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Category: Resources for Clinicians

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Mindfulness & the effects of stress on childhood learning and development

Reducing Stress and Supporting Executive Function Development Stress is the enemy of Executive Function. It undermines reflection, attention, self-awareness, thinking, and problem-solving capacity. Watch the video below to see how prolonged stress can be mitigated by mindfulness training and help to promote successful problem solving. Want to learn more about activities you can do with…

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Promoting Executive Function Skills with Reflection Training

Successful problem solving depends on reflection Successful problem solving depends on reflection: considering the information you know and how it relates to the problem at hand. Performance on the Dimensional Change Card Sort (DCCS) Task, a precursor to the Minnesota Executive Function Scale, improves after children are prompted to *stop* and *reflect* briefly before responding.…

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Improving Executive Function in Early Childhood: When Less is More

Executive Function skills change significantly between the ages of 3 and 5. In this example video, Dr. Stephanie Carlson, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer of Reflection Sciences, explains how 4-year-olds outperform 3-year-olds during a “Less is More” game… until the 3-year-olds ability to pretend is used. Watch the video to see how! Key takeaways: Executive…

MEFS app cartoon
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What is the Minnesota Executive Function Scale (MEFS)?

Video: about MEFS and Reflection Sciences https://youtu.be/0U7qjXHJU9A At Reflection Sciences, we are here to scientifically support your goals surrounding social-emotional development, Executive Function, and school readiness. Our quick and fun Executive Function measure, MEFS (the Minnesota Executive Function Scale), paves the way for schools to meet the needs of their children and reduce opportunity and…

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Improving Mindfulness in Children

Mindfulness impacts social and academic achievement In this video, learn how mindfulness is essential to early childhood development of academic and social skills, and how it can be improved through activities in the classroom. Mindfulness is a way of thinking that promotes moment-to-moment attention to yourself and the environment. Mindfulness is regulated by a cognitive…

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Support Executive Function: Parents’ EF matters too!

Previously we have talked about how parents can support executive function (EF) development in young children. Specifically, parenting behaviors that are “autonomy-supportive,” meaning they actively support a child’s goals, efforts, and choices, are related to children’s EF skills. What does an autonomy-supportive parent look like in everyday life? Let’s think of an example of a…

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Comparing and Selecting an Executive Function Assessment

Executive Function (EF) is the set of foundational skills that help prepare children for success in school, college, and beyond. They have been termed “essential skills for life” because of their effect on adult life (including relationships, career, finances, etc.). Children are not born with Executive Function skills, but they are born with the potential…

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Surprising Results from the Marshmallow Test

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis recently posted their recording of their Fall Education Conference featuring Dr. Stephanie Carlson‘s surprising research on children’s ability to delay gratification and the Marshmallow Test. In her presentation, Dr. Carlson discusses the long-term outcomes associated with the ability to delay gratification in the early years as well as the…

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Achievement Gap & Child-Parent Centers

Four-year-old Lola lives with her mother and three siblings in an impoverished, high-crime neighborhood, where even walking to school can be dangerous. Lola’s mother works two jobs, but as a single parent, she barely earns enough to pay for childcare and living expenses. Lola’s mother notices that Lola has trouble managing her emotions and following…

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Childhood Brain Rhythm + Executive Function

Research agrees that there are prominent changes in brain rhythm (repeated patterns of brain wave activity across different areas of the scalp) from early to middle childhood. Currently, researchers are investigating if – and how – these changes are related to key developmental outcomes such as executive function (EF). EF is an umbrella term that…