Bright Child/Flexible Mind

Report
BRIGHT CHILD/FLEXIBLE MIND
REDUCING FRUSTRATION IN YOUR SCHOOL-AGED CHILD
EMMA COLE/SHANNON CRAY
PREDOCTORAL RESIDENTS IN CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY
Virginia Beach City Public Schools
December 7, 2011
Agenda
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Overview of Executive Functions
Development of Executive Functions
Executive Functions and Gifted/Bright Individuals
Inhibition
Set Shifting/Cognitive Flexibility
Emotion Regulation
Summary: Keeping School Achievement in
Perspective
Resources
Questions
Introduction – Executive Function
“Those mental processes we use for sustaining
problem-solving toward a goal” (Luria, 1966)
 “Self-regulation so as to choose, enact, and
sustain actions over time toward goals, often in
the context of other [goals], usually using social
and cultural means so as to maximize one’s
longer-term welfare as the individual
determines it to be.” (Barkley, 2011)
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Overview of Executive Functions
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Functions include:
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Working memory-hold information in memory to complete a task
 *Inhibition-control impulses, manage behavior
 Initiation-begin a task, generate ideas
 *Emotional Control – modulate emotions
 Attention-pay attention to several components at once
 Planning- anticipate future events, set goals, and develop steps ahead of time
to complete multi-step tasks
 *Shift- alter problem solving strategies and think flexibly to transition from one
situation to another
 Monitor- check work and assess performance during or after finishing a task to
ensure attainment of a goal
(Gioia, Isquith, Kenworthy, & Barton, 2002)
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Introduction – Executive Function
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“The Conductor” or “The Regulator”
The orchestration of goal-directed, intentional
problem-solving skills.
Frontal lobes (PFC) coordinating activities with other
areas of the brain.
The conductor must disengage from the environment
to coordinate actions.
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(Gioia, Isquith, Kenworthy, & Barton, 2002)
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Example: Getting dressed in the
morning
Neuroanatomy of Executive Function
Development of Executive Functioning
from Toplis & Neighbor)
6-12 months
 Impulse control and self inhibition
 Early inhibition begins to be demonstrated
1-2 years
 About 1 year can inhibit a response and shift to a new response
 Some self monitoring and beginning ability to identify errors
3-6 years
 General increases in attention, self control, concentration and inhibition
 Gradual lessening in impulsivity
 Occasional perseverative behaviors
 By 6 years: is able to resist distractions and increase length of attention
span
7-9 years
 Able to screen out irrelevant stimuli from selected target for attention
(Taken
Development of Executive Functioning
Continued…
…(Taken from Toplis & Neighbor)
10 years
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Better able to pay attention to a selected target and screen out unwanted
information
Impulse control is nearing adult levels
11-12 years
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Able to monitor and regulate actions
Attention is fairly mature
Limits perseveration similar to an adult
Temporary increase in impulsive behaviors
Adolescence
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Perseveration is rare
Working memory increases dramatically
As cited in Richard, G.J., Fahy, J.K., (2005). The source for Development of
Executive Functions. East Moline, IL: Linguisystems
Executive Function and Gifted/Bright Adults
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Most studies looking at the correlation between IQ and
executive functioning have been conducted with adults
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Few studies have examined how intelligence relates to executive
functioning. Several of the studies that have been conducted show no
correlation between IQ and executive functioning abilities. (Donders & Kirsch,
1991; Johnstone, Holland & Larimore, 2000)
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Those studies that do show correlations find that:
More Related to IQ
Less Related to IQ
Conceptual problem solving ability
Motor tasks
Mental efficiency
Constructional tasks
Updating tasks (those requiring
adding and deleting information in
working memory)
Perceptual tasks
Language related skills
Executive Functioning and Gifted/
Bright Children…
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Studies with children (ages 6-12) also show inconsistent findings.
Some research has found that Full-Scale Intelligence accounts for about 9–
12% of the variance in
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Inhibition
Set-shifting/flexibility
Verbal and nonverbal fluency
Other research shows that executive functions improve with development
throughout infancy, childhood, and adolescence and propose that IQ is a
moderating variable on executive functioning skills. However, the moderating
influence of intelligence on executive function performance in children
remains unclear. (Arffa et al., 1998; Baron, 2003; Mahone et al., 2002
IQ
Age
Executive
Functioning
Ability
Inhibition – What is it?
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‘The ability to not act on impulse or
appropriately stop one’s own activity at
the proper time.”
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1.
2.
3.
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(Taken from Toplis & Neighbor)
Comprises 3 Processes:
Inhibition of the dominant response
(across verbal, motor, cognitive, and
emotion domains)
Perseveration (interrupting ongoing
behavior)
Interference control (protecting the other
executive functions from distraction)
(Taken from Barkley, 2011)
Inhibition
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Deficits in the School Setting Can Look Like:
Impulsive behavior
 Responding
too quickly to instructor questions
 Rushing through seat work
 Inappropriate verbalizations to peers or instructors
(social disinhibition)
 Low frustration tolerance
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Fidgetiness
Difficulty Completing Assignments (Perseveration)
Inhibition - Activity
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Experiment:
Pick a partner
Imagine we give your child a marshmallow in a room for
up to 20 minutes. Your child is promised a second
marshmallow if the first one is left untouched until the adult
returns. Discuss with your partner what your child would
likely do; estimate how long your child would wait.
Imagine yourself at that age. How would your behavior
have been? Similar/different? (5 minutes)
Group examples (5 minutes)
The Marshmallow Experiment
Discussion: Expectations
Inhibition – Activity (continued)
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The “Delay of Gratification” Experiment
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(Mischel, Shoda, & Rodriquez, 1989)
Inhibition – Activity (continued)
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The “Delay of Gratification” Experiment
(Mischel, Shoda, & Rodriquez, 1989)
“Those 4-year-old children who delayed gratification
longer in certain laboratory situations developed into
more cognitively and socially competent adolescents,
achieving higher scholastic performance and coping better
with frustration and stress.”
Understanding of self-regulatory strategies also
correlated with improved outcomes in adolescence.
Distraction vs. Abstraction
Strategies for Parents - Inhibition
Provide concise and easy to understand guidelines
for completing schoolwork.
 Agree upon and establish a set of expectations;
consider posting visually.
 Limit distractions.
 Provide a consistent, structured environment.
 Provide specific, realistic time-limited periods for
completing homework assignments with breaks in
between.
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Strategies for Students - Inhibition
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Teach response delay techniques, such as counting before
responding.
Stop and Think methods.
Frequent breaks.
Peer role models, cross age tutoring.
Limit time in unstructured settings.
Request seating near the teacher.
Use of a “fidget tool” (e.g., stress ball) in the classroom.
Keep long-term goals on the radar/in focus
Cognitive Flexibility/Set Shifting: What
is it?

Cognitive flexibility is also known as Set Shifting
 The
ability to alter problem solving strategies and to
think flexibly.
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Including: the ability to change focus, adapt to changing
conditions or revise plans in the face of obstacles, new
information or mistakes. Changing approach to a problem
based on errors
Cognitive Flexibility/Set Shifting: In the
Classroom
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Deficits in flexibility in the
classroom are often seen as:
 Difficulty
stopping one activity
and beginning another after
being instructed to do so
 Tendency to stay with one plan or
strategy even after it is shown to
be ineffective
 Rigid adherence to routines
 Refusal to consider new
information
Development of Cognitive Flexibility
(Taken from
Toplis & Neighbor)
2-4 years
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2 ½ years: knowledge of rules
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Unable to shift or alter behavior
Rely on perseveration
3 years: Can shift behaviors to adapt to knowledge of rules but only to one
rule at a time
4 years: Begin to shift between two simple task sets
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Has difficulty when response sets increase in complexity
Greater task completion because of increased mental flexibility
5-6 years
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Difficulty shifting between multiple rules with verbal prompts
6 year olds: Have sharp increase of mental flexibility
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Perseveration decreases
Increasing ability to learn from mistakes and generate new strategies for solving
simple problems
Development of Flexibility Continued
(Taken
from Toplis & Neighbor)
7-9 years
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Struggles with shifting behavior sets that are contingent on multiple demands
8 years: Increased focused, sustained attention, ability to shift attention
9 years: More success shifting from rules or sets depending on multiple or changing demands
10-12 years
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Improvement in ability to shift between multiple tasks
Decline in perseveration
Greater ability to learn from mistakes
Create alternative strategies for multidimensional problems
Adolescence
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Cognitive flexibility is fairly mature
Perseveration is rare
Flexibility or the ability to change between performance demands and initiate deliberate
behaviors is greatly improved
Cognitive Flexibility and Bright Students
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Recent work suggests that gifted children with
diagnosed executive functioning difficulties are
predisposed to exhibit a state of "hyperfocus.“
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While this can be positive in terms of task persistance,
it becomes a problem when the child is asked to shift
from one task to another.
