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Executive Function Impairments in the Classroom

Executive function impairments in the classroom can manifest in a number of ways. Commonly, children who struggle with self-regulation will act out. Other low executive functioning students may go undetected — rather than causing trouble, they quietly struggle. How can we, as researchers, parents, clinicians, and educators, not only detect these students but also provide support?

Full Prefrontal is a podcast series led by Sucheta Kamath, Founder of Cerebral Matters and expert in brain training and executive function development. Sucheta and her guests, including researchers, neuroscientists, educators, learning experts, and thought leaders, discuss the importance of the prefrontal cortex in impacting focus, attention, planning, problem-solving, emotion regulation, and independence.

In this episode, found here, Sucheta invites Dr. Stephanie M. Carlson, Refection Sciences’ Co-founder and Chief Science Officer and Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota’s Institute of Child Development to discuss how executive functions develop and how addressing early executive function impairments or delays can promote success in a school setting.

“When children or students are lacking in the ability to hold information in mind, to control their impulses, to think flexibly, or to be reflective on their thoughts, actions, or feelings — we notice it,” says Dr. Carlson. “We notice it because they are more likely to act out in class, or importantly, fly under the radar, not acting out in class, but really not following what is going on.”

Listen to the full podcast here: Episode 25: Most Visible in its Absence