ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) Coaching
How can we coach and support you and / or your children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and executive function challenges?
‘’No two people are the same and the same applies for children with ASD. It is important to start with a thorough evaluation of the individual so the strategies are tailor made and effective for that person. When working with people with autism and executive function challenges I always start with an executive function, academic, social skills and communication challenge and evaluation. I also want to know them as an individual so I can tailor the sessions around their interests.’’
To find more about me or book me or choose the coach you resonate the most book a complimentary consultation with me.
How can parents support their children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) enhance their executive function skills?
‘‘If you are struggling to support yourself or your child with ASD, remember that you and / or your child are not just a diagnosis. Autism may be part of your(s) and / or child’s life but you and / or your child is so much more than it.
You may wish to check yours and / or your child’s zinc, vitamin D, magnesium and vitamin B6 levels, which are associated with autism. Zinc is often associated with behavioural challenges and magnesium is associated with sleep problems. Additionally, you may want to boost executive function skills via coaching and learning support.
If you are struggling to find the energy to support your child, you can write inspirational affirmations down and post them to the child’s desk, notebook or backpack. You can do this straight after the child has achieved something great, made effort or is having a tough time. For example: You are beautiful, You are unique, You are amazing at…(list their strength), You will be an encouragement to many, You inspire me, You can do anything, You’re doing a good job, I see you’ve been practicing, I know you’re trying your best, You are a great friend, You are a hard worker, etc.
Most importantly, it is important to understand in depth the nature of yours and / or your child’s challenges. For example, difficulties with creative writing, getting started with stories, open ended questions, inference, study and revision skills etc. could be a combination of challenges with planning, prioritisation, working memory, task initiation, sustained attention, time management, goal directed persistence, flexibility (including shifting attention) and metacognition.
Set up low stress, multi step challenges at home that require executive functioning skills. By role playing and talking through challenges many autistic people can practise and become more skilled in their executive functioning. Writing social stories together with your child can also provide answers to unexpected problems and builds emotional control and flexibility.’’
How can we coach and help your and/or your child with autism and executive function challenges?
‘‘Building meaningful partnerships with your child, the school, college or university and the professionals involved can help with devising a good intervention. It is important to use literal language and avoid metaphors when speaking to some children with autism. Structure and consistency could also help with some children with autism. Again, everyone is unique so approaches need to be differentiated and adapted as appropriate as what might work now, might not work later. Getting the right support is vital.
People do not learn without learning opportunities and do not build healthy thoughts, emotions and habits without repetition and reinforcement. As a psychologist, executive function coach or educator, I always make sure there are learning opportunities for children, adolescents or adults to practise EF skills and that the learning can be transferred and generalised in different contexts.
Accommodations, such as external scaffolds (activity breakdowns) during activity performance are also important. Some IEPs and EHCPs include some strategies. I love to use active recall, rehearsal and spaced repetition to boost memory. Momentum, consistency and rewards are important for engagement and motivation. Incentives are important for initial behaviour change but can be transferred to more intrinsic motivators once this is established.
My executive function coaching training has been fully sponsored by one of the best organisations worldwide for executive function coaching and I have been collaborating with them since 2019. I have had more than 50 hours of EF coaching supervision to date.’’
To find more about me or book me for an online executive function coaching or educational support session with you or your child or young adult with autism click here.