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The Ultimate Guide to Executive Function Coaching for Children in Brooklyn

Many of us have felt frustration over our lack of time management skills or our inability to focus on projects. Others may lament that we have trouble getting started on plans or have difficulty working out problems. All of these challenges can be linked to the same source: executive function. These high-level brain functions originate in an area located in the front lobe of the brain known as the prefrontal cortex. Executive functioning coaching for children is designed to target and improve these executive functioning skills as they are still developing.

How Do I Know if my Child Needs Executive Functioning Coaching?

How To Find Executive Functioning Coaching

Executive Function Coaching for Children in Brooklyn: Williamsburg Therapy Group

What Are Executive Functioning Skills?

Executive functioning skills are a set of high level behaviors that help human beings interact with each other and complete tasks efficiently. Some aspects of executive function include:

  • Emotional regulation and impulse control
  • Time management
  • Organizing and planning
  • Problem solving
  • Working memory
  • Behavioral learning
  • Task initiation
  • Flexibility

Sometimes our executive functioning skills don't function at a level that allows for success at school or work. People with autism spectrum disorder often have difficulty with executive function, as do other neurodiverse learners, such as those with learning disabilities. Other students simply have learning differences that require accommodation or other supports.

How Can Executive Functioning Tutoring Help?

An executive functioning coach understands how executive functioning works. We can't observe executive function; we can only see the results through the good or poor execution of executive functioning skills. These coaches can identify areas of opportunity and offer strategies to help children and young adults strengthen positive behaviors that can improve executive functioning.

An executive functioning coach will:

  • Identify strengths and areas of opportunity
  • Partner with the client to set expectations and goals
  • Offer strategies to replace behaviors that are not contributing toward success
  • Keep the student accountable
  • Offer positive feedback

How Do I Know if my Child Needs Executive Functioning Coaching?

Some signs that your child may benefit from executive functioning coaching include:

  • They consistently have difficulty in completing tasks at school and at home
  • They are unable to handle any disruption to their schedule
  • Have difficulty in controlling their emotions or their impulses
  • Are unable to be consistent in their study skills
  • Their work habits are inconsistent
  • Exhibit a lot of anxiety around homework or projects

Limits of Executive Functioning Coaching

An executive functioning coach may not have the credentials to work with neurodiverse populations, such as those with autism spectrum disorder or ADHD. If there are special education needs, then you may want to look for someone with experience in child development, a learning specialist, or someone who specializes in ADHD coaching.

What to Look For in an Executive Functioning Coach

If your child has specific needs or learning disabilities, then you may want to ask your coach about any advanced degrees they may have. For example, sometimes an occupational therapist, learning specialist, or other expert in child development may work as an executive functioning coach and have more experience working with neurodiverse populations.

If you are simply looking for someone to help with test prep, support homework skills, improve school performance, or increase organization, then an executive functioning coach with experience in working in these areas may be fine, despite a lack of advanced certifications.

Who Can Benefit From Executive Functioning Tutoring With a Learning Specialist?

Almost anyone can benefit from executive functioning coaching or an executive functioning tutor. They offer help in setting personal goals, developing skills to develop focus, managing time, and helping students learn more effectively. Even those of us without specific needs can use the kind of support executive function coaching offers.

However, for those who are finding it difficult to keep things together in school, young people with learning differences or learning disabilities, or children whose parents notice that school creates a great deal of stress in their lives, executive functioning coaching can build awareness and confidence and teach essential skills for improving school performance.

Those Who May Not Be the Best Fit For Executing Function Coaching

There are some who may have more complex needs that executive functioning coaching is not equipped to handle. This includes those who:

  • Have significant behavioral issues, such as physical aggression
  • Are looking for a quick fix
  • Have mental health issues or substance use problems that are not being addressed with therapy services
  • Aren't willing to show up and put in the work habits required for success

What Does Executive Functioning Coaching Look Like?

Those working with an executive functioning coach will schedule an initial session with their coach, meeting with the parents and going over the child's history, as well as interviewing the client on goals and expectations.

Next, two or three sessions will be dedicated to goal setting. The coach will work on building rapport with their client, trying to understand their client's values and goals, and offering a deeper education on the ins and outs of the program and how it works.

When the coach has a better feel for the child, their strengths and skills, and areas of opportunity, they will work with them to develop a plan of action. This is a quantifiable and clear action plan that the parents and the child can work on together.

The next series of sessions are where the students really put the work in. The coach works with the students to focus on skill building, refining, and making any necessary changes to the program. The coach will monitor progress with the students and families and train their clients in self advocacy.

Finally, the children and young adults should be ready to implement what they've learned from the program and use these strategies in a school setting with their teachers and other professionals. They may continue to work with their coaches on an intermittent basis for further support, but they should be fully empowered to implement the strategies they've learned with confidence.

How To Find Executive Functioning Coaching

For over a decade, many schools have offered resources for finding organizational tutors, ADHD coaching, or a learning specialist on campus for college students. Columbia University, Long Island University, and New York State are just a few that offer school support for students to find these services.

Some high schools may offer these services as well. If not, you can look for executive functioning skills coaches in your area online. Simply type in "executive functioning skills tutoring in Long Island" or "ADHD tutoring in New York State" (whatever your needs are), and there should be a list of professionals to choose from who can support your child in their academic endeavors.

Executive Function Coaching for Children in Brooklyn: Williamsburg Therapy Group

Williamsburg Therapy Group is home to Brooklyn's best child therapy department.

If you suspect your child may need executive function coaching, reach out to us, and our patient coordinator will help you find the right therapist for your child.

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