- Have you tried timers, lists, etc. and found that they don’t help your child?
- Are you constantly prompting him/her to do routine tasks?
- Has tutoring or “talk therapy” not been effective in addressing your child’s executive functioning challenges?
- Do you feel like school doesn’t truly address or understand your child’s executive functioning challenges?
- Do you want your son to be more independent and for you to stop acting as his executive functioning?
- You are not alone!
Your son may be having trouble with executive functioning if he:
- Struggles with feeling the passage of time or seems to have no sense of time
- Has difficulty getting ready in the morning without constant prompts/reminders
- Appears to lack situational awareness (ability to “read a room”)
- Requires constant supervision to complete non-preferred tasks
- Lacks motivation for anything that is not interesting to him
- Over or under-estimates how long homework will take
- Has difficulty transitioning off of video games/computers
- Struggles to tell a story in a narrative format (clear beginning, middle, end)
- Leaves belongings at various places
- Struggles during less structured times (gym, recess)
- Does homework but forgets to turn it in
- Carries around too much in his backpack and never cleans it out
- Cannot do homework without constant supervision
- Becomes angry when asked to do tasks that involve multiple steps
- Gives too many details or irrelevant details when talking or writing
Executive Functioning is a very misunderstood term. Many professionals and parents believes it means organizing academic materials.
The root of executive functioning challenges has to do with three main areas:
1. Using self-directed talk (our inner dialogue)
2. Utilizing non-verbal working memory (the ability to visualize the future and create a plan to complete a future task)
3. Learning how to “feel” time as a concrete concept.
Our approach to teaching executive functioning is about getting to the root of executive functioning weaknesses and building skills that have not developed naturally. Additionally, we teach parents how to help their child move from being “prompt-dependent” to independent.
We teach simple, kid-friendly skills and strategies which are not taught in schools or in traditional counseling/”talk therapy”:
- Developing self-directed talk (our inner dialogue required to get things done)
- Learning how to visualize the future and create a goal-directed plan (improving non-verbal working memory)
- Improving situational awareness (being on the “timeline” of what’s happening at a particular time & place and understanding next steps)
- “Feeling” the passage of time to estimate how long tasks will take as well as how to self-monitor one’s use of time
- Doing homework in a time-efficient manner, based on one’s tolerance level for particular subjects
- Develop a goal-setting approach to homework, motivating oneself to get through non-preferred tasks
- Become less prompt-dependent on parents/teachers and more independent
Executive function treatment is done in individual sessions with Ryan Wexelblatt, LCSW-Director. Parents are present for all or a portion of the session, depending on age.
If you’re struggled to help your child improve his/her executive functioning you’re not alone. Many parent feel lost as to how they help their child improve this critical life skills. Executive functioning weaknesses do not just go away with maturity. Contact us below so we can help your son move from being “prompt-dependent” to independent.
Please contact us below to discuss next steps