Some studies have shown that about 9-10% of the
variance in set shifting abilities can be attributed to
IQ.
How Flexible Are You?
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The Stroop Color and Word Test (Golden, 1978).
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Has three trials:
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First, the participant rapidly reads color words.
Second, the participant rapidly names the color of “Xs” printed in colored
ink.
Third, the participant must say the color of ink words are printed in.
Measures: Inhibition and Set Shifting
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Video of the Stroop Task
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Now you do it!
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Stop Watch
Flexibility/Set Shifting Brain Regions
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FMRI and the Wisconsin Card Sort
Study Results
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Overall Brain Activation: Right and left inferior
frontal sulcus
(Konishi, Nakajima, Uchida, Kameyama, Nakahara, Sekihara, & Miyashita, 1998)
 Initial
shifts: Left superior and inferior prefrontal cortex
(Castellanos, X., Sonuga-Barke, E., Milham, M., & Tannock, 2006)
 Following
shifts: Inferior prefrontal cortex
Strategies For Parents - Flexibility
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If your child has difficulty moving from one activity to another:
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Timer
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Have your child help you set a timer denoting the length of the current
activity
Give them warnings at 10, 5, and 1 minutes remaining
Have a daily and weekly routine in place
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Young children sometimes do better if this routine is represented visually
Even older children will do better if they know what is expected of them is
the same each week
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Homework schedule
Advanced warning should be given if something in routine is different (e.g. doctor’s
appt.)
Moving from one task type to another (e.g. math to reading)
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Make up some practice items of the next task type for your child to
warm up on
Strategies for Parents - Flexibility
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Have difficulty problem solving or finding alternate ways
of doing things
 Have
your child think aloud, think ahead
 Have
the child say out loud what task, assignment, or problem they
have to do
 Have the child say aloud all the strategies/ways they could use to
solve the problem
 Have the child describe their plan as they do it
 Have the child assess the outcome. If it’s not correct, have them go
back and select one of their alternate strategies and work it
through out loud.
 Parent should model the method first and help children learn to
complete it
Strategies for Parents - Flexibility
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Have difficulty problem solving or finding alternate ways of doing
things
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Often bright children believe that they need to know the correct answer
the first time
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Praise children for using a well thought out method to arrive at an answer
even if it is not correct
Sometimes HOW we get the answer is more important than the answer itself
Discuss multiple meanings of jokes, riddles, and puns
Compare current situations to past ones: compare and contrast
Ask probing questions
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Probe for the correct answer after allowing a child sufficient time to work out
the answer to a question. Count at least 15 seconds before giving the answer
or moving onto another problem. Ask follow up questions that give children
an opportunity to demonstrate what they know.
Strategies For Students - Flexibility
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Use a planner to write down the daily activities/homework so you can prepare for
what you have to do each day.
Clump homework together by similar type. It may be easier for children with
flexibility difficulties to finish one type of activity before going onto another type.
Set a timer and allow yourself only that amount of time to complete an assignment
or conversely take a break.
Write common problem solving strategies on notecards. When approaching a
problem pick the strategy you think is most likely to work out first. If it doesn’t
work, pull another.
Make or ask teachers for outlines and rubrics of assignments so it’s easier for you
to know what’s expected and how you need to sequence the assignment.
Ask teachers for a time estimate for completion of the task.
If possible, obtain study questions for exams that demonstrate the format as well
as the content of the test. Then try to explain what constitutes a good answer and
why.
Emotional Control – What is it?
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“Modulating / controlling one’s own emotional
response appropriate to the situation or stressor.”
(Taken from Toplis & Neighbor)
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Video - Controlling Emotions
Discussion
 Incorporate
 Which
all executive functions discussed:
were used effectively/ineffectively?
 What could Homer have done differently?
Emotion Control
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Deficits in the School Setting Can Look Like:
 Is
too easily upset, small events trigger big emotional
response, explosive.
