The child with executive functioning challenges struggles with learning and benefits most from an education plan that addresses two specific needs:
(1) Structuring aimed at helping her build her own internal structured approach to problem solving. She can benefit from explicit instruction and auxiliary aides used to help her develop a structured approach to completing complex academic tasks that require optimal attention, consistent mental effort, and constant self-monitoring. By developing a structured approach to problem solving as suggested in the reading comprehension, written expression, math problem solving, and study skills articles on this site, the child’s inattention, inconsistent mental energy, and variable self monitoring can no longer hamper successful completion of multi-layered complex academic tasks that align with her strong intellect and potential.
(2) Flexibility of accommodations for the specific weaknesses associated with the individual child’s executive skill difficulties. As the child with these challenges is developing her own internal structure for completing multifaceted tasks, she will benefit from accommodations to support her weak attention. Parents and educators are urged to consider the classroom accommodations suggested on this site as they collaborate to meet her needs. Parents of children who attend public school should consider formalizing accommodations through either section 504 or special education.
(c) October 2009, monte w.davenport, ph.d.