Executive Functioning Skill Development Through Coaching
At Wright Educational Consulting, we have experience working both institutionally and independently with students at the K-12 and college levels who fall behind academically. While causes vary, many students struggle due to a lack of management and/or organizational skills, attitudinal or behavioral issues, or a general inability to focus. Conditions such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), formerly Asperger Syndrome (AS), or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) may also be involved. While some students may benefit from prescription medications, a majority of these conditions continue to manifest themselves without other interventions.
In regards to your struggling student, it is important for you to ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I working harder than my son or daughter to keep them afloat in school?
- Do I care more about my son or daughter's success than they do?
- Is my son or daughter struggling despite great effort and time commitment?
- Am I frustrated that my son or daughter is not reaching their true potential academically, socially, emotionally, or athletically?
Executive Function Coaching is not simply subject tutoring. Executive Function Coaching encourages your son or daughter to make positive long term changes by:
- Assisting them in eliminating poor organizational, time management, or behavioral habits
- Establishing guidelines in regards to organization, time management, and behavioral objectives, i.e., "what is the best way that I can make myself succeed?"
- Encouraging them to put forth their best effort (looking beyond simple achievement)
- Providing positive reinforcement in order for them to set goals and achieve them on a consistent basis
Executive function coaching is best utilized when it directs its focus in regards to where a student struggles. For academically challenged students, for example, a coaching focus would be on the specific areas of academic achievement where a student has had difficulty. Many students, for example, benefit from one-on-one support on academic assignments and projects in order to establish coping skills. They are encouraged to apply learned coping skills to the challenges that lay before them. Academically, coaching may do the following for a struggling student:
- Deconstruct the difficulty of a nightly, weekly, or long-term assignment in order to make it more manageable
- Student and coach then develop strategies to counteract these issues.
- The use of existing graphic organizers or the creation of more workable units of assistance
- The student and coach then develop strategies to address problem areas. The student is encouraged to utilize these newly established strategies in regards to other areas of their academic work
Ongoing, Consistent Support and Communication
As with our work with school and college clients, executive function coaching contains the following support:
- When warranted, working in conjunction with existing tutors, support personnel, mental health and/or medical professionals, or referrals to these specialists when necessary
- Consistent and open lines of communication between you and our staff
- Access to us via face-to-face meetings either at our location or your home
- Communication via face-to-face meetings, telephone, email, or Skype sessions
- Regularly scheduled face-to-face meetings and, when needed, critical phone and Skype support