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Executive Function Strategies Blog

5 Reasons Why Your Smart Child Is Struggling in School

Dec 21, 2015 3:45:58 PM

The first part of the school year is in the record books, and already you see the writing on the wall. Your bright, funny, curious child brought home a backpack crammed with crumpled worksheets, last week’s PB&J…and a report card with less than stellar results. You know he or she can do better. Teachers may be wondering if it's just laziness, or is there something else interfering with your child's performance?  Your child thinks, “I guess I’m not so smart, after all.” But succeeding at school is not all about pure intellect, or IQ.



Do Your Child’s Academic Strengths Mask Executive Function Deficits?

Jan 16, 2015 10:10:08 AM

In my work supporting gifted students, I see many high achieving children who make it to middle school, and sometimes beyond, without exerting significant effort.  Their cognitive abilities or remarkable memories put them in the highest reading and math groups, earn them advanced scores on standardized tests, and make completing homework packets a breeze. They often excel in afterschool activities as well, winning accolades from club leaders and top prizes in a wide spectrum of competitions. These same children might have Executive Function deficits such as cluttered desks, not being able to find their papers or materials, and perhaps they do all of their homework in a rush the night before it is due. But, who cares? They’re fine, right? Don’t mess with success. 



Advocacy for Your Child: Knowledge is Power

Sep 5, 2014 4:03:57 PM

Editor's note: Guest blogger Beth Walsh, MS, OTR/L is an educational advocate and consultant from Massachusetts. Here, she provides a professional educational advocate's perspective on how parents can make the Special Education system work for their children.

Congratulations!  If you’re reading this article, you are likely feeling worried, frustrated, maybe angry, and probably at least somewhat out-of-control.  So, why congratulations? Because you are taking an important step in your ongoing work in advocating for your son or daughter. Take a breath, because you are on the right path. As the English philosopher, Francis Bacon, said:  “Knowledge is power”.  By doing your research and reading this blog, you are empowering yourself by gathering critical information that will help your child.

Advocacy work is not easy - you know this - you’ve been at it on your own.  Parenting is not easy either. Having a child with learning differences or any type of disability, big or small, can make it even trickier. You may just be starting out…or you may not even know how to start out in negotiating the world of Special Education. You may not even know what your exact concern is for your child, but you are the parent- and YOU know that something is not going right.  Some of you may have been at this for years and might feel weary…. or furious.

 



The Transition from Middle School to High School: Why Parents Lose Sleep

Jun 9, 2014 3:21:00 PM

Few phrases are more fraught for families than “now that you’re in high school...”  As if middle school wasn’t challenging enough, with bad hair days, projects, hormones, and science labs that actually expect students to construct a device to prevent a raw egg from breaking from a drop of 20 feet...with JUST STRAWS AND RUBBER BANDS! Well, you get the picture (probably all too clearly).

Turns out, there’s a darned good reason for parents to feel anxious. Even when the curriculum in middle school has been rigorous, in high school the expectations get amped up in ways that put students with weak Executive Function skills in peril.