Expert Explains Executive Functioning

Difficulties with regulating emotions, multi-tasking, getting started or finishing? If those sound familiar, you know how challenging they can be for our students. Do you know how they relate to executive functioning? Lynn Cannon, an Ivymount/Maddux School expert in social emotional learning, brought her expertise about the topic to a panel discussion on Facebook Live that was hosted by Washington Parent Magazine.

Cannon is a co-author of several curricula and programs developed at Ivymount, including Unstuck and On Target, the Conversation Club, and the Ivymount Social Cognition and Instructional Program (IvySCIP).

The hour-long discussion provided a range of perspectives and answered parent questions such as: how do I know whether there could be an executive functioning challenge, how can I make sure that I’m helping my child form new neural pathways and not doing everything for them, how can I convince my teen to use strategies such as timers and schedules?

Among Cannon’s recommendations: parents can talk less and write encouraging statements down when students are overwhelmed, and use the Goal, Why, Plan, Do, Check method, which is often shared with Ivymount School students.Watch the full panel discussion on the Facebook event page, or check the Washington Parent website this week for video snippets.


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