I HAVE ADHD PODCAST - Episode #262

May 7, 2024

How Coaching Can Change Your Life with Brooke Schnittman

In this episode, the incredibly amazing Brooke Schnittman joins us.

Brooke is one of my favorite colleagues and I’m so happy to introduce her to you. She’s the founder of Coaching With Brooke, an ADHD & executive function coaching company for students and adults.

Brooke and her team help kids and teens with ADHD by educating them on the ‘why’ behind their struggles and providing executive function coaching. 

Coaching made a huge difference in Brooke’s life, so much so that she decided to become a coach herself. But get this: she wasn’t diagnosed with ADHD yet. It wasn’t until Brooke started coaching other ADHDers that she recognized the symptoms in her own life. 

In this episode, Brooke shares exactly what’s worked for her in her ADHD journey and what she uses to help her own clients have those same aha moments in their own lives.

Do not skip this podcast episode. You’ll take home some actionable steps you can start applying to your life today if you suspect you might have ADHD – or you’ve been diagnosed for decades.

You can learn more about Brooke at coachingwithbrooke.com. And be sure to follow her on Instagram too!

If you want to see how coaching can impact your life, I encourage you to check out my group coaching program, FOCUSED. This is the place to achieve your goals and feel better than ever. Come join a community that understands you where you’re at today.



Featured Download


This totally free printable includes a psychologist-approved list of symptoms that adults with ADHD commonly experience. This could give you the answers you’ve been begging for your entire life.

Kristen Carder 0:05
Welcome to the I have ADHD podcast, where it’s all about education, encouragement and coaching for adults with ADHD. I’m your host, Kristen Carter and I have ADHD. Let’s chat about the frustrations, humor and challenges of adulting relationships working and achieving with this neurodevelopmental disorder. I’ll help you understand your unique brain. Unlock your potential and move from point A to point B. To one What’s up, this is Kristen Carter and you are listening to the I have ADHD podcast. I am medicated, I’m caffeinated. I am regulated and I am ready to roll. I have a treat for you today. One of my favorite colleagues in the whole wide world. Brooke Shipman is here today with me and I cannot wait for you to hear from her. Brooke is the founder of coaching with Brooke. It’s an ADHD and executive function coaching company for students and adults. And she’s dedicated her life to helping 1000s of individuals with ADHD. For 20 years she has been in this field for two decades. Oh my goodness. She helps people overcome chaos, frustration and shame by providing them the tools and accountability to focus their attention and thrive. Brookes credentials are pretty outstanding. She helps over a million people daily activate their ADHD potential and thus far has coached fortune 500, CEOs, celebrities, entrepreneurs and high level executives. She’s also just like an all around good time and somebody that I am very lucky to consider a friend and colleague So Brooke, thank you for being here. Welcome to the podcast. Thanks

Brooke Schnittman 1:58
Kristin for having me. It’s always I wish coaching can be so isolating, right and you have a team I’m team but it’s so nice to be able to like see someone you respect in the field and talk off the cuff and catch up.

Kristen Carder 2:15
It is I totally agree. It can be so lonely. And especially when you are the leader, right and you’re just surrounded by your team and your colleagues to be in the presence of another leader who knows what it’s like to have kind of the weight of the world on their shoulders. It is really, really comforting. So I love sitting across from you. It’s so fun. Yeah, it’s so good. So tell us a little bit about yourself. You have ADHD, would you mind telling us your diagnosis story?

Brooke Schnittman 2:44
Yeah, so like many women, I was diagnosed late at 35. And it’s strange that my path kind of just followed ADHD people. Maybe it’s not so strange. So growing up, I would tuck out I would like walk into the same puddle every day forgetting that I did that. I was diagnosed with auditory processing disorder. But then, after a very short period of time was disqualified from speech because they said it’s really just multi step directions. Hello, working memory. And so we were trying to figure it out for a while I went to many different therapists and psychiatrists, of course, was diagnosed with anxiety. And I always felt when I went to therapists, that I got more anxious talking about my anxiety, because I felt like the type of therapy I was doing wasn’t giving me solutions. And maybe I just wasn’t in the headspace to make change at that moment. And my whole childhood from age eight to 35, when I received the diagnosis and also received coaching, I was bullied. Because I just didn’t understand myself. There was a lot of other things that were going on with the bullying, but it was like consistent, and it caused a lot of complex trauma. Anyway, at age 34, I moved to Florida, I know I’m skipping but I was told by a friend, hey, you should try this thing. And no idea what it was. I didn’t even know what coaching was at the time, honestly. And so I went into it. It was group coaching. It was amazing. And I chose to do the second seminar and the third seminar and I did it for a year and during that time, I was approached by one of my friends in South Florida. Name’s Lynn minor Roseanne, she’s a career in ADHD coach also. And she was like you’d make a great ADHD coach. I said, Okay, Sign me up. Because what happened was when I was in New York, I was a special education teacher doing executive function coaching. Then I became an administrator, and I wanted to start a company I just didn’t know and what so, of course, I then, like redid the same path as I did in New York because I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up. And she had the same path as I did. So I jumped into getting all the certifications started my business, I dove right in. And I did not know until six months into coaching once I started coaching adults online that I started recognizing the same symptoms. So that’s when I figured out, okay, I can’t shift my attention between enjoying coaching and doing my notes and then coming back to a coaching call, and then do my notes and then come in, and then it all started clicking. But it’s strange, because I didn’t see myself in the students I was working with, I guess, as an adult. You couldn’t make the connection. But I saw myself in the adults. And even six years later at this point, I’m still figuring it out.

