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How do I find the right executive function coach?

Updated: Apr 25, 2023

Finding the right coaching match for your student can be a daunting task.


You may be afraid that if your student is paired with the wrong coach they will be turned off from executive function coaching forever!


In the worst case scenario, all the progress you have made to get your student to open up and consider working with a coach could be lost in an instant when your child meets with someone who doesn't appreciate their unique characteristics.


This can be a scary process for parents and students alike.


In this article, I will walk you through what questions to ask and what to consider when finding your perfect executive function coaching match.


What questions should you ask before hiring an executive function coach?


Before hiring an executive function coach, you'll want to ask the right questions to make sure you don't end up with a bad match or someone who doesn't have the experience and expertise to help your family.


Here are some helpful questions you can ask:


  • What trainings, certifications or degrees prepared you to be an executive function coach?

  • What framework or methodology do your coaches use?

  • How much does this cost? Are there any other fees?

  • Can I meet with my coach first to determine if they are a good match?

  • When are your coaches available to meet?

  • Do you have testimonials from clients like me who have experienced success?

  • How will success be measured in the coaching relationship?


How do we match students to their coaches?

Matching a student to the right executive function specialist is not easy.


At executive function specialists, we have turned it into a science by considering a range of factors that allow us to ensure a great match, almost every time, while employing a team of matching specialists to review each student's needs, goals and history, in order to assign the right specialist, every time.


In considering matches, we consider data from the following sources:

  • Parent input

  • Student input

  • Assessments

  • Report cards

  • Teacher feedback

  • Conversations with a student's therapist, psychiatrist or other mental health providers

Additionally, we use a comprehensive questionnaire to learn more about the student's background, preferences and goals.


Here are some of the factors our match team considers when match a client to a specialist:


What questions do we ask parents before matching their student to a specialist?


What resources resources are you currently utilizing?

  • Does your student have a 504 plan or IEP?

  • Has your student received a diagnosis of any type of learning disablity in the past?

  • What supporting documentation would you like us to review as as part of the match process?

Outreach/Documentation

  • Want us to connect with professionals?

  • Do you have any relevant documentation you would like to share with us (IEPs, 504, Neuropsych evaluations, etc.)


What questions do we ask students before matching them to a specialist?


What are your school challenges and strengths?

  • Any subjects that are most difficult? Why?

  • What subjects are going well and why?

Goal based questions:

  • What do feel skilled at?

  • What areas do you feel need improvement?

  • What would success look like in 3 months? After 6 months of coaching?

  • Where do you see yourself in two years?

What are you preferences for your specialist?

  • What would your ideal specialist be like?

  • Are they more upbeat or laid back?

  • What teachers or coaches have you connected with? What did you like about them?

  • Do you have a gender preference for your specialist?

  • Is there anything about your culture you would like us to be aware of when considering your match?

  • What do you want your specialist to know about you?

What are your scheduling needs?

  • When would you like to start?

  • What days and times are best for weekly meetings?

  • What are some ideal dates and times for sessions (at least 3)

Are you in need of a skilled executive function coach?


If your student is struggling in school with any of the following:

  • Missing assignments

  • Not communicating with their teachers

  • Taking too long on assignments

  • Forgetting to turn things in

  • Struggling with creating an outline for an essay

  • Avoiding work to play video games or watch YouTube

It may be helpful to connect them with an executive function coach who can teach them valuable skills that include:

  • Planning

  • Organization

  • Self-management

  • Inhibition

  • Time management

  • initiation of taks

  • Visualizing outcomes

  • Evaluating priorities

Visit our website to learn more about executive function coaching today!


About the author

Sean G. McCormick is the founder of Executive Function Specialists, an online coaching business which guides middle, high school, and college students in overcoming procrastination, disorganization and anxiety by teaching time management, prioritization and communication skills so they feel motivated, prepared, and empowered.


He also founded the Executive Function Coaching Academy which trains special education teachers, school psychologists and other professionals to support students with ADHD and executive function challenges.


Sean is regularly featured across media channels for his expertise on executive function, ADHD and special education.

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EFS started with one teacher deciding that kids with ADHD needed better access to quality executive function coaching services. Since then, we have grown to a team of specialists working both private students and public schools to enhance executive function skills for all students. 

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