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The Better Behavior Show with Dr. Nicole Beurkens

Jan 8, 2020

My guest this week is Sarah Ward, who holds over 25 years of experience in diagnostic evaluations and treatment of executive dysfunction. She holds a faculty appointment at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions and is an internationally recognized expert on executive function. She presents seminars and workshops on the programs and strategies she has developed with her Co-Director, Kristen Jacobsen. Their 360 Thinking Executive Function Program received the Innovative Promising Practices Award from the National Organization CHADD. Sarah has presented to and consulted with over 1200 public and private schools in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

In this episode, Sarah and I discuss the importance of independent executive function skills and how parents can better approach teaching them to their children. Key concepts like planning and prioritizing, self-control, focussing, emotional control, organization and following directions have all become more difficult for those struggling with executive functions skills especially children with behavioral disorders such as ADD and ADHD. Sarah helps parents and children who struggle with executive functions by providing practical and impactful lessons to help improve their skills. To learn more about Sarah and 360 Thinking click here.


Episode Highlights

Executive Function Skills

  • Organization, time management, decision-making, memory
  • The ability to pre-imagine the future is a developmental skill and is at the core of what executive function is
  • Our digital age has greatly affected the teaching of these skills

Teaching Time Management 

  • Using an analog clock to show that time is visible and passing through space
  • The curriculum in schools teaching time used to last on average around 6 months, nowadays they may last around two weeks
  • This skill is critical for children and adults to understand and function on their daily lives at work and in school
    • especially for teens before they enter university
    • See 360 Thinking’s resources


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