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Executive Functioning Skills - Is it too late to help?

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Replies to: Executive Functioning Skills - Is it too late to help?

  • taverngirltaverngirl 1608 replies45 threads Senior Member
    @Meddy I originally wanted in-person coaching, but I couldn't find anyone in my area (CT). I didn't find a lot of resources online, and I was in a hurry to get something started (nothing like waiting until end of Junior year!) so I went with one of the only ones I could find (feel free to PM for name; not sure I'm allowed to post). They are expensive, I think, but they do seem to be working, and my son is very engaged with his coach. I figure if it works, it's money well spent. Better than spending $50,000 on college and flunking out after a year. There is a very thorough intake process and then an interview with the student to ensure they are matched up with a compatible coach. The coach introduces one or two things to work on at a time and then they evaluate to see how it's working for the student. New things are slowly introduced as needed. They are always getting feedback from the student as to what is working and what isn't, which is nice. My son does one 1-hour session a week and then his coach checks in via phone midway between sessions to see how it's going. That's just a 5-10 minute conversation. They keep the students accountable, which is important to me. They also share a detailed summary of each session with the parents so they are in the loop. As far as results, he is putting the tools to use and systems in place to help strengthen his weaknesses. His coach is also teaching him how to advocate for himself. He has to have conversations with each of his teachers to get their thoughts on how he could do better, and he has to report that back to his coach so they can incorporate those into his program. He sets short and long term goals with his coach as well. All in all, I'm pretty happy with it so far. We are about six weeks in, and I was told it takes about 3 months before you really see good progress. LMK if you have any other questions; happy to answer them if I can.
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  • zoosermomzoosermom 25663 replies594 threads Senior Member
    I think we have different definitions of structure, that's all. And if there are support services, those are usually reserved for identified students with diagnosed need, which OP's son is not.
    Respectfully, that's not true. Many schools have support services available to students who ask. They often can be found in the tutoring department, which almost all schools have available. I've researched this for three kids over a decade at more than three dozen schools, and support services are available across a wide range of schools.

    Just a note, which may not apply to anyone else, but if there are problems like this, it can be good to assess the student's schedule. My husband and I came to sincerely believe that a significant part of my son's issues in high school can be attributed to being massively sleep deprive for years. His schedule involved being up by 5:30 and out the door by 6:00 and not returning until 7:00 pm every day. When in college, he lucked out to never have a class before 9 am and the difference was amazing. At that time in his life, he was doing too much too early in the day.

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  • compmomcompmom 11562 replies81 threads Senior Member
    I just want to say, what others have said, that it would really help to have him evaluated asap. A neuropsychologist can do an appropriate evaluation, and a psychiatrist (or PCP even) can diagnose ADHD. There is no reliable test for ADHD but a questionnaire is used: sounds already as if the questionnaire would result in a diagnosis. This is a brain-based disorder, and needs to be understood and accommodated.

    If he were to have a diagnosis- and not assuming he will- then he would be able to register with an Office for Disabilities and, with professional documentation, receive accommodations and support. Other personnel at the college would also be involved, such as extra advising and interventions by someone like a dean when professors need more info :)

    Landmark College has a lot of resources you might want to look into. A summer program that helps with transition to college, and I also got the name of an excellent coach who works by phone. Look them up.

    Generally, I think the transition from parental help to doing things on one's own should be more of a gentle slope than a cliff, but you can substitute others for parent. (Also I don't think his grades "dived"!)

    Getting an evaluation really helps. It usually includes suggestions and advice, and referrals, and will help with the college.

    Many people with executive functioning issues and/or ADHD are so very bright and can thrive.
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  • mom2andmom2and 3046 replies20 threads Senior Member
    @greenbutton Perfect description and spot on for kids (and adults) with ADHD inattentive. Yes, there are services at college but the student has to seek them out. Unless it is a special program, colleges are not going to wake kids up in the morning, check in on why they aren't in class, or give them a pass on homework or studying for tests. Colleges expect kids to have enough EF to function indepently and ask for help if needed. For the kids that don't make it, it is often that they know they SHOULD ask for help from either the professor or the college, but don't, They know they should do the homework, write the paper, or study for the test, but they don't.

