Today I am participating in a product swap on my blog that you are going to want to check out! I was recently contacted by fellow SLP and blogger, Tatyana Elleseff and couldn’t refuse her offer.
Tatyana is a bilingual SLP with a full time hospital affiliation as well as private practice in Central, NJ. She specializes in working with multicultural, internationally and domestically adopted as well as at-risk children with complex communication disorders. She presents workshops for a number of medical, academic, and non-profit organizations and writes articles for various specialized publications. Tatyana will be presenting at the upcoming New Jersey Speech and Hearing Convention, May 2-4, 2014. She will present on the topic: Speech Language Assessment of Older Internationally Adopted Children. If you plan on going to the convention, this looks like a great workshop to attend!
In case you’re not sure how this product swap works, we will review each other’s product on our respective blogs and then hold a giveaway for that product. Tatyana is reviewing a product from my TpT store: Winter Time Wellness—Language Building, Problem Solving and Reading Comprehension. So be sure to check out the review on her blog!!
I reviewed Tatyana’s newest product, Executive Function Impairments in At-Risk Pediatric Populations. As an SLP who works primarily with middle and high school students, I address executive functioning strategies with many students on my caseload. As a result of this review, I have gained some valuable background information and a few new strategies and activities to use with my students.
Let’s take a closer look at this product and find out how it can benefit some of the children on your caseload. This 36 page product is well organized into sections that follow a structured progression. Some of the areas addressed include: Purpose, Intended Audience, Overview, EF Milestones, Sample EF Tasks, Importance of EF for Home and School, Strategies and Activities for Improving EF Functioning.
The main focus of this packet is to highlight the ways early life adversity can impact the development of EF skills as well as provide some valuable remediation strategies. A well-defined description of EF, including a visual of the areas of the brain where this skill is acquired is provided. A break-down of age ranges shows the typical growth and development of EF skills from 9-12 months through 15-18 years of age. I appreciate all the milestones listed for each level of development. It will be a great resource to keep handy in my professional binder. (I keep several milestone charts and other informative graphic organizers and visuals in this binder as quick go-to references.) The milestone list will also be a useful resource to take into meetings with parents and aid in writing IEP goals.
Next, Tatyana reviews the various tests used to measure EF functioning. I was unfamiliar with many of these diagnostic tools and intrigued by how they were conducted and scored. The Wisconsin Card Sort, Tower of Hanoi and Trail Making Test were among the tasks discussed. A description of the tests, areas of functioning addressed, appropriate age ranges for administration are included in this section. Visual examples are also provided to help get a better idea of what these tasks look like.
The next section provides a list of at-risk populations that are particularly susceptible to an EF disorder. While I expected many of these populations to be on this list, I was also made aware of other at-risk populations that I had not considered before, for example, children who are the products of neglect, orphanages and foster care. (These areas are explained in greater depth in a latter section of the packet.) The next time I sit down to read a child’s intake file and social/psychological reports, I will be sensitive to the possibility of these factors.
The next section includes a graphic flow chart which breaks down the academic problems that are linked to executive functions. It is divided into six areas that define a student’s learning experience and the resulting conflicts or break downs which may occur due to compromised EF abilities. (This will be another great reference to add to my professional binder that I previously mentioned.)
My favorite part of the presentation is the next section, which provides in depth strategies and activities for improving EF skills. I appreciated that this product didn’t just give me a lot of background and research information, but offers tangible, hands-on suggestions for improving my student’s EF abilities. Suggestions regarding physical space, ways to modify the structure of therapy sessions, and suggestions for modifying the student’s behaviors are offered. Tatyana then shares some great ideas for activities that will help improve EF in your therapy sessions. I can easily and immediately apply these ideas into my current therapy plans. Some of the suggestions are ones I already use with various students on my caseload, i.e.: Asking predicting and inferencing questions: “What would happen/how did that happen?” Other ideas were things I have not tried before, but look forward to adding to my therapy repertoire, i.e.: Ask negative questions to improve inhibitory control: “Find everything we don’t need to…”
This product concludes with suggested first steps to take toward assessment and remediation as well as a comprehensive list of resources and references.
It was a pleasure to review this product for Tatyana. It provides a great overview for those who have a need for understanding EF related to the at-risk pediatric population. The information is clearly and thoroughly organized and explained. It is also a great refresher for the therapist or educator who needs a go-to reference when planning therapy strategies and activities with EF students on their caseload.
Executive Function Impairments in At-Risk Pediatric Populations is available in Tatyana’s shop for $8.99 http://www.smartspeechtherapy.com/shop/.