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EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING SKILLS In the School Environment December 10, 2013 Presented By: Mary Pronoitis, Behavior Specialist.

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Presentation on theme: "EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING SKILLS In the School Environment December 10, 2013 Presented By: Mary Pronoitis, Behavior Specialist."— Presentation transcript:

1 EXECUTIVE FUNCTIONING SKILLS In the School Environment December 10, 2013 Presented By: Mary Pronoitis, Behavior Specialist

2 Workshop Objectives 1. Increase awareness of the impact of Executive Functioning difficulties. 2. Develop everyday teaching practices utilizing Executive Function skills in the classroom 3. Increase knowledge of interventions that promote effective academic skills & improve behavior and social interactions 2

3 Have You Ever Had Students Who…  Have not internalized classroom routines/procedures?  Need step-by-step instructions for everything?  Do not know how to begin?  Are overwhelmed by information in directions or in lessons?  Leaving things to the last minute?  Exhibit impulsive behavior or lack a “social filter” ?  Lose or forget things and leave a trail of their belongings?  Blurt out irrelevant information or unkind words without considering others’ feelings? 33

4 Executive Functions (EF)  “Executive Function" describes the brain’s skill at accessing and coordinating all of its functions to make a plan and execute it to achieve a goal.  E F helps direct and manage an individual’s cognitive, emotional and behavioral functioning.  Executive functions helps people to:  Plan and organize activities  Start and finish tasks  Use working memory  Pay attention  Monitor behavior  Inhibit impulses  Stay goal-directed 44

5 Conditions Associated with Executive Dysfunction ADHD Learning Disabilities Traumatic Brain Injury Behavior/Emotional Disabilities, Mental Illness Language Processing Disorders Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Autism Spectrum Disorders Conditions 55

6 Executive Functioning Challenges Trouble Organizing Materials & Work Loses or forgets materials & work Difficulty remembering multiple directions & tasks Trouble Completing Tasks Difficulty initiating tasks and activities Starts tasks but may not finish Doesn’t check to insure that each step is completed Written work is poorly organized Trouble Managing Time Lacks planning or problem solving to complete tasks/assignments Over-estimates or under-estimates time on needed tasks Difficulties breaking tasks down into manageable parts 6

7 Executive Functioning Challenges Trouble Managing Attention Difficulty sustaining attention to tasks Appears distractible and/or impulsive Difficulty making transitions and/or coping with the unforeseen Difficulty shifting focus Social Difficulties Exhibits inappropriate or over-reactive responses to situations “Jumps the gun” socially Picks smaller, immediate rewards over larger, delayed rewards Doesn’t realistically evaluate performance in school 7

8 How is EF Assessed?  Formal Assessment Tools - Medical - Psychiatric/Behavioral - Psychological/Educational - Neuropsychological  Informal Assessment Tools - Checklists - Observations - Interviews - Rating Scales 8

9 Executive Function Rating Scale 9

10 Designing Interventions Key Factors for choosing and implementing interventions and supports is determining “Cannot” vs. “Will Not” behavior.  “Cannot” are the behaviors that are NOT within student’s control.  Skill Deficit: The student does not have sufficient knowledge/skills to exhibit the desired behavior(s)  “Will not” behaviors are those that the student has control over but is opting to make unproductive behavior choices.  Performance Deficit: The student knows how to perform the desired behavior but does not consistently do so. 10

11 Choosing Accommodations 11

12 Strategy Instruction Model Directly Teach Instructional,Behavioral & Social Skill Strategies: * Describe the strategy. Students obtain an understanding of the strategy -why it is important, when it can be used, and how to use it. * Model its use. The teacher models the strategy, explaining to the students how to perform it. * Provide ample assisted practice time. The teacher monitors, provides cues, and gives feedback. Practice results in automaticity so the student doesn't have to "think" about using the strategy. * Promote student self-monitoring and evaluation of personal strategy use. Students will likely use the strategy if they see how it works for them; it will become part of their learning schema. * Encourage continued use and generalization of the strategy. Students are encouraged to try the strategy in other learning situations. 12

13 Academic Toolbox  Modify the classroom environment: create and label work areas, quiet space and flow of movement  Teach Rules & Procedures – Post them with visual examples.  Post a Daily Visual Schedule of Activities.  Review upcoming changes to schedule or environment  Accompany oral directions/instruction with written ones  Provide signals prior to transitions between activities and locations (verbal, physical, visual, auditory)  Take step-by-step approaches to work; rely on visual organizational aids.  Use tools like time organizers, computers or watches with alarms.  Teach organization methods and schedule time to execute  Use multi-sensory methods to assist memory 13

14 Task Initiation Strategies 14

15 Checklists & Task Cards 15

16 The Hierarchy of Task Execution  Is the Student Aware? Are they Reading the Room?  Do they have a Future Picture?  Do they Know and Sense the Passage of Time?  Are the Key Features Organized in their Mind?  (Big Picture  Features  Details)  Have they accessed any Notes to Self?  Do they recall last Time how Things Worked Out?  Do they have a Plan for managing the steps, the time and the materials?  How do they initiate best? 16

17 Planning Tool My Goal Future – How will it Look? Time – Length, due date etc Obstacles – Internal & External My Plan – Steps for competing task Review – What Worked? What Did or Did Not Work? 17

