After using the assessment to identify the most needed improvement area to start with, a basic intervention process will be used that fits in generally with each individual EF intervention. In a sense, this is the blueprint for the approach to be used in each case. Broken down into six steps, any intervention to improve an EF skills is approach by:
- Analyzing a task in that skill set. Figure out what needs to be done.
- Planning how to handle the task.
- Getting organized. Break down the plan into a series of steps.
- Figuring out how much time is needed to carry out the plan, and set aside the time.
- Making adjustments as needed, including the environment and resources.
- Finishing the task in the time allotted.
In the next three sections, all the executive skills are covered. Feel free to select and focus first on the one or two that need the most attention.
Executive functions can be divided into three basic types. What are these?
A healthy lifestyle is considered an overarching function that enables the body and mind to perform at its best when needed. The remaining 11 skills are divided into the following three broad categories:
- Planning/Organizing: This skills set covers working memory, task planning and prioritizing abilities, organization, and time management skills.
- Regulation: This skill set includes the ability to inhibit unhelpful behavior, control emotions, sustain attention, and initiate tasks.
- Problem-Solving: This skill set looks at goal-directed persistence, flexibility, and metacognition and self-regulation.
What comes next?
The next few sessions are devoted to specific intervention plans for each executive skill area, starting with session 6 that addresses the planning/organization types of executive functions, followed by the regulation types in session 7, and the problem-solving types in session 8.