Kristen Carder 5:57
Yes, oh my gosh. So it’s wild to me that the journey of life literally handed you your diagnosis. It was like, smacked you in the face with it a couple times. It sounds like

Brooke Schnittman 6:11
oh my gosh, my dad actually used to make fun of me, because he would say, Brooke, you are attracted to men with ADHD. I don’t get it. But like, every single man you date has ADHD. And I’m like, Oh, stop, whatever. But I was attracted to ADHD men, I was attracted to working with kids with ADHD. I always connected with those kids with ADHD, anxiety, learning disabilities. Yeah. And then coming to Florida. I then found someone who’s doing what I’m doing. And she said, you would make a great ADHD coach, and six months after I got my diagnosis, I met my husband, who at that time, had no idea he had ADHD, nor did His two sons. Wow. So we’re one big ADHD family. You

Kristen Carder 7:00
really, ah, oh, my gosh, I love it. I love it so much. It just goes to show how impaired our self reflection really is. And I don’t mean that in a demeaning way at all. It’s just very obvious. That self reflection, and the ability to really stop and think about our own behavior, our own, you know, like, I’m stepping in the same puddle every day. I wonder why that is like, that’s just not there for us. And so it can take, if we’re not identified by other people, it can take us so long to come to that like aha moment of like, oh, wait, maybe, like, maybe it’s me, maybe I’m the drummer. And I think sometimes we can feel badly about that. But honestly, our brain literally prevents us from being self reflective. That is not something that we can even take responsibility for. But now that we know, we have an obligation to like, rectify that, but when you don’t know, you don’t know, you don’t know what you don’t know. You don’t know what

Brooke Schnittman 8:07
you don’t know. And then you’re treating something that is there anxiety. Is there. Was there still here. However, could it have been lessened had I known ADHD, he probably it’s funny because my mom was in education. She was a math teacher, my dad owned a school and a camp growing up. So my mom actually ended up getting the extended time for the SATs, because she was able to show that there was a discrepancy in my reading for time tests and untimed tests. So it did much better than I would have had I not had an extended time. But do I have a reading issue? Or was it the ADHD being like, getting that anxiety when I was time? So anyway?

Kristen Carder 8:53
Fascinating. I love it. It’s time for me to shout out the only sponsor of the I have ADHD podcast, which is a G one. Now it’s important to me that the supplements that I take are the highest quality. And that’s why for years, like going on two years, I’ve been drinking ag one, ag one is constantly searching for how to do things better and like same. You know, like, I want to do things better, too. And they’re at 52 iterations of their formula and counting. That’s a lot. That’s so impressive. Their team is always trying to find better ways to source and test and they aim to find the best quality ingredients available. I know that I can trust what’s in every scoop of ag one because ag one is listen to this. And NSF Certified for Sport, which I looked it up I did a Google because I was like what does this mean? It’s one of the most rigorous independent quality and safety certification programs in the supplement industry. It’s really impressive. Now taking care of my health as an adult with ADHD has always been cool. complicated. It’s just hard. I’ve always struggled with it, but ag one simplifies it by covering my nutritional bases and setting me up for success in just 60 seconds. And some days it’s even less than 60 seconds like it is fast and easy. Ag ones ingredients are heavily researched for efficacy and quality. And I love that every scoop also contains prebiotics, probiotics, and digestive enzymes for gut support, which we all know is important for the ADHD brain. Now I’ve partnered with ag one for so long, and they’re the only sponsor that I’ve allowed on this podcast, because they make such a high quality product that I genuinely do not mind drinking every day. And when I say every day, your girl has been drinking it every day, I even took the travel packs with me on vacation recently, and was able to support my health while away eating fast food every day. But like at least I had my ag one. So if you want to replace your multivitamin, and more, start with ag one. Try ag one and get a free one year supply of vitamin d3 k two and five free ag one travel packs with your first subscription at drink. Ag one.com/i have ADHD. That’s drink ag one.com/i have ADHD, check it out. How did your life change when you accepted the diagnosis?

Brooke Schnittman 11:33
It’s interesting. Not so much. So my story is not the usual story where how my whole life finally made sense to me. It’s still making sense to me six years later. So when I first learned I had ADHD, I was like, oh, yeah, like I have this. Let me get tested. God tested by someone in the field. She told me I’d combined type ADHD and anxiety. And then she recommended that I see a psychiatrist and potentially get on medication. So at the time, I said to my parents who didn’t really understand ADHD, I said, I’m going to take medication, I have an ADHD diagnosis. I’m not looking for an excuse. I’m just, there’s an explanation. I’m just sharing this with you. And I’m going on medication. Because I told myself at the time, I want to see how my clients feel medication. So I said I was going to try it for two weeks. When I first tried it, I had palpitations and I almost got off of it. But I spoke to the pharmacist and she said no standing for two weeks, you can do this with the meds blah, blah, you can do half you can do every other day said okay, fine. So I did and then afterwards, it all worked. So I was able to just connect the dots, right? Because the synapses in our brain are now connecting and producing dopamine and neurotransmitters regularly.

