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How to find an executive function coach for your struggling student (2024)

After giving a presentation at UCSF on evidence based practices to support executive function skills, I got the following email from one of the docotors in the audience:


I hear many of my families lament the very high cost of getting EF coaching – e.g., I’ve heard that it can be more expensive to get this coaching than individual therapy for their child. Do you know of any lower-cost options that are actually good? I’ve heard about tutoring/EF companies that seem to have staff with just basic training who are working through a protocol, which is not ideal, but at least those are a bit cheaper. What do you suggest?

How to find an EF coach for the DIY parent


For a parent who is willing to do the work of interviewing individual coaches here are the steps I would recommend: 


Step 1: Get the right questions ready


Questions you can ask a prospective EF coach:


  • What is the process of your coaching program?

  • What strategies and approaches do you use to improve EF skills?

  • What do you do when the student continues to struggle even after implementing coaching?

  • How are your coaches trained? What are their minimum qualifications?

  • If it is a group practice, ask "What is your process for matching my child with a coach?"

  • How will I know if my child's executive function skills have improved?

  • How do you keep parents updated about what you are working on in your coaching sessions?

  • Is your coaching service available online or in-person?

  • What is your cancellation policy?

  • What is the cost of your services? Are there any additional costs besides the coaching fees?

  • What forms of payment are expected? When are we expected to pay for service?

  • What is your refund policy or guarantee for clients should things not work out?


If you prefer to learn via video, starting at 12:41, I list out questions you can ask a prospective EF coach.




Step 2: Search for a coach using various directories


Directories where you can find EF coaches

Use the following directories to identify coaches in their desired price point: 



Facebook Groups and Forums where you can find an EF coach

They could also go on some of these popular Facebook groups for parents of kiddos with EF challenges and share their request along with price point, and likely get a good deal of responses: 



3. Narrow their search down to 3 top coaches and then have their student start with one to see if it is a good fit. 


Find an EF coach going through an established business

If you are looking for a high quality coach without doing all the legwork, the fastest and most predictable route is to go through a company with a strong reputation, solid hiring processes, and great review. Some more well known ones are: 


It is true that a skilled and qualified executive function coach can cost as much as a skilled and qualified therapist, but it also might be more costly for a parent to do all the searching and sifting to find a coach if they are also working.


Additionally, I've written about the cost of untreated ADHD, which should also be considered. 



About the author

Sean G. McCormick is a former public school special education teacher who founded Executive Function Specialists to ensure all students with ADHD and Autism have access to high-quality online executive function coaching services. 


With this mission in mind, he then founded the Executive Function Coaching Academy which trains schools, educators, and individuals to learn the key approaches to improve executive function skills for students.


He is also the co-founder of UpSkill Specialists, a business with a mission to provide adults with ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder, access to high-quality executive function coaching services that can be accessed through Self-Determination funding.

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About 👋

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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