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How to Become a Certified ADHD Coach – Best Certification Programs

Last updated on March 10, 2024

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is accompanied by symptoms like over-activity, impulsiveness, difficulty focusing, and poor time management skills, all of which can make keeping a healthy balance in work, life, and relationships a true challenge. However, the story doesn’t end there. Individuals with ADHD can take over control, manage their symptoms, and lead a more focused and fulfilled life with the guidance of a specific life coach professional—an ADHD coach.  

How to become a certified ADHD coach and pursue this rewarding career? Read on to discover the best certification programs in this field.

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What Is an ADHD Coach?

Just like in any other form of life coaching, ADHD coaches help individuals overcome roadblocks and live a more fulfilled life. Individuals with ADHD usually seek the guidance of a coach to improve their time management and problem-solving skills, and their ability to concentrate.

ADHD coaches can help their clients with:

  • Setting goals 
  • Organization 
  • Maintaining focus
  • Healthy decision-making
  • Prioritizing tasks 
  • Staying motivated
  • Avoiding procrastination 
  • Time management strategies
  • Boosting confidence
  • Controlling and dealing with stress and impulses 
  • Improving memory 

It’s important to emphasize that ADHD coaches aren’t psychologists,therapists, or healthcare professionals, and they can’t alter a client’s condition. The goal of ADHD coaching is to empower clients to achieve success despite any obstacles they may face, including symptoms associated with ADHD.

What does ADHD coaching involve? The core of ADHD coaching involves assisting clients to enhance their efficiency, simplify their tasks, and manage the challenges of living with ADHD.

How Is ADHD Coaching Different from Life Coaching? 

ADHD coaches are specialty coaches who need to understand how the human brain works (this is a psychiatric disorder, after all) how ADHD manifests, and how it is treated. The niche demands that coaches learn the ins and outs of ADHD to be able to form a plan and guide clients toward improvement. 

Life coaches don’t need to specialize in this condition, but it can be helpful if they know some basics, since this can help identify the symptoms and direct clients with ADHD to a certified ADHD coach.

How Do You Coach Clients with ADHD?

Coaches offer guidance to clients by providing feedback, practical advice, and motivation to overcome their specific challenges. They also provide support and hold clients accountable for implementing necessary strategies. 

Depending on the individual’s needs, coaches can suggest time management techniques or provide reminders to help clients stay on track. Some of the key techniques that you’ll use as a coach are consistent communication, regular meetings, and check-ins.

How Do I Become an ADHD Coach?

First and foremost, ADHD coaches need to possess a comprehensive knowledge of this disorder and its impact on daily activities. What’s the most structured and guided way of learning about ADHD? Enrolling in an ADHD certificate program.

What is ADHD certification, and how can it help you with your business? Certification isn’t mandatory to work as an ADHD coach, but it does help with building trust and marketing your business.

Certification programs, with their well-designed curriculums, can save you the time you’d otherwise spend on endless research and sketchy sources. They offer a proven toolkit and science-based information for coaching clients with ADHD. Thus, with this single step, you can gain both knowledge and practice for becoming a certified ADHD coach.

Can I Become a Certified ADHD Coach Without Going Through PAAC?

PAAC certification is often mentioned in the ADHD coaching world, so let’s clarify what it entails and why it’s important. 

The Professional Association of ADHD Coaches (PAAC) is a global organization that certifies and accredits ADHD coaches. This accrediting body is the gold standard for credentialing in this coaching field.

A PAAC certification indicates that you have fulfilled the mandatory coach training prerequisites and specialized training criteria in the field of ADHD coaching.

Another renowned accrediting entity in the coaching industry is the International Coaching Federation (ICF). While you can become a certified coach or a certified ADHD coach without going through ICF or PAAC, PAAC is the sole organization that provides unbiased certification for ADHD coaches. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing an ADHD Certificate Program

To choose the most suitable ADHD coach certification for your specific needs and situation, you should take into account these important factors.

Program Cost

ADHD coach certification cost is one of the key decision-making components. Full programs generally come with a fee of several thousand dollars. If you want a one-off course for professional development, you can expect to pay around $500. 

