Academic Lab is a special education class geared towards improving your executive functioning skills, building on your IEP goals, as well as improving your overall academic skills. During the academic lab course you will learn more about executive functioning skills, your specific IEP goals, with tips and tricks to meet those goals, in addition to improving your basic study skills to improve your grades in all classes.
Executive functioning skills are:working memory, attention to task, cognitive flexibility, time management, organization, task persistence, focus, self-control, regulating emotions, and understanding others' viewpoints. Executive functioning skills are necessary in order to obtain and maintain employment as well as be successful in life.
Working memory-is the ability to work with information, it helps us learn and work with the most basic information.
Signs of potential problems:
- difficulty following directions
- difficulty remembering math facts
- problems remembering spelling tests words
- hard time remembering homework unless it is written down
- problems sequencing information
Attention to task-can you begin a task within one minute of being given directions, or do you ask for assistance? Can you stick with this task from start to finish? Some call this persistence or task initiation.
Cognitive flexibility-your ability to shift gears and think about something from more than one viewpoint, such as having a variety of tools in your toolbox to solve a variety of problems
Signs of problems:
- difficulty with changes in schedules
- different rules for an old game or activity
- change in dinner plans
- TV schedule change
- unable to try a "new" way to solve a problem
Some overall signs of Executive Functioning problems noted in the school setting are:
- having trouble starting a task
- having trouble completing a task
- having issues doing what is most pressing (prioritizing)
- immediately forgetting what they just heard or read
- panic when rules change or teacher is absent today
- issues following a set of directions or steps to solve a problem
- trouble switching focus from one activity to another
- getting overly emotional when things change
- trouble organizing your thoughts
- trouble keeping track of your belongings
- problems managing your time
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