    Unfortunately, medication is not as effective for inattentive ADHD, but it can help. While you don't outgrow it, you can learn to function and to make routines that get you through.
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  • jazzymomof7jazzymomof7 251 replies24 threads Junior Member
    @taverngirl Will you please PM me the name of the service you used? For some reason, I am not able to send you a PM.
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  • scholarmescholarme 2674 replies79 threads Senior Member
    Make him use his smart phone calendar and reminders every day for every thing, even non school related.
    Just build that habit.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 6922 replies30 threads Senior Member
    @compmom Many that have adhd are Forutune 500 CEO's! Adhd makes you think differently and out of the box. This is a gift not a negative. Those just have to learn how to use it effectively.

    Many great books on the subject. https://www.addrc.org/resources/books/
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 6922 replies30 threads Senior Member
    Biofeedback works well for all of this BTW.
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  • mom2andmom2and 3046 replies20 threads Senior Member
    Not sure that "many" with significant levels of ADHD are CEOs. For many people and kids it has a negative impact on their lives. It certainly is not a "gift" or much of a benefit. Many people may say they have ADHD, but one of the diagnostic criterion is that it interferes with life function. What makes you say it is a gift?

    The results on biofeedback have been mixed at best. No harm in trying, but not sure it will really help.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 6922 replies30 threads Senior Member
    edited May 2019
    I have it and runs in my family both sides.
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/dalearcher/2014/05/14/adhd-the-entrepreneurs-superpower/

    I will find the other articles that highlight what I am talking about.

    Creative thinking and coming up with solutions that others might not I see this daily. BTW - it doesn't have to interfere with life function does it? I have witnessed biofeedback and other things first hand for myself, kids and nephew and many others. I am also a critical doctor so I don't take any of this lightly.

    You most likely wouldn't believe in developmental Optometry but have seen a amazing results in less then 2 weeks(treatment is like 12 weeks) and the 20 or so families I recommended to a doctor for it have also. No medications.

    I have also lived it personally being the kid with high IQ and not living up to my "potential". Heard this over and over. Had crappy grades in high school and no one understood why. Have been tested over and over again. But became the double board certified surgeon /doctor also that comes up with solutions that are out of the box.. Maybe not proven to anyone but my patients that are no longer in pain after seeing 5 previous doctors... Hmmmm....

    Yes it affect your lifestyle and your marriage etc if you let it. All the books I linked to could of been written about me. I tell people thinking if they have add just read a few chapters of https://www.amazon.com/You-Mean-Lazy-Stupid-Crazy/dp/0743264487

    Or the like. I am on like every page of these books. Forget about diagnosis (I say jokingly), once you educate yourself a bit you see yourself or loved one very quickly.

    So my point is don't let it define you. Use it positively. It's not going away so you need to be able to control it. Not always easy.. Just ask my wife. 😉.

    @mom2and..... See typical add. I wrote this great post and forgot to assign it to you so edited it.. Lol
    edited May 2019
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 6922 replies30 threads Senior Member
    Also I needed tricks to learn. This book was key for me. https://m.barnesandnoble.com/p/memory-book-harry-lorayne/1101889940/2660953736227?st=PLA&sid=BNB_ADL+Marketplace+Generic+Used+Books+-+Mobile+Medium&sourceId=PLAGoNA&dpid=tdtve346c&2sid=Google_m&gclid=Cj0KCQjwt_nmBRD0ARIsAJYs6o363L4mPOfUk39J-C6PqeVb_srzff5_kpoiBj6uTT3h-OhpXKUeX0oaAjYqEALw_wcB.

    Sorry not sure what's going on with the link. These guys besides one a basketball legend were also on Johnny Carson memorizing the phone books.. Always thought that was cool..
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  • compmomcompmom 11562 replies81 threads Senior Member
    @knowsstuff maybe you could start a thread of your own on this.

    I personally am very familiar with what you are talking about, as are many on this board- from personal experience with our kids, our selves, others. I don't think you can assume you are educating folks but thanks for trying.

    Any 'difference" brings both challenges and gifts. A balanced view is best, and fitting the picture to the particular person since every brain is different.

    Very glad you are happy with your life. Some of us have kids who struggle a bit but are getting there.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 6922 replies30 threads Senior Member
    @compmom. Sorry if I offended you in anyway. But I was the kid they said couldn't learn and didn't know how to teach to. Myself and all my siblings have adhd. Elementary through high school was a living hell for me. I have two kids now in college both exceeding. One was inattentive and one not with adhd. One a 504 and one IEP. Both with Learning disabilities. One with a few years of seizures. One with Dyscalculia who I had to threaten to sue the school till they gave her a final "orally" in a class she was barely passing. She got an A on the final in a class she was going to flunk. They changed they way they teach to kids like her afterward since the teacher and principal were shocked with the results. The other kid we fought for extended time for the Act and it changed his life. Both with neuropsych exams in elementary, middle school and high school with accomadations. Hundreds of hours of outside tutors, specialists, and thousands of dollars of testings. Neither of them medicated (except for the seizures but did try some things prior).

