Executive functioning skills are crucial to academic success. These skills, which include goal setting, long-term planning, and discipline, are necessary in the classroom and beneficial to learn early on, as they help prepare the young student for adult life.
Contrary to popular belief, executive dysfunction is not a diagnosis in and of itself. Rather, it is one symptom in a larger constellation of cognitive issues common to students with developmental disabilities, ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, and auditory processing disorders.
The three main areas of executive function include: working memory, cognitive flexibility, and inhibitory control. With the right strategies in place, students with divergent ways of processing information can excel in the classroom.
The ability to transfer short-term information into long-term recall is associated with working memory and is crucial for success on standardized tests and in general literacy development. A student who struggles with executive dysfunction may find it difficult to organize and store information in the long term.
Some students with this issue are, ironically, much better at self-directed independent learning, and as such, benefit from alternative school systems.
Flexibility in cognition essentially allows the student to use information in new and creative ways. Cognitive flexibility is incredibly useful for problem solving—from a challenging algebra equation to a laptop crash during exam season, students will face situations where innovative thinking is necessary all throughout their academic career.
For students with executive dysfunction, multisensory learning can be helpful at as it allows them to integrate information in new and exciting ways.
Self-control is an important skill both in school and in life. For students with learning challenges, inhibitory control may manifest in impulsive behavior, poor planning, hyperactivity, or frustration.
The frontal lobe, which controls cognitive inhibition, is the last to mature, so most students struggle with some degree of impulsivity and restlessness. However, if your child is struggling in school due to poor planning, it is likely they could benefit from one-on-one tutoring or an alternative education plan.
Interested in learning how a school alternative can be a benefit to your child? Reach out to our team to schedule a tour!