Strategies for Executive Functioning Deficits

Parents,

I came across this article that provides suggestions to teachers for those students in the classroom who have difficulties with organization, self-monitoring, planning, and flexibility. Many of these tips and tools are applicable at home especially when it comes to getting homework completed.  Here are some of the applicable strategies found in the article  ( http://www.ldonline.org/article/6311/ )

Managing time

  • Use time management techniques such as the use of checklists, prioritized “To Do” lists, and prioritizing assignments.
  • Estimate how long a task will take and then check on the accuracy of your estimate.
  • Plan for more time to do a project than you think you will need.
  • Break long assignments into chunks with time frames for completing each chunk.
  • Establish intermediate deadlines for big projects with your teacher and show her the project at these deadlines.
  • Use a word processor and time management software such as the Franklin Day Planner, Palm Pilot, Lotus Organizer.
  • Write the due date on the top of each assignment in a brightly colored marker.

Managing space

  • Ask the student to identify ways he would like to organize himself.
  • Have separate work areas with complete sets of supplies for different activities.
  • Schedule a weekly time to clean out your desk and book bag (in school).

Managing materials

  • (For older students) Use a three-ring binder with organized sections enclosed by a zipper. Headings could include “Assignments Due/Date,” “To Do Tonight,” “Ongoing Work.” Use dividers in the notebook that are color-coded (e.g., Red for assignments that must be done right away, yellow for those due at the end of the week, etc.).
  • Color code materials. Cover the textbook for one course in the same color as the notebook for that course. Use the same color coding to prioritize assignments.
  • Establish a daily routine for school organization and include a written version of it in the notebook (e.g., do homework at a certain time, have parent initial homework, clean out book bag, check for necessary supplies for school).
  • Obtain two copies of each novel or textbook. Mark one “To be left in school” and the other “To be left at home.”

Managing work

  • Use a checklist to guide you through an independent assignment. Include items such as: get out pencil and paper, put name on paper, put due date on paper, read directions, ask teacher to further explain if needed, do work, put work away in note-book in appropriate section (e.g., to do tonight, to do this week), write assignment on assignment sheet, get teacher to sign, take home and complete work.