High School

Executive Function Coaching

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The single greatest predictor of academic success is executive function. It even trumps IQ.”
– Developmental molecular biologist John Medina

What is Executive Functioning?

Executive functioning is a set of mental processes in the brain that allow us to function efficiently and effectively. Basically, executive functioning skills allow us to get things done! Executive functioning skills include areas such as working memory, time management, organization, planning and prioritization, sustained attention, task initiation and metacognition.

Who Struggles with Executive Functioning?

Anyone can struggle with executive functioning skills - even those without a diagnosed disability. Executive functioning weaknesses can occur alongside other diagnoses such as: Autism, ADHD, Anxiety, Depression and other conditions.

Who Benefits From Executive Functioning Coaching?

Your student may benefit from executive functioning coaching if they struggle to:

  • Organize their backpack, bedroom, or desk 

  • Complete homework but often don't remember to turn it in

  • Procrastinate starting tasks and then feel overwhelmed 

  • Have difficulty breaking down large assignments into smaller steps

  • Pay attention and remember details

If these statements sound familiar, you are not alone and you are in the right place!  I often work with students who, while intelligent and academically capable, struggle with some level of executive functioning weakness. I have a strong focus on life skills and I often work with young adults who need help structuring their day, managing their class schedule and responsibilities, managing their employment responsibilities, as well as improving their ability to advocate for their needs and wants. Executive function coaching can help your student understand the concept of time, find tools to support their organization and time management, and practice creating habits that will lead to success at home and at school. 

What is an Executive Functioning Coach?

An EF coach works collaboratively with students and families to identify, trial, and implement strategies and tools to get students on track academically, continue academic success or develop systems to help students reach short-term or long-term career or academic  goals. An EF coach also provides accountability by teaching skills and working with students to practice EF skills. Jennifer Sullivan teaches EF skills in a compassionate, positive, fun and non-judgmental atmosphere.

What Does a Coaching Session Look Like?

Virtual sessions 1-2x week will build your student's skills and reinforce previous learning in a fun, engaging and non-judgmental atmosphere.

Strategies used include:

  • Reflection and evaluation of past decisions and outcomes in order to identify strengths and weakness

  • Learning and identifying study skills and test preparation that match the student's learning style

  • Providing strategies to help students independently regulate and manage their free time

  • Setting short-term and long-term goals then identifying steps needed to accomplish these goals

  • Supporting students in developing self-advocacy and communication skills to talk with professors, teachers, school counselors, and disability office staff

  • Organizing class syllabi to set a plan for completing assignments