Universal Design for Optimal Executive Functioning

I am preparing a full-day workshop for the Northwest Autism Conference. The crowd could be upwards of 600 people, and no ordinary people either. They will be some of the most fiercely dedicated, well-informed, and experienced experts on this planet. I plan to bring my A-game.


To prepare, I have spoken to several of the participants. Turns out, the big problems are time and energy. How to meet the needs of many needy students without spreading oneself too thin?

Accordingly, my emphasis with this workshop will be efficiency. How to design and use UNIVERSAL interventions that are inexpensive, easy, powerful, and that benefit all learners. This suits me very well. My current obsession is the development of an embedded intervention I call executive skills feedback and assessment (ESFA). I plan to share that idea, along with a few others.

The workshop will be structured around setting, teacher, and task. We’ll discuss ways to optimize executive functioning and foster growth mindset in each facet of school experience. Basically, we’ll examine status quo classroom design vs. classroom design with executive functioning in mind.

After a discussion of the relationship between executive function and child development, participants in the workshop will work towards:

  1. identifying how executive skills impact performance and daily living at home and school;
  2. creating a learning environment that reduces the impact of weak executive skill;
  3. modifying tasks, feedback, and assessment to drive optimal executive functioning;
  4. optimizing teacher-student co-regulation with heightened self-awareness; and
  5. designing intervention strategies tailored to the needs of individual children and adolescents.

Interested in coming? Well, guess what – there are still tickets available! I think we can accommodate 601 participants, in a pinch.