This summer is the perfect time to develop Executive Function Skills without the school year pressures. We are pleased to offer several different programs depending upon the individual needs and age of the student. Students will work individually with a coach in their homes to develop long lasting strategies in Executive Function Skills that will help in school and in life. We offer these courses individually because we have found that students delve deeper into the learning opportunities than they can in a group setting. At the end of each session, the student will summarize to parents what was learned that session and what will be practiced, much like how we structure our coaching sessions during the school year. We will also discuss what role the parent can play in assisting.
In our experience, the students that take these courses progress faster and do better with coaching, over the next school year. The combination of establishing a foundation through the summer program and then continuing with fall coaching to apply the skills, as well as working on additional Executive Function skills, has proven to be the most successful course of action for our students.
If you know of a student who could benefit from learning these valuable Executive Function Skills during the summer, please contact Shelley Karpel at firstname.lastname@example.org . The charge for all courses is $120 per hour. There may be small additional charges for workbooks or materials. We are flexible over the summer in terms of scheduling and can work around summer vacations etc.
We have a limited number of available spots and they will be reserved on a first come first serve basis. Please inquire as soon as possible. Please also let me know if you are interested in coaching for the fall. Students who do this summer program will get priority for the limited fall coaching slots.
The following programs will be offered for the Summer
Scroll down for detailed information about each program:
Seeing My Time,
Developed by Marydee Sklar
For Middle School, High School, College Students and Adults
This program focuses on Time Management, Organization, Planning, Goal Directed Persistence and building Metacognition. It combines educational and neuroscience approaches and presents the lessons and time management in a visual format. We have used this course for several years, with many students with Executive Function challenges. They have been successful learning these strategies and applying them in their lives.
There are six units to the course:
Unit 1: The Brain and Learners
Unit 2: The First Truth of Time: Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Unit 2: The Second Truth of Time: Time Takes up Space
Unit 4: Meeting Due Dates
Unit 5: Organization and Paper Management
Unit 6: The Third Truth of Time: The Way You Use Your Time Equals Your Life
Please check out www.executivefunctioningsuccess.com for more details about this course. Access to Achieve offers this course a bit differently than Marydee describes how she offers it. One of our Executive Function Coaches will meet with your child in your home from 1- 1 ½ hours for each session. It takes about 15 sessions to complete the workbook and exercises.
"I looked over your website and am delighted that you are using Seeing My Time with your clients and families. With your backgrounds, you and your team should be right at home with the structure and activities that build the metacognition necessary for learning and behavior change." Marydee Sklar, creator and author of Seeing My Time
Self Regulated Strategy Development in Writing,
Developed by Dr. Karen Harris
For All Ages
This program is for students who struggle with or want to improve in writing. The writing process involves all of the Executive Functions and many Access to Achieve students have difficulty with, and then come to dislike writing, which can greatly impact how they do in school. We’ve been searching for a good writing intervention program and have found it with SRSD. All Access to Achieve staff are trained in this methodology through the think-SRSD program.
This instructional approach does a great job of teaching writing that involves excellent Executive Function strategies. Developed by Dr. Karen Harris and colleagues, and supported by over 100 empirical research studies, SRSD powerfully raises the quality of student writing, and enjoyment of writing.
“SRSD…specifically strengthens how students feel about themselves as writers…it’s all about students learning how to self regulate their use of writing strategies” Leslie Laud, think-SRSD website.
“In my 20 years of education experience, I have never seen any set of strategies get the results we are getting with SRSD so quickly!” -Kimberly Saunders, Assistant Superintendent, ConVal School District, Retrieved from http://www. thinksrsd.com.
‘Students in Worc, MA tripled their gains in writing quality after using SRSD.’
Ed Week Oct 30, 2013, Retrieved from http://www. thinksrsd.com.
Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD)… is a six-stage evidence-based pedagogy, framed on the gradual release of responsibility model. This approach explicitly teaches writing skills, yet also allows students to become strategic and self-regulated by embedding instructional practices that include: modeling think alouds of the writing process; self/peer evaluation; explicitly sharing criteria; goal setting; regular formative assessment; positive self-statements; and individualized learning goals. Students receive various scaffolds such as graphic organizers, checklists, cues, and scoring scales, which are gradually removed as they internalize the writing process and criteria for excellent writing.
Taken from an article Patel, P. & Laud, L. (2015, January) Empowering Students to Write: Using Self-Regulated Strategy Development . AMLE Magazine, Retrieved from http://www. thinksrsd.com.
Please check out their website for more information, http://www.thinksrsd.com.
The Zones of Regulation,
Developed by Leah Kuypers, MA Ed. OTR/L
For Elementary, Middle and High School Students
This program focuses on Emotional Regulation and Control. It also works on Response Inhibition, Planning, Flexibility and Cognitive Shift, within a social context.
It’s a curriculum geared toward helping students gain skills in consciously regulating their actions, which in turn leads to increased control and problem solving abilities. Using a cognitive behavior approach, the curriculum's learning activities are designed to help students recognize when they are in different states called "zones," with each of four zones represented by a different color.