 Peer difficulties
 Discipline problems
Strategies for Parents – Emotion Control – The
“Frontal Lobe Prosthesis”
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“Prosthetic Frontal Lobe” (Voeller, 2004)
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Adults anticipating consequences and providing response
guidelines
Set up Conditions rather than Teach
Facilitate the development of control: Allow student to:
Take calculated risks
 Experience the outcome
 Reflect on self-regulation ability, especially limits
 Become more sensitive to future risk-taking opportunities and
ability within themselves to manage.
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(Taken from Meltzer, 2007)
Strategies for Parents – Emotion Control
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Understand the ABCs of behavior
 What
are the antecedents of a meltdown?
 How can antecedents be managed?
 Rewards vs. Consequences
Model appropriate behavior.
 If student responds with emotional outburst to school
work, consider returning to mastery level or adjust
academic demands.
 Goal is to build tolerance and reduce reactivity to
stressful situations or fluctuations in workload.
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Strategies for Students – Emotion
Control
Review inhibition options.
 Provide opportunities to talk about upcoming
events.
 Teach concrete/simple metaphor to increase
emotional monitoring such as thermometer for
measuring anger.
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Emotion Control Strategies
(Wagner, 2002)
Wrapping Up: Keeping School
Achievement in Perspective
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All children have strengths and weaknesses
Praise children for effort, not for grades
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Sometimes it is the process that is important, not the answer
Relax and Enjoy the Ride! Sometimes sitting back and just
supporting your children as they find their way is the most
important thing you can “do” as a parent…
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It’s important to use the strategies we’ve suggested as
supportive aids. If they are causing more stress than help ask
your child’s classroom teacher for other suggestions as to how
you can appropriately help your child get on track!
Resources/Strategies
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Parent Strategies Hand-Out from Taking Charge of ADHD: The Complete
Authoritative Guide for Parents by Russell Barkley, Ph.D.
Student Strategies Hand-Out from Taking Charge of ADHD: The Complete
Authoritative Guide for Parents by Russell Barkley, Ph.D.
Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary "Executive Skills" Approach to Helping Kids
Reach Their Potential by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare
Promoting Executive Function in the Classroom: What Works for Special-Needs
Learners by Lynn Meltzer, Ph.D.
Worried No More: Help and Hope for Anxious Children by Aureen P. Wagner, Ph.D.
Late, Lost, and Unprepared: A Parents' Guide to Helping Children with Executive
Functioning by Joyce Cooper-Kahn, Ph.D. and Laurie Dietzel, Ph.D.
Test Success: Test-Taking and Study Strategies for All Students, Including Those with
ADD and LD by Blythe Grossberg, Psy.D.
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This book was designed to help students find efficient and effective ways of studying and
test-taking geared to their learning styles. One section of the book covers how students
can best prepare for math tests, which cause a great deal of anxiety among many middle
and high school students.
Works Cited
Ardila, A., Pineda, D., & Rosselli, M. (2000). Correlation between intelligence test scores and executive function measures.
Neuropsychology, 15(1), 31–36.
Archives of Clinical
Arffa, S. (2007). The relationship of intelligence to executive function and non-executive function measures in a sample of
average, and gifted youth. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 22, 969–978
average, above
Arffa, S., Lovell, M., Podell, K., & Goldberg, E. (1998). Wisconson Card Sorting Test performance in above average and
children: Relationship to intelligence and age. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 13, 713–720
superior school
Barkley, R. (2011). A new look at ADHD: Treatment for multiple mental health disorders & emotional regulation. Retrieved
November 21,
2011, from http://online.pesi.com/catalog/catalog.asp?UGUID=&CategoryID=&ItemID=20111005272095-74700.
Baron, I. (2003). Neuropsychological evaluation of the child. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Castellanos, X., Sonuga-Barke, E., Milham, M., and Tannock, R. (2006). Characterizing cognition in ADHD: Beyond executive dysfunction. TRENDS in Cognitive
Sciences, 10(3), 117-123.
Friedman, N. P.,Miyake, A., Corley, R. P., Young, S. E., DeFries, J. C., & Hewitt, J. K. (2006). Not all executive functions are related to
intelligence. Psychological Science, 17(2), 172–179.
Gioia, G., Isquith, P., Guy, S., & Kenworthy, L. (2000). Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function. Odessa, FL.: Psychological
Resources.
Assessment
Konishi, S., Nakajima, K., Uchida, I., