“When children have opportunities to develop executive function and self-regulation skills, individuals and society experience lifelong benefits.” – Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University
More and more these days we hear about executive functions—in literature, in schools, in our communities. This refers to a cluster of skills that can improve a child’s performance in academics and daily life, and people are now asking how it affects kids' learning potential and behavior.
As pediatric speech, physical and occupational therapists, we assist with skills that fall under the umbrella of executive function – task initiation, impulse control, focus, time management, working memory, flexible thinking, task completion, organization, self-regulation — and figure out which aspects need the most attention to set each child up for success. As we gain a clearer picture through testing, observation and consultation with a child’s team, we can move on to identifying intervention strategies.
But, this is only one aspect of effective treatment. When children thrive and make the most meaningful gains, it is undoubtedly when parents have the skills and supportive tools to make adjustments needed right in the home. This is a foundation for success.
We have witnessed, first-hand, the benefits that children and their families experience with strengths-based and positive parent coaching as a key to systemic shifts in a child’s path to meeting goals in executive function skills.
Blog Post Written By: Kristin Burrell, MA, CCC-SLP