Kristen Carder 13:06
So a novel, right?

Brooke Schnittman 13:09
So all of a sudden, I started feeling so much more confident. Even so I had the coaching for a year wasn’t even ADHD specific. But during that time, I started understanding my strengths, my weaknesses, and how I can execute big tasks. So that opened something up for me, then the medication was that triage effect. And put it all together. And I am like walking on water. Right? Yeah, I said, Whoa, is this how people think this is how people are supposed to feel is like when I literally got my glasses when I was in college for the first time. Now I’m on a low dose, I’m on 10 milligrams of Adderall, I started on five, I only take one a day. So it wears off mid day, I don’t feel the need for me to take another but because of that I am able to be in control of what I want to be in control of. So I have the tools from being coached and coaching. And I have the medication, which is an extra tool to help me stay focused on the things that I need to stay focused on.

Kristen Carder 14:15
Yeah, yeah. So good. I love that you’re describing like a multifaceted approach, because I think that it is very rare to choose one tool and have that one tool, kind of quote, unquote, fix everything, you know, where it’s like, Oh, I’m just gonna take medication. I think people assume that medication is enough. And usually not, you know, it’s usually not because there’s such a wide skill gap in what we haven’t learned in the ways that our brain hasn’t yet developed. And so we have to develop those executive functions and we have to build those skills and tools and we have to learn how to prioritize like, medication doesn’t help you learn how to prioritize it doesn’t show you what’s really important to you and what Like how you want to spend your time it will help you manage your time. But it’s not going to help you make those decisions on like, what’s the most important priority? What’s the highest priority tasks? What’s the lowest priority to ask? You know, that’s just a silly example. But being able to dive into coaching therapy, and then even like tools like exercise and nutrition, like all of it, when you it’s like Power Rangers, like our powers combined. Is it Power Rangers? Yeah.

Brooke Schnittman 15:30
Sorry, but you know what, our kids are watching it, too. Now?

Kristen Carder 15:32
Are they really? Okay, good, because I’m dating myself.

Brooke Schnittman 15:37
Ranger. That’s what I remember. There you go. There you go.

Kristen Carder 15:40
Yeah. So it’s like all of those powers combined allows us to function at our highest potential.

Brooke Schnittman 15:47
Absolutely. So I mentioned I’ve had it for six years, or I’ve been diagnosed and trying to figure things out. I felt really good. Once I got coach started, the medication started, you know, just working to my potential. But then life happens, then I mean, my husband, then we and then we bring a two year old in so I have a toddler. Now, obviously, she wasn’t two when we brought her in, but now she’s too. So life circumstances change. And with that, ADHD symptoms manifest differently. Plus, I’m turning 40. So is there some perimenopause? I don’t know, my body doesn’t work the same way. My hormones are, you know, a thing. So, right. So now I’m seeing an EMDR therapist and uncovering so much, and paths are doing ifs and EMDR.

Kristen Carder 16:40
Oh, my gosh, I’m so proud of you.

Brooke Schnittman 16:43
Thank you, thank you so much hard work, such hard work. And I’m feeling things again, that I haven’t felt for, like 2030 years, which is hard. But you know, it’s I’m finally ready to show up in that way. And of course, there’s other things that I’m doing like nutrition, as you mentioned, taking different supplements, seeing a functional medicine doctor. So there’s so much it takes a village, it

Kristen Carder 17:10
takes a village of support, for sure. Do you think that you would have had the capacity to do the work with EMDR and IFS therapy? Had you not been diagnosed and treated for ADHD? Do you think you would have gotten there? No. No, because you say more.

Brooke Schnittman 17:27
When I was seeing a talk therapist, I got anxious talking about my anxiety. There were so much that I wasn’t working towards it was more about talking about the past and how to move forward and actionable tools. And I was so overwhelmed at that time that I don’t think I had the space because I had a toxic boss it just like the situation wasn’t good. I don’t think I was mature enough. I don’t think I had the headspace and the knowledge and understanding. I think, honestly, I needed the coaching. And I’m not just saying this because I am a coach. Again, I didn’t even know I was being coached at the time until I became a coach that’s coaching. Once I received the coaching, that’s when things started showing up for me, I started attracting the person I wanted to be with for the rest of my life. I then realized that ADHD then I all these things, it was like one step after another. And then I finally felt like I had the tools I needed. But there was this other piece that still wasn’t being attended to yet. And then I had this space for the MDR. If I try that when I didn’t know I have ADHD, I don’t know if it would work properly too. Because some of the things that are suggested in EMDR or and IFS is homework tools and focusing in and I tell my therapist and like I can’t do that. I don’t remember to do that. Can we break it down in a smaller way so I can remember it and make this easier. So at least I’m able to have language to use during that session. So it’s not overwhelming. Oh,

Kristen Carder 19:09
my gosh, I love that you as a successful professional, badass woman will still say to your therapist, I’m not going to be doing that homework, you’re going to need to break it down. Realize that for all of us, because I think we have this perception that a successful person would never, you know not do the homework perfectly or a successful person would never admit to, you know, another adult that they’re that they struggle but like yeah, hi, I’m not going to do that. You’re gonna need to break it down. You’re gonna need to make it easy by size or does not expect me to do it. Like give me something else.

