Executive Functioning Skills Discussed in Community Symposium

On February 21, Tampa Day School and Friends of Tampa Day School (an independent non-profit that supports Tampa Day School and educates the community about ADHD and learning difficulties) sponsored a visit by Dr. Peg Dawson for a presentation titled Smart But Scattered: Helping Children and Adolescents with Executive Dysfunction at Home and at School.

The purpose of the community symposium was to further build our community’s knowledge of and resources for people struggling with ADHD. Dr. Peg Dawson is nationally renowned speaker and a psychologist at the Center for Learning and Attention Disorders in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She is also the co-author, with Richard Guare, of Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary “Executive Skills” Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential (Guilford Press, 2009) and Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents: A Practical Guide to Assessment and Intervention (2nd ed., Guilford Press, 2010).

The community symposium focused on understanding executive functioning skills within the context of brain development, identifying how executive functioning skills impact school performance and daily living, and developing a repertoire of strategies to improve executive functioning skills in students. Executive functioning skills are the cognitive processes required to plan and organize activities. These include the ability to initiate and follow through on tasks, a solid working memory and attention span, skills at performance monitoring, inhibition of impulses, and goal-directed persistence.

Based on attendance at this symposium, this was a subject of great interest to professionals and parents. Approximately 500 people attended the two sessions! The feedback from the community was wonderful, and we hope to continue bringing in experts on a more frequent basis in the future.