Even the very brightest child can struggle in school if he or she has trouble setting goals and carrying out organized steps to successfully complete a task.
These skills, known collectively as executive function, help us with everything from getting dressed in the morning to completing a science project. While these skills come naturally for most of us, some children need to be taught how to execute tasks in an expected manner. Written expression is infused in executive function-based instruction to help students improve their writing by learning to organize their thoughts, initiate writing assignments, expand their ideas to increase quality and quantity, improve their ability to evaluate their writing, and meet task requirements.
Princeton Speech-Language and Learning Center uses advanced techniques to teach executive function skills. We don’t just tell children what to do. We teach them specific concepts and strategies so they can act more independently – without the constant support of parents and teachers.
What are the signs of executive function deficits?
Executive function deficits are often associated with developmental disorders including verbal and nonverbal learning disorders, autism, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
The demands of completing schoolwork independently can often trigger signs there are difficulties in this area. Or you may simply notice your child has difficulty “reading a room” so that he or she can stop, think, and create an appropriate action plan and infer possible outcomes.
The importance of early identification
It’s not unusual for a child with undiagnosed executive function deficits to achieve all As in high school but then fail in college because he or she becomes overwhelmed without the direct support of parents and tutors.
That’s why it’s important for parents and educators to pay early attention to a child’s ability to develop efficient skills in this area. The certified speech-language pathologists and learning specialists at PSLLC can help identify specific deficits in a child’s executive function abilities through formal and informal assessments in order to address the lagging skills.