Home » Chapter 5: The FASD Student & Learning Issues » Effective Strategies for Executive Function Difficulties

Effective Strategies for Executive Function Difficulties

Educational Environment (See Chapter 4)

Modify the educational environment by providing remediation and accommodation.

  • Provide a classroom where attention is given to structure, routine, brief presentations, variety, and repetition
  • Understand individual strengths and weaknesses
  • Recognize neurological damage

Working Memory (See this chapter – Information-processing & Memory)

Teach memory strategies – give them a bag of tricks and tell them what you’re doing

  • Categorize/organize
  • Use chunking
  • Use mnemonics
  • Practice
  • Provide repetition
  • Provide lists
    • Teach them when lists are useful
    • Allow students to rely on notes and examples

Use Multi-sensory Teaching

Take advantage of multiple neurological pathways for learning (See Chapter 4)

  • Provide visual cues
  • Provide alternate tests forms (oral, multiple choice)

Teach Concept of “Reading Readiness” (See this chapter – Reading & Writing)

  • Provide outlines
  • Pre-read chapter reviews
  • Use thought mapping, brainstorming, and other strategies for written languagecalculator

Break Math into Steps (See this chapter – Mathematics)

  • Use a calculator
  • Use process cards

Impulse Control (See Chapter 6)

  • Teach self-talk/reflective thinking

Organization (See Chapter 4)

  • Make organizing a habit
  • Designate parents and teachers as “organizational coaches”
  • Check backpacks
  • Check desksclock
  • Help students manage to stay on task
  • Enlist a student buddy to help with organization
  • Use 1 notebook for all subjects with a zip pouch for supplies
  • Color code subjects
  • Keep a 2nd set of books at home
  • Communicate regularly with parents
  • Involve parents in the organizational plan for homework

Time Management (See this chapter – Information-processing & Memory, Mathematics)

  • Work may need to be modified; tailor it to the student
  • Allow a realistic amount of time to work
  • Allow extra time on tests
  • Use visual timers, linear clocks, watches with alarms to help with organizing and managing time
  • Teach students to be active participants in breaking projects and assignments down step-by-step
    • Break a project into components: book report, picture, diorama
    • Help them with time lines

Mental Flexibility (See Chapter 4)

  • Limit transitions
  • Prepare student for transitions

Internalizing Language (See this chapter – Information-processing & Memory)

  • Work on self-talk for problem solving (can whisper in class)
  • Allow taking test in another room so they can talk aloud
  • Start a dialogue with students; teach them how to self monitor, so they can begin to evaluate themselves
  • Work on verbally approaching problem solving
    • Form a goal
    • Create a plan
    • Monitor progress
    • Evaluate success
  • Teach them to be mindful of the immediate goal
  • Teach them how to identify the “next step” in a process
  • Make the implicit explicit
    • Spell it out
    • “This is what we are doing.” “This is why we are doing this.”
    • “We used this approach/strategy because it helps us see an image.”

Attention and Effort (See this chapter – Attention)

  • Minimize distractions
  • Seat student close to teacher presentation
  • Cue students nonverbally to keep them on task
  • Make lessons relevant
  • Offer positive reinforcement and praise