Sarah Ward Presents Strategies to Support Student’s Executive Function

Sarah Ward Presents Strategies to Support Student’s Executive Function

Sarah Ward, M.S., CCC/SLP and Co-Director has over 15 years experience in diagnostic evaluations, treatment and case management of children, adolescents and adults with a wide range of developmental and acquired brain based learning difficulties and behavioral problems not limited to but including:

  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Verbal Learning Disabilities
  • Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities
  • Asperger Syndrome
  • Other Social-Cognitive Learning Disabilities
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Acquired Brain Injury

Her particular interest is in the assessment and treatment of executive function deficits.

Conference Description

To successfully execute, students need to be aware of task demands and set goals. Then they must access forethought and hindsight to think in an organized way and to sustain their focus on the relevant features of the task at hand.  As students mature they learn how to organize their time, space, materials and develop the reasoning skills to consider multiple possible solutions to problems, recognize the "gray" in situations, and manage both expected and unexpected changes in plans, routines, rules and novel situations. Students must fluidly shift between changing task demands and carry out multiple complex steps to achieve expected goals. 

This is a practical strategies seminar!  In the first hour you will learn how to clearly define what the executive function skills are for the purpose of determining the most effective treatment interventions. Understand the development of the executive function skills and what is meant by the term “executive dysfunction”.

The rest of the day participants will learn dozens of functional, ready-to-use strategies for teaching students how to develop the executive function skills. Teach students to develop a “memory for the future”, to devise plans to achieve their goal, to use self-talk,  to self-initiate, to transition to the next task of higher priority and to control their impulses and emotions to successfully complete a task. Improve a student’s awareness skills so that he/she can “read a room” then “stop, think and create” an appropriate action plan and infer possible outcomes.

Teach students to see and sense the passage of time, accurately estimate how long tasks will take, change or maintain their pace, and carry out routines and tasks within allotted time frames.  Improve student’s speed of processing and to absorb information in an organized way. Practical strategies to help students to record, initiate and complete nightly homework assignments and long term projects to ensure work is returned in a timely manner.

Learning Objectives:

  • State the functional working definition of  what is meant by the term “executive function skills”as it pertains to therapeutic interventions 
  • Define how nonverbal working memory,  situational awareness, self talk, forethought and episodic memory are the foundational skills for successful task execution
  • Develop an intervention program to foster a student’s ability to form more independent executive function skills by describing therapeutic activities to improve:
  • Situational awareness and forethought
  • Task planning, task initiation and transition within and between tasks
  • Active self management of the factors related to the passage of time: for a day, an hour and for long term projects
  • Internal self-talk for initiating tasks
  • Organized thinking and speed of processing
  • Student  management of homework and materials


Special Lunch Presentation 

Carolyn Dalgliesh will discuss her new book, "The Sensory Child Gets Organized", during our lunch break. All conference attendees and luncheon guests will get a signed copy of her book included in the registration fee. 


Carolyn Dalgliesh
Author, "The Sensory Child Gets Organized"
Carolyn Dalgliesh is the founder of Systems for Sensory Kids & Simple Organizing Strategies helping sensory families, individuals, and businesses get organized.  Her book, “The Sensory Child Gets Organized” (Touchstone, 2013), teaches parents how to tap into systems, routines, and visual aids to organize and empower their rigid, anxious, or distracted kids. She is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO). Carolyn lives in Rhode Island with her husband and two children.

Conference Schedule


8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.
Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m.- 10:00 a.m.
A practical understanding of executive function skills

10:00 a.m.– 10:15 a.m.

10:15 a.m.– 11:45 a.m.
Understand the impact of weak executive function skills on self regulation.
Learn practical strategies to teach forethought for task initiation and competition.

11:45 a.m.– 12:45 p.m.
Carolyn Dalgliesh will discuss her book “The Sensory Child gets Organized”

12:45 p.m.– 2:15 p.m.
Continue with practical strategies to teach goal directed awareness:
Support task initiation, completion & impulse control.

2:15 p.m.– 2:30 p.m.

2:30 p.m.– 4:00 p.m.
Learn how to infuse executive function based instruction to support academics.

Conference Cost

The Conference is SOLD OUT!

Call Deb Langevin if you would like to be put on our Wait List.

® 2014 The Autism Project

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