Executive function skills are mental processes that allow us to engage in purposeful behavior. We use executive function skills every day in activities such as planning, decision-making, remembering information, managing emotions, starting tasks, and organizing information and belongings.
Many children with ADHD or learning disabilities, or difficulty learning in general have executive function problems. However, children without learning or neurodevelopmental issues may also experience difficulty with executive function.
How do Executive Functions affect learning?
Executive function skills enable students to do the following:
- Get started and finish work on time
- Remember and follow directions
- Memorize facts
- Complete writing assignments
- Solve maths problems
- Pay attention to their schoolwork
- Control emotions
- Tolerate frustration
- Think before acting or speaking
- Complete long term projects
Executive Function Coaching
Executive Function Coaching (EFC) is a process by which students with executive function challenges learn prioritizing and planning skills, test-taking strategies, organization, and time management skills through direct instruction. EFC helps students learn executive function skills necessary to enhance their success in school, and for life.
The Enki Centre provides Executive Function Coaching based on the highly recognised Dawson & Guare (2012) program. This program provides intensive executive function coaching to high school students through individual and group coaching support. This is offered in 1-1 therapy with a psychologist as well as group therapy. Coaching can diminish teen-parent conflict by eliminating the need for constant performance monitoring (& nagging) by the parent. Executive Function training also moves the teenager toward increased independence and management of his/her school performance.
The Executive Function Coaching includes:
The topics include:
- prioritizing and planning skills,
- time management,
- shifting and cognitive flexibility,
- social problem solving and memorization, and
- test preparation .