Strategies for supporting Executive Functioning
General Executive Functioning Recommendations
– Inform teachers of Student’s specific difficulties and needs.
– Immediate deadlines work best as it is stimulating. Assignments that re due in a few weeks time or more time are often forgotten. Allow Student to hand projects in early.
– Allow him to stay in at lunch or after school to complete and hand in/send forgotten assignments without judgment or frustration.
– Offer one day extensions but no more.
– As much as possible have things completed in the classroom and kept in the classroom.
– Compliment effort more than final output.
– Encourage self-awareness of Student’s struggles with cognitive tempo.
– Investigate and encourage self-management strategies.
– Encourage Student to be honest about forgetting or losing assignments, focus on success.
– It may useful to meet regularly to look at problem areas and find solutions to each area.
– When starting homework, begin with the easiest things so as to help his get “cranked up” and initiate engagement.
– The use of timers and electronic reminders on a phone or computer may be helpful.
– The use of Managebac, internet or some method to keep close contact with teachers to be alerted as soon as work is missing, a reminder of due dates, bullet point home work highlights are helpful.
– Encourage and promote an understanding of ADD and EF. It takes more energy than peers to be organized, initiate, remember things and be on time. Being efficient and bored with details may mean minimum standards in performance unless really interested in something. Everything last minute. Accept weakness and enjoy positive qualities. Support good morale. Offer strategic supports.
– Consider medication to support Student’s attention and stimulate on task engagement.
– Initiating homework after exercise may prove helpful.
– The use of loud music to work may be more stimulating and support cognitive engagement.
– Having a place without distractions to work in is helpful. Some student need the tactile stimulation of a beanbag chair, bed or floor to help them focus.
– Student is motivated by goals such as time on the ipad, a movie and free time if he finishes his work by a time deadline.
– Provide a written outline of the lesson.
– Pair students to check each other’s work.
– Seat Student in the front of the class.
– Change topics and activities more often.
– Break long assignments into small parts.
– Involve Student in the lesson presentation.
– Student should have a workspace that is free from distractions to do homework and a set time after a reasonable down time allowance. Late and last minute is common practice as the stimulation (fear)is higher and concentration is easier.
– To aid organization at home, large open bins, open storage boxes for school papers and supplies are preferable to closed, notebooks, plastic sleeves or drawers. Open shelves for clothing versus drawers are helpful.
– Divide home tasks into ones he can mange successfully and or initiate and let other who are successful with details do the detail work or complete the tasks.
– Sorting, organizing, prioritizing and cleaning decisions that are natural for most people are time-consuming, uncomfortable and avoided by those with ADD. They need support getting started or at least the general guidelines set and structured.