What is Executive Functioning?
According to CHADD org, Executive function skills refers to brain functions that activate, organize, integrate and manage other functions which enables individuals to account for short- and long term consequences of their actions and to plan for those results.
According to Rebecca Branstetter, author of The Everything Parent’s Guide to Children with Executive Functioning Disorder, These skills are controlled by the area of the brain called the frontal lobe and include the following:
- Task Initiation- stopping what you are doing and starting a new task
- Response Inhibition- keeping yourself from acting impulsively in order to achieve a goal
- Focus- directing your attention, keeping you focus, and managing distractions while you are working on a task
- Time Management- understanding and feeling the passage of time, planning good use of your time, and avoiding procrastination behavior.
- Working Memory- holding information in your mind long enough to do something with it (remember it, process it, act on it)
- Flexibility- being able to shift your ideas in changing conditions
- Self-Regulations- be able to reflect on your actions and behaviors and make needed changes to reach a goal
- Emotional Self-Control- managing your emotions and reflecting on your feelings in order to keep yourself from engaging in impulsive behaviors.
- Task Completion- sustaining your levels of attention and energy to see a task to the end.
- Organization- keeping track and taking care of your belongings (personal, school work) and maintaining order in your personal space.
What Causes Executive Functioning Disorder?
- a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- a diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder
- Tourette syndrome
Signs and Symptoms
- Short-term memory such ask being asked to complete a task and forgetting almost immediately.
- Difficulty processing new information
- Difficulty solving problems
- Difficulty in listening or paying attention
- issues in starting, organizing, planning or completing task
- Difficulty in multi-tasking
Issues with executive functioning often leads to a low self-esteem, moodiness, insecurities, avoiding difficult task. and low motivation
Managing Executive Functions Issues
- Create visual aids
- use apps for time management and productivity
- Request written instructions
- Create schedule and review at least twice a day
- Create checklist
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 6.8% of children younger than 18 years in the United States have a diagnosed eye and vision condition and 3% of children younger than 18 years are blind and visually impaired. Visual disability is one of the most prevalent disabilities disabilities among children.
According to IDEA’s definition, visual impairment is defined s including blindness means an impairment in vision that even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The World Health Organization (WHO), classifies visual impairment as occurring when an eye condition affects the visual system and one or more of its vision includes both partial sight and blindness
The World Health Organization uses the following classification based on visual acuity in the better eye:
- 20/30 to 20/60- mild vision impairment
- 20/70 to 20/160- moderate visual impairment
- 20/200 to 20/400- severe visual impairment
- 20/500 to 20/1,000- profound visual impairment
- More than 20/1,000- considered near-total visual impairment
- No light perception- considered total visual impairment or total blindness
Types of Visual Impairment
- Strabismus– a condition when the eyes do not align with each other (crossed eyes)
- Congenital cataracts– a clouding of the eyes natural lens present a birth.
- Retinopathy of prematurity– a blinding disorder that affects prenatal infants that are born before 31 week of gestation.
- Coloboma- a condition where normal tissue in or around the eye is missing at birth.
- Cortical visual impairment– a visual impairment that occurs due to brain injury.
Signs of Visual Impairments
- Appears “clumsy” in new situation
- Shows signs of fatigue or inattentiveness
- Does not pay attention when information is on the chalkboard or reading material
- Is unable to see distant things clearly
- Eyes may appear crossed
- Complains of dizziness.
The causes of childhood blindness or visual impairment is often caused by Vitamin A deficiency which is the leading cause of preventable blindness in children. Other causes include genetics, diabetes, injury and infections such as congenital rubella syndrome and chickenpox before birth.
Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI)
Cortical Visual Impairment in children is attributed to brain dysfunction rather than issues with the eyes. Causes included hypoxia, traumatic brain injury, neonatal hypoglycemia, infections and cardiac arrest.
World Health Organization (WHO)
The following training resources are from the Center for Parent Information and Resources:
Key terms to know in early intervention– Parent Center Hub. 6-page pdf document
Identification of Children with Specific Learning Disabilities– reviews the process by which schools identify that a child has a specific learning disability
Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)– the module includes 1 sideshow presentation, trainer’s guide, speakers notes and 2 handouts
Introduction to Procedural Safeguards- Part C of IDEA designed to protect the rights of parents and their infant or toddler.
The basics of early intervention– Includes a 64-page trainer’s guide in PDF or Word format
Screening, evaluation and assessment procedures– Module 4
Material and Resources from the CDC:
Autism Case Training– Web-based continuing education introductory course on autism.
Preventing Shaken Baby Syndrome-PDF format including resources on the topic
Specific Special Needs Topics:
Getting to know cerebral palsy- training resource in pdf format for facilitators
Supporting the student with Down syndrome in your classroom– created by Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan.