Ability Services - Building On Strengths

Programs and Services

Consultations are one-time meetings with a member of our clinical team. You may schedule a consultation in order to receive advice on a particular concern or to determine if on-going work is appropriate for you or your family. Initial consultations are also a required part of being considered for one of our group programs.

ADHD Evaluations
While there is no definitive test to diagnose ADHD, evaluation standards have been been established by medical and psychological associations. (To see these standards click on the National Institute of Mental Health guidelines for diagnosing ADHD). The Ability Resource Center evaluation and diagnostic process includes the use of a medical prescreen, an extensive clinical interview, ADHD rating scales, collaboration with other professionals, and a careful differential diagnosis. The diagnostic procedures we follow have been developed by three nationally known ADHD specialists. A typical evaluation requires three to five hours of clinical assessment.

Coaching / ADHD Coaching
Coaching is a supportive relationship that is client-centered, strength-based, results-oriented, and focused on specific goal achievement in daily life. It is designed to empower someone to understand their unique personal situation in life, and reach their defined goals. Coaching helps clients develop structures, strategies, and practical approaches to manage and overcome one's challenges, while relying on their strengths to achieve life success. Coaches provide a motivating environment to explore what their clients want, help them develop a plan to reach these goals, identify obstacles which need to be overcome, and provide support for each and every step of the way until goals are reached.

Coaching is different than mental health counseling. While traditional therapy focuses on the treatment of common mental health conditions, like depression or anxiety, the goal of coaching is more active and specific. Coaching almost exclusively focuses on goal achievement. Coaching is educational, goal oriented, and action focused. Coaches offer education, tools, and strategies to help children, adults and their families reach concrete goals and objectives. Coaching does not treat any mental health condition. While coaches may help clients directly with their thoughts, behaviors and emotions, the goal of coaching is on improving performance and assisting with goal achievement. If a client is experiencing significant mental health distress so that symptoms of distress are intruding in the client's ability to reach coaching goals and objectives, a referral to an outside mental health therapist will be made. Common circumstances where referrals to a therapist will be made include, but are not limited to, symptoms of severe depression, anxiety, out of control behavior, or the abuse of substances.

ADHD Coaching Is Effective

Several new research studies cite coaching as a particularly effective methodology of support for anyone living with ADHD. Coaching's focus on individualized instruction, pragmatic approaches, and regular contact responds to the exact types of executive function weaknesses people with ADHD experience. It directly supports the development of improved skills, while enabling someone with ADHD to "borrow" from the coach's executive function abilities.

Individual, Family, and Child Counseling
Counseling is the process of receiving support and guidance to help address a developmental, emotional, or family difficulty. For children with neuro-developmental differences and their families, counseling with a therapist who specializes in this area can offer helpful information, provide practical strategies, improve self-esteem, and enhance important life skills such as communication, social, decision making, and problem solving. Counseling can also help you develop specialized parenting approaches, resolve family conflicts, and improve academic performance. For adults with NAD, counseling improves self-understanding and provides a safe place to grieve losses. A therapist who understands the difficulties of living with neuro-developmental differences can help individuals develop practical strategies to compensate for areas of weakness, learn new skills, and make positive changes in order to achieve goals.

Mental Health Group Programs

Got Adult ADHD? Understand Your Brain and Get More Done! We offer an eight-week course in Ashland on Wednesdays from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., beginning on October 4, 2013. This course will cover current research in ADHD, why ADHD is really a disorder of executive functioning, research-based treatment approaches (medication and behavior treatment), as well as complementary and alternative treatments. The primary focus of the course will be on implementing pragmatic approaches to improve organization, planning, time management, problem solving, motivation, focus, project initiation and completion.
Adult Program Flyer
Parenting a Child or a Teen with Attention Differences (ADHD)? We offer an eight-week parent training course in Ashland on Wednesdays from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., beginning in January 2014. Topics covered include; basic education about ADHD, neuro-imaging and genetic research, medication and behavioral treatments, comprehensive ADHD assessment protocols, ADHD as executive functioning difficulties, complementary and alternative treatments, methods to improve your child's skill weaknesses, ways to collaborate with schools, 504 and IEP procedures, strategies for homework, and more. Research-based treatment methods will be emphasized.
Parent Program Flyer

Community Presentations

Organize, Plan, Prioritize, and Project Manage! Essential Executive Skills Your Child Needs to Succeed in Middle School and Beyond. We expect middle-school students to increasingly master executive functions, but how and why these skills develop in students in not widely understood. This presentation will discuss recent neuro-psychological advances in understanding executive functions, provide a pragmatic model of executive skills, and discuss ways parents and teachers can support their development in students. With this information, you will be able to more successfully implement specific methods to develop these important life skills.

Additional Workshops and Presentations

We offer a range of presentations and lectures to parent groups, teachers, mental health, and other healthcare providers. Here is a sampling of the presentations we can provide:
  • An Overview of the Primary Types of Neuro-Developmental Disorders
  • A Learning and Attention Simulation
  • The Basics of Understanding and Treating ADHD
  • The Basics of Understanding and Treating Learning Disabilities
  • Promoting Academic Success for Children with Neuro-Developmental Differences
  • Research on Successful / Resilient Adults with Neuro-Developmental Differences and the Implications for Parents, Teachers, and Mental Health Providers
  • Effective Mental Health Interventions for Children and Adults with LAD
  • Teaching Strategies That Work for Children with LAD
  • Raising Children with LAD: The Impact on the Family
  • Learning and Attention Differences and Delinquency: Is There a Connection?
  • Learning and Attention Differences and Delinquency: Is There a Connection?
  • Ending the Homework Wars: Strategies for Parents
  • For Parents:
    • Building Your Child's Skills: The Steps to Effective Skill Building Grieving the Loss of the Perfect Child & Loving Your Child for who s/he is
    • What You Can Do to Promote Your Child's Career Identity
    • Learning to Effectively Advocate for Your Child
To meet the needs of a particular group, specifically designed trainings are available.