Brooke Schnittman 19:47
Exactly. And with inter family systems, which is ifs. We talk about parts and how they all have a part of us, right. So I was talking to another therapist. I’m like I’m having trouble. Well visualizing my parts. So she said, How about you make them people at a conference room, and they all get dressed up? Very, and you talk to those people. And because I have a community of experts and educators in the ADHD space, that gives me again, more ideas and more language to integrate into the things that I’m working through. Yep,

Kristen Carder 20:26
I love it. I love it. Let’s transition into the work that you do. So we were talking about this before we started recording, but I refer all of anybody who comes to me who says, Hey, I have a kid who has ADHD, I need support for him or her. I refer all of them to you, because you will, I am really sweet. But also you, you know what you’re doing, and you help a lot of people and you work with school aged children. Yes. So I’m so grateful for that. Because you know, in focus, we only see people who are 18 Plus, but there’s a lot of people obviously in the world, you know, in school, school age that needs support that need executive function coaching that need a guide and a coach to help them. So tell us about the work that you do with school aged kiddos? Absolutely.

Brooke Schnittman 21:16
So when I was a special education teacher, I got my master’s in students with disabilities, I noticed that in sixth grade, there was already so that’s the grade that I was working with, there was already a beginning. I idea from these kiddos that like I’m not good enough, or I can’t do this, or, you know, I’m not like them, I’ll never be right, it already that message was already being received. And then being a third loan, now almost 40 year old adults. And you know, having seen adults, like if we could target and help and educate and make children aware of their strengths and their weaknesses at a young age eight, up, right, then we can start bridging the gap, which is a lot smaller than what it is as an adult. So all the trauma that you and I have gone through all the negative messages that we’ve received, will be so much less as a child and the bullying, the shame, all of that I’m not saying that it’s going to be avoided completely, but at least they’ll have the tools and the awareness of how their brain works. So they can operate and have their own manual to thrive. And then their parents can also help them as well and understand them. So the goal with working with kids is that they have the independence and empowerment to work in a way that works for them in school, whether it be public, private, whatever, before they go to a more restrictive environment. So a lot of kids go from public school to home school or private school or residential, because they don’t know how to work with themselves or teachers don’t know how to work with them stuff that parents might not know. And it’s no blame to anyone, it’s just, they never been taught this. So if we could help them right away, they won’t have to feel like they’re a failure because they’re getting bullied or they’re getting moved to a different class or a different school. Those are all messages that they hear that they say to themselves, like I couldn’t make it, I couldn’t be like them. So we help them with their executive functions, help them create a study guide where they can take a look at what’s coming up plan ahead. Right, because our executive functions are still developing until age 25, and sometimes even to 30. So we tried to build those skills up at a young age so they can continue to build. Another thing is I’ve worked with some college students, and they’ve come to me and they’re they’re so smart in high school, right? They’re still smart in college. And they’re in honors programs, and they’re failing. They’re in honors colleges, and they’re failing because they never, they always just got by because they were marked. So you have the kid who might be average IQ to below and not be able to compensate as much as a really smart kid or even really smart kids might not be able to compensate because they can’t get out of their own way. They might have sensory issues, they might have organizational issues that impair them. So if we can target students and give them those tools to thrive, they feel the goal is for them to feel like when they become an adult. They are more confident and now they can go into adulthood with more tools and level the playing field for when they become an adult.

Kristen Carder 24:55
That’s so good. So do you work in a one on one pacity with these Yes, students, or is it group or like how does like what’s the structure like?

Brooke Schnittman 25:05
Yeah, so one on one was students, we’ve tried groups in the past, and because they have ADHD, and we also work online, it wasn’t the best structure. So we do 40 minutes. And optimal focus time is 10 to 40 minutes or 40 minutes online, figure out what’s coming up academically, help them come up with a plan, what’s not working at home and at school, understand what their executive functions weaknesses and sharing started by taking an assessment before the coaching starts their learning styles, so auditory kinesthetic, visual, and we meet for 40 minutes per week of texting back and forth to to make sure that they’re keeping up with the plan, nice, they don’t have a cell phone, then we’ll reach out to the parents, and they’ll show it to the child or email. And we also are in touch with the school, the therapists and psychiatrists, because as we said, it’s a village. So sometimes the school might come to us and say, Hey, we don’t know how to support Johnny. Or we might say, hey, you know, we’ve looked at Johnny’s IEP, have you considered giving him this support, because we noticed that he zones off at 1pm, during the day, or, you know, so we try to help there by communicating and also in the 40 minutes, helping them come up with a plan so they can execute that plan, in school and outside of school. So

Kristen Carder 26:37
as a parent, hearing all that you do to support the kids, I’m just, that must be such a relief for parents that you take that off of their plate.

