LinkedIn   Facebook   RSS







About Ann

Ann's portrait

Decades of immersion in the reality of ADD and Learning Disabilities have given Ann Imrie-Howlett a profound and compassionate understanding of the issues. Her wisdom is straightforward and powerful. She is completely devoted to unlocking a productive future for young people struggling to get through their academic career.

As an ADHD and LD coach, Ann gets the issue from the inside out.

In elementary school, she was identified as highly intelligent and because of her ability to quickly grasp complex concepts, she skipped two grades. Unfortunately, this masked learning disabilities and inattention issues and when she entered high school at the age of 12, she was socially inept and academically outpaced by her peers.

Ann struggled. Her racing thoughts could never keep track of what the teachers were talking about. She usually sat at the back of the class and tried to stay invisible. When her own thoughts weren’t distracting her, the other kids were. If a teacher asked her a question, she rarely knew the answer — so she began to feel inferior. Like many young people in the same situation, Ann found herself making friends with the kids who said they didn’t care. The downward spiral began. Years later, while completing her university degree in educational psychology, she discovered her IQ to be far from inferior; no-one was more surprised than Ann herself!

Although Ann’s school experience played out decades ago, variations of the same story are still common across North America. Believing she could make a difference in other students’ lives, Ann decided to dedicate her career to teaching and coaching young people with learning disabilities and ADHD.

To ensure she could provide the best guidance and advice possible, Ann obtained a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology and followed up with additional training as a special education teacher. Her education added a crucial layer of understanding to the complex and unseen struggles students often experience as they try to become successful learners. In Ann’s opinion, trying to fit an ADHD or LD kid to a standardized system simply doesn’t work. Educational leadership needs to follow the student’s needs.

After many years of working with kids in the school system Ann found herself becoming more and more respected for her solid understanding of the issues and challenges of ADHD /LD. Because of her own challenges, she knew what the experience was like for kids. Because of her education, she knew what researchers and academics were suggesting.

The missing piece fell into place when Ann’s son was identified with learning disabilities and ADD. As the parent of a child who didn’t fit the system, Ann finally understood at a visceral level what life was like for parents of children struggling with these issues. Ann became her son’s champion and energetically sought the professional services and academic resources necessary for his true gifts and talents to shine.

Like many other parents, she was at times frustrated and at times discouraged. When her son was in grade two the teacher told Ann to accept the fact that her child would not amount to much and, furthermore, he would never get into university. Comments like these were devastating to Ann but she never gave up! Now, after years of dedication, Ann’s son is on the verge of graduating from university with a Business Commerce Degree in Public Administration.

They say that every challenge is a blessing in disguise. With a well-rounded understanding of and experience with ADHD and LD issues, Ann poses probing coaching questions that increase awareness and she teaches and mentors as required.

All too often, beautiful young people become discouraged and lose hope because of the expectations educational systems place upon them. Ann understands that, although these kids tend to wither in the face of those expectations, the right encouragement and guidance can help them thrive and excel. She feels very keenly the value of a human life and her mission is to support young people as they learn to realize their true potential. This is not a job for Ann at all. It is a calling.

We are all born unique, creative and whole. When we realize the untapped potential that lies within us to do great things then our candle begins to burn brightly. As a coach Ann is like a miner searching in the darkness for that unlit candle within her clients. She perseveres until their brilliance is shining vibrantly!




Related Links


To find out how Ann can help your child unlock their potential to create a productive future, please contact her today at ann@studentsfirstcoaching.com or call her at 416-434-8726.