Starting in grade 7, Executive Skill (Academic Strategy) Support can help a student stay on track with school while providing specific tools and strategies recommended by leading learning specialists.
Frequently Asked Questions About Executive Skill (Academic Strategy) Support for Late Elementary and High School Students:
What are Executive Skills?
Executive Skills are a collection of brain functions that help regulate the completion of tasks, the ability to shift from one thing to another, the ability to maintain focus both on school tasks and social relationships. Here is a list of 11 recognized Executive Skills.
How often do you meet with a student for Executive Skill (Academic Strategy) Support sessions?
Weekly, one-hour sessions are recommended. This allows us to help your son or daughter plan week-by-week and deal with assignments, tests and school situations as they arise.
How long will it take for my son or daughter to improve their Executive Skills (like organizing, planning, time management, social understanding within a school setting, thinking metacognitively or regulating emotions related to school work)?
This very much depends on the individual student, their learning/cognitive profile, their willingness to try new things, their initial level of emotional reactivity and the nature/severity of their Executive Skill difficulties. Most students need roughly one school year of weekly sessions to improve although some students only require one term and some need support into the following year. We “fade out” support when the student is feeling more confident by dropping the frequency of sessions and will let you know when it is time to do this.
My daughter seems to be anxious, perfectionist or a even a bit “down” when it comes to schoolwork. Can you help with that?
While we are not trained counselors or therapists and cannot provide services for students who have significant mental health issues, we can certainly teach ways to manage anxiety, perfectionism (including procrastination) and negative feelings surrounding schoolwork. To do this, we take a positive approach, focusing on strengths and embracing “failure” (which is absolutely necessary in order to learn!) We also strongly encourage a flexible mindset, incorporate elements of mindfulness training, work to alter distorted thought patterns (i.e. “I will never be able to do this”) and teach about brain functioning during our sessions with students.
My son has Asperger’s Syndrome. Are you able to work with him?
Yes. Students with Asperger’s Syndrome or who are high functioning on the Autism Spectrum can benefit from Executive Skill Support. Please note that every student is different. We will help you set realistic goals for you son within the first month of sessions when we have seen how he responds to working with us.
We were told that our daughter should be taking medication for her ADHD. Can she do Executive Skill (Academic Strategy) Support instead?
Medication for ADHD is always a touchy subject and every parent needs to make this decision in collaboration with their physicians and other professionals. Generally, medication is only recommended by health care professionals when the symptoms of ADHD (Inattentive, Hyperactive or Combined) significantly limit a student’s ability to function at school and in social situations. These symptoms can sometimes be enough to slow the progress of all learning, including the learning that should happen in our Executive Skill (Academic Strategy) Support sessions. Executive Skill Support can be an excellent addition to the use of medication but should not be considered a replacement for this (or other therapies) if your daughter’s symptoms are significant.
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