Brooke Schnittman 26:46
Yeah, yeah, it’s. So I have two sons with ADHD. So I get it personally. And it’s hard. It’s really hard for parents, because we know that most parents who have kids with ADHD have ADHD themselves, right. So they might not have been given the tools to regulate themselves. Now you have a child who is reminding you of yourself. And then there’s all these other emotions that are showing up for the parent, and they break down and then it becomes his battle. And it’s war. And that’s not what the parents want for their kids, they want a happy household, they want peace, they want love. And when the homework becomes such a battle, then they just put their hands up sometimes, because they’ve tried everything. And sometimes the kid flounders because they don’t get the support. Or maybe the parent doesn’t necessarily, like we also work with parents to give them the tools to help their kids. So it could be either way, it could be both it could be want the student or the parent. But sometimes the parents don’t know how to support an ADHD child to or might need some more unbiased support. Because, again, I’m an ADHD parent with ADHD. And I’m sometimes so wrapped up in the emotional piece of it that I can’t see through the glass, right. So it’s just helpful to have that. And of course, we’re not in their house 24/7. So the parent knows better than we do, right. But that’s why the parent needs to be involved to some extent, so they know what we’re doing with the child. And then when the goal is that we go away eventually, and that the child has the tools to regulate themselves and flourish. It’s not like a tutor, where, you know, we’re constantly working with them, because they’re lower in math or reading, we’re just giving them the tools and supporting them with their weaknesses. So they have the skills in school and at home.

Kristen Carder 28:50
When I owned a tutoring center, and of course, attracted so many people with ADHD, accidentally, and worked with so many students with ADHD, what I saw over and over were, first exactly what you’re describing where, you know, the, the parent themselves has ADHD, and then they’re, they’re just like, so wrapped up in the emotion and they really want a happy household, but they’re also really triggered by their kid. And like, I will raise my hand and say, same I am 100%. So triggered by my own kids. And it makes it a really volatile environment sometimes, but then I also saw on the flip side of that, a lot of denial. So parents who probably had ADHD, but they just like, pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, and they were like, they made it through school and they think their kid should be able to also and like, I don’t know what this kid’s complaining about. And it’s so easy as a parent to kind of normalize these symptoms because you struggled with this. Right? And so it is your normal, you don’t realize that it’s actually like a clinical diagnosis and then it’s not actually quote unquote no Learn more. And so there is also like a lot of denial that I’ve seen with parents and like, you know, my kids should be able to and hearing the same things, was actually very activating for me a lot to sit across from a parent who would say the same things about their own kid that my parents wouldn’t say about me. Like, they’re so smart. I don’t know why they just can’t get it together. Or, like, if they would just apply themselves, they would do so well, like hearing those types of phrases and being like. Exactly. Like, I feel like that’s such a beautiful place of advocacy. So I just want to thank you for the work that you do and, and just know like, that is such a beautiful place of advocacy to say, like to look up here and in the face and be like, well, actually, no, they shouldn’t be able to just do it. Because this is actually harder for them than it is for any other kiddo. Yeah. And yeah, I just don’t know if you have thoughts about that. Or if you find yourself in those kinds of situations, I do actually

Brooke Schnittman 31:06
the person that and thank you so much for having so much trust in us, the person that your company referred us to Kristen and I were talking right before this. She’s a mom without giving too much information away with a baby and an eight year old, and a husband who does not have ADHD, but she has ADHD, and this eight year old has ADHD. And she said that the school said Your son’s gonna have to repeat second grade, if he doesn’t get it together in these next two months. And I have to be honest, the same thing. I’m hearing about my stepson, and it’s disheartening. Yeah, so she was like, I have been receiving adult, one on one, ADHD coaching. And my coach kept saying, Get an ADHD coach for your son, get an ADHD coach for your son, get an ADHD coach for your son. She said, When I work with him, when the mom works with him, he does better. He’s smart, he’s capable, but I can’t do it anymore. To the extent I have a baby. And you know, there’s behavioral stuff now, because of course, right? Like, you’re the parent, the child might say, Oh, well, you know, you don’t do this for my other sibling. Why are you doing it with me? Like I’m different. I’m not good enough. All of these things. So it looks like we’re going to work together. But it’s really hard sometimes for parent to distinguish that. And that’s why the reverse diagnosis happens so often where the kid gets diagnosed first, and then the parents, because they’re like, oh, yeah, I did that. Oh, wait a second. He has ADHD. She has a huge Oh, maybe I do. And then yeah, that awareness starts clicking, year after year, after year, after year after year, the more you know, hmm. And then, as I mentioned, and I’m just gonna be vulnerable here for a second, like, I work with my stepson, when he comes to our house, he does well when he’s with us, right, but he doesn’t have an executive function coach when he goes to the other side of the family. So at that point, right, so now you have a split household, you don’t have someone working with you, they’re the same way. The kiddo is failing, because of the grades there. So it’s really, really challenging sometimes, because there’s different family dynamics. As

Kristen Carder 33:35
Yeah, I’m really appreciate you sharing that. And I think that it can be so hard to offer our children help that we never received. And it takes a lot of maturity, to be able to look at a kiddo who’s struggling. And, you know, nobody knows your child better than you are, when they’re, when they’re little one. Right? And, and to look at them and to know like, I really think that they are a good person. And I really think they’re capable of more. And so to be able to offer them support, even though we never received support, and maybe even even though we’re withholding support from ourselves, currently, currently. I think that’s you that can be Yeah, it’s huge. And I think also just the release of like, hey, we don’t have to do this life alone. Like in America, we’re so individualistic, but we’re not meant to actually be so isolated and it is okay to lean on other people for support, especially experts who know more about a certain way of functioning you know, like an ADHD coach and executive function coach like a therapist, a play therapist, you know, like all Have these different experts that we can lean on? We don’t have to do it alone. And it’s okay to give our kids support and it’s okay to receive support ourselves think

