Our Coaching is as Good as Our Resources
Two resources for our clients came to my attention this year: Service dogs for PTSD, Anxiety, ADHD…; and colored glass lenses for people with Irlen’s Syndrome. I bring them up to introduce the variety of supports that coaches can learn about for referral services for their clients. We refer clients for counseling, for diagnosis, to lawyers and to education consultants. Look into these two resources and see how they fit into your referral bag.
Service Dogs for ADHD
I attended a conference this August in Sante Fe, New Mexico where I traveled with the first ACO president, Cathy Jantzen. To my surprise, she brought her dog with us everywhere we went. She was in the process of training Sasha as a service dog for her challenges with ADHD. The three of us traveled together for five days, staying in hotels, eating in restaurants, and shopping. Sasha traveled everywhere, inconspicuously at Cathy’s heels. Service dogs for ADHD are not a well known resource and it is a challenge to both train and to find a dog to suit one’s specific needs. Our only problem that trip was with a hostel owner in Sante Fe who was openly hostile to our need for accommodations with a service dog. It is illegal to refuse to accommodate service dogs but, well, Sante Fe is still the wild west…So, I found myself learning firsthand the difficulties of using a service dog.
While at the Sante Fe market, I met a woman with her service dog, also named Sasha, wearing her service bandanna and her service saddle easily identifying her as a PTSD service dog. This is a developing international trend. Guide dogs are for the blind, hearing dogs for the deaf and service dogs are for those people whose disabilities are not related to hearing or sight.
In the months since that trip, I’ve discovered that people in my circle are becoming aware of service dogs and share their stories of friends with service dogs as well as their own relief at owning a dog that settles their nerves. The internet is full of information about service dogs. You probably have a trainer in your region for more information about this program.
Dr. Daniel Amen opened an office in Atlanta, Georgia this fall. I was invited to the professional Open House and I attended a workshop of his, too. At the end of the day, he mentioned his research on Irlen’s Syndrome and encouraged participants to become familiar with it. ‘Irlen Syndrome is a perceptual problem that keeps many people from reading efficiently. Many times a person goes undiagnosed because it is undetected by standard visual, educational, or medical exams.’
Jeri LaVigne, Ed.D. in Atlanta is the professional I contacted to learn about this syndrome. And in the course of our meeting I discovered I probably live with it. I took the test and bingo! I do live with it. I received a colored screen for use on my laptop, a different color screen for reading books, and will have my glasses tinted for continuous relief throughout the day. You see, sometimes we are our own clients.
These are the two discoveries of mine this year that may be valuable to my clients. What resources have you discovered for your clients? Share them with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy New Year!