Practical Strategies to Address Executive Functioning Deficits in School-aged Girls with Fragile X Syndrome
Guest Speaker: Barbara Haas-Givler, Geisinger Health System
Executive functioning (EF) is best thought of as a set of skills. This group of skills is used to organize and direct behavior towards goals as well as help control, regulate, adjust and self-monitor our behavior. Executive functioning behaviors include: inhibition, set-shifting/cognitive flexibility and to some extent overlap with working memory.
Getting stuck, refusal, not starting or finishing work are possibly in response to tasks that need well-developed executive functioning. At times, deficits in EF skills look like the student “won’t do” rather than “couldn’t do.” At a practical level, EF translates into skills such as prioritizing, goal selection, planning, organizing and getting started. These skills are crucial to school success, social relationships and daily living skills. This presentation will provide an overview of executive functioning skills and deficits. There will be a discussion of how EF deficits affect schoolwork, social skills and daily living skills. The emphasis will be on describing and selecting practical strategies to teach school-aged girls with fragile X who have executive functioning deficits