Brooke Schnittman 35:08
that growing up. So, again, you and I are around the same age. Our parents were told no, you don’t take your child to a therapist. That means if something’s wrong with them, No, you don’t do this because it gets onto their permanent record or whatever. Right? So our parents are so ingrained in that, like, No, you don’t expose your symptoms. Even now, with social media, I still hear it from my parents or in laws or whatever, like, how, how are these people sharing acts? Like, why are they sharing as well? It’s for awareness. Right? So society, as you said, is not meant to do anything alone. And we are social beings. That is why we exist, right? That’s why depression and anxiety spiked after COVID Because we were isolated. So it is so hard to ask for help. Whether you’re neurotypical or neurodivergent, then you add ADHD in the mix, and you’re almost like gaslighting yourself. Because you’re like, No, no, they, I’m just going to pretend like everything is okay. They can’t see what I’m doing. I don’t deserve help, I need to figure it out on my own, because that’s how I’ve functioned for so long. And it’s really sad. But when people get, it’s so sad, like, six year olds, seven year olds are finally getting the help they deserve. Right.

Kristen Carder 36:43
I know, I have 60 and 70 year old clients in my program, and I, first of all, I’m in awe of them, yeah, to do the work of getting a diagnosis, and then to do the work of like reaching out for help and getting coaching. So we all wish our parents would do that. thing. It’s amazing. But then also to think of like, first of all, all of the grief that comes along with that. But then to think of like our grandmothers, and our great grandmother’s and our grandparents like ADHD was definitely existed. genetic lineage, right? Absolutely. But they didn’t have the privilege of knowing. And I’m sure they thought like, there’s something wrong with me, I should be able to do this. Why? Why is it so hard for

Brooke Schnittman 37:30
me? Absolutely. Absolutely. My husband’s dad, he passed away. Actually, he was his biological grandpa, but he adopted him. And he said, Yeah, my dad used to start all these businesses and, and drop them and start them and drop them. And he was creative. And he was a visionary above advise, like he definitely had ADHD. So yes, not to say that everyone with ADHD needs coaching, but to be able to know how you function and yeah, live outside of the way that you’ve been living to create something that’s different and new. It’s amazing. At any age.

Kristen Carder 38:13
Yes. Never too late.

Brooke Schnittman 38:16
It’s not Never Too Late our brain and I don’t care if anyone who’s listening has been told that they can’t change their brain. I remember a client came to us one time and said, Oh, I saw someone and they said that my brain can’t change. I’m like, what? Why are you out of? Yeah, I want to know who that person is. But no, your brain can change. And it’s the neuroplasticity. And the more you work on it, the more the neurons and the synapses change. The more you stop working on it. Of course, it atrophies. But yeah,

Kristen Carder 38:52
yep, yep. Yeah. Amazing. What would you say to parents, like, could you just give a little pep talk to the parents who have ADHD kids? Maybe they’re struggling with their ADHD the kids are struggling with their ADHD. I feel like this whole episode has been a pep talk. But like as we kind of wrap up, what’s your pep talk for these parents of kiddos who are struggling? Me, your

Brooke Schnittman 39:17
child where they are, don’t compare yourself, your children to your neighbors, you don’t know what really goes on behind closed doors. Your child who has ADHD likely has a 30% delay in social and emotional intelligence. So if they’re 10, they might act like they’re seven. Okay? So it’s really important to just meet your child where they are dropped the expectations and love them. And remember the good times have pictures of good great memories. So you’re looking for the good, not always the bad because again, your child is receiving so many negative messages that they just want to To save and loved, and it’s okay if you can’t do it all. That’s why there’s experts out there like Kristin like me, like there’s, there’s, you know, tutors, therapists, whatever it is, who could give you free advice to and tell you where to go. So you don’t have to do it all on your own and do not compare yourself or your child to anyone else because you do not know their story.

Kristen Carder 40:21
Huh? Gosh, that is incredible advice. And I’m going to just tuck it away in my own little heart as the parent of two neurodivergent kids who one of whom is like really struggling. And when I look at my friends, kids, I’m just like, Ah, it’s so unfair. And I think there is an aspect of that, that we have to accept, like, unfair, right, but also, my kid is my kid. And I don’t need to be looking outside at other people’s kids and kind of envying their own journey,

Brooke Schnittman 40:52
it’s a lot harder, right to raise a neurodivergent child, but at the same time, the love that you can receive from them the creativity that you can receive to them. There’s so many amazing qualities that are there, once we love. And also this goes for anyone, make sure you’re taking care of yourself. Because if you are so dependent on your children’s well being and I know, as a parent, I get wrapped up into that too. But we have to be interdependent, we have to have other things that we can focus on. So we can fill ourselves up and not hyper stress over our children 100% Because they can then feel that too. And then they feel worse. tarping a parent

Kristen Carder 41:40
home so hard. So hard. Being a parent that is so true. Tell people where to find your work. So if a parent is listening in, they’re like, yes. Oh my gosh, I need you. Where do they go? Sure.

