally regulated when the inevitable snafu comes up or a friend makes a snarky comment.

Most people diagnosed with ADHD report significant difficulties with impulse control, emotional control, flexible thinking, working memory, self-monitoring, planning and prioritization, task initiation or organization. Self-regulation is an important part of Executive Functioning.

When trying to understand your own or a loved ones’ executive functioning skills, Dr. Russell Barkley, the respected ADHD expert and advocate says it may help to examine these 7 areas below.


Simply put, this is self-directed attention.

*You could also call it self- monitoring. If you have weak self-monitoring skills, you may not have a realistic grasp on how poorly or well you are doing*


Also known as self-restraint.

*If you have a challenging time with inhibition or impulse control, you might blurt out answers, interrupt people often or engage in risky behavior*

Non-Verbal Working Memory

The ability to hold things in your mind. Essentially, visual imagery — how well you can picture things mentally.

Verbal Working Memory

Self-speech, or internal speech. Most people think of this as their “inner monologue.”

*If you have a weak working memory, you might have trouble remembering directions, or a short list of items, even if you have taken notes and repeated them several times*

Emotional Self-Regulation

The ability to take the previous four executive functions and use them to manipulate your own emotional state. This means learning to use words, images, and your own self-awareness to process and alter how we feel about things.

*It is an important life skill to understand and manage our emotional landscape. If you have weak emotion regulation, it may seem to others like you are prone to outbursts and overreacting, have “ Big Emotions”, have trouble with criticism, or perceived rejection and lack flexibility when something goes wrong*

Self-motivation/Task initiation

How well you can motivate yourself to complete a task when there is no immediate external consequence.

*With undeveloped task initiation skills, you may procrastinate or freeze up and have no idea where to begin a task*

Planning and Problem Solving

Experts sometimes like to think of this as “self-play” — how we play with information in our minds to come up with new ways of doing something. By taking things apart and recombining them in different ways, we’re planning solutions to our problems.”

*All excerpted from the writings of Dr. Russell Barkley

ADHD Coaching in Students, Teens and Young Adults

Students, teens and young adults with ADHD often experience difficulties with attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Having coaching support in managing these symptoms could look like setting up systems to plan, organize, prioritize, pay attention and explore ways to understand and regulate emotions.

ADHD can show up as a lack of time awareness, impulsive or risk-taking behaviors, hyperactivity, difficulty organizing, distractibility in school, procrastination with important tasks, overwhelm, big emotional reactions and forgetfulness.

A heartbreaking reality of having challenges like these in neurotypical environments with neurotypical expectations is the effect on one’s sense of self and identity.

Coaching (and counselling) provides the young person a safe space of unconditional positive regard to process these experiences and to stay connected to their own beautifully unique strengths and talents .

Parent Coaching and Support

Having a parent or caregiver who understands ADHD, who is able to advocate for you and who provides the necessary support needed can greatly enhance a young ADHD person’s well-being and can greatly improve family dynamics. Neurodiversity in a family can be challenging to manage for family members. Coaches work with you to better understand ADHD, to develop ways to manage behaviors at home, and implement effective systems and strategies to effectively support your young person.

Counselling Students, Teens and Young Adults

In 80% of cases, ADHD can come with co-occuring conditions such as anxiety, depression, conduct disorders, OCD, substance abuse, etc. Counselling would be an appropriate space to address these challenges. We tailor evidence-based therapeutic interventions, such as cognitive behavioral therapy to help children and teens with ADHD improve their self-regulation, organizational skills, and academic performance. By working collaboratively with your child, the family and other members of their support team, we help them develop healthy coping mechanisms to manage these mental health challenges.

ADHD in Adults

Yes, ADHD can persist into adulthood and its impact on various aspects of life can vary. Some people who were diagnosed in childhood say that with maturity and by adopting healthy coping mechanisms, most ADHD symptoms have become manageable.

