Executive Function Treatment
How we improve the internal dialogue & learning efficiency related to executive functioning
Executive function disorder is a difficulty in high-level thinking — organizing and sequencing tasks, multi-tasking, managing time, planning, problem solving. These are skills that are learned over time.
We have two programs for executive function — Fast ForWord and ACTIVATE software. Both programs are adaptive, both work on underlying cognitive skills.
- Where there’s no history of language issues, we recommend ACTIVATE
- If there are language issues, we recommend Fast ForWord
ACTIVATE for Executive Function
Where there are no language processing delays, the source of the issue is almost by definition harder to pin down and therefore more challenging to resolve. ACTIVATE works on eight cognitive skill areas most often associated with improved executive function, self-regulation and attention stamina.
As an executive function protocol, ACTIVATE works more directly on the skills that go into better functioning both academically and behaviorally.
How ACTIVATE Helps
It works on eight discrete cognitive skill sets — including sustained attention, response inhibition, processing speed, pattern formation, multiple simultaneous attention and working memory — in two phases:
- Error detection. ACTIVATE starts with sophisticated assessments that can detect 40 different types of errors, highlighting 40 possible sources of learning difficulty.
Corrective Messaging. During a session when a child makes errors, the software provides a corrective strategy message and an example of how to do the problem correctly. It may also present the problem differently, if problems persist. Over time, these supports are passed out as a child’s performance improves.
Fast ForWord For Executive Function
For children with auditory processing and working memory difficulties, the development of executive functioning is delayed, as concentration is diverted by basic tasks such as listening comprehension and reading decoding. As long as these tasks are not automatic, the overloaded mind is not fully free to practice and master executive functioning skills.
And so, where there are language processing delays — auditory processing disorder symptoms here — we recommend Fast ForWord because those delays impact all aspects of learning, and while it’s not simple, it’s also not that hard to improve language processing through adaptive exercise.
And if you can improve language processing — a pivotal and absolutely vital skill — then all kinds of other skills can then develop more normally. Therefore Fast ForWord is an executive function treatment that builds learning efficiency, creating a foundation for the development of self talk, which regulates behavior and executive function.
How Fast ForWord Helps
Fast ForWord is used to help executive function deficits because it:
1. Builds learning efficiency to free up capacity for higher level executive function, and
2. Exercises specific executive functioning skills, targeting working memory, selective attention, sequencing and reasoning.
Executive functioning is a practiced higher level skill. It will only start developing once fundamental learning efficiencies are mastered. Our software automates a range of functions, like listening and paying attention, that distract many children and require conscious effort and concentration. By removing these distractions from a child’s conscious mind, our program frees up space to observe and think — this leads to improved executive functioning.
Our executive function treatment adds to these gains by also exercising the specific cognitive skills — particularly working memory — that define executive function skills.
Recognizing An Executive Function Disorder?
Children and teens who have executive function disorder frequently struggle with:
- planning a project
- telling or writing a story
- memorizing and retrieving information
- generating ideas
- retaining information while using it to complete a task
Many bright children are able to meet expectations early on using inefficient and compromised learning skills. It is when these inefficiencies impede development of higher level thinking that “executive function” and other diagnoses start to emerge.
If any of this discussion resonates with you, contact us. We might be able to help.
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“My daughter started doing things on her own. I couldn’t believe it. Instead of having to remind her step by step on everything, she started managing her own day. We were thrilled.”
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