18 Task Support Tools Post a Daily Schedule With Time & Activities 18

19 Time Management Time Estimation:  Knowing the task, the steps involved and how long tasks will take.  Create checklists and “to do” lists and Task Cards. Identify Time Robbers:  Chatting, surfing the computer, paper problems  Use tools like time organizers, computers or watches with alarms. Use Daily Visual Schedules and Monthly Calendars  Post a Daily Schedule - Include the start & finish time, name of activity/period, any schedule changes. Orally preview the schedule each morning.  Use a monthly calendar - Break long assignments into chunks and assign time frames and due dates for completing each chunk. 19

20 Time Management 20

21 Organize Work Space & Tasks  Organize work space into specific areas.  Tape photos of organized space on desk and in locker  Minimize clutter.  Consider having separate work areas with complete sets of supplies for different activities.  Schedule a weekly time to clean and organize the work space.  Make a checklist for getting through assignments. For example, a student’s checklist could include such items as: get out pencil and paper; put name on paper; put due date on paper; read directions; etc.  Take step-by-step approaches for managing materials; rely on visual organizational aids.  Meet with a teacher or supervisor on a regular basis to review work; troubleshoot problems. 21

22 Organization Strategies 22

23 Organization Skills 23

24 Organization System Master Filing System - 3 Ring Working Binder Stays with the Student at home and at school Contains the planner and current class materials Has a monthly calendar, notes and handouts for each class separated by a 2 pocket folder for paper and project information. Color code folders and spiral notebooks with subjects If a single class requires more space of a whole binder, than the organization of this separate binder mimics the organization of the working binder System Model for them what the system looks like, and help them use it every day until it becomes habit. The key to this system is regular cleanouts of folders. Ideally, the cleanout will be done as part of preparing for a test or other project for the unit. Consistent use and guided practice are the keys to success! 24

25 Homework Organization Homework Folder Create Homework Folders – One side to turn in homework – One side for picking up homework Make a choice with this – File it away? – Leave on my desk for class discussion? – Do I want to ask the teacher a question about it? Assignment Page: Math Worksheet - 6 problems Materials: Worksheet/ Notes from Class Due Tuesday Strategy: Multiplication chart Purpose: Practice What you Have Learned 25

26 Self-Monitoring Tools  Train kids to periodically self-monitor  Highlight math operations or other important information (directions – not, but, compare and contrast, give three reasons).  Proofread out loud and by reading backwards  Provide direct instruction and practice in self-monitoring one’s work. E.g., re-read directions when DONE and see if you followed them.  Directly teach students to identify situations and tasks that are distractions or that cause emotional/behavioral distress  Use self-monitoring charts to help students evaluate their academic performance, social interactions and behavior  Reinforce the correct use of self-monitoring skills 26

27 Strategies to Support Focus & Attention 27

28 Positive Behavior Supports 28

29 Behaviors Strategies Attention/Control Behaviors - Increase Student Control and Choices include one or more of the following: ❒ include student in planning and problem solving ❒ include student’s family in planning and problem solving ❒ allow flexibility in student’s daily schedule ❒ shorten time student is involved in each activity ❒ allow student to sit in a favorite location ❒ allow student to select the order of assignments ❒ allow the student to suggest own learning activity ❒ teach the student to check and evaluate effort and work ❒ allow student to take constructive breaks when needed. 29

30 Behavior Strategies Escape/Avoidance Behaviors - The following supports match the function of behaviors that serve the need to avoid or escape an activity, event or person. ❒ increase student’s personal control and choices ❒ increase student’s status, self-esteem and/or image ❒ match teaching strategies to student strengths and interests ❒ match instructional activities and materials to student strengths and interests ❒ directly teach deficit skill replacements ❒ match expected responses/testing methods to student’s strengths and interests ❒ ensure work is at an appropriate level of difficulty ❒ ensure directions and instructions are extremely clear ❒ provide visual cues and prompts 30

31 Problem Solving Tools STAR CHART 31

32 Regulating Behavior & Emotions Self-Regulation & Monitoring Behavior - The following supports match the function of behavior that serves the need to self- regulate one’s behavior. ❒ increase student’s personal control and choices ❒ match teaching strategies to student’s strengths and interests ❒ match instructional activities and materials to student sensory strengths and interests ❒ match expected responses/testing methods to student’s strengths and interests ❒ increase student’s status, self-esteem and/or image ❒ teach self-regulation skills ❒ provide opportunities for movement in and around the classroom or school ❒ increase staff understanding of the impact sensory difficulties may have on learning and participation 32

33 Social Awareness & Flexible Thinking 33

34 Self-Monitoring Charts 34

35 Self-Monitoring Charts 35

36 Strategies to Support Emotional Control 36

37 Strategies to Support Emotional Control 37

38 Social Thinking Tools 38

39 Helpful Websites CHADD - The largest ADHD support organization which has science-based information. http://www.chadd.org Do2Learn – Free visual supports, games & activities http://www.do2learn.com Goodwill Community Foundation free online learning to improve technology, literacy and math skills http://www.gcflearnfree.org/ Intervention Central – RTI and PBIS resources http://www.interventioncentral.org Learning Disabilities Online – Resources for Learning Disabilities and/or ADHD http://www.ldonline.org/ Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) – Positive behavioral resources http://www.pbis.org The Incredible 5 Point Scale – Uses visual strategies for teaching Social Skills http://www.5pointscale.com/ SetBC – Go to Picture Set for behavior and academic resources & supports (One of My Favorites) http://www.setbc.org/ Social Thinking – Methods for teaching social awareness and skills http://www.socialthinking.com/ 39


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