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Last year when I attended The Association of Educational Therapy Conference, I decided to take Marydee Sklar’s workshop on executive functioning. My thinking was that as an educational therapist, I work on executive functioning skills regularly with my students, so gaining new ideas would be useful. However, when Marydee told us that she never works on executive functioning with just students, that she always includes the parents, I thought, “Of course! That makes perfect sense!” I likened it to the Dog Whisperer, Caesar Milan. When he visits the homes of dog owners, he doesn’t teach the dogs anything. He teaches the owners. Well, that’s exactly what Marydee’s program “Seeing What I Need to Do” does. Though the student is, of course, participating and learning, the parent is also participating and learning. This concept, parents and kids together, helps immensely with follow through of the skills and strategies being taught. The idea is that the parents will reinforce these new strategies and skills with their children at home.
The 7 week course “Seeing What I Need To Do” has added a whole new dimension to my private practice. The families I am teaching this to are finding the information relevant and useful. I do tell the families that the course is a general course not specific to the families attending, meaning that there is likely to be some information that is quite useful, and other information that is not needed or applicable to their concerns. In fact, each lesson ends with a question asking them what the key points were for them, so that they can focus on and remember the most important tools for their needs. In addition, the families keep their Course Notes at the end of the program for their reference in the future. This reinforces the continued use of the skills and strategies they’ve learned.
I highly recommend this course for educational experts and families who would benefit from learning useful, effective, executive functioning strategies.
I have been using Seeing What I need to do: Visual Tools for Executive Function Success with my adult clients suffering from the effects of stroke and TBI. It has proved the most efficient and effective tool yet in addressing issues of impaired memory, organization and planning in the mild to moderate range. The program systematically builds client insight(a key factor in successful cognitive rehabilitation), is well paced and provides concrete tools to use right away. The built-in client self assessments assist in documenting progress. I find the Instructor's Manual and Course Notes invaluable in helping present abstract information in an insightful and accessible manner. I love it when my clients tell me, "You really understand!".
Amy Burkard, MS, CCC-SLP
Portland Adventist Medical Center