Executive Function Coaching

Our Executive Function Coaching program assists students in effectively managing social, behavioral, and organizational challenges by enhancing their executive function skills. This involves improving skills like planning, organization, time management, emotional regulation, and more. The program provides personalized coaching sessions that address specific needs and goals, helping students build better social interactions, self-control, and study habits. By focusing on these skills, students can navigate academic and personal demands with greater success and confidence.

Our two highly-trained coaches, Marg P and Ally C, have experience working with a wide range of students, including those on the autism spectrum. However, in some cases we may determine that we cannot adequately serve the needs of a particular student. In these instances, we will provide a list of vetted external providers whom we feel will be better equipped to support you.

Continue reading to learn more about executive function disorder, our specific approach, and our two coaches.

Understanding Executive Function Disorder

Defining Executive Function

Put simply, executive function is the set of skills required to accomplish tasks. It can be thought of as the “operations center” of the brain.

Everything from managing your schedule, organizing your workspace, and balancing multiple competing obligations falls under the umbrella of executive function.

Defining Executive Function Disorder

Executive Function Disorder is a deficiency in these skills that leads to problems in everyday life. As Dr. Russell Barkley, clinical professor of psychiatry at VCU Medical Center puts it, “It is not that the individual does not know what to do. It is that somehow it does not get done.”

There is frequent overlap between Executive Function Disorder and ADHD.

Common Signs of Executive Function Disorder

Inability to Hand in Assignments on Time

Students with executive function disorder often struggle to complete and turn in their assignments on time. Parents and teachers may interpret this as laziness and seek to address it through the imposition of punitive measures. While this can be effective for some students, it often fails to address the underlying issue and thus may not lead to lasting change.

Lapses in Short Term Memory

Students with executive function disorder may struggle with short-term recall. This typically is the result of an inability to effectively categorize and filter out necessary vs. unnecessary information. Parents and teachers may interpret this as a lack of focus, when in reality the student may simply lack the skills to properly utilize his or her short term memory stores.

Difficulty Balancing and Prioritizing Tasks

Students with executive function disorder are frequently overwhelmed by the variety and complexity of tasks that they have been assigned. They often lack the prioritization skills necessary to determine the most efficient order to approach each task, and may become deeply frustrated by their inability to make any meaningful headway.

Implications of Executive Function Disorder

Poor Academic Performance

Unsurprisingly, executive function difficulties are often reflected on a student’s report card. It can be difficult to determine the degree to which a grade is the result of a lack of conceptual understanding of the course material versus symptoms of executive function disorder, particularly since the two are so often intertwined. But it is important to gain this insight, because for some students, simply being told to “study harder” does not have the intended effect.

Low Motivation/Self-Esteem

Executive function disorder can be extremely frustrating for students, particularly when their peers do not appear to struggle in the same way. This can lead to reduced motivation, lowered self-esteem, and depression/anxiety. 

Difficulty Forming Relationships

Students with executive function disorder may struggle to form meaningful relationships, partly due to the issues surrounding personal image described above, but also due to the disorder itself. Relationships require many of the same skills that these students often lack (dependability, prioritization of information, emotional intelligence).

How We Help

The goal of our executive function coaching program is to set students up for continued success long after they finish working with us. With this in mind, our coaches work with their students to develop comprehensive structural frameworks that will enable them to approach their various areas of weakness in an organized and effective manner.

Here are some of the ways we help our students:

Developing Organizational Systems

Many students struggle to stay organized simply because they have never been taught how to do so. Our coaches work with students to create helpful systems and processes so that they can stay on track.

Identifying + Redirecting Distractions

We believe strongly in the concept of "if you can name it, you can tame it." Our coaches help students identify their "distraction triggers" and work to develop strategies to redirect those triggers into more helpful outcomes.

Liaising with Teachers + Tutors

Our coaches are more than happy to interface with their students' teachers and tutors to ensure that everyone is on the same page. We have found that keeping these lines of communication open significantly increases the chances of success.

Our Coaches

Marg P

Marg is a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA) who values teaching skills that increase independence. She enjoys thinking creatively while using scientifically based approaches to plan and achieve success - whatever that may look like for each individual. Learn More

Ally C

Ally is an ADHD Management/Executive Functioning Coach based in Washington, DC who specializes in supporting students and adults who are struggling with ADHD. She graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Delaware in 2019. Learn More


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