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Steven Kennelly, PhD, Founder of HeadWorks

Executive Functions Summary

Let’s talk about executive functions, what they are and how they impact a student. Executive functions are the cognitive skills that allow you to achieve goals. It’s about self-control. For example, let’s say we wanted to lose weight, that’s our goal. We all know are intellectually capable of losing weight, but you need a certain […]

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Steven Kennelly, PhD, Founder of HeadWorks

Importance of Executive Functions

A lot of parents will ask me, Why am I hearing so much about these executive functions now. I explain to them that delays in executive functioning have been around forever. The part of the brain where these functions from which they come is evolutionarily the newest part of the brain. So it’s very vulnerable […]

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Steven Kennelly, PhD, Founder of HeadWorks

Cognitive Function Bell Curve

I think about these cognitive functions on a bell curve. Like IQ, for example. You have some people who are very have a very high IQ, and some people have an average IQ and some people have a below average IQ, or for example, reading. Some kids develop to become very fast and efficient readers, […]

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Steven Kennelly, PhD, Founder of HeadWorks

Executive Functioning Symphony

So a metaphor I used with parents frequently to help them to understand what executive functions are, is the idea of a symphony. A symphony orchestra is filled with musicians. A lot of times the kids who come into my office, who I evaluate, and I find out that they are top notch musicians. They […]

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Steven Kennelly, PhD, Founder of HeadWorks

Emotional Benefits of our Program

When I introduced the HeadWorks idea to parents, they tend to get an enormous smile on their face. I believe it’s because the thought that they won’t have to be in this contentious relationship with their child any longer about getting homework done, our chores, or what have you, I think they get pretty excited […]

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Steven Kennelly, PhD, Founder of HeadWorks

Monitoring

The next area of executive functioning I like to talk about is difficult for a lot of parents to understand, but when they do understand it they realize it’s at the source of a lot of their frustration. Especially at home. That’s called monitoring. Monitoring is your ability to maintain awareness of a situation and […]

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Steven Kennelly, PhD, Founder of HeadWorks

Student Evaluations

As a clinical neuropsychologist, half of what I do or evaluations of kids. I’ve been doing this for over 20 years and I love it. It’s a lot of fun for me. Kids come in my office, I sit down with them, and I use paper and pencil tests to really understand how their brains […]

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Steven Kennelly, PhD, Founder of HeadWorks

Working Memory

Another one of the executive functions is working memory.  Working memory isn’t real memory. Working memory is a temporary place you put information so that your brain can use it to meet some goal. For example, when I’m getting dressed, I might say, Oh, I’m going to go upstairs and find my shoes. Well, as […]

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Steven Kennelly, PhD, Founder of HeadWorks

Nonverbal Working Memory

I talked before about working memory as one of the executive functions, and it turns out that there’s two types of working memory. One type of working memory is about words. So when you’re reading, all of your words are being thrown into your working memory and held there so that when you get to […]

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