Saturday, June 24, 2017

FLIPP the Switch

I begin this post with the same identifying information as the last: In my quest to further develop my understanding of Executive Function (EF) disorders, I picked up FLIPP the Switch: Strengthen Executive Function Skills by Sheri Wilkins and Carol Burmeister. My pervious posting was about an EF workbook for teens (see here). Its target audience is higher functioning teen agers who can use it with little support. This book targets people with more significant challenges. Strategies include strong visual components that would be especially useful for people with ASD. In fact, having looked through the resources section of the book, the vast majority target the autism population specifically.

This book is a fabulous resource. After a brief introduction about what EF skills are, the authors go into five chapters describing strategies to support each area of EF skills: flexibility, leveled emotionality, impulse control, planning and problem solving. My previous post discussed one strategy in the flexibility area. In the emotionality section it talks about choice cards and chunking skills mirrored in the last section of problem solving where work systems and task analysis are discussed. Under impulse control PBIS is discussed along with reminder cards which reinforce the planner skills addressed under the planning section. Interdependency of EF skills is highlighted. The challenge may not be identifying what specific area is impacted but where is the most prudent place to intervene. Also throughout the book are many printable templates for their suggested strategies. Although many are easy to replicate on your own, having the sample is a great way to get started.

Behavior management techniques are interwoven throughout the text: reward positive progress, move from tangible to social rewards, track data. Clearly the authors have done their fair share of behavioral interventions in self-contained, general education, home and workplace settings with kids of all range of ages. The visual cueing is also a hallmark of special education.

This book will be a great go-to source for working with students who struggle with those "playing school" activities of EF. I know that it will be referred to frequently on my bookshelf.

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