Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Strategies for Students With Scattered Minds

Imagine a team without a coach guiding players toward working together to execute a winning strategy. Imagine a company without a leader to make sure that employees across departments are equipped and organized to collaborate on continually improving products and increasing sales. Imagine a marching band without a drum major to lead musicians through their complicated maneuvers while staying on beat.

The brain’s executive function network performs in the same capacity as a coach, CEO, or drum major: directing one’s thinking and cognitive abilities toward setting goals and planning to achieve them, establishing priorities, getting and staying organized, and focusing attention on the task at hand. Now imagine trying to perform those abilities if your brain’s executive functioning system wasn't working effectively -- no coach to develop a game plan, no CEO to help you organize your resources for accomplishing your goals, no drum major on which to maintain your learning focus.

That’s the challenge facing students with attention deficit disorders, who in effect struggle with executive dysfunction. As a former classroom teacher and school psychologist, Donna worked with many youth who had great difficulty with various executive functions.

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