Your kid is too smart to struggle in class. You’re afraid that every time your cell rings, it’s the school calling about your kid. Your loved ones insist your kid is lazy, but you know something else is going on. And don’t even start about the hellish hours you call homework time.
Sound familiar? If you’re raising (or teaching!) a child whose intelligence is hidden by puzzling issues like always-11th-hour projects or forgetting directions right after hearing them, you’ve come to the right place!
I’m Sarah! I’ve been an innovating educator for nearly 20 years, and I specialize in helping students with gaps in those incredibly important and rarely taught skills we call “Executive Function.” After presenting at conferences nationwide, I realized that the strategies and lessons I teach my students were profoundly changing their lives—and I want to share these same ideas with you!
Your child absolutely can succeed! It will take time, creativity, and a whole bag of learning tricks!
Will it be easy? Nope! Will it be worth it? You bet! And, I’ll be here every step of the way!
So, what is executive function, and how can it develop? Executive function is a set of skills that are utilized in everyday student and adult lives. Executive function includes things like organization, inhibition control, planning, managing attention, short term memory…and more! It’s a set of skills that may go unnoticed---until you realize your child is missing one (or many)! You can think of executive function skills collectively as the director inside your child’s brain—it has many jobs, running simultaneously, and if it’s missing a part, things aren’t done well or sometimes aren’t done at all.
Problems with executive function are common. In fact, as an adolescent brain develops, the frontal cortex of the brain (most closely associated with executive function) is one of the last components to develop. Yes, you read that right. Your tween or teen’s brain has not finished developing (until the mid twenties) and can leave your child not yet knowing how to inhibit impulses, organize their space, manage deadlines, and navigate the demands of school and a social life!
Executive function challenges are also associated with certain disabilities, including ADHD, autism, and learning disabilities. The great news is that no matter the source of the challenge, I have proven, research-based, use-right-now strategies that can help you teach and coach your child! Even parents share that the strategies help them in adult and work life!
Spring 2023 update! We have a one-of-a-kind coaching and learning experience coming soon! Add your information to the waitlist below to be one of the first families to be invited to our hybrid experience! Individual coaching availability will be offered to waitlist members as space becomes available.
How do I know coaching will help? How long will it take?Sarah is committed to helping your child and family grow. She facilitates growth and hope, in equal proportion. Your child will likely start with increased self-awareness and an enthusiasm to try new strategies or challenges Sarah shares. You may notice a new sense of self-efficacy and pride developing in your child as he or she uses strategies to make life a little smoother. Change, however, can be slow and bumpy. And, true, lasting change requires everyone's commitment. Your child may need reminders and incentives at first, and that's ok. Success is addictive; once a kid realizes her potential to self-improve, look out! She'll be on fire (in a good way!) Typically, we see students engage with coaching within the first two sessions, trying strategies within three sessions. Independent mastery of strategies can take six to twelve weeks, on average, and that's totally ok! Think about when you learned to drive. It probably took several weeks to feel even "decent" at it and a few months (or years) to be proficient. You never quit trying because change is slow, and neither will we. There will be improvements along the way to celebrate, for sure!
When and how do we meet?Sessions are held online, through Zoom or Meets, whichever you prefer. (Sarah can teach you how to use the platforms, if you're worried!) Coaching with your child or young adult is scheduled after school or on Sundays, weekly, for 30-60 minutes. Parents and Sarah meet biweekly to problem-solve and learn parent-child coaching strategies. Packages for 6 or 8+ weeks are available.
What's included with a coaching package?Individual lessons and activities designed to support the goals you and your child share. Coaching includes text and email support throughout the week, as needed. Sarah can also collaborate with your child's school, as needed. She can help guide you through the 504 and IEP process. Sarah's always available to answer whatever you wonder about coaching, ADHD, autism, or executive functioning. It's her dream job to help families like yours!
How much of a commitment is coaching?Families can expect to spend 30-90 minutes a day using and learning strategies, often within the context of things already planned, like homework and chores (it will feel like extra help, not one more thing to do). Much of the work is in your thinking and interacting; it's leaning on our brain's amazing ability to watch itself in action, which we call metacognition (thinking about thinking!)
What do sessions usually look like?Sarah will begin the coaching process by allowing your child to pick the context in which to work on the first set of skills. Learning to organize? Your child gets to choose the space or system she'd like to tackle first! Doing so helps secure your child's interest and buy-in. There's no more "just follow the directions" or "you should just do it." Instead, Sarah coaches your child to develop the thinking pathways to perform the skills independently and with motivation. Sessions typically include: Catch up and reflections; problems-solutions; new learning; application and practice of new learning; follow up email to parents; bi-weekly parent meeting with Sarah.
Do you accept insurance?At this time, coaching is not covered by insurance plans. However, payment installments and credit cards are available. Additionally, grants to cover coaching are available. A few such grants are provided by the Flutie Foundation , BIANCA Access to Care, or UCP.org.
I still have questionsReach out! We're happy to help you explore how coaching can help your child and your family!