You’re not alone! Some children respond quickly to established classroom routines, while others struggle. For students who find it difficult to see tasks through to completion, it may have more to do with poor executive function skills than lack of effort. Task completion requires many skills including planning, organization, time management, and problem solving. These issues are often most challenging for students with ADHD and learning disabilities.
Children who struggle with executive function issues often have incomplete and late assignments, messy desks and book bags, and difficulty transitioning from one activity to the next. While it’s easy to spot these problems, helping students overcome them isn’t always so easy.
According to Seth Perler, an education coach, consultant and advocate, “Executive Function is the most important concept we must understand in order to help struggling students succeed.” He attributes EF problems to a wide range of issues including unclear expectations, shame, fear, and sensory overload, to name just a few.
But more importantly, Perler offers hope and solutions. His free Systems Checklist explains the importance of executive functions, what hinders these skills, and a step-by-step guide to help students. His suggestions include establishing child-specific routines, chunking assignments, and using timers. With compassionate support students can learn new skills and become more successful in both school and life. To learn more, check out Seth Perler’s Free Cheat Sheet here.