What Does An Executive Functioning Coach Do?
An executive functioning coach helps students and adults find more organization, structure, and motivation in their daily tasks and goals. We focus on exploring which executive functions skills are established and which ones need more work. Then, we provide executive function skills training on every skill but emphasize the ones that are urgent. It is important that our students experience that they can become more independent and successful. They aren’t just labeled by their executive function disorder or by the general public as lazy and unmotivated.
Lastly, we emphasize patience and time as the majority of our students have had years to build up bad habits to cope with their lack of executive functions. Let’s see what a coach does in a typical session.
A Typical Executive Functions Session
A typical session with a coach can either be a strategy session or a check-in session. Our strategy sessions emphasize on using specific tools such as to-do lists and chunking goals and assignments with our students. This is a good time as it is usually when our students have new assignments or tasks come onto their calendars. We take this time to introduce and practice executive functions skills with our students such as creating a to-do list. At times when there are bigger assignments, we also practice executive function strategies like chunking and productive breaks. An executive functioning coach will help their students break these bigger assignments into achievable chunks so that they are less intimidating for their students. Gauging what is achievable and when they can take a productive break is one of the critical roles of an executive functioning coach. Doing this well will prevent students from shutting down or having a panic attacks. Lastly, a coach will have scheduled check-in sessions throughout the week to measure progress, provide feedback, and guide adjustments to the student’s weekly plans.
Part of a Greater Support Network
Every individual has their own support system and a coach is just a part of the greater whole. Yes, in many cases, the executive functioning coach will coordinate between the parents, school, and therapist (if there is one), but the goal is always to facilitate communication until the student is equipped with the executive functions to do so themselves. Although this goal may take time, the purpose of any EF coach is to guide their students to become more independent, structured, and successful. Many of the times, we find ourselves helping the family discover new executive functions skills in expressing their emotions, communicating, and enforcing reasonable expectations. This is why at EFC, we always send a weekly update to a student’s support network providing an update on how scaffolding can be done at home and at school. An executive functioning coach is an integral part of any student’s support network.
Sign up for an Executive Functions Coach Today!