Full Course Description

Improve Executive Functions: Evidence-Based Strategies to Change Behavior

Program Information

Target Audience

  • Addiction Counselors
  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Psychotherapists
  • Therapists
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Teachers
  • School Guidance Counselors
  • Case Managers
  • Nurses
  • School Administrators
  • Educational Paraprofessionals
  • Occupational Therapists & Occupational Therapy Assistants
  • Other Helping Professionals who Work with Children


Executive Functions (EF) Overview

  • The neuropsychology of Executive Functions
  • Levels, domains of functioning, arenas of involvement
  • A closer look at the self-regulation level
  • 7 clusters encompassing 33 functions
  • EF development over time
  • EFs, DSM-5® diagnoses, educational classifications
Develop an Intervention Plan: Assessment of EF Strengths and Weaknesses
  • A multidimensional model to guide assessment
  • Norm referenced tests, rating scales and diagnostic interviewing
  • Assessing the impact of EF difficulties on academic learning and production
  • Learning difficulties versus producing difficulties
  • EF-driven Functional Behavior Assessment
Strategies for EF Development and EF Difficulties
  • Create an environment for positive change
  • Develop and use growth mindsets
  • The EF intervention continuum
  • Orienting strategies that focus on goals and outcomes
  • External strategies for modifying behavior: Cueing, prompting and thinking aloud
  • Bridging strategies from externally controlled to internally self-regulated
  • Internally self-regulated strategies: Strengthen independent functioning
Evidence-based Programs and Resources to Foster Growth
  • Develop EFs in pre-school and kindergarten
  • Problem-solving models and programs
  • Cognitive strategy instruction and cognitive behavior therapy
  • Technology-based approaches
  • Mindfulness techniques and EF growth
Limitations of the Research and Potential Risks


  1. Analyze a comprehensive neuropsychological model of executive functions as it relates to clinical treatment.
  2. Communicate how executive function difficulties are manifested in individuals diagnosed with various psychological disorders and/or enrolled in special education programs as it pertains to assessment and treatment planning.
  3. Apply effective assessment techniques based on a multidimensional framework to determine executive function strengths and weaknesses and to target specific intervention needs.
  4. Recommend strategies that are appropriate for fostering executive function development and/or for intervening when executive function difficulties are identified.
  5. Implement strategies that bridge the gap between “external control” and “internal self-regulation”.
  6. Utilize mindfulness, CBT and other evidence-based programs to foster executive function development and/or remediate difficulties.

Copyright : 04/02/2019

Executive Function in the Classroom: 30 Cognitive-Motor Activities to Improve Attention, Memory & Self-Regulation

Program Information



  • Explore new neuroscience + kinesiology + education research
  • Teach children how the brain is built - manage their 3-part brains
  • Define & teach executive functions to children
  • Embodied cognition - learning is a whole-body experience
  • Bring daily physical activity into the classroom


  • Physical activity improves health and academic achievement
  • Types of exercise that improve executive function
  • How to Implement a movement schedule
  • Using collaboration and student creativity to improve behavior


Alerting, Attending and Energizing

  • March Match
  • Find The Pulse
  • Clap & Tap
  • I’m a Star
  • Over the Line in 4/4 time
  • The Little Jane Fonda
  • Wave Jump
  • Switch Tasks
  • Clap, Snap, Tap
  • Rhythm and Rhyme
  • Body Percussion
  • Pretend Drums


  • The difference between self-regulation and self-control
  • Task demands and perceived stress
  • Stressor identification & arousal states
  • Slowing down for better cognitive control keeping the marshmallow in the middle
    • Entrainment and Synchrony
    • Entrain me (Walk & Bounce with me)
    • Co-Regulation - Swing, sway, sing
    • Meditation and Mindfulness
    • The Music Carpet Ride
    • Middle C OHM
    • Head, Shoulders, Hips & Knees
    • Tai Chi
    • Pretend Balance Beam
    • Yogivate in ACTIVATE
    • Rhythm Ball
    • 3,5,7,9 For Calming in Time
    • Mirroring with Big Ben


