Are you struggling with emotions management, relationship building, time management, organization, daily planning, and advocating for yourself?
Our goal is to provide accountability and direct support to help clients self-identify their problem areas, ask for and incorporate assistive technology/accommodations to their academic/professional/personal life and develop specific personal strategies through weekly targeted action plans. This has been proven to empower people to confidently build a foundation of skills that will last throughout their life.
ADDvocacy Learning StrADDegies
ADDvocacy ADHD & Life Skills Coaching was founded in 2012 by Keith Gelhorn, CEO (Chief Empowerment Officer) as an ADHD coaching and training business. After being diagnosed with ADHD & anxiety at the age of 34, Keith was put on anti-anxiety & ADHD medication but quickly realized that while pills did help him focus to a point, it did little to change the years of accumulated bad habits. He started the company to help youth and adults as he couldn’t find existing proactive strategies to support him and his challenges. Over the years, his company has worked with hundreds of clients, but Keith has aspirations of working with hundreds of thousands of clients, and the only way to do so is by adding technology.
In 2018, ADDvocacy ADHD & Life Skills Coaching updated their branding to ADDvocacy Learning StrADDegies. They employ certified Learning StrADDegists who provide proactive strADDegies for people aged 16-39 who live with ADHD, learning disabilities, high functioning Autism/Aspergers and co-occurring mental health and executive function challenges. The strADDegists coach the clients through their transition to college, university, trade school or pursuing startups/entrepreneurship using various communication channels.
We are currently developing the ADDvocacy platform where our strADDegists will be able to communicate with students all over the world using video-conferencing (chat, screen sharing, whiteboard), tele-conferencing, SMS/MMS (ADDtext), file sharing and calendar integration (school and personal). They will also provide e-learning opportunities, a blog/vlog filled with strADDegies, live video, and a free monthly online support group, etc.
ADDvocacy ADHD & Life Skills Coaching was founded in 2012 by Keith Gelhorn, CEO (Chief Empowerment Officer) as an ADHD coaching and training business. After being diagnosed with ADHD & anxiety at the age of 34, Keith was put on anti-anxiety & ADHD medication but quickly realized that while pills did help him focus to a point, it did little to change the years of accumulated bad habits. He started the company to help youth and adults as he couldn’t find existing proactive strategies to support him and his challenges.Keith holds an honours diploma in Disability Supports and Services from NSCC, completed coach training from the ADD Coach Academy and JST Coaching & Training on coaching college students with ADHD and has training through St.FX in Adult Education.
In 2013, Keith was named Entrepreneur of the Year for this business and went on to participate 5 entrepreneurial accelerators over the next 4 years. Over the years he has worked with hundreds of clients, but has aspirations of working with hundreds of thousands of clients. The only way to accomplish this goal was through the addition of technology and bringing on additional peers who can truly empathize with the struggles our clients face.
Alana Tattrie is from the small rural community of River John in Pictou County, Nova Scotia. In 2011, she attended the Truro NSCC campus for Human Services, and went on to obtain a Diploma in Child and Youth Care in 2013. With a passion for lifelong learning, she decided to continue her studies at Mount Saint Vincent University. In May 2016 she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Child and Youth Study. She was thrilled to have the opportunity to start her career with ADDvocacy upon her graduation and has since completed multiple training programs with JST Coaching and Training focused on supporting children and youth along with college students who live with ADHD and co-occurring conditions..
Alana’s training has allowed her to provide clients with individualized plans for success that encompass all areas of life. Her extensive coaching experience and her impressive ability to empathize with others based on her own anxiety disorder, has given her the opportunity to help others in a unique way. As ADDvocacy’s Senior Learning Strategist, Alana looks forward to continuing helping and supporting others on their journey.
Gonzalo graduated from the University of America, Colombia with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, and was awarded an MBA at the Externado de Colombia University. Since 1996 he has worked in management positions in Colombia, Chile, Argentina and Canada leading a wide range of operations in diverse industries such as oil & gas, air transport and energy efficiency, creating value through incremental revenue and costs reduction strategies.
In addition to the above, his more than five years’ related experience as an associate professor at MBAs’ level and as a certified leader-coach, has allowed Gonzalo to understand that neurodiversity is not a constraint to accomplish personal fulfillment and happiness. It is a strong motivator to persevere, finding methodologies to improve.
One of Gonzalo’s biggest passion and inspiration is helping others discovering their inner potential and constant growth throughout innovative learning processes to strengthen their life skills.
Bailey’s journey to becoming a Learning StrADDegist with ADDvocacy first started in high school with her school guidance counsellor. He was supportive of all students no matter what issue they had, helping Bailey and many of those close to her with mental health concerns. At a time when she was to choose what she wanted as a career, Bailey’s guidance counsellor inspired her to give to others the priceless help and guidance he had given to her family, her friends, and to herself.
After high school, Bailey attended Cape Breton University where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Community Studies with a Major in Psychology. As part of the degree, she worked at an after-school program for at-risk youth called Youth Peer Program. With Youth Peer Program, she created workshops to promote self-esteem and team work, tutored students one-on-one, and provided support to students when they needed someone to talk to.
She then went on to obtain a Bachelor of Social Work at Dalhousie University. While attending Dalhousie, she worked with YWCA Halifax Newcomers Connect Program, a program aiming to help newcomer women develop their conversational English, so they could become vocal and valuable members of their new community. There she developed workshops to help with English, but also to provide a space for the women in attendance to talk about the issues of immigration and the challenges of living in a new country.
As a member of the ADDvocacy team, Bailey cannot wait to continue working from the example of her guidance counsellor: providing support and guidance for those who seek it!
