Our process for enhancing executive function skills is a three step process that includes an intake, assessment and weekly skill building meeting. Read below to learn about each step in more detail.
Our first step is to meet with the key stakeholders — ideally the student, parents and any other key player in the family dynamic. The reason for this is that executive function skills do not develop in a bubble. They require the support and guidance of a community.
During this meeting, you will be asked the following questions:
If we were to work together, what would have happened…
Dear Sean: My child is entering 4th grade this year and I am overwhelmed. Although his teachers tell me that he is a uniquely gifted student, simple things like writing a card overwhelm him to the point of tears. Additionally, we spend hours each day helping him to manage his homework. What can we do?
-Overwhelmed in Austin
Dear Overwhelmed in Austin: Your child is what we describe as twice-exceptional, or 2e, in the special needs community. A twice exceptional student is considered exceptional both because of their giftedness and because of their special needs. …
I am all about free, unstructured time during the summer. But when school rolls around, especially for students with executive function challenges, it is of the upmost importance that they feel prepared for the first weeks of school. Here is my number one tip for ensuring they walk into (or log into) school feeling prepared and confident.
What should my student do?
Have your student email each of their teachers something along these lines:
Hello (teacher name),
I hope you had a great summer and lots of time to relax. I am looking forward to being a part of your…
Here is a trick question — how do you get a student to do something? The answer is…you don’t! Rather, you encourage them to do so by a series of guided questions that help them arrive at the best course of action in a process otherwise known as motivational interviewing.
Everyday, I send text messages to each of my students to check-in with them about any missing or upcoming assignments. Usually, this interaction begins with a screenshot of anything I identified as missing or due that night, then a message along the lines of:
EF Coach: Hi (student name), I…
For many students, school feels chaotic and overwhelming. This experience can be both stress inducing and anxiety provoking. As an executive function coach, you can be provide them with structure and order by helping them sort out their disparate responsibilities into tidy To Do list.
In my webinar for the Association of Educational Therapists (AET), I shared the process I utilize to give my clients an executive function makeover. This process begins and ends with To Do list that serves as a hub to track assignments and tasks, while also on-boarding other service providers who may be providing support for…
My Key Takeaways From the 42nd National Conference
If you are not aware of what Educational Therapy is, I’ll do my best to give you a brief breakdown. Educational therapy is “a form of therapy used to treat individuals with learning differences, disabilities, and challenges. This form of therapy offers a wide range of intensive interventions that are designed to resolve learners’ learning problems.”
Another way of describing Educational Therapy (versus traditional tutoring since it is often confused with that), is that educational therapy focuses on how to learn, rather than what to learn.
I like this definition because the…
-Frustrated in San Rafael
Dear Frustrated in San Rafael: Right now, you have all the pieces in place, but they need to be assembled to “sing” in unison. You need a Family-Team Meeting (FTM).
A Family-Team Meeting is when you get all the key stakeholders and supports in the same room (or Zoom room) and go through a process of identifying what is the shared goal and how everyone can work together to support your daughter to reach that goal.
The key to a successful FTM is that it is run by a skilled facilitator who ensures who everyone has…
-Frustrated in Berkeley
Dear Frustrated in San Francisco: One of the best techniques to help a student become more accountable for their own scheduling techniques is to ask them solution-focused questions. Since scheduling techniques encompasses a wide range of activities, you’ll want to hone in on a specific aspect of the schedule to start. For example, let’s say you just finished sitting with your student for 90 minutes to help them complete the majority of an essay, but there is still one paragraph they need to write independently. …