For some late diagnosed adults, there sometimes is a “tipping point” in their lives (perhaps an important transition) where ADHD symptoms become hard to ignore or suddenly become very obvious which lead them to seeking a diagnosis. For others, it’s a conversation, a child being diagnosed or reading something in a book about ADHD that triggers that “hang on a minute…this sounds like me!” moment.

Adjusting to a new diagnosis and neurodivergent identity can give rise to both relief and grief. Whichever way led you here, whether you were diagnosed with ADHD in childhood or you were diagnosed as an adult, we are here to help.

ADHD Life Coaching

ADHD Life coaching is a process where, in partnership with your coach, you have the space to identify, understand and manage your unique ADHD challenges.

In coaching, we work collaboratively with you to develop strategies for improving time management, organization, and decision-making skills. More than that, as adults, we may have had years of conditioning, life experiences, and interactions with others that have led us to act in ways to seem “socially acceptable” or to become chameleons in order to be functional within our families or in the workplace. This is called “Masking”.

Coaching is your space to put the mask down, identify and act on your goals, develop ways to manage your own unique challenges, and feel empowered to design your life according to your authentic self.

Counselling Adults

In 80% of cases, ADHD can come with co-occuring conditions such as anxiety, depression, conduct disorders, OCD, substance abuse, etc. Counselling would be an appropriate space to address these challenges. As adults, we all carry some old programming that we may need to update. This could be years of familial or cultural conditioning, old narratives that don’t serve us any more and may be causing relational issues, anxiety or low moods or perhaps there is trauma from being bullied or “othered” that we may need to process. In our counselling work, we use integrative, evidence-based therapy approaches such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), IFS (Internal Family Systems), SFBT (Solution Focused Behavioral Therapy), ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) , Breathwork, Mindfulness and other modalities to help you address emotional, cognitive, and behavioral challenges.

ADHD Resources

Unlocking ADHD - Singapore

Provides practical resources and support to help ADHDers and their families to live life to the fullest!


Believes in improving the lives of people affected by ADHD by providing resources, conferences, support and advocacy


A trusted and reliable source of all things ADHD across all ages.

SPARK - Singapore

Parent Support Group for ADHD.


This is the world’s largest organization dedicated exclusively to helping adults with ADHD to live better lives.


This is a Canadian support organization for people affected by ADHD through awareness, education, and advocacy.

Frequently Asked Questions
about ADHD

How long does ADHD coaching/counselling typically last?

The duration of coaching or counselling varies depending on individual needs. Some individuals may benefit from short-term coaching (6 -12 sessions), while others may require ongoing counselling support.

Some clients benefit from extra support when facing a big transition or while at school or when working on certain relational issues.

Some clients embrace coaching or counselling as part of their multi-modal approach to managing ADHD, while some clients prefer to have coaching or counselling as part of a consistent self care routine.

You and your coach/ counsellor may be able to determine the most suitable timeline at your intake session.

How can parents and caregivers support children with ADHD?

Parents, spouses/partners and caregivers play a crucial role in supporting a loved one with ADHD.  Parent support could include establishing clear routines, setting up an organized environment, breaking tasks into manageable steps, providing positive reinforcement, and encouraging open communication.

It is really helpful for you to understand ADHD and be very familiar with your child’s unique challenges so that you can advocate for the right accommodations for your child, collaborate effectively with teachers and other professionals involved in the child’s life to create consistent strategies and support systems.

As a partner, supporting your spouse may include dividing tasks according to each person’s strengths, co- creating a homelife that accommodates ADHD challenges AND that allows for everyone’s needs to be respected, etc.

As a parent or partner, it’s important to remember that you can’t fill from an empty cup, we may also need coaching or counselling support to be able to stay emotionally-regulated, and open-hearted in helping our loved ones.

Can adults with ADHD benefit from therapy even if they were not diagnosed in childhood?

Absolutely! It is not uncommon for individuals to receive an ADHD diagnosis in adulthood. Adult ADHD coaching and/ or counselling can provide valuable support in managing symptoms, improving executive functioning skills, addressing emotional challenges, and developing effective strategies for success.

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