Executive functioning (EF) skills are important for our everyday lives, including self-care, school, work, social interactions, and leisure activities. But a myriad of diagnoses and disorders can impair these critical cognitive skills in our children, from ADHD and autism spectrum disorder, to cancer and chemotherapy treatment, and mood disorders. Executive functioning delays and deficits can create trouble in school, at home, and with friends. These children often get labeled as “lazy,” “unmotivated,” or just “not very smart,” which has detrimental long-term effects on the child and our society.
The exciting news is that this negative path is not the path that our children with EF delays are destined for. Executive functioning skills are just that – a set of skills that can be learned and practiced in everyday activities to promote success, and from a clinical perspective, this is exciting. To help families and children struggling with these skills, Washington University Occupational Therapy offers a summer program called Train Your Brain. Train Your Brain is a half-day camp offered to 9 to 16-year-olds that uses engaging science activities to teach and practice cognitive strategies. Each day focuses on a different EF skill and strategy set, and at the end of the week, campers learn how to coordinate all of these strategies into one big project. Camps are led by a licensed OT and OT doctoral student who understand the unique, quirky, and sometimes confusing behaviors that come with pediatric executive dysfunction.
If your pediatric patients are struggling with these important life skills, consider sharing the Train Your Brain program information with them, and let us help give them concrete skills for success in their daily lives, by helping Train their Brain!
Learn more and register for Train Your Brain Summer Camp!