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By Laura Godfrey, ACC, CACP, a Self-Reg Foundations Program Learner

As an ADHD Coach for over eight years, I’ve encountered parents expecting quick fixes for their children’s behaviour. Initially, sessions consisted of brief chats as parents dropped off or picked up their students.  Parents were so hopeful that I might miraculously solve issues like homework and backtalk.

“Listen to what Miss Laura tells you!” How do you tell a seven-year-old what their parents expect? For some of these kids, I’m one of many people they’ve been dragged to so someone can ‘fix‘ them. So they will be able to listen, do their homework, and do their chores without someone constantly reminding them. 

It took a shift in approach to realize that fixing kids wasn’t the answer. Instead, it was about empowering parents to understand and support their neurodiverse children. This change came partly from training and partly from a shift in perspective that happened when I took the Foundations course at The MEHRIT Centre. I realized it’s about helping the adults in their lives become more aware of how the ADHD brain is uniquely impacted by stress.

In recent years, every parent I’ve worked with arrives frustrated and overwhelmed. Through listening and empathy, I help them navigate their challenges, often providing insights into parenting neurodiverse children. Often, I am the first person who understands the challenges of raising a neurodiverse brain.

Thayer Matrix - 4 Quadrants representing the combinations of High and Low Energy and Tension Together - Adapted by The MEHRIT Centre from Robert E. Thayer (1996), The Origin of Everyday Moods: Managing Energy, Tension, and Stress

Introducing Self-Reg techniques is crucial. We discuss Domain Stressors, energy depletion, and the five steps of Self-Reg: Reframe, Recognize, Reduce, Reflect and Restore. I often bring in the Thayer Matrix to give them another tool to use on their journey. Sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly, they begin to understand. Now, they have a different perspective. They have new tools for understanding and responding to their child’s stress.

That’s the message I want to spread: Shift your expectations. Let go of the old, unhelpful perceptions, and join the Self-Reg Journey!

Will you join me?

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