Executive Function Strategies Blog

How to Help Students with Learning Challenges Build Healthy Self-Esteem

Editor's note: This week, we feature guest blogger Samantha Kolkey, a licensed social worker and Director of Programs at Options for College Success. Please see her full bio below.

I'd like to reveal to you a few examples of conversations I have had or overheard during my six years as a social worker serving individuals with learning disabilities. 

Tutor: Why didn’t you complete the assigned reading last night?

Student: It takes me so long to read a small number of pages. It’s embarrassing, so I just don’t do it.

A Coaching Alumnus Story: How Did a Struggling Student Transform?

Editor's note: This week, we feature guest blogger Sean Potts, a student who graduated from Executive Function coaching support to full independence.

I clearly remember bringing home my report cards in 7th grade: a familiar assortment of C’s and D’s that I dreaded showing my parents. Despite the deep disappointment that I felt, I was seemingly powerless to change my situation. At the time, I had three tutors, weekly meetings with my teachers, and parent-teacher conferences on a monthly basis. Despite this, my grades still continued to disappoint both myself and my parents. How could I possibly succeed in school when three tutors couldn’t even yield improvement? In my eyes, I was a D student incapable of anything greater. What I know now is that no mindset is more detrimental to progress than that one.

Academic Anxiety: How Perfectionism and Executive Dysfunction Collide

As an Executive Function coach and clinical social worker, I have had a fair amount of experience working with adolescents who struggle with anxiety. Over the years, I have observed a phenomenon that highlights the intersection between perfectionism and executive function challenges. I call it the “comfort zone of misery.”

Partnering with Parents: Finding Personal Growth at Summer Camp

Editor's note: This week, we feature guest blogger Candy Cohn, Assistant Director of Maine Arts Camp, an overnight camp for 9-16 year old boys and girls in a non-competitive, nurturing environment. Located on Unity College’s campus, the program focuses on visual & performing arts, technology and individual/lifetime sports. Please read Candy's full bio below.