  • The BIG 3 - attention, working memory & self-control
    • Having a Ball!
    • The Secret is The Sequence
    • The Parts of the Task Game
    • Cognitive Conversations
    • The THINK Cards
    • My Attention Engine
    • Play Math


  • Anxiety, agitation and hopefulness
  • What to say, think and do when children are escalating
  • The power of self-talk
    • Who’s Jelly Beans Am I Holding?
    • The Purpose Circle
    • What’s In It For Me?
    • Anger and Perceived Loss
    • Anger Mountain
    • My Anger Manager
    • I’ll Give This 10


  1. Implement research-based activities educators, teachers and school psychologists can use to improve thinking, self-regulation and behavior.
  2. Characterize the relationship between cognition and motor movement.
  3. Practice bringing physical activity back to the classroom with neurocognitive activities.
  4. Demonstrate how students calm their defensive brains leading to better concentration, improved attention and competent social-emotional skills.
  5. Evaluate the integration of computer-based cognitive skills training and motor movement activities
  6. Choose how to enhance collaboration and cooperation in your classroom by teaching children applied neuroscience research.

Target Audience

Counselors, Teachers/Educators, Marriage & Family Therapists, Occupational Therapists & Occupational Therapy Assistants, Psychologists, Social Workers, Speech-Language Pathologists, and other Mental Health Professionals

Executive Function Disorder in Children and Adolescents: Practical Strategies to Improve Metacognitive and Self-Regulation Skills

Program Information


Executive Functioning

  • Neuroanatomy of the brain
  • Mirror neurons
  • Sensory issues vs. behavior issues
  • Address communication breakdowns before they become social skills deficits resulting in behavior difficulties

Unlock Challenging Behavior in:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Attention Deficit disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Attachment disorders
  • Obsessive compulsive disorders
  • Mood disturbances
  • Behavior disorders
  • Learning disabilities

Self-Regulation Strategies

  • Methods to chart appropriate/inappropriate behaviors
  • Activities to review situations, options, consequences, choices, strategies, simulation when calm
  • Facilitate systematic feedback
  • Identify emotions, level of emotions and suggestions for self-regulation

Metacognitive Strategies

  • Methods that provide structure, predictability and routines
  • Systems to provide expectations
  • Neutral visual ques
  • Tips to break down workloads and schedules

Integrate Metacognitive and Self-Regulation Strategies

  • Visual ques to alert of change, surprises and transitions
  • Generate new and novel language for persons under stress but have extensive rote memories
  • Video modeling scenarios for persons who have social malfunctions
  • Ways to use high interest areas to motivate and problem-solve
  • Prompts for acceptable behaviors/social skills
  • Social narratives for expected behaviors and what they look like

Hands-On Activities and Video Demonstration of:

  • Meltdowns
  • Power cards
  • Keychain rules
  • Backward Planning
  • Using a launch pad for materials
  • Simulation of over-arousal and over-stimulation
  • Cartooning


  1. Determine when to use strategies, such as breathe cards or keychain rules, to support children’s self-management in regulating behavior, focus and energy.
  2. Implement specific intervention strategies to improve recall, organization and planning, and self-management skills in children with Executive Functioning (EF) deficits.
  3. Utilize video modeling as an intervention strategy to target social-communication skills deficits and subsequent behavior difficulties in children with EF deficits.
  4. Integrate visual strategies to support the way children and adolescents receive information and retain it in long-term memory.
  5. Integrate metacognitive strategies to provide structure, predictability and routines to improve children’s level of functioning.
  6. Utilize self-regulation strategies to help children identify their emotions and level of emotions and to improve their level of functioning.

Target Audience

Counselors, Teachers/Educators, Marriage & Family Therapists, Nurses, Occupational Therapists & Occupational Therapy Assistants, Psychologists, Social Workers, Speech-Language Pathologists and other Mental Health Professionals

Copyright : 10/06/2017