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Meet Cindy Goldrich of PTS Coaching ADHD Education and Support in Boulder

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cindy Goldrich.

Cindy, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Several years ago, when I had decided I wanted to re-enter the workforce, my goal was to help young adults and college students learn to manage the impact of their ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) so that they could thrive and achieve on par with others who shared the same intelligence and goals. I know that there are so many bright, passionate, and talented children, AND adults, who have been unable to harness their attention and actions to succeed as they could, and I wanted to help turn that challenge around.

Although I had a background as a mental health counselor, I recognized that my prior training was outdated and insufficient to provide the type of support I felt they needed. I learned about the field of professional ADHD Coaching that was still in its infancy at the time. Unlike therapy, which can be a valuable process to help people examine their past make positive changes, Coaching focuses on the ‘here and now’,helps you identify your goals, obstacles, and challenges, and develop an actionable plan to make your life what you want it to be. In my gut, I knew that so many of the people struggling with ADHD did not necessarily need therapy. What they needed was education about their unique brain and support and guidance as they learned tools and strategies to help them move in a positive direction. I went on to become a certified ADHD Coach, a process that takes years of training, specifically on how ADHD impacts learning, motivation, and behavior. I also began attending annual professional conferences in the fields of ADHD, learning challenges, education, and brain science.

Very early in my practice, I recognized that if the parents did not fully understand the journey of their child – the triggers, the challenges, and the hurdles they faced, I was not able to be as effective in helping their children make positive, systemic change. I have met so many wonderful, caring parents who are at a loss as to why they, and their children, struggle so much. The reality is that love, instinct, and logic are not sufficient when you are dealing with inconsistencies, challenges, and frustrations in raising your child who has ADHD.

So I changed the focus of my practice and began to work exclusively with parents. Through private coaching, workshops, and presentations, I help parents create a calm, more compliant environment, establish realistic rules and expectations, reduce homework stress, and improve problem-solving, self-advocacy skills. And several years ago, I was fortunate to be approached by WW Norton Publishers, who asked me to write a book for parents; 8 Keys to Parenting Children with ADHD.

After years of working with parents and speaking at numerous schools and conferences, I found that educators and other professionals, just like parents, did not have sufficient knowledge to adequately educate, guide, and support children who had challenges with ADHD. So I developed a professional training curriculum that I have conducted in school districts and conferences nationwide. And I am proud to say that I recently published my second book, ADHD, Executive Function, & Behavioral Challenges in the Classroom: Managing the Impact on Learning, Motivation, and Stress, with my daughter, Carly, a special education teacher for Boulder Valley School District. I also train professionals to become ADHD Parent coaches though my ADHD Parent Coach Academy.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
My business has evolved and taken me down roads I would never have anticipated. I never set out to be a public speaker, curriculum developer, and author. But in building my practice, I think I have faced three main challenges along the way: reaching my target audience, educating people about the existence and value of professional ADHD Coaching, and battling the stigma and lack of understanding around ADHD.

When I first started letting people know that I was available to help teens and college students who were struggling due to challenges related to having ADHD, I found plenty of parents interested and grateful to have my support. But on a gut level, I knew this was not where I really needed to be making my impact. I wanted to help create environments where children do not have to feel like square pegs in round holes. When I can teach parents and professionals how to communicate, engage, and collaborate with these kids, we can reduce the stress, chaos, and underachievement that is so prevalent in homes and classrooms.

I realized I needed to put parents and teachers at the center of my support. And this meant marketing in a whole new way. I needed to communicate that the child was not the main issue. It is our adult knowledge, skill, perspective, and action that will bring about positive change and success for kids with ADHD. Without a doubt, I know ADHD is NOT a deficit; it is a difference with inherent challenges. I help parents and professionals nurture children through tolerance, empathy, and support, with a healthy balance of guidance, structure, and discipline. As I say to parents: “Don’t bend the Universe – too much.” Prepare them for the real world, but know when to give them that extra chance they may need. I will admit that coaching parents instead of children are still a harder market to reach, but the ripple effects for true change are worth it.

Regarding educating the public about the existence and value of professional ADHD Coaching, that remains a struggle. Most people are accustomed to going directly to therapy and or medication as a way to treat ADHD. And while each of these may be valuable interventions, I do not believe they are sufficient nor appropriate for all individuals.

ADHD Coaching provides the education, support, guidance, and accountability necessary to make systemic change and, more importantly, help the person view themselves from a positive, strength-based lens. However, as I always caution consumers, be sure that any professional you go to has the proper training, skill, and experience to be effective. There is no licensure in the field of professional Coaching. There are, however, well-vetted and quality certification programs. As with any product – be an educated consumer.

And as for the stigma and myths around ADHD – I am grateful that the tide has been shifting in the almost 15 years since I began my work. There are still many assumptions around what ADHD is and is not – but there is also greater awareness and interest in learning, and accepting that different does not mean wrong or bad. I believe when we accept that we are ALL on a spectrum – we all have unique strengths and challenges. Then we can focus on helping every rise from the level they are at.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the PTS Coaching ADHD Education and Support story. Tell us more about your work.
My business is called PTS Coaching, which stands for Pathways to Success. I named it this because I believe each child has their own unique path to create. There is no one “right” way to create a happy, successful, fulfilling life. As my own business has evolved, it, too, has taken on many pathways. I am grateful that I am a recognized expert in the evolving profession of ADHD and Executive Function Coaching.

In addition to private Coaching, I run my workshop, Calm and Connected: Parenting Kids with ADHD/Executive Function Challenges© nationwide. It has now also been translated and is offered in Spanish and Chinese. I have trained over 50 professionals worldwide (including Kuwait, China, Sweden, and Dubai) to be ADHD Parent Coaches.

I have spoken at several national conferences and published articles in leading professional magazines. My school training have changed the way teachers interact with and support their students. The feedback I continue to receive is encouraging and exciting.

I can’t say it’s always been a smooth or easy road, but I am so grateful for the positive impact I have been able to make on individuals and institutions. My message is always the same. Help all children understand how their unique brain works, how they can learn best, harness their energy, plan for their goals, and face their challenges.

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