How We work with Executive functioning deficits
Executive functioning comprises cognitive functions that enable individuals to manage emotions and behaviors, making it a core component of every aspect of the Cornerstones program. Executive functioning coaching helps our clients set and work towards long-term and short-term goals. It also makes them aware of the obstacles that interfere with reaching those goals. Almost all of our clients arrive at the program with some degree of executive functioning difficulties, but the good news is that the young adult’s brain has a great capacity for change and the impact of experience is especially powerful during this developmental period.
Setting and achieving goals is a foundational building block of the Cornerstones program and provides the canvas for our clients to engage in an ongoing process of learning how to become accountable for their own success. This includes working with our life skills coaches on how to set goals and breaking them down into concrete achievable increments. The client is then engaged in observing the factors that interfere with achieving their goals, such as distractions, organization, time management, or boredom. Once the obstacles are identified, strategies can be implemented to surmount those obstacles. This learning process is achieved through one one-on-one coaching and scaffolding provided by our Life Skills and Academic Success Coaches. Upon enrollment, our coaches help each client address their individual executive functioning challenges and continue to build upon these skills throughout their time at Cornerstones. Using calendars, scheduling systems, and other task-oriented tools, our clients are engaged in the moment-to-moment practice of organization, time management, and planning. Additional programmatic components are in place to engage and develop our client’s executive functioning such as our daily intentions group run every weekday morning with the purpose of engaging clients in the practice of reviewing their schedule and goals for the day and the week. Incorporating executive functioning organically throughout the program reflects the Cornerstones methodology.
Research has demonstrated that poor executive functioning is directly related to almost every aspect of daily life. Research has also consistently shown that executive functioning
can be improved throughout a person’s lifetime.
The core executive functions are: