Executive Function Training

Executive functions are the self-regulating skills that we all use to accomplish tasks (e.g. getting ready in the morning, doing homework, cleaning/organizing our bedroom). Executive function skills help us plan and organize activities, sustain attention, and persist to complete tasks. In addition, executive function skills allow us to make decisions, shift between situations and thoughts, regulate our emotions and impulsivity, and monitor our thoughts, in order to work efficiently and effectively.

Some students have weaknesses in executive functions and, regardless of how bright they are, struggle to do schoolwork and stay on top of tasks as a result. Schoolwork can become a nightmare because they regularly lose homework assignments or start weeklong assignments the night before they are due.

Some of the common signs of executive function difficulties are: 

Organizational difficulties:

  • Frequently losing or forgetting important items
  • Unable to maintain a clean room, desk, or locker

Time-management difficulties:

  • Struggling with meeting deadlines for schoolwork
  • Struggling to be on time due to disorganization or poor planning
  • Difficulty moving from one task to the next in a timely manner
  • Struggling with getting ready in the morning or getting ready for bed

Poor academic achievement:

  • Difficulty memorizing facts, digesting important information, organizing thoughts in writing
  • Difficulty solving multi-step problems
  • Difficulty completing and handing in homework
  • Struggles with persistence and sustained attention Executive Function Coaching can be helpful for individuals of all ages (e.g. children, adolescents, adults).

Executive Function Coaching is found to be particularly helpful for individuals who are underachieving at school. An Executive Function Coach supports individuals in becoming successful, independent learners. Examples of areas that an Executive Functioning Coach will be working on are:

  • Effective time-management skills
  • Effective study strategies (e.g. writing an essay)
  • Strategies to manage distractions and improve focus, and sustained attention
  • Emotion regulation strategies

Executive Function Coaching can take place at the office, over the phone, or online (Skype). The frequency and length of sessions depend on the individual, and will be decided on collaboratively.