Executive Function Parent Coffee – Jan 24th, 2018

Thank you for your participation in this weeks parent coffee where we discuss the meaning of Executive Skills/Functions and specifically the changes that occur in MS through the onset of puberty.
In recent years I have been drawn to the research from Dr. Zelazo, who has made connections between brain development and the executive function, stating that the massive amount of growth in the prefrontal cortex (seen during the puberty years) creates an increase in neurons activity, which results in a “too many cooks in the kitchen scenario”. What has been seen as an individual matures is the neuron pathways get prioritized and streamlined, making connections between different parts of our brain, most significantly the frontal cortex and amygdala more efficient.

In the presentation below he touches on the impact that this shift in Executive Skills will have in Empathy. The full presentations, and other by Dr. Zelazo, relating to executive function can be found on youtube.

The presentation is noted here.

Copy of Parent Coffee – Executive Function .en.ko (1)

Additional resources that were used in this presentation was research from Peg Dawson titled Best Practices in Assessing and Improving Executive Skills. If you would like to read that entire article you can ExecutiveSkillsChapter. Please note that not all of the strategies presented in this work would be appropriate for all students in our school setting as there are many factors that would need to be considered.

Here is a link to the article regarding a mother’s conversation with her son regarding the brain’s changes through puberty.

Other publications that were noted in our presentation was the work of Dr. Daniel Seigal including The Whole Brain Child and Brainstorm. His work is very interesting and his books are appropriate for anyone that works with children, from parents to coaches to teachers. His works can be found by clicking here.

We also mentioned the book Mean Girls (which is a workbook that we have in the counseling office) and Siblings Without Rivalries.

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