Summer is a time for us to relax and take a load off of our brains that we’ve been putting to heavy use throughout the academic year. But for children with executive dysfunction, the long summer break with a lack of structure can hurt their brains’ ability to maintain what they just learned in school. Our executive functions are the cognitive skills that help us make and carry out a plan, such as setting up a lemonade stand, playing hide and go seek with friends, or completing a book report. Children with ADHD, autism spectrum disorder or learning disabilities often have difficulty with executive functioning skills, but children with other diagnoses, or even without a diagnosis, can also struggle.
To support these children during the unstructured summer months, WashU OT’s Children, Youth and Family division is offering Train Your Brain, a week-long, half-day summer camp to support children’s executive functioning skills. This year, campers will have the goal of building a catapult with simple materials that is accurate, precise, and can knock down a tall tower. Along the way, they will learn and use project skill strategies that help them with time management, organizing materials, organizing thoughts, picturing the end product, and checking and changing their work as needed. These real-world skills come with tangible strategies that campers can use at home and in the upcoming school year. For more information about Train Your Brain, or to register, click on the link or email Sarah Cheatham Oberle, OTD, OTR/L.