Quick, helpful tips for classroom teachers that may have students that have problems with executive functioning.
If you are a classroom teacher and realize some of your students are experiencing problems with switching focus, planning and organizing, remembering details, and managing time and attention, there may be room to believe your students may be experiencing difficulties with executive functioning. This condition is known as executive function disorder and affects many students nationwide.
Use the helpful tips below to lower these behaviors and hopefully turn executive function disorder in the classroom into students that are completely effective.
1- Educating Yourself
Understanding what executive function disorder in the classroom is and what it looks like is the foremost important thing. Without a knowledge base of the issue, you may falsely classify the child with another disorder, rule their functioning off as a behavior problem, or punish a child for something beyond their control. Students with executive function disorder behave in ways similar to children suffering with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
2- Early Recognition
The quicker you can recognize a problem, the quicker you can solve it. Because students with executive functioning disorders exhibit many other characteristics that students with various disorders have, it is important to recognize the symptoms of a child suffering from executive function disorder. Some warning signs for children with this disorder is that they may have trouble engaging in groups, keeping track of more than one thing at once, difficulty waiting to speak before they are called on, struggling to keep details organized and stories in sequential order, and also memorizing and retrieving information from memory.
3- Adapting Your Classroom
Effective educators can all agree that your classroom is the central hub for correcting any problem and creating a nurturing prosperous environment for your students. Because students suffering from executive functioning disorder endure a multitude of problems regarding organization and function and working memory, the more organized your classroom is the better. You may opt to put labels on things so that students may easily find them. Another great idea is posting classroom rules around the class. Furthermore, keeping a class calendar and also a clear view of a clock may help. You may even utilize a class website that also has a digital version of your classroom calendar and is accessible for your students. Making your classroom have these things is the step to success that students with executive functioning disorder need.
4- Constant Monitoring
Constant monitoring is essential! You need to be very diligent in tracking the success and possible pitfalls with your students who suffer from executive function disorder in the classroom. The more you keep the student aware of their success, as well as their parents, the more likely they are to follow the practices that you have set. Consistency in this will prove to be beneficial.
5- Utilizing Services and Resources
Beyond the above listed tips, it’s always important to know that there are services that are offered to assist you. There are many resources available for students who suffer from this disorder and products you may find tackle this disorder effectively. For example, one product that focuses in on this disorder is ACTIVATE™ which is created by C8 Sciences and uses sophisticated games and physical exercises to develop core cognitive capacities that will assist a child with executive function disorder in the classroom. This program bridges the gap between learning and fun and allows real-time data to teachers and professionals. Products like this can truly help a child excel and grow in the classroom and beyond.