A framework for executive functioning intervention: Three shifts for school teams

As a professional field, we’re getting stuck in old ways of thinking when it comes to designing services for students experiencing executive dysfunction. 

When we think of “therapy” the first thing that comes to mind is a clinician sitting in a chair saying things like, “And how does that make you feel?” or a clinician doing exercises in a 1:1 or group setting.
 
When we think of “planning for therapy”, we think of what materials or activities we’re going to do in our direct therapy sessions.
 
With “social skills intervention”, we think of an adult teaching a group of kids how to follow the rules in social situations, while students answer questions and discuss to demonstrate their understanding.
 
Lack of generalization continues to be one of the biggest pain points for therapists using these models.
 
And while most clinicians agree that collaboration with other professionals and caregivers is important, the “planning” for those activities is often less intentional than the way we plan for direct intervention. 

That’s why in the School of Clinical Leadership, the first thing I teach clinicians is how to create a long-term strategic plan for putting executive functioning support in place for their caseloads (and sometimes the entire school) using multiple service delivery models.
 
When the entire intervention starts and ends within a traditional therapy session, students don’t generalize executive functioning skills across settings.
 
We as a field need to evolve in the way we think about what’s included in “therapy” services for executive functioning.
 
There are three paradigm shifts clinicians, educators, and school leaders can make when thinking about supporting kids executive functioning in schools.
 
I describe what they are in this episode.

I mentioned the following resources in this episode:

Push-in, pull-out, co-teaching: What’s most functional for language therapy? (Link here: https://drkarenspeech.com/push-in-pull-out-co-teaching-whats-most-functional-for-language-therapy/)

How to make better accommodations by being less accommodating  (Link here: https://drkarenspeech.com/push-in-pull-out-co-teaching-whats-most-functional-for-language-therapy/)

EP 83: How to provide high-quality support for your caseload with the “asset stack” method (Link here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/ep-83-how-to-provide-high-quality-support-for-your-caseload-with-the-asset-stack-method/)

In this episode, I mention the School of Clinical Leadership, my program that helps related service providers develop a strategic plan for putting executive functioning support in place in collaboration with their school teams. You can learn more about that program here: https://drkarendudekbrannan.com/clinicalleadership

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A framework for executive functioning intervention: Three shifts for school teams