A new school year, a new therapy schedule, just the time to create some new habits for a smooth transition.  Being pulled in a million different directions is enough to make anyone harried . You and your family’s stress levels do not need to be off the charts.  Help yourself and those you love create a game plan that is sure to score big this Fall.

Organizing tasks, managing time and executing a plan are all executive functioning skills.  Skills we all (no matter the age) continue to polish and refine throughout our lives. Executive functioning skills are not innate to some, butare skills that need to be taught and practiced.  When executive functioning skills begin to mature and become second nature, the stress decreases significantly.

Your game plan to create an environment that supports and teaches executive functioning skills does not have to be elaborate.  Try a few of these suggestions and see the difference for yourself. .

  • Under 5 years old
    • Specific area or tub or bin where favorite toys are kept
    • Diaper bag filled and ready to go – this bag should be kept in the same location (ie: hook, shelf) at all times so it is easy to find and grab while you are running out of the door.
    • Keep an emergency bag/bin in the car at all times – stock with snacks, diapers, change of clothes (for your child and yourself), wipes, etc.
  • School Age
    • Backpack, coat, boots, etc. all have a specific location.  This does not have to be elaborate. Grab a few empty cardboard boxes, have each child (and adult) decorate the box, arrange boxes near the entrance door. Elminiates the “trail” of belongs going through the house when your children return from school.
    • In/Out Boxes/bins for school papers.  Inevitably, your child will have a ‘home’ folder and/or school papers that need your attention.  Make a simple In/Out box system using gift boxes (reinforced with tape) to ensure these important papers do not get lost in a pile. Work with your child in getting the home folder out of the backpack and into the In/Out box.  You won’t have to worry about losing the papers and can get to them when you have time to focus your attention.
    • “Everything has a place and every place as a thing.” Words to live by!  
      • Key hooks
      • Shoe mats
      • Lunch box baskets
      • Home information Centers
      • School clothes dresser drawers vs play clothes dresser drawers
    • Simple after school “To Do” list :
      • Put folder in IN/OUTBox
      • Change clothes
      • Get a snack
      • Start homework

Your family’s unique style will dictate the creative ways in which you discover to better manage executive functioning skills.  Do not hesitate to consult with a Speech-Language Therapist for specific techniques not only for the entire family, but for specific members who could use individual attention in this area.

Yours in Speech,

Lakeshore Speech Therapy, LLC

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