Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) are neurological disorders that affect millions of students (and adults) everywhere. Characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and hyperactivity, these attributes can make it challenging for even the best of students to manage their daily tasks and responsibilities.
While these symptoms can be disruptive in everyday life, there is another aspect of ADHD/ADD that is often overlooked: a lack of executive function.
Executive function (EF) refers to a set of cognitive skills that are responsible for regulating and controlling behavior. These skills are crucial for goal-directed behavior, problem-solving, and decision-making. Students with ADHD/ADD often struggle with executive function, which can lead to difficulties with planning, organization, self-control, and simply getting their work done.
Executive function coaching helps students with ADHD/ADD develop planning, organizing, initiating, and completing tasks, among other essential skills because it provides a roadmap for getting work done.
EF coaching and tutoring benefits students as follows:
Improved Academic Performance
Students with ADHD/ADD often struggle with academic performance. This can lead to frustration, stress, and low self-esteem. EF coaching helps students to develop effective study skills, habits, time management, and organizational skills – life skills actually, which can translate into improved grades and increased academic success.
Self-confidence in students with ADHD/ADD is often impacted as a result of their challenges with executive function. Stress as a result of not feeling in control, leaving assignments for the last minute, and/or not having a methodology for approaching work is often a result. EF and learning how to learn help students develop a sense of empowerment over their lives by providing the tools and strategies needed to manage their daily tasks effectively and efficiently.
Better Problem-Solving Abilities
Executive function skills are critical for developing problem-solving abilities and therefore benefit not only students with ADHD/ADD, but all types of students. When students know how to manage time, organize and prioritize their work, and initiate tasks, such as starting an assignment without waiting for the last moment, their academic performance is enhanced.
Further working memory, cognitive flexibility, and self-regulation are important components. Working memory allows an individual to hold information in their mind while solving a problem. Cognitive flexibility enables an individual to approach a problem from different angles and think creatively. Self-regulation helps one to focus, control emotions, and manage behavior while solving a problem, or overcoming a challenge.
The effectiveness of executive function coaching for students with ADHD/ADD can be attributed to several factors.
First, coaching is tailored to each individual’s needs and strengths, which allows for a personalized approach to skill development. Second, coaching provides ongoing support and feedback, which can help students to stay motivated and accountable. Finally, coaching focuses on the development of specific executive function skills, which can be applied to various areas of life, including academic, personal, and professional settings.
By developing executive function skills students improve their academic performance, feel better about themselves, and approach their work with better problem-solving abilities. And although these skills, tools, and strategies, are essential for ADHD/ADD students, they are equally important for all students.
Learn more about our executive function coaching and tutoring services for students in the Westchester, NY and Fairfield County, CT area.