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Tuesday, August 1 • 1:30pm - 1:48pm
Healing School Wounds- Executive Function through a UDL Lens

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In classrooms around the world we can find learners who struggle with accomplishing series of tasks to prove their ability in the classroom or at home. Previously feeling successful across learning experiences, these individuals may begin to feel stuck or inefficient in their approach to completing tasks or work. After years of struggle, learners are often relieved to find out that there are skills and strategies to help them navigate through complex situations. Executive function challenges tend be described as struggles that specific groups of learners have, rather than a set of skills that all individuals should learn, strengthen, and grow. Understanding the EF needs of adolescents with neurocognitive and mental health challenges, through a UDL lens can help to provide opportunities to activate and inspire struggling learners. Understanding how strategies and supports can bolster learning equity often reignites learner passions to help them find their purpose.

This session will explore the construct of executive function (EF) through a UDL lens. As advocates for equitable educational opportunities through the utilization of the UDL framework to create more flexible learning environments, we may not always recognize how traumatic experiences and mental health challenges impact executive function during learning experiences. Neurocognitive stages of development can be influenced by traumatic experiences, lack of skill development, as well as other biological or physical delays. Such influences can impact the way in which learners interact with new knowledge and increasingly demanding work over time. The expectations that learners should "know what to do" as they pass through to different grades may not only be determined by their previous successes.

During this session we will explore executive function, executive dysfunction, and potential vulnerabilities that often exist across learning environments. We will primarily focus on early adolescence through emerging adulthood to discuss EF development through a neurocognitive, mental health, and UDL perspective. Participants will learn about options to support these populations of learners to succeed. This will be accomplished while connecting skills and strategies to how all learners could benefit from the teaching, practice, and process around how to best support, and thus activate executive function skills.

avatar for Alexis Reid

Alexis Reid

Director of Learning Based Therapies, Boston Child Study Center
Trained at Loyola University in Baltimore, MD and Boston College, Alexis has worked in many different educational settings throughout her career. Most recently she taught in the Boston area and is now the Director of Learning Based Services at the Boston Child Study Center (BCSC... Read More →

Tuesday August 1, 2017 1:30pm - 1:48pm EDT
Founders room