In the activities, students also learn how to use strategies or tools to stay in a zone or move from one to another. Students explore calming techniques, cognitive strategies, and sensory supports so they will have a toolbox of methods to use to move between zones. To deepen students' understanding of how to self-regulate, the lessons set out to teach students these skills: how to read others' facial expressions and recognize a broader range of emotions, perspective about how others see and react to their behavior, insight into events that trigger their less regulated states, and when and how to use tools and problem solving skills. The curriculum's learning activities are presented in 18 lessons.
Mindfulness Training for ADHD,
For All Ages
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to something, in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally, (Kabat-Zinn, 2003).
As Dr. Mark Bertin, a developmental pediatrician and expert in the field said in the description for his talk at the 2016 National CHADD conference, “Since its introduction into the ADHD community, interest has taken off in the practice of mindfulness. The research continues to suggest that mindfulness training reduces stress, improves executive function and attention, promotes healthy communication and compassion, fosters emotional regulation, and leads to an enhanced sense of well-being”.
I have been very interested in this approach and had been looking for a methodology specifically designed for children and adolescents with ADHD. It had to be something that fits into our coaching model so that we could use it in conjunction with what we are already doing.
I was so impressed with "Mindfulness Skills for Kids & Teens" by Debra Burdick, LCSWR, BCN. Her book includes tools, techniques, activities and handouts that can be used in our weekly coaching meetings. We have been doing this for a few years now and have incorporated mindfulness training into all aspects of our coaching program. It enhances the work that we are doing week to week. As time presents itself, we build upon the previously covered mindfulness exercises from the weeks before. The students are asked to practice these techniques during the time between sessions. The program is designed for their level of understanding, and with activities that can be fun and interesting for them. We tailor what we do and how we use mindfulness, based on the individual student’s needs.
“Best-selling mindfulness author Debra Burdick has blended the latest research and best practices to create this straight-forward guide” (The Brainlady.com) “Debra’s new book…is a goldmine of on the spot tools and techniques... She takes you through all ages and stages of development with specific directions on how to use and implement her mindfulness techniques. These techniques coupled with the explanation of neuroscience bring a richness and beauty to this amazing book”. Susan P, Epstein, LCSW, Coach and Author
In the book Debra explains that “Mindfulness can directly improve the lives of kids and teens in significant ways. Some of the benefits suggested by the latest research include:
Increased emotional regulation
Increased ability to orient attention
Increased working memory and planning and organization
Increased self esteem
Increased social skills
Increased sense of calmness, relaxation, and self-acceptance
Increased quality of sleep
Decreased test anxiety
Decreased ADHD behaviors-hyperactivity and impulsivity
Decreased negative affect/emotions
Decreased anxiety, decreased depression
Fewer conduct and anger management problems
We have also added exercises and practices from other sources including the MindfullyADD website, "Mindful Parenting" by Mark Bertin, M.D., "The Mindfulness Prescription for Adult ADHD: An 8-Step Program for Strengthening Attention, Managing Emotions, and Achieving Your Goals" by Lidia Zylowska and "A Still Quiet Place: A Mindfulness Program for Teaching Children and Adolescents to Ease Stress and Difficult Emotions" by Amy Saltzman, M.D. We also use apps, youtube videos etc.
Debra Burdick's more recent book, "Mindfulness for Teens with ADHD" is a step-by-step workbook that structures the mindfulness work into practical applications that our student's can relate to. We have started using the workbook this past school year, in conjunction with our other mindfulness practices and are seeing very good results. This along with the other tools can be an effective stand alone summer program for teaching mindfulness skills.
Online Class and
Summer School Help
Many students take online courses during the summer and also during the school year. While it can be a way to take classes that don’t fit into a student’s schedule, could be a way to make up courses, or a way to spread the workload out, we find that the online format is especially difficult for those with Executive Function challenges. Coaches will provide the needed structure, help with developing a plan and timeline, and provide the accountability that is often lacking with online programs. Coaches will assist with learning how to navigate the website, understanding the material, understanding and completing the assignments. At the same time coaches will also be working on developing those Executive Function skills and compensation strategies that can be applied when the student returns to school or to life in general. If students are taking brick and mortar summer school classes, coaching can be provided using the Access to Achieve Executive Function Coaching model.
College Application Help
for the Executive Function Challenged
Applying to college is a complicated and challenging process. Students today, apply to many colleges and each one generally involves an application, references, transcripts and (the much dreaded) college essays. Each school has its’ own timeline for when this all has to be completed and submitted. There’s also the financial paperwork and applications. Often students are applying for scholarships to help defray some of the cost.
This program is designed to assist ADHD students and their families through the college application process. It has naturally grown as a response to this need for assistance. Coaches were meeting weekly with their students and the Juniors and Seniors were struggling through this, while trying to balance school work at the same time. We found this to be a stressful time for our families and began to help. We can help with navigating through the Naviance website if your
school is using it, planning the steps of what has to be done, developing and implementing an inclusive timeline and help with writing college essays.
We have incorporated mindfulness training into all aspects of our coaching program.