Executive Functioning

I promise to get to the reason why you have got to read this post, but first a little intro...

"CHAOS" meet Executive Functioning
So, I just finished putting three little ones to bed (or should it be waiting for one to get up again and enter my room...and it really just happened after I typed that, seriously), cleaned the dishes (mediocre job tonight), skipped sweeping the kitchen floor (gross, I know), checked and signed homework folders, made lunches, talked with a very concerned and gracious parent on the phone, took my children to the toy store to pick out their "warm fuzzy bucket filling" prizes (carried at least one out kicking and screaming), shopped for food pantry and stockings for troops donations after I dropped my son at karate, possibly convinced my son that learning to cope with have to dos without someone making these little problems go away would benefit him some day, talked with my kids while scarfing down eating dinner (which was prepped earlier this morning in the crock pot), drove home from work approximately two hours after school ended, finished writing an evaluation team report and individualized education plan, provided advice (hopefully) to a teacher regarding a student needing intervention, saw eight groups of students and in between managed to heat and eat my lunch in 10 minutes, tested one student, organized my materials for the day, talked with a parent on the phone, attempted to help a secretary clear up some paperwork, checked e-mail, drove to work, dropped a kid at the bus stop....all after I prepared myself for work and kids for their day.

Okay, so most of you reading are saying, yes, so, big deal, I do this every day.  Exactly my point!  We can function at this pace quite consistently because our ability to plan, organize, shift, self-monitor, regulate emotions...are all within normal limits (at least on most days)!  These executive functions by definition are impaired in so many students with disabilities.  Executive Functioning became quite a "buzz" word in my building about two years ago.  My wonderful (seriously, best ever) school psychologist participated in a workshop detailing this topic and began assessing this area.  I cannot even begin to tell you the wealth of knowledge executive functioning has offered in terms of how I assesses, analyze, and intervene with students.

Finally, the real reason I have made you suffer through my jabbering is to urge you to check out this post from A Special Sparkle on Executive Functioning.  There is so much to gain from reading this post.  I especially appreciate the point that executive functioning is NOT related to intelligence.  I have plotted the normal curve data for many of my extremely intelligent, gifted students and their presenting executive functions are severely discrepant from their high cognitive ability, making daily functioning a significant challenge.  Additionally, I absolutely love the classroom tips for the organizational part of executive functioning.  You may also know how much I love Michelle Garcia Winner and her Think Social! curriculum.  This resource, along with The Incredible 5-Point Scale resource, provide explicit instruction for working on the behavior and emotional regulation part of executive functioning; interventions I seriously do not now what I did without.

Just do it, read the post!  I'm off to motivate my executive functions to assist me in completing about 10-15 other items on my to-do list today!  It's only 10:30 pm (and the toddler's eyes are finally getting heavy, the afternoon nap backfires again)!

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