Sue Larkey’s Tips for Executive Function

In Sue Larkey‘s latest newsletter for parents and teachers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, she shares tips for helping children with Executive Function.

Impaired Executive Function can impact significantly on children with an autism spectrum disorder’s ability to learn and engage in busy learning environments.

“The psychological term executive function includes: organisational and planning abilities, working memory, inhibition and impluse control, self-reflection and self-monitoring, time management and prioritising, understanding complex or abstract concepts and using new strategies.” (pg 234 The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome by Dr Tony Attwood). (Note: This can apply to children without a diagnosis as well.)

This E-Newsletter contains:

1. Link to a 5 min video to explain.

2. An example to help understanding for teachers and parents.

3. Links to strategies.

1. 5 min Video to Explain **

Link to great YouTube video which explains Executive Function and the implications for Educators.

Click to the Link to video

2. An example of how Executive Function works **

Taking Turns in a Game or Conversation

1. Waiting for turn (need inhibition and impulse control).

2. Waiting for turn (time management – understanding how long each child has).

3. When it’s their turn (need working memory to remember what need to do).

4. Coping when other children do unpredictable things on their turn (mental flexibility).

This means:

· We may need to support a child’s learning and socialising by addressing their Executive Functioning skills.

· In a classroom a child can have difficulty filtering sensory, social, communication, emotions and more.

· Children can be very different at home to school, preschool, community as in busy environments it is more difficult to complete tasks, engage socially and regulate your behaviour.

What we know:

· Executive Function is like a muscle, it can be developed.

· We can put in place strategies to support impaired Executive Functioning.

In this E-newsletter I want to explain Executive Functioning and what you can do to make a difference. I have included links to resources that support that can be used to support children who have difficulty with Executive Functioning.

*** 3. Links to strategies ***

1. Self-Reflection and Self- Monitoring, Mental Flexibility

Great Resources to develop Social Skills & Play Skills Time Management and Priorising, Organisation and Planning Abilities
Using Timers is a key strategy to support students in these areas
We now have Time Timer watches and NEW Time Timer Plus
More information

3. Working Memory
This is vital to develop Communication Skills
Great Resources to support communication
New Book “Motivate to Communicate” – Practical Communication Programmes

: Inhibition and Impulse Control

We have a wonderful range of books for helping behaviour
Token systems are great to encourage inhibition & impulse control

For more information or to sign up to Sue’s e-newsletter, visit her website


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