Niece Of Barry And Merle Schnittman,
Shares Her Tips For Back To School Organization “Sound” Education For Broken Sound Residents From A Top Notch ADHD And Executive Function Coach
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Photography by Jeff Kolodny
Hair and Makeup by Salon Copage
Written by Madelaine Boyer
Working to make a difference in the lives of others is one of the most rewarding endeavors a person can take on. One of those individuals in particular, who is constantly striving to better the lives of others, is Brooke Schnittman. Brooke works as an Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Executive Function Coach for individuals of all ages. Eleven percent of children in the United States are diagnosed with ADHD. Brooke uses her understanding of the struggles faced by those with ADHD to support and enrich the lives of individuals who manage this condition on a daily basis.
Growing up in Melville, Long Island, Brooke has always been surrounded by a family of educators who has shown her how rewarding it is to give back to others. Because of this, the decision to pursue a degree in Special Education was an easy one for Brooke. She attended Penn State University for her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and then received her Master’s degree in Teaching Students with Disabilities from New York University (NYU). After graduating from NYU, Brooke went on to work as a Special Education teacher in the Jericho School District in NY. After teaching for eight years, she became a school administrator, where she worked closely with families, staff, and students to support students with special needs. Brooke has been in the field of Special Education for a total of 13 years. In 2017, Brooke decided to move to Boca Raton to be closer to her family and developed her coaching business. Now, through her business, “Coaching With Brooke,” she supports individuals with items such as organizing their daily tasks and improving their focus. Brooke explains, “I absolutely love it! I feel connected to my clients and I am seeing huge growth in the lives of the children and adults I work with.”
When she’s not dedicating her life to helping those with ADHD, she is very active within her community. Brooke plays on multiple tennis leagues, loves to travel, and volunteers with the homeless. Sitting down with her recently, we talked more about her extensive career in Special Education and her dedication to improving the lives of those living with ADHD and removing the stigma surrounding the condition.
Q: What is your favorite part about your job?
A: I love empowering my clients to reach their goals and their full potential. It is important for them to recognize their strengths and weaknesses, and to understand that given the right tools, they can take charge of their own lives. My clients have the ability to utilize this toolbox for the rest of their lives and continue to share their successes with me.
Q: How long have you been doing this now?
A: I’ve been working with individuals with ADHD since 2006
Q: What signs should parents look for in their children?
A: Some signs parents should look for include fidgeting, leaving one’s seat in situations when remaining seated is expected, having difficulty organizing tasks and activities, losing things necessary for tasks, being forgetful in daily activities, talking excessively, interrupting others, and starting and not completing tasks. However, these are not just signs to look for in children. These signs can be seen in adults as well. Adults often approach me when they have been previously or recently diagnosed with ADHD.
Q: Do you do your work solely in person or do you work with people in other ways?
A: I support my clients in person in South Florida and nationwide
through teleconference, FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype.
Q: What tips do you have for parents with kids with or without ADHD going back to school soon?
A: Some tips I have can be easily broken down into three categories to stay organized: Before Going Back to School: Purchase materials from the school supply list. Color-code each binder, notebook, and folder a different color for each specific subject (ex. blue for math and red for science) Purchase a different colored folder that’s designated for homework and label one side for completed homework and the other for homework that needs to be completed.
If your child has a locker, consider creating an index card with a list of the materials your child needs for each class of the day. Have a checklist of the materials in their agenda book or homework folder that they can use to check off materials needed to bring home.
• Have a calendar or planner in a visible place with their schedule planned out including when homework and school work is due.
• Create an easily accessible place to put their backpack, filled with their necessary materials needed for the school day to easily access before school (ex. by the front door).
• Pick space for your children to do school work where they are not distracted (ex. a desk in their room, at the kitchen table, not in their bed)
Have a drawer in their desk or somewhere in the house where they can put papers not needed anymore from their folders.
• Beware of “time sucks” which are things that can distract from the task at hand, such as video games, texting, TV, etc.
• When working on homework, make sure your children are not spending too much time on a certain subject where they might get frustrated or distracted. Move on to a different homework assignment after a period of time. A kitchen timer can be set for this.
Q: You’ve just recently been nominated for an award. What are you nominated for?
A: I was just nominated for five awards including “Rookie of the Year,” “Advocating for Another,” “Healthcare Collaborator Patient,” “Patient Leader Hero,” and “Best in Show Community” from WEGO Health Awards. WEGO Health nominates individuals in the healthcare industry who are advocates for others. I’m thrilled to be recognized for the work I do in supporting those with ADHD. With that, I ended my conversation with Brooke Schnittman. It was wonderful getting to know her better and hear more about the incredible work she does to help improve and organize the lives of those struggling with ADHD.