Innovative Educational Solutions - Building the capacity of educators to meet the needs of ALL students!
Dr. Sheri's Blog

Autism Spectrum Disorders

How to Map Out a Project

As a student, a mom, and a teacher, I've experienced many late nights spent cramming to get a project completed and turned in on time. Unfortunately, for individuals with executive function deficits, planning can be an area of great weakness. This lack of planning can result in leaving things to the last minute, or not getting started with a project at all because it just seems too overwhelming.

Project mapping is a method whereby sticky notes are used to identify the different components of a project.

How to Make a Visual Scale

Visual scales are terrific tools for helping young people with executive function challenges to see and understand the subtleties of everyday life. Clickherefor a document with instructions on how to make a visual scale. And clickherefor a short YouTube video showing how to make a visual scale.

Visual scales can be used in a variety of ways: to show voice or noise levels, to communicate state of mind, to indicate physical health, or to show proximity. Visual scales work by showing the current level in relation to the desired level, and by tracking progress toward the desired level.

Tips and Tricks for Dealing with Mental Inflexibility

Inmy last blog postI wrote about the concept of mental flexibility, how it relates to executive function (EF), and gave some ideas for strategies you might use when working (or living) with someone who is not very flexible (mentally speaking).

Today I'd like to share my top three tips for a peaceful co-existence with your mentally inflexible student, child, spouse, friend, co-worker, boss, or parent. Please keep in mind that these tips come from my own personal experience, so they may or may not apply in your position.

Brain Yoga: Mental Flexibility and Executive Function

I've never considered myself to be very flexible. In fact, when I was eight years old and taking ballet classes, my Russian ballet instructor was dismayed at how my young body simply refused to bend on command. I've found that doing yoga regularly can contribute to a more flexible body, but what can one do when the problem is an inflexible brain?

Last week I discussed executive function (EF), which is a set of cognitive functions that help us to be more mentally flexible, less impulsive, able to control our emotions, and capable of planning and problem solving.

Help Me!! I'm Surrounded by Chaos!!


Do you work with a student, have a child, or live with someone who is disorganized, inflexible, impulsive, and who struggles with planning and problem solving?  Did you know that these traits fall into a category of skills called executive functions? Your student, child, or significant other may find it difficult to achieve in school, follow through with responsibilities at home, and/or interact appropriately in work and community settings – not because of a lack of effort or desire to do well but due to a lack of executive function (EF) skills.

Master Binder System for Individuals with EF Deficits

“My child was not having any success as she searched for an important paper that needed to be signed by me and submitted to the school office.  I opened her backpack only to find that it looked like a bomb went off inside!  There was so much stuff in there, including paperwork that should have been shared with parents at home as well as assignments that should have been turned in at school. Comments from some of her teachers made sense now—‘She isn’t turning in any homework’.  I know she is doing the work at home, because she shows it to me after she finishes.

Project Planning for people with EF deficits

Check out this email I received from my co-author, Carol Burmeister:

Hi Dr. Sheri,
 
I wanted to share a personal experience I had with my grandson last week.  I was helping him with his homework, which included preparing for a presentation on Ronald Reagan that he was expected to share in school on Friday.  He did research on his topic online and synthesized the information so that he could develop a presentation that included his findings and supporting evidence.  He made strategic use of digital media and visual displays to enhance understanding of his material.

So, what's the big deal about Executive Function?

When I think of Executive Function (EF) skills, I picture those movies in which a high-powered executive is followed around by an executive assistant who takes care of all the details. "Ma'am, your 9:00 is waiting in room B. You're conference call will begin at 9:45 and I'll make sure everyone is ready and waiting on the line. Tomorrow is Valentine's Day; I ordered a gift to be delivered to your husband at work and a flower arrangement to be delivered to your mother. I also wrote a thank you note to your mother-in-law for her birthday gift and sent that in the mail.

Evidence-based Practices for Autism Spectrum Disorders

I know I said that my next blog would focus on the second of the three principles outlined in the Guiding Principles document from the U.S. Department of Education and I promise to get back to that, but I felt it was important to highlight another new document that is hot off the presses (does that still apply when it is in PDF? - perhaps, "hot off the digitizer" is more appropriate).
A couple of years ago, Carol Burmeister and I had the incredible experience of reviewing research articles to further the work of the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders as they seek to identify evidence-based practices for working with students with ASD.
RSS

Delivered by FeedBurner


Recent Posts

How to Map Out a Project
How to Make a Visual Scale
Checking In Down Under
Tips and Tricks for Dealing with Mental Inflexibility
Brain Yoga: Mental Flexibility and Executive Function

Categories

Autism Spectrum Disorders
Behavior
CCSS
Direct Instruction
Discipline
Evidence-based practices
Executive Function
Leadership
PBIS
Reflections
TBI
Traumatic Brain Injury
powered by