Daniel was born and raised in a small town in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. After graduating from high school, he was accepted into the Bachelor of Arts program at Cape Breton University. Not prepared for the major transition into adulthood and academia, he struggled to adjust to the new responsibilities of university life. Feeling overwhelmed, disorganized and easily distracted, his grades continued to fall, and he was eventually placed on academic probation.
He was convinced he could succeed in university, but realized he needed help. After meeting with the Dean of his program and the school’s clinical social worker, he was allowed to resume his studies on the condition that he would meet with a psychologist. He was eventually diagnosed with ADHD and a learning disability. After obtaining support services and researching how ADHD affected him as an individual, he felt ready to start a new chapter in his life. 3 years after seeking help, he graduated from Cape Breton University with a BSc with honours in psychology and a certificate in psychology research methods.
Daniel will always be grateful for the many wonderful people who supported him throughout his university experience and helped him become the person he is today. He is now excited to continue his career as a Learning StrADDegist with ADDvocacy, and he looks forward to using his knowledge and life experience to support others in realizing their true potential.
- High School Students
- Post-Secondary Students
- Career Exploration
Training /Workshops Are you a high school student or an adult and struggling to find your purpose or passion in life? Confused by all the options and looking for a more solid direction? We offer a 5 hour workshop which includes:
● 1 hour understanding the challenges you face
● 2 hour career assessment test
● 1 hour to review the assessment and check out National Occupation Codes and post-secondary options in Canada and/or the USA.
● 1 hour of transition coaching to plan next steps.
What is a Learning StrADDegist?
Our Learning StrADDegists provide and ongoing collaborative partnership created to facilitate personal growth and self-empowerment in an academic/professional or personal setting with youth and adults who struggle with neurodiversity: ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Autism, Anxiety and/or Depression who are in transition to high school, post-secondary, career exploration and/or entrepreneurship The goal is to help the client move towards and succeed in discovering their inner purpose and passion so they can go on to lead a more meaningful and rewarding life.
What is the role of a Learning StrADDegist?
We provide specialized processes in which we collaboratively address challenges and make the most of their exceptional strengths. Through a clear understanding and recognition of how manifests, the learning strADDegist employs a toolkit of strategies, models, and systems for helping clients learn about their unique ways of learning and turn it to their advantage.
What is the role of the client?
Coaching is a client-driven process and, in order for it to be successful, the client must possess a strong desire for personal growth and improvement. This works best when the client is action-oriented and determined to reach their goals.
How does an Learning StrADDegist differ from a therapist?
Our Learning strADDegists work specifically with issues that are particular to those who self identify as Neuro-Diverse. We are NOT a psychotherapist and work with clients on practical/action orientated steps, not psychological, issues. We may work in tandem with therapists if additional support is required outside of our abilities.
If I am on medication, do I need support of a Learning StrADDegist?
While medication can certainly help, combining medication with support from our learning strADDegists is ideal. If there are psychological issues to address, Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and /or Acceptance Commitment Therapy can be powerful resources as well.
How does the process work?
The coaching process begins with an initial consultation in which the client shares his or her history, current challenges, and goals they would like to achieve. We then collaborate on developing an action plan that is specific to the individual’s needs. We provide structure, targeted questioning, and constructive feedback, but the client ultimately drives the process forward. Through weekly contact (either in person, via phone or Zoom) and text or email check-ins, we work together to begin forming a solid foundation of applicable skills that will last throughout our time together and into the years to come.
How long does a typical contract last?
The amount of time spent working with each client varies depending on the specific needs and goals of each client. It generally takes a minimum 21 days for the average person to form a habit. Therefore, new clients are encouraged to consider a minimum commitment of 4-6 months. Post-Secondary students are encouraged to attend 2 full semesters of coaching (funding may be available if you self-identify as a student with a disability) . For some clients, this will be enough time to feel confident in their ability to move forward without future support. For others however, they will stay on for maintenance support.
How do I know if I am ready for the process?
Our support is beneficial to people of all ages and from all walks of life. In order for it to work to its full effect, clients must have a strong desire for change and personal growth. They must commit to take action and engage fully in the coaching process. They must also be open to new ways of doing things and participate in implementing person centered structure. We are ultimately trying to transform that voice in your head that keeps telling you “I can’t because I (insert LABEL here)…” to “I can because I have learned specific personal strategies to take control of my life.”
We focus on creating specific skills sets for clients to adopt into their everyday lives. Often though, those affected with Neurodiversity: ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Autism, have co-existing conditions (such as depression, anxiety and, other mental health challenges) that can impede or inhibit their coaching progression. Often, we will work in tandem with the clients various health care providers. We may suggest therapists and medical professionals to help overcome these obstacles when they are beyond our scope of expertise.
What are some examples of topics that a client could bring to a coaching session?
Career Exploration and Advancement
Scholastic / Career Exploration and Advancement
Relationship / Communication strategies
Strategies for Overcoming Procrastination and Perfectionism
Neurodiversity resources – ADHD, Learning Disabilities, Autism and co-occurring mental health challenges (Anxiety and Depression are the two most common)
Assistive technology / apps
Self-awareness and Self-esteem concerns
Education on their ADHD
Tips on how to ADDvocate for yourself or someone in your family
Developing a skill set/toolkit specific to their concerns and interests.
…the possibilities are endless!!!
Last but not least, how much does this cost?
Please contact us for a FREE 15 minute consultation including details on pricing and tailoring a plan/ program that fits your specific needs, goals and budget.
99 Wyse Road
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia