Executive function and self-regulation skills are the mental processes that enable us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully. The executive functions are a set of processes that all have to do with managing oneself and one's resources in order to achieve a goal. It is an umbrella term for the neurologically-based skills involving mental control and self-regulation.
Broadview offers a specially targeted intervention for Executive Functioning which is designed to support individuals dealing with challenges associated with task initiation, planning and organizing, self-monitoring, time management and efficient task completion. This intervention serves primary and secondary school students, as well as college students. Weekly or biweekly sessions are available to support skills tailored to the individual. Direct instruction in Executive Functioning is provided by Connecticut certified special education teachers.
Services can be tailored to the needs of the individual. Our teachers implement direct instruction that is previously determined by an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Initial screening with standardized assessment guides our intervention. Broadview features an independently developed curriculum based on leading research in the field of executive functioning which provides practical strategies to address common and frustrating problems associated with executive dysfunction. A consistent and recognizable format exists for each session. Each session identifies a specific problem area and a teaching point addressing a primary concept. Instruction includes demonstration of the skill by the instructor, independent practice of the skills, and practice through structured activities, games and videos. Sessions culminate with recommendations for parents to support students practicing executive functioning skills in an applied and natural way at home.
Screenings of Executive Skills are completed using the following:
- Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning 2nd Edition
- Brown Executive Functioning/Attention Scales
- Executive Skills Questionnaire Teen Version
Individual Education Plans (IEP) and any relevant documents or previously completed evaluations which will guide instruction can be uploaded into our document database. Certified teachers directly follow IEP goals and objectives and any predetermined plan as preferred by clients or parents of clients under the age of 18.
Our Broadview Executive Functioning Curriculum focuses on goal setting, time management, planning, task initiation, organization, response inhibition. emotional control, working memory, sustained attention, goal directed persistence, and metacognition in cognitive flexibility. If preferred, a google classroom can be coordinated for organizational support.
Curriculum for specific modules of Executive Functioning are outlined below. Modules can be individually targeted or a series of modules can be implemented based on individual needs. All services begin with Intake Assessment.
- Introductions of teachers, clients, family.
- The neuroscience behind young people and executive functioning
- A review of Individual Education Plan, student pre-assessment, and relevant documentation.
- Collaborative discussion of current problems associated with executive functioning.
- Decisions regarding areas of executive functioning to target.
- Goal setting in SMART format.
- Executive Skills Questionnaire for Teens
This module addresses the foundational skills of Time Management, Planning, and Prioritization. This session addresses common problems students experience such as difficulty determining importance and time frames of projects, difficulty creating a plan for long-term projects, lack of engagement in group projects or activities, difficulty discriminating between critical and noncritical information, and difficulty assimilating new tasks with old.
The primary teaching point will include distinguishing between long-term and short-term goals, and developing action plans to achieve goals. Activities will include modeling of a short-term goal attainment through creating a step by step action plan to help achieve this goal. Independent practice in the session will include identifying one meaningful, high priority individual goal, and to create an action plan toward achieving this goal.
Students can document this process as part of a Google classroom . Recommendations for activities, games etc. for continued practice at home are offered.
This module addresses the executive skill of Task Initiation. It addresses the problems of students needing frequent reminders or prompts to begin tasks on time, or adhere to familiar routines. This module is for students who defer to others to help them start various academic and life tasks. A primary teaching point in this session is that fast and effective task initiation results in successful management of school and home demands, as well as achievement of long-term goals. Students will be instructed on how to start tasks in an efficient and timely manner through the breakdown of tasks into manageable chunks.
Student self-talk associated with various tasks will be discussed and reflected upon. Independent practice in the session includes encouragement to tackle a non-preferred tasks through reflection of task identification, gauging the value of completing the task, assessing how long the task will take to complete, and the breakdown of steps and reflection of self-talk associated with the task in process.
Students will document progress and add information to Google classroom. Recommendations for activities, games etc. for continued practice at home are offered.
This module addresses the executive skill of Organization. Problems addressed in this module include disorderly materials and environment, trouble locating belongings, and difficulty maintaining unity and coherence in written tasks.
The primary concept in this module addresses the fact that organization increases efficiency and reduces wasted time and stress. Physical belongings and materials are reorganized, as appropriate. Students independently practice building a well-organized space.
Students are coached on how to organize school materials, personal materials, and clothing. Students reflect on their current organizational state. Recommendations for activities, games, etc. for continued practice at home are offered.
This module addresses the executive skill of Response Inhibition. Problems addressed include lack of verbal control, lack of patience and ability to wait, and lack of physical control with others commonly in the vicinity of the student, especially siblings. The primary teaching point is that response inhibition fosters good decision-making, consequence appreciation, and task accomplishment.
Students are taught how response inhibition is the basis for many other executive skills and works well as a risk management system. Students are encouraged to make thoughtful decisions, avoid consequences of poor decisions, and share progress in hopes of improving insight into impulsive responses.
Students are encouraged to document and share situations that occur at home or at school which require response inhibition. Recommendations for activities, games, etc. for continued practice at home are offered.
This module addresses the executive skill of Working Memory. Problems addressed include forgetfulness of assignments and deadlines, challenges with routines, difficulty with multistep directions, frequent misplacement of belongings and trouble staying on task.
The primary teaching point in this session is that working memory enables us to learn from our mistakes, understand consequences, and use what we know to access new learning. Through memory games and reasoning puzzles, students practice holding information in mind while performing complex tasks.
Students are helped to understand that drawing on past learning experiences helps to learn new material. Students share how they use information provided to solve puzzles. Students are encouraged to reflect on their experience around situations which have required working memory, and how they can use puzzles to help train their brains. Recommendations for activities, games, etc. for continued practice at home are offered.
This module addresses the executive skills of Sustained Attention and Goal-Directed Persistence. Part 1 of this session addresses common problems associated with sustained attention difficulties. These include difficulty with timelines, incomplete tasks, frequent shifting from task to task, especially from preferred to nonpreferred activities, and difficulty learning auditorily. A primary concept of this session is addressed through the teaching point that sustained attention enables us to maintain attention in class, fully complete homework, and complete chores despite distractibility, fatigue or boredom. Through memory games and independent work students practice maintaining attention in spite of distractions and other available activities that may be more preferable. Students are encouraged to share their experiences and activities and reflect on challenges and successes.
Part 2 of this module addresses goal-directed persistence. Students focus on the teaching point that goal directed persistence empowers us to work toward our goals and understand that behavior has a direct impact on whether we will or not achieve goals.
Students reflect on the following questions: how do you know if you've given up too quickly, when do you stick with the task until it is done regardless of how long it takes? What helps you stay with the task until it is finished? What makes you give up before you reach your goal? Are you sticking with it?
Students work on short-term goals to bring them closer to their ultimate goals. Students practice the PERSIST strategy. Opportunities for reflection are abundant in this session. Recommendations for activities, games, etc. for continued practice at home are offered.
This module addresses the executive skills of Metacognition and Cognitive Flexibility. Common problems addressed in this session include perseveration on rules and set routines, tendencies to prefer literal questions and a single approach to problem-solving, reluctance to attempt problems independently, and unawareness of others' reactions to student behavior.
Part 1 of this session addresses metacognitive skills. The primary teaching point addressed in the session is that metacognition enables us to make use of our observations and feedback from others to correct behaviors and decisions for the future. Students are coached on how to observe themselves from the outside and consider multiple sources of information when making decisions including self-awareness, self-evaluation, and self-reflection.
Students are coached to foster metacognition through answering appropriate reflective questions. Students plan activities together with their coach, reflect on the experience and how their performance was effective or not, and reflect on how to improve their performance.
Part 2 of this session addresses cognitive flexibility. The primary teaching point in this part of the session is that flexibility enables us to become problem solvers when presented with challenging changes, rather than becoming overtaken by disappointment, anger, or fear. Students practice changes to expected scenarios. Recommendations for activities, games, etc. for continued practice at home are offered.
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