Executive Function Strategies Blog

How Does ADHD in Children Impact Academic Performance?

As a classroom teacher and school principal, I have worked with thousands of students over the course of my career. Many students with whom I’ve worked struggle with the daily challenges of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts one’s ability to control impulses, organize thoughts and belongings, manage time, and can even get in the way of managing relationships.

Overcoming the Challenges of ADHD: A Success Story

At the age of 30, Daniel Koh's achievements would pluck a chord of envy in professionals twice his age. The highlights of Daniel’s résumé include stints as Chief of Staff to Arianna Huffington, General Manager of HuffPost Live, and advisor to beloved former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. The press has noted his ascent; Daniel has been featured in the “30 under 30” list by Forbes Magazine, “40 under 40” list by the Boston Business Journal, and in Boston Magazine as a “next generation power player.” In his current position as Chief of Staff to the City of Boston, he advises Mayor Marty Walsh on key issues and helps him achieve his vision for the city. And somehow, in the midst of those responsibilities, Daniel managed to deliver a compelling TEDx talk: What Government Can Learn From Baseball.

Top 10 Frightfully Useful Tips from Executive Function Coaches


As this month draws to a close, it’s likely that you’re stocking up on fun-size candy (sampling to ensure quality, of course) and perhaps carving a pumpkin or two with your family. For us Executive Function coaches, the final days of October also mark the end of ADHD Awareness month. For the past few weeks, we’ve been posting handy tips on our Facebook and Twitter feeds to help parents and students address the academic challenges that come with the territory of having attention difficulties. As our Halloween treat to our blog readers, we’ve selected our top 10 frightfully useful tips to share with you in one neat package. Of course, a person need not have ADHD in order to benefit from this advice.

7 Skills For Life: A Developmental Psychologist's Perspective

This week, we feature an interview with Susan Engel, a developmental psychologist and director of the Program in Teaching at Williams College (read her complete bio below). Her article, 7 Things Every Kid Should Master, was published Sunday, March 8 in the Boston Globe Magazine. While Ms. Engel agrees that measuring a child's academic progress is important, she suggests that educators shift to assessing what are essentially skills for life. She has identified seven skills and attributes through her research that are critical for success in academics and other areas of life: Reading, Inquiry, Flexible Thinking and Use of Evidence, Conversations, Collaborations, Engagement, and Well-being. Rather than the current system of standardized testing, with its many demands on educators, administrators, and students, Ms. Engel proposes a simpler system of sampling students' work for evidence of how a child's skills are developing.

"Most tests used to evaluate students, teachers, and school districts predict almost nothing except the likelihood of achieving similar scores on subsequent tests. I have found virtually no research demonstrating a relationship between those tests and measures of thinking or life outcomes."