Aaron Bailey is making it his life’s work to help those who, like himself, live with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Many in Whitehorse may already recognize him from his public speaking presentations on the subject where he discusses his own experience with the neurological disorder and shares what has helped him.
Bailey is now taking that mission to the next level, as an ADHD life coach.
Bailey recently graduated from the ADD Coaching Academy and opened up shop in Whitehorse, meeting with clients virtually and in-person as he works to complete the 100 coaching hours required to be accredited with the International Coaching Federation.
As Bailey described in a Jan. 28 interview, he enjoys making the presentations and plans to continue with those, but also saw a need in Whitehorse for greater ADHD services.
At the same time, he was seeing the benefits getting help from a coach had had on friends and began looking at possibilities for the future to provide a similar service for those with ADHD.
“I had friends who had life coaches, and it sounded like a really good thing and they were getting a lot of good outcomes from it,” Bailey said. “And so I thought ADHD coach would just make sense with my experience within the ADHD field as well my own life experience.”
Friends who had worked with life coaches were better able to put plans into actions to achieve what they wanted.
In ADHD coaching, situations are looked at through an ADHD lens, understanding how ADHD may be impacting a person.
Bailey came across the ADD Coaching Academy a couple of years ago, but waited until he had money in place to pay for the nine-month course that explored exactly what ADHD is, how it affects people, executive functioning, strategies, learning modalities and more along with the skills to create a successful coaching business.
As a coach, Bailey said he works with his clients to help them understand how ADHD might be impacting their approach to things and work on issues they may need help with. He noted those with ADHD may feel overwhelmed more easily or deal with things like “time blindness” or any other number of issues. Bailey’s work can often start with giving them a description of what is having an impact on them.
In Bailey’s case, he said, he can take about three ideas maximum before he’s overwhelmed. He’s learned to develop strategies to deal with that. In other cases a client may not realize they are dealing with “time blindness” where they can only focus on what is happening in the moment. This can make keeping appointments or a sticking to a schedule more difficult.
“I’ve told some clients you know, again, about a time blindness and now versus not now and they just go; ‘oh my god, that’s exactly what (it is), I just didn’t know what it was’… They didn’t have the vocabulary to describe right,” Bailey said.
“And then, and then you talk to them about ‘okay, well, we just learned this, how will that affect you now in your life, and, well, what makes the most sense.”
From there, Bailey said his clients are able to work with him to come up with strategies. He described coaching as a guided conversation he has with clients.
“I think that’s the empowering thing about coaching is that every person, every ADHD diagnosis is vastly different,” Bailey said “And there’s no one strategy works; every person is going to have their own strategies and style that works best for them. And it’s about finding that out with them.”
Bailey has begun working with a variety of clients in different regions of the country, each looking to deal with challenges they’re facing.
“I’ve talked to clients about time management, you know, a musician trying to trying to find the time in the day to practice, to get exercise,” Bailey said. “You know, they were a bartender at night. So their hours were really off and they just couldn’t figure out their time management skills. So we worked on that.”
Bailey has also worked with parents who are trying to better understand their child’s ADHD, which can be very different from their own ADHD if they also deal with the disorder.
He noted that while he uses an ADHD lens when working with clients, his clients aren’t required to have an ADHD diagnosis.
While Bailey isn’t ruling out the possibility of working with youth in the future, at this time he’s working with clients aged 16 and older.
As he explained, there is a coaching course he could take that would allow him to work with youth and their families, but as he’s getting started he wants to see where the demand is.
With two small children of his own at home as well, he said it’s important for him to have time at home with his little ones.
Prospective clients can reach Bailey at email@example.com.
Contact Stephanie Waddell at firstname.lastname@example.org