Students with both ADHD and dyslexia have a unique cognitive profile which is associated with an increased risk of school failure, poor grades, high drop-out rates, decreased motivation, and school disciplinary problems. Executive function skills play a large role in this unique cognitive profile. However, these skills tend to be overlooked and not explicitly taught in school. We will explore what executive functions are, the tools and strategies used to develop executive function skills, the interconnectedness of executive functions and the learning process, and the possibilities that open up when we shift our perspective from deficit to ability.
- Understand specific executive functions that are common in ADHD and dyslexia;
- Identify strategies and tools to develop a student’s executive function skills;
- Describe different approaches to targeted interventions for executive function skills.
As the Assistant Head of School for Academic Support at Wasatch Academy, Kara Loftin provides academic assessments and support in the areas of reading and writing, executive function skills, and student-centered learning. Additionally, she creates individualized student success profiles and develops and plans all learning services programming. She is certified through the International Dyslexia Association and Wilson Reading System as a Dyslexia Specialist and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Northern Colorado.