Executive Function & Reading Intensive
There is lots of advice out there on how to modify daily routines and academics to support children and teens with executive function, reading and decoding challenges, but what is often missed is the underlying intervention that needs to take place in order to improve academic function.
Our Executive Function and Reading Intensive is designed to support children experiencing challenges such as executive dysfunction, dyslexia, and slow reading pace. For these individuals, intervention once a week is not enough to promote brain plasticity. The goal of this approach is to ensure all underlying skills fall into place so learning can occur. Specialized modalities including Cellfield, Interactive Metronome, and reflex integration are used to rewire the brain for synchrony between the auditory and visual systems needed for success in school!
What are Executive Functions?
Executive Functions (EFs) are a set of cognitive and mental skills that guide and direct our actions. Executive Functions encompass a range of skills including attention, initiation, problem-solving, flexible thinking, emotional control, planning and organization, time management, and initiation among others that allow us to manage our everyday tasks with efficiency and ease. Challenges with executive function can affect everyday lives and interfere with independence and ability to perform daily activities.
How OT can help?
At TWFK, we believe Executive Functions start in the body. When the body is unorganized or the nervous system is in a state of fight/flight/freeze, individuals cannot access the parts of the brain that control and affect Executive Functions. We work at the foundational level to support the brain-body connection and access to cognition. Once the body is organized, OTs can develop and provide strategies that will empower an individual's independence such as teaching them to use a planner, calendar, or graphic organizer, working on attention and concentration skills, using visual schedules to help with organization, and breaking down everyday tasks into smaller steps.
What is Cellfield?
When the child's system is ready to focus on executive functioning and reading challenges, various programs will be used such as Cellfield. Cellfield is a breakthrough program addressing underlying challenges people with dyslexia as well as slow readers experience.
Cellfield uses brain imaging, brain plasticity, and computer science to do what others can't -- rewire the brain and actively work on all components supporting efficient reading.
Cellfield has an active working memory component, visual tracking, scanning, visual figure ground, focal, and peripheral vision. These are the foundations to decoding with good comprehension.
How is the program designed?
Phase I is a two week program, every day for one hour. The main purpose uses a computer interface to work on the underlying physiological processes involved in reading.
Phase II immediately follows Phase I and is a weekly appointment with one of our occupational therapists. The goal of the second phase is to apply the gains made in Phase I to concrete reading material, increase confidence in skills, and replace old habits.