Course Length

Do you have coaching goals that limit your available time for education? This could play a crucial role in choosing a certification program. Since coaching hours are typically one of the requirements, you’ll need to be ready to invest at least several months to be certified. 

Accreditation

As we mentioned above, getting an ICF or PAAC accreditation isn’t a requirement for becoming a certificated ADHD coach; however, these two credentials will help you with gaining recognition and validation that can attract clients and assure them of your expertise in this area and in the field of coaching. With ADHD being a neurodevelopmental disorder, clients will look for a professional who fully comprehends their condition and has gone through training—and that’s why PAAC and ICF will matter. 

Best ADHD Certificate Programs

Leveled Learning Option: ADD Coach Academy (ADDCA)

ADD Coach Academy (ADDCA) is the pioneer and most extensive program for comprehensive ADHD coach training. It is accredited by both PAAC and ICF. 

They offer Basic & Advanced Programs for ADHD & Life Coach Training Certification. The Advanced Program includes the courses from the Basic Program—Simply ADHD Course, Personal Transformation (PT) Course, and Basic Coaching Skills Course—plus an extensive Advanced Coaching Skills Course.

ADD Coach Academy (ADDCA) – ADHD & Life Coach Training Certification.

You’ll learn in a virtual classroom where you’ll have practical exercises and mentor coaching, work with learning partners, and receive input on your required CSP (Coaching Skills Practicum) recordings from a certified assessor. 

  • Course Length: 36 weeks–Basic Program; 52 weeks–Advanced Program
  • Program Cost: $6,135–Basic Program; $11,503–Advanced Program
  • Accreditation: PAAC; ICF
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Holistic Option: ADHD Coach Training Center (IACTCenter) 

What put ADHD Coach Training Center (iACTcenter) on the map in the coaching industry is their unique and effective coaching strategy which involves a holistic approach to helping individuals with ADHD. Through their program, they’ll equip you with the proficiency to observe your client holistically, including the influence of cultural background, emotions, familial relationships, surroundings, and ADHD treatment. You’ll learn how to utilize clients’ personal strengths and recognize the significance of individuals’ differences.

Even though iACTcenter isn’t PAAC accredited, it does uphold ICF accreditation, so upon graduation, you will be a Certified ADHD Life Coach (CALC). This program provides advanced ADHD education, proven coaching tools, exercises, ADHD life coach observations, interaction with other students, and coach mentoring.

ADHD Coach Training Center (IACTCenter) – ADD Life Coach Certification Online

Another benefit of this course is that it comes with a bonus workshop on ADHD Informational and Business Building, which will prepare you for successfully launching a coaching practice. 

On top of everything above, iACTcenter offers a variety of workshops if you’d like to enhance specific skills, for example, Strategic Business Planning Made Easy, Conversations to Clients, Group Coaching, and many more. 

  • Course Length: 6.5 weeks
  • Program Cost: $7,700
  • Accreditation: ICF
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Professional Development Option: Coach Approach for Organizers

If you want to have the option of both a full program and individual courses that can enhance your current expertise, the Coach Approach for Organizers may be what you’ve been looking for. The individual courses are less expensive than a full training program, so you can improve your specialty and skills without spending thousands of dollars. 

You can go with their 4-Course Foundation Package that includes Strengths-Based Coaching, Brain-Based Coaching, Life & ADHD Coaching, and Coach Integration courses. The only prerequisite is the Coaching Essentials course. 

Coach Approach for Organizers – Life & ADHD Coaching

Another possibility is to start with a single foundation course for ADHD coaching, such as Life & ADHD Coaching. There are also advanced stand-alone training courses that are open to Coach Approach graduates or those who have 60+ hours of coach-specific training and 75 paid client hours. Some of these courses are Neurodiversity Support & Advocacy and Coaching the ADHD Client.

  • Course Length: Depending on the course
  • Program Cost: Starts at $696
  • Accreditation: ICF
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Coaching Students Option: JST Coaching & Training

Are your target clients to be students and learners? JST Coaching & Training has specialty programs that are designed for teaching coaches how to work with students with ADHD.