Brooke Schnittman 41:54
So the main platforms Instagram coaching with Brooke with an E or my website coaching with brooke.com. And if you DM us on Instagram, e f quest like question, you can get a free executive function questionnaire assessment with ideas on how to modify and accommodate your child at school and at home. Or you can just DM us ready on Instagram, and you get a 20 to 30 minute complimentary discovery call.

Kristen Carder 42:26
Oh my gosh, that’s awesome. Yeah, hello, everyone could take advantage of that immediately. Thank you. That’s awesome. Thank you. So I want to know, what are some of your like pet peeves in the ADHD space. So I just want to talk as colleagues and you know, if what you came here for was to learn about ADHD coaching for kids. Great. You got what you needed. But also I want to hear the tea. And Miss Brooke. What’s been on your mind lately? Like, what would you like to rage about? Is there anything kind of in the back of your mind? Oh, you’re just like super happy, you know, with the HD space? HD coaching.

Brooke Schnittman 43:11
We love to stir up controversy, Kristen, we tell our brain gets dopamine. Isn’t that the truth. When Kristen and I started ADHD coaching, there were not many people in the space. And now, since the pandemic, a lot of people have discovered that they have ADHD. And the coaching industry in general has skyrocketed. Hundreds of 1000s of people are coaches. And I think 60 There was a 60% increase from 2021 to 2023. Which is wonderful, because I think everyone needs a coach, I need a coach, right. But at the same time, I think there are coaches doing their thing, right, like are trying to help people and then some people with ADHD or some coaches even will come into the space of people who are trying to educate like this has happened to me personally, and discredit some of the things that are said, based on what they think might be true or to build their own following. And there’s also people who come to me for discovery calls and they’re like, I was told XY and Z about what I should be doing with my path or I was told this and then I’m like, oh my god like you. I feel so bad for people who are diagnosed with ADHD now because there’s so much out there so much ADHD coaching, a lot of misinformation. You really have to do your homework. Like, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a new coach, right? New coaches can be amazing, right? So it’s not just experienced that you have to make sure that the information that they’re sharing is real and that they’re not doing you a disservice so that when you’re looking for a coach, please do your homework. Anyone who’s listening, get references from people that that coached, look at their experience, make sure that you have a good fit with a person that you connect with them. And they’re not just trying to sell you like their program, right? Like they’re actually meeting you where you are, and are working with you. So I think that would be my biggest thing. I think a lot of people are capitalizing on the coaching piece. And I think people really need to take a step back and understand why they’re becoming a coach. And I’ll give you an example like I had. It’s not just one thing, right? Like, I can talk forever. I love it. I mean, I have coaches coming up to me all the time saying, How did you do what you’re doing? And I’ll give them all the information. But the very first question I asked them is, do you be as a are interested in growing their business and multiple coaches? I said, Are you doing it for impact? And to help more people with ADHD? Are you doing it for money?

Kristen Carder 45:59
Yep, impact your income? Correct.

Brooke Schnittman 46:02
If you’re doing you look for impact, I will give you my tools from A to Z, I will give it all laid out on a silver platter. If you’re doing it to make more money. You’re not first of all, it’s gonna be really, really hard to make more money having more coaches, right, that doesn’t necessarily generate more income to your bottom line. It might give you more gross, but not more net. Yeah. And sometimes the more you build, the less impact, right? The less hands on you are right, the more you care about income. So really, if you’re a coach, just ask yourself, like, why am I doing this? Am I doing this? Because I want to impact people and give them the tools that I didn’t get growing up or I want to just help more people? If that’s the answer. Wonderful. Keep doing what you’re doing. Yeah, if it’s about the money, take a step back because it will come out eventually. If it’s just because of the money coaching, like in education, right? Like people don’t become a teacher because they want to make a lot of money. Oh, you and I were there. Right? Like, yeah, I made a decent living. But it wasn’t like astronomical like people. Yeah. So anyway, that’s that’s my that’s my so

Kristen Carder 47:17
much. Yeah. And I think that what needs to be really understood in the coaching world is that, like, it was pretty easy to make money in 2020. Yes. But it’s a different world. Now. Yes, it’s a totally different world. And so you don’t just become a coach and automatically have clients, nobody rolls out the red carpet for you. I tell my coaches all the time. I have a very small certification that I do. And I keep it really, really small on purpose, because because anyway, we’ve already we don’t need to talk about it. But one of the things that I say as they’re applying is like, Listen, this is like, yeah, you can become a coach. But learning the business of coaching takes forever and building an audience becoming an entrepreneur, like that’s a whole other skill set. So it is not a get rich, quick scheme. It is not at all and like could you just could could we focus on the impact? And I love that, like, what are we really focused on? What do we really want? If you want to make an impact? Amazing. If you want to make money, there’s probably easier ways to do it.