    I could go on but I think I earned my opinion on this topic. I truly understand how different brains work and learn since my two kids are polar opposite in this respect. I am just trying to help and show that for some there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

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  • cinnamon1212cinnamon1212 1092 replies9 threads Senior Member
    I haven't chimed in on this thread because so many posters have given such good advice and perspective! One of my kids has ADHD, he is now a freshman in college. Just before he was diagnosed, in 6th grade, when we didn't know what was going on, I thought he couldn't handle high school, let alone college. It has been a long (and tough) journey, but we've gone from that point, to him doing well at a T20 university. And it's still a journey! Last semester he got straight A's, except for a C- in a late afternoon class that took place when his meds were wearing off.

    I am at a point where I acknowledge how difficult it is for bright kids with executive functioning issues, but I have strongly come to believe ADHD is also a gift. My son sees the world differently. He thinks outside the box. It is more creative. If he can find a job that plays to his strengths I know he will go far and be happy.

    There are all kinds of things that play to ADHD strengths! For example soccer goalkeepers disproportionately have ADHD. The theory is that they hyperfocus on the ball better than nonadhd players. Plus, with poor working memory they "forget" (put behind them) goals scored on them more easily. They are *better* goalkeepers than neurotypical players.

    I think this is the key -- figure out the tools that help them survive in the world, and then find things that play to their strengths.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 6922 replies30 threads Senior Member
    @cinnamon1212 Yes!! That is my point a bit ago. There are traits that they can use to their advantage. My daughter didn't want to be medicated since she "thought" it would stifle her creativity. She tried it for a few days and didn't like the way it made her feel and was old enough at that point to have a clear opinion. So she worked hard to over come her indifferences. Biofeedback helped. . She will take longer to do x but will out work anyone due to hyperfocusing. Love your example of it. Never knew that about goal keepers. I tend to hyperfocus while driving so talking to me in the car is not usually a great idea. But in surgery I am very attentive due to it. Also at my practice I take a longer time getting to know my patients and diagnosing them. They tend to like that and always comment how I don't rush out of the room like other doctors so there are some positives....

    ..but hyperfocusing can also be pretty tiring also. I am ready to go to I bed much earlier then anyone in my house. Getting enough rest /sleep in crucial.

    Yes, play to your child strengths which really should be done with adhd or not.
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  • compmomcompmom 11562 replies81 threads Senior Member
    Maybe this could be an interesting thread: the positives and negatives of ADHD. But the OP's child hasn't been diagnosed so it doesn't really address the original post. Many of us have suggested an evaluation (and executive function issues aren't always ADHD). @jazzymomof7 apologies for the tangent.
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  • mstompermstomper 1038 replies40 threads Senior Member
    I thought our S18 might have executive functioning issues after a hs career where he failed to turn in multiple assignments (or didn't do them at all). He ended up with a 3.7 his freshman year of college. His older brother has still had issues in college, but is doing better in his second shot at college.
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  • megan12megan12 789 replies35 threads Member
    My son also has EF issues but does not have ADHD. He was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder so be careful when you give you advice about someone else's child. I do agree with others that it might be beneficial to get him diagnosed so you know what else you might be dealing with and what might be a potential obstacle. Then it's critical to find someone who can teach you how to organize assignments, how to take notes, how to accomplish projects, and how to study for tests. My son couldn't take in the whole picture and then organize it into smaller parts until someone showed him how. Once he learned the skills that come naturally to other people, it made tasks much easier and his grades improved, although I'm still nervous about him starting college, which brings a whole different set of challenges.
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  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 6922 replies30 threads Senior Member
    edited May 2019
    So this book "might" be worth a read
    It's a quick read and entertaining and the "only" book my college engineering son didn't give right back to me.. Lol..

    His issue was /is procrastination among other things.

    The author is like a legend and the books strategies just make sense. They are all incredibly easy to do but he gives suggestions on how to organize your daily /weekly life for studying and break down idea's to smaller parts to absorb and understand etc. Understanding what to study and more importantly how to study. It's really well written and has been suggested on CC for years.

    The idea is not becoming a straight A student but what techniques they commonly use for success.

    http://www.calnewport.com/books/straight-a-student/
    edited May 2019
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  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU 14472 replies104 threads Forum Champion
    @Knowsstuff I am continually recommending that book here on CC
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