Teach clients to use controlled thinking and actions with this expansive, evidence-based program developed and used extensively in clinical practice. Complex executive function skills are taught as discrete sub skills so clients can succeed at every step.
Executive function is the ability to self-regulate thoughts and organise behaviour. This program has a unique organisation and instruction method specifically designed for individuals with executive function disorders. Each task is mastered before moving to the next. The program features a huge amount of purposeful practice activities that are easily adjustable to individual needs. The teaching techniques consist of:
- step-by-step, explicit instructions for students and clinicians
- early establishment of self-monitoring skills
- hefty amounts of repetitive practice to achieve skill mastery
- habituating the use of intentional questions (e.g., “What am I learning?, How will I do this?, Am I using the skills?”)
- loads of learning strategies
- guided reflections to direct discussion and awareness of skills and progress
- student-initiated progress logs
- frequent reminders of the goal, the strategy, and the outcome of the activity
The eight skill areas are in developmental order. Each unit/skill area builds on skills introduced in the previous units:
- Self-Talk - Use audible and then silent self-talk to state goals, strategies, and self-evaluations. Develop the ability to focus on the task at hand.
- Self-Monitoring - Slightly more complex than those in the Self-Talk unit, these activities train the student to use self-talk to monitor himself and to verify completion of a plan of action.
- Planning - Students learn to pause and make plans so they can complete a task. Students begin with familiar activities, easing into the new cognitive demands. Then new activities are introduced.
- Setting Goals & Self-Evaluating - Students learn to set goals, work hard to accomplish them, and determine if the goals were achieved.
- Attention Awareness - Strengthen the abilities to concentrate and focus attention so information processing is more efficient. Increase awareness of the different demands on attention and how that affects performance.
- Listening Awareness - Build awareness of listening ability and listening comprehension and improve functional listening abilities. Attend to inflection, rate, stress, and pauses.
- Organisation - Students organise their time, their things, and their actions to aid in planning and completing tasks.
- Initiation - Learn to start tasks independently and maintain things that are important.
Each unit/skill area in the program has multiple types of cognitive exercises at three levels of increasing independence and complexity. Students move from thinking, planning, and practicing out loud to using the new skills silently, without cues. Each unit/skill area progresses as follows:
- Level 1 Guided Reflection “Getting Ready”
- Level 1 Exercises
- Level 2 Guided Reflection “Making It Mine”
- Level 2 Exercises
- Level 3 Guided Reflection “On My Own”
- Level 3 Exercises
- Mastery Level Guided Reflection “I Own It”
Also available - Executive Functions Training - Elementary for ages 6 to 11 years.