Brooke Schnittman 48:24
Yes, yes. And you know what, this is my sixth year in the business and year after year, I’ve made more money but this year, specifically things have pivoted right, because there are the sea has flooded 100% And that presents great if people aren’t getting the help that they need, and they deserve. Right, but exactly don’t do it for the money. Yeah, that’s so good. And so with that being said, I am starting something in the next month or two to help coaches grow their business, because ADHD coaches specific because people do want to be in this field of growing coaches. Right and but like i i would prefer to give them the tools the right way and make sure that ethically Yes, yes, for

Kristen Carder 49:17
sure. Are there any ADHD like topics or symptoms or ADHD things that you kind of look at in the industry and just roll your eyes at like, Are there any controversies in the ADHD space that you’re just like, oh my gosh, can people stop talking about that?

Brooke Schnittman 49:36
I think this is gonna come off wrong and I know I’m gonna get a lot of hate for this but now

Kristen Carder 49:42
we love you love you don’t make a real about it.

Brooke Schnittman 49:47
Please don’t ADHD is an explanation not an excuse, right. So I get is a disorder I get it’s hard. I get it. Right and it’s hard. For some people than others, right, but we need to take a look outwards for a second and say like, what can we do to help ourselves right? And not use it as an excuse for everything. And I think the majority of people don’t use it for an excuse, right? I think they feel accepted by being in a community hearing. Other people say, like laughing about symptoms, or this now they find that scene, but like, social media is fake, right? Then there’s a whole life outside of social media, what are you doing for yourself, to really feel empowered to get yourself out of that rut, and it can be hard, but like, instead of leaning into the weaknesses, and, you know, creating your life, around your weaknesses, try so hard, as hard as you can to focus on your purpose, your passion, your strengths, because you can capitalize on those, you can feel better, you can feel less stress and depressed and anxious. You can, there’s hope for you out there. You might have not found it yet. But talk to Chris and talk to me talk to other educated ADHD coaches out there, you can do it. I was there at one point. Ramen promise you, there’s hope.

Kristen Carder 51:16
I love that. Because I think that there’s this very fine line between validation. And like really feeling like you said, accepted a part of a community. And all that is good, and it’s valuable, and it’s necessary, but then also, at what point? Are we just enabling each other to not take responsibility for the hand that we were dealt? Yeah, like we were dealt a raw deal without ADHD? Darn it. Okay, but like, now that we know, what are we gonna do? Like, how are we going to take responsibility for that? How are we going to put one foot in front of the other and make sure that we’re not just enabling each other to like, laugh at the symptoms and then not do anything? Yes.

Brooke Schnittman 52:01
And I know, and I know, there’s gonna be people out there who’s gonna watch this, right? Because it’s gonna be on YouTube, right? And I’m gonna be like, Oh, these are two white women who are right who are privileged. Right? But I promise you both Chris and I, everything that we’ve done in our life, is because we did it, right. We built ourselves and you can, too, right? Yeah, whether you’re white, you’re a woman, you’re not like, you don’t necessarily need to buy coaching, you don’t necessarily need to have all the resources, right? Just like, listen to this podcast, you know, soak in the information, because we’re lifelong learners with ADHD. And figure out, even if it’s free, like go to add a go to Chad, you know, do those free support groups do something, right? To get that accountability to get the information and accountability to apply the right information?

Kristen Carder 53:05
I can just see your heart in like, there is hope. You don’t need to feel stuck. You don’t need to say like, Well, yeah, but like, I don’t come from economic privilege or like I’m in an abusive relationship, like all of that might be true. And that does make it harder. Yes. But there is still hope. And I think that that is like the theme of just, there’s hope for you. There’s hope for your kid, there is hope. It doesn’t have to stay the same. Take advantage of free resources. If you have money, hire coaches, go to therapy, like put that one foot in front of the other, whatever that looks like for you. If it’s free resources, if it’s paid resources, know that you deserve resources. You deserve support, you deserve that scaffolding, and there is hope of change. You mentioned neuroplasticity, I love that topic. Because from the cradle to the grave, the brain can and will change. It’s painful. It’s not really that fun. But it does make improvements. And so that hope is always there that somebody can change. Yes,

Brooke Schnittman 54:09
yes. I mean, if you’re listening to this podcast, you are doing something, right. So kudos to you for getting that awareness. And being in some sort of community by listening, or by following I have ADHD or coaching or whatever, right? Or going to some free conferences or workshops or whatever, right? Start there. Then listen to your intuition. Because that will guide you on what’s next. Don’t follow what everyone else is saying. Listen to your intuition. We have such a good sixth sense with ADHD. We just don’t follow it. So do that. Do

Kristen Carder 54:49
that. Do that. Just do it. The No. I love it is so good. I adore you. Thank you for being here. Thank you for being a trusted colleague. I want to spend more time with you and I know that I think this episode is going to be so valuable especially to parents of kids with ADHD everybody go follow coaching with Brooke on Instagram and her website and all of the things. Thanks for being here.

Brooke Schnittman 55:15
Thank you for having me.

Kristen Carder 55:17
If you’re being treated for your ADHD, but you still don’t feel like you’re reaching your potential you’ve got to join focused. It’s my monthly coaching membership where I teach you how to tame your wild thoughts and create the life that you’ve always wanted. No matter what season of life you’re in, or where you are in the world focused is for you. All materials and call recordings are stored in the site for you to access at your convenience. Go to Ihaveadhd.com/focus for all the info.

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