Thursday: Executive FUNctioning!
Making Executive FUNction FUN!!!!
By: Haley Kuster
According to WebMD, “Executive function refers to a set of mental skills that are coordinated in the brain’s frontal lobe. Executive functions work together to help a person achieve goals.” Pinpointed in the Frontal lobe, Executive Function abilities include sequencing, time management, attention to detail, planning, organizing and more. “When the executive function breaks down, behavior becomes poorly controlled. This can affect a person’s ability to work or go to school, function independently and maintain appropriate social relationships.”
While I strongly agree that we all “function executively” on some level (some more than others), I enjoy helping students and adults alike find the best method of sequencing and organizing to best fit their executive function needs, whatever that may be. Just like with catering to an individual’s specific learning style, we must cater to their executive function needs as well and it often takes trial and error. One thing to sharpen those skills that doesn’t require a few strike outs is HAVING FUN! Now, if someone doesn’t want to have fun – I don’t care about your learning style or organizational strategies – you need puppies and a good dance party, STAT!
Here are a few games that mask the strengthening of these weaker skills, such as episodic memory, impulse control, self-regulation, sequencing and visual-spatial skills.
- Imaginiff Jr. – great for developing episodic memory and abstract, inferential thinking skills
- Remote Control Impulse Control, Franklin Learning Systems – a great game for teaching impulse control and self regulation
- Scattegories – develop verbal organization and word retrieval skills at the word level
- TriBond Junior – develop flexible thinking and verbal organization skills at the word level
- Rat A Tat Cat – reinforce visual-spatial skills and working memory
- Blokus – to develop visual-spatial, visual working memory and problem solving skills
Check out https://cognitiveconnectionstherapy.com/Resources/Games.aspx for their entire list of games and activities to sharpen your and your student’s Executive FUNctioning!