JST has two suitable programs for ADHD coaches. The Empowering Students Through Coaching course is for those who are on the path to becoming a coach, and the Coaching Neurodiverse Learners course is suited for continuing education. 

JST Coaching & Training – Empowering Students Through Coaching

Empowering Students Through Coaching is a research-based coach training program that will help you reach a professional level of life coaching and ADHD coaching. The main focus is on providing you with knowledge and skills for coaching students (age 8 and up) and their families. You don’t need any experience to enroll in this course.

To be eligible for the Coaching Neurodiverse Learners program, you need at least 20 hours of coaching-specific training or participation in any of JST’s coach training programs. Some of the essential topics you’ll tackle are understanding neurodiversity, the impact of neurodiversity on the coaching process, neurodiversity as an inclusion strategy, and coaching strategies to support neurodiverse learners.

  • Course Length: Up to 6 months
  • Program Cost: $7,595–Empowering Students Through Coaching; $2,899–Coaching Neurodiverse Learners
  • Accreditation: ICF
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Positive Psychology Option: Mentor Coach 

Mentor Coach is a fully integrated ADHD coach training program that has been certifying coaches since 1997. What sets them apart is their extensive incorporation of positive psychology. In fact, they were the first to introduce positive psychology coaching.

The curriculum is divided into three levels. Level one provides you with the foundation for ADHD coaching and an understanding of positive psychology. In level two, you’ll gain relevant skills and techniques for working with ADHD individuals through mentoring and actual sessions. Upon completing this level, you’ll get a Certified ADHD MentorCoach (CAMC) and Certified MentorCoach Certification (which leads directly to ICF Certification).

Mentor Coach – ADHD Coaching Certification

The last level is for certified MentorCoach coaches, or those already ICF-certified coaches who wish to become a Professional Association for ADHD Coaches (PAAC) Certified ADHD Coach Practitioner (CACP) through MentorCoach.To get the PAAC and CACP certification, you’ll need to complete three Positive Psychology and ADHD coaching classes, pass an oral exam, pass an open book written exam, and have at least 150 hours of coaching ADHD clients.

You can get insight into MentorCoach with no strings attached by applying for their free workshop.

  • Course Length: Depends on the level
  • Program Cost: Level 1–$5,731; Level 2–$8,881; Level 3–$2,666
  • Accreditation: ICF; PAAC
  • Mode of Delivery: Online

Alternatives (non-niche)

If after reading the above you feel like you need to brush up on your general coaching skills before diving into a niche like ADHD Coaching, there are numerous life coaching programs that can help you with that.

Our favorites are Coach Training Alliance and Transformation Academy. Their programs are accredited, comprehensive, and practical. You can get a 50% discount on TA courses with our link. 

If you’d like to know more about these training programs, visit our TA and CTA reviews

FAQs

  • What is the average ADHD coach’s salary?

If you’re wondering how much do ADHD coaches charge, you can expect an average salary of $75,459 as an ADHD coach in the US, according to ZipRecruiter.

  • Do you need a certification to be an ADHD coach?

Even though certification isn’t a prerequisite, it does carry a lot of weight when you’re trying to gain trust from individuals looking for support with their neurodevelopmental disorder.

  • How much does an ADHD coach certification cost?

The cost can range anywhere from around $2,000 to $10,000 to become a certified ADHD coach. 

  • Does accreditation matter in an ADHD coach certification program?

While ADHD coaches don’t need to enroll in an accredited program, obtaining PAAC- or ICF-accredited certification is recommended since those credentials are necessary to be recognized as a Professional ADHD Coach.

  • What is the most recognized coaching certification? 

In the ADHD coaching community, accreditation beats the program’s name when it comes to recognition. Both clients and coaches will pay more attention to whether your training is accredited by ICF or PAAC than the particular program you have chosen since these accrediting entities represent the highest level of quality.

Conclusion

If you feel compelled to help people with ADHD, becoming an ADHD coach can create a life for you where every day is a rewarding challenge. The best way to excel in ADHD coaching and earn credibility is through an ADHD certificate program like ADD Coach Academy, iACTcenter, or any of the training organizations named previously. We hope our list of the most reputable certifications will help you find the right one. 

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