Why are executive function skills important?
Executive function skills allow us to manage our attention, our emotions and our behavior in pursuit of our goals. Young children rely on these skills to follow a sequence of instructions for daily tasks. Older children and adults need these skills to “break a task down” into a sequence of steps and to organize a timeline as the demands for independent learning increase.
Who is this workshop for?
This two-day event is for those who work or live with individuals with executive function challenges, including those affected by autism, ADHD and other neurodiverse conditions. Those who face these challenges personally are also welcomed as many of the strategies are not age-specific. However, most of the examples will relate to school-age children.
Whether you've seen Sarah Ward before, or this is all new, you're sure to walk away with new ideas and strategies to help you better assist clients, students, or your own children. Through case studies, hands-on learning opportunities, and reproducible handouts, you will take away practical executive function strategies to use immediately with any student.
Day 1: Thursday, May 12, 2022 - 9:00am to 3:00pm Pacific Time
Future Thinkers: A New View of Executive Function Skills
Gain a new understanding on how students demonstrate executive function skills and a new perspective on what is meant by the term “executive dysfunction”.
- Learn the 360 Thinking Executive Function Model.
- Understand the relationship between motivation and executive control.
- Explore executive function therapy and how to ensure strategies generalize.
Improving Self-Regulation and Situational Awareness
"He has done this task before! In fact he just did it an hour ago. Why can’t he do it now?"
- Understanding and treating the underlying executive control skills for task motivation, initiation and output.
- Practice teaching students to develop situational awareness skills so they can “stop and read a room” and self-regulate their behaviors for a given situation.
- Learn how students can think in an organized and flexible way about systems and then self-initiate to manage their clothes, backpack, papers, personal belongings in personal and shared spaces.
Teach Students to be a Mind MIME:
- Learn how to help students truly create mental visual imagery for the future and to perform a mental dress rehearsal to sequence actions towards a goal and hold that prospective memory in mind while they execute and self-monitor through tasks.
- Learn how to increase a student’s spatial temporal window or how far into the future they can see and sustain prospective planning.
- Improve speed of information processing and cognitive flexibility.
Being a Beat Ahead: Following Routines, Initiating Tasks, Making Transitions
- Teach student to develop a “memory for the future”.
- Decrease prompts! Increase the independence with which students can self-initiate, transition, control their behaviors and impulses to complete tasks with less supervision and fewer prompts.
- Increase a student’s ability to fluidly transition from one mental mindset to another and to switch from a current task to being prepared for a new task.
Day 2: Friday, May 13, 2022 - 9:00am to 3:00pm Pacific Time
Time and Task Management
See and sense the passage of time is a fundamental skill that students who tend to procrastinate need to develop!
- Learn how to help them accurately and effortlessly estimate how long tasks will take, change or maintain their pace, and carry out routines and tasks within allotted time frames.
- Help students adopt a mindful approach to homework and to use schedules.
- Long term project management is a challenge for students with executive dysfunction as they struggle to see into the future to plan ahead for completing the smaller parts of the project.
- Learn how to help students visually break large projects into smaller steps, to estimate time to complete and schedule these steps, to visually learn the impact of procrastination and to prioritize steps of the project.
The Get Ready * Do * Done Model
Do what you do…just make one tiny tweak and turn the core classroom objectives and tasks into powerful tools to teach students executive control skills for classroom and treatment interventions. The ‘Get Ready * Do * Done’ program teaches students the process of how to visualize simple, multi-step and complex tasks and assignments and then sequence and plan the requisite steps to fully complete work.
- Teach students how to break down complex tasks and assignments and then plan for, organize and initiate tasks
- Long term project management is a challenge for students with executive dysfunction as they struggle to see into the future to plan ahead for completing the smaller parts of the project. Learn how to help students:
- Visually break large projects into smaller steps
- Estimate time to complete and schedule these steps
- Visually learn the impact of procrastination and to prioritize steps of the project.
- Generalizing the Get Ready * Do * Done process to independent planning
For technical requirements of ACT’s web streaming, see our FAQ page: ACT Live Event Web Streaming
Comments from Sarah Ward's 2019 Executive Function Workshop:
- "Excellent and practical strategies I can try with my son right away" – Family member"
- Engaging speaker, great content, practical, user friendly, lots of "oh my gosh this will be so great for...." moments" – Professional
- "Sarah was easy to listen to and she made the concepts easy to understand and apply" – Professional
About the Presenter
Sarah Ward, M.S., CCC/SLP
Sarah Ward has over 25 years of experience in diagnostic evaluations and treatment of executive dysfunction. Ms. Ward holds a faculty appointment at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. She is an internationally recognized expert on executive function and presents seminars and workshops on the programs and strategies she has developed with the Co- Director of Cognitive Connections, Kristen Jacobsen. Their 360 Thinking Executive Function Program received the Innovative Promising Practices Award from the National Organization CHADD. She has presented to and consulted with over 1200 public and private schools in Massachusetts and across the United States and Canada.
Visit Sarah Ward’s website, Cognitive Connections, for more information about Executive Functioning - you will find many free resources.
|Date||Parents, Para-Pros & Students||Professionals|
|Early Bird Rate ends||April 11, 2022||$225||$275|
|Late Rate begins||April 12, 2022*||$275||$325|
*Last day to register is May 9, 2022
Receive a 10% discount when registering 3-9 attendees at the same time.
Special rate for this event for groups who register 10 or more attendees via web stream.
The conditions and rates are as follows:
- The group must be registered in one transaction on ACT’s website; a minimum of 10 registrants is required for this offer.
- For the first 10 attendees registered, a rate of $150 per person will apply: A savings of $125/professional and $75/para-professional compared to the Early Bird rate
- For every attendee over the initial 10 registrants, a rate of $100 per person will apply: A savings of $175/professional and $125/para-professional compared to the Early Bird rate
- This discount will be automatically applied to the cart during check-out
- Registrations must be received by May 9th at 4:30pm Pacific Time.
- Refunds will not be provided to group registrants as the presentation may be accessed for one month after the live event.
- Substitutions/additions will not be allowed after May 9th as ACT is very short-staffed and cannot process last minute changes.
- Each attendee will receive their own personalized web stream email/access to the recording for one month after the event
- All attendees will receive a certificate one week following the event.
ACT provides bursary funds from our own resources and through support from private donors. Anyone wishing to attend an ACT event is eligible to apply if the cost is a barrier to attending the event. Bursaries are provided as reduced event registration fees. You are encouraged to apply as soon as possible as bursary funds are limited. Visit ACT's Event Bursary page for more information on our bursary programs. Donate to our bursary fund.
If you wish to use your child’s Autism Funding to pay for your registration, ACT can invoice the Autism Funding Branch directly. If you are paying in advance to be reimbursed, you must contact the Autism Funding Branch for approval first.
For information on how to register with your Autism Funding, visit Workshop Registration Using Autism Funding.
Focus Across the life-span from age 5 through adulthood
For Parents and Caregivers, Community Professionals
Approach Executive Function Skills
Autism-Specific? No, relevant for a range of individuals with diverse diagnoses