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Executive Skills in the Classroom with Dr Anna Bortoli

August 8, 2017 @ 9:00 am - 3:30 pm


At some point, to some degree all children struggle with getting organised, exercising self-control, and getting on with others. But some kids seem to need constant supervision and help far beyond the point their peers are beginning to manage certain tasks on their own. Child development research shows that many kids who have the brain and heart to succeed lack or lag behind in crucial “executive skills”.

Book a seat today to learn how to develop this essential skill in children of all abilities.

What are Executive Skills? Simply put, it’s the brain-based skills required to organise and retrieve information. It’s what people use to plan, organise, strategise, pay attention to and remember details, and manage time and space. Children who have deficient executive skills often have trouble getting started on tasks, get distracted easily, lose papers or assignments and forget to hand in homework. They make careless mistakes, put off work until the last minute and have no sense of time urgency. Workspaces are disorganised and teachers/parents often refer to their backpacks or lockers as “black holes.” Often considered chronic underachievers, these children are at risk for academic failure as well as emotional and behavioural difficulties. This one-day workshop introduces the key theories and explanations surrounding Executive Skills within the context of learning and social interaction skills of students including those with developmental disabilities such as ASD, ID and ADHD. It will introduce practical skills and evidence base strategies to address independence, planning and organisation that are fundamental skills in today’s classrooms, using case examples along with interactive discussion to demonstrate how the Executive Skills manifest in daily home and school activities. Participants will learn a set of tools that includes strategies for task/environmental modifications, skill development through cognitive/behavioural techniques and creation of incentive systems.

You will learn:

The two dimensions of Executive Functioning: Thinking and Doing

Identify how executive skills impact performance and daily living at home and school

How to assess for Executive Skills strengths and weaknesses

How to link assessment to interventions

Understand how Executive Skills are used in different key learning areas of the curriculum

Coaching students with Executive Skills Deficits

Strategies teachers can give to parents to improve Executive Skills at home, especially in getting ready for school

Interventions for specific Executive Skills:

– building sustained attention

– increasing response inhibition/impulse control/ emotion control

– strengthening working memory

– fostering advance planning, prioritising and organising

– boosting flexibility

– improving time management

– supporting social discourse

Dr Anna Bortoli is a special education and autism consultant and a former Assistant Principal and Lecturer. As a consultant she provides professional learning and in-situ training with teachers about strategies and approaches for students and young children with developmental delays or autism. Her research work relates to the areas of Structured Teaching, Executive Skills for Learning, Functional Assessment, Curriculum and ILPs. She delivers tertiary training and Masterclasses in ASD and ADHD. She is TEACCH® Certified Practitioner Level and has received training through Division TEACCH®, enabling her to implement a Structured Teaching approach with teachers and parents. Anna is committed to the professional growth of practitioners in the field of special education.


August 8, 2017
9:00 am - 3:30 pm
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Compass Seminars
1800 673 385


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1 Macquarie Street
Hobart, TAS 7000 Australia
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1300 738 278