Access to Better Communication is offering a Learning Lab group program for the summer 2014. This group will work to create better learners and students by using visual strategies to develop improved executive functioning, reading, and writing while interacting with peers in a small group setting. Executive Functioning (E.F.) represents a group of skills that an individual uses to better focus on and process multiple sets of information at the same time and revise plans as necessary. Students who have E.F. deficits (also referred to as Executive Dysfunction) demonstrate weaknesses in areas including writing, organization, time management, initiation of tasks, and planning, which impact overall academic performance and activities of daily living.
Focused topics will include:
- Initiation/planning for writing: We have discovered that many students with E.F. challenges have difficulty when assigned a writing task. “Getting started” can sometimes be the hardest part. These students struggle with reading a prompt, steps for prewriting, developing outlines, and writing the introduction.
- Self-awareness and monitoring in group tasks: By participating in a small group setting, we are able to incorporate aspects of “Social Thinking®” with these traditionally “academic only” students. The students will learn how to monitor one’s self for “time robbers,” how to participate cooperatively in a group, and how to monitor one’s own attention to group discussions and projects. Many teachers are reporting this to be a tough skill for students, particularly those with EF difficulties who also have a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD.
- Time management/organization for long-term projects and group tasks: Time management skills will be targeted through small group and individual tasks, as well as project planning. Students will learn how to estimate the amount of time it takes to complete an assignment, break the assignment into smaller steps, and execute those steps within a deadline so that they may complete assignments and projects from start to finish.
- Reading comprehension and note taking: Students will learn to improve reading comprehension through strategies such as “visual mapping,” “information chunking,” “if/then thinking,” and summary writing. Students with E.F. weaknesses often have difficulty being concise and narrowing in on the most important information.
In summary, ABC’s Learning Lab group program is an opportunity for students to develop greater independence, organization, and time management skills over the summer that will be applicable in the academic setting. Opportunities for further enhancing these skills throughout the school year will be discussed at the end of this 8 week program.
For more information regarding ABC’s Learning Lab group program, please contact Kelli Renfro, Speech-Language Pathologist at (225) 930-0208 or email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.