Success at school or work involves planning and organizing, developing workable strategies, and managing time and space, not to mention attending to and recalling details. Such essential skills are known as Executive Function processes, as they are critical to accomplishments in all areas of life. Individuals who lack Executive Function in one or more areas may be greatly challenged to complete projects on time, track more than one thing at a time, retain information, engage with others, and learn.
Like other learning disabilities, Executive Function disorders tend to run in families. Resulting problems may be seen at any age, although disorders may first be noticed when children reach school age and are required to juggle increasingly more and complex tasks. If left untreated, executive function disorders can impede progress and reduce chances for high achievement, even well into adulthood.
Comprehensive Assessment of Executive Function Issues
No single test is available to identify how Executive Function issues affect an individual. SPEECH PATHways’ trained staff uses a combination of testing with careful observation, trial teaching, and review of available treatment history to determine the areas of focus for a client’s treatment plan. With training in all areas of human development, behavioral diagnosis and intervention, and speech-language pathology – as well as certification in executive function disorder by leading experts -- the SPEECH Pathways team is uniquely qualified to formulate lasting interventions for clients.
Executive Coaching: From Grade School to Grad School
SPEECH PATHways works closely with clients of all ages to develop strategies and tools to help them overcome executive function problems, enabling them to better manage time, materials, space, learning and work – for the classroom or the boardroom. Frequently, students who received Individual Education Plans throughout their school careers enter the college environment and struggle as their external support systems no longer exist. By improving Executive Function, students build their own internal supports that they can carry through their college years and into the workplace. Coaching for executive function in the college years may be particularly effective as young adults learn to juggle increasingly more complex work and personal agendas.
Addressing a Range of Issues
Interventions to improve executive function are individually tailored to address areas of concern for managing time, space and materials, or work. Strategies may include learning to:
- Take a step-wise approach to work, using visual aids to help with organization.
- Use such tools as timers, watches, software or calendars with visual cues and alarms for self-regulation.
- Create and follow checklists and “to do” lists.
- Develop simple, practical suggestions for reminding oneself of necessary steps to completion.
- Minimize clutter and schedule valuable organizational time.
- Make the most of teacher-student interactions for work review and advisement.
Improvement for Multiple Areas
Individuals receiving executive function coaching may experience improvement across many areas; some of the more typical areas of development are outlined below.
- Reading: Developing skills for making text connections and textual analysis, understanding organization of written information, note-taking and storage/recall
- Writing: Understanding revision/editing cycles, breaking down writing assignments, using schema analysis, using technology during writing, organizing ideas and developing a thesis
- Project Management: Learning to chunk projects into more manageable parts, budget time effectively, strategically plan a long-term project, and remain accountable for steps project completion
- Test Preparation: Reviewing past testing experiences, taking good notes and preparing to study, anticipating test content/formats, planning/estimating test time, evaluating performance.
- Management of Time: Setting priorities and remaining conscious of the passage of time, creating good study habits and environments, and managing materials.
For a Future of SUCCESS…
Executive Function Coaching empowers individuals with the understanding of how they function and the strategies/tools to dramatically improve their functioning in ways that can positively affect many areas of their lives. Contact SPEECH PATHways today to chart a course for lasting success!