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  • Writer's pictureGina Russell

Enhancing Daily Routine Skills in Children

I feel like in May, there are two main camps of thought (to which I support both).  There is the camp of “summer’s almost here get me to the pool asap” and “I’m prepping for next school year both physically and mentally”.  No matter which one you’re in, executive functions remain an ongoing skill that you can be thinking about.  So, while I’m excited to get to my summer themed posts, I have been so deep into executive function learning that I just had to share now!

What are Executive Functions exactly?

Executive functions are critical cognitive skills that influence a child's ability to plan, organize, make decisions, and regulate emotions. For special educators, related service providers, and parents, fostering these skills can be pivotal in supporting the holistic development of children, especially those with learning differences. And to be honest, we are ALL working on executive functioning.  You never master all the areas, and we all have strengths and needs.

Understanding Executive Functions

Executive functions act like the CEO of the brain, controlling and managing thoughts, actions, and emotions. These functions include working memory, flexible thinking, and self-control. For children, especially those with developmental challenges, these skills are essential for both academic and social success.  There are 11 that many focus on but check out these 3 that might pop out to you as an educator/parent/related service provider:

   Working Memory: This involves the ability to hold and manipulate information in one's mind over short periods. In practical terms, it's like keeping a phone number in mind while dialing. For children, strong working memory helps them follow multi-step instructions and solve problems in their head.

  Flexible Thinking: Also known as cognitive flexibility, this refers to the ability to adapt to new information, switch between different concepts, or think about multiple concepts simultaneously. It's crucial for understanding different perspectives and adjusting to changes in rules or routines.

 Self-Control: This encompasses both emotional regulation and impulse control. Self-control helps children wait their turn, resist distractions, and stay focused on tasks. It also involves managing emotional responses and behaving in socially appropriate ways.

So How Do I Target Them?

You guys.  The Executive Functions Masterclass and workbooks are UNREAL.  I might be a little late to the party on these, but I am hooked!  Executive functions are one of those skill sets that can be so overwhelming to tackle, especially in the classroom and at home.  They are the type of skills you need to think about when you have a parent say, “completing the dressing routine is really difficult for us”.  Or maybe a fellow teacher says, “she doesn’t transition off of the ipad so that we can get to lunch”. 

  Check out my one hour virtual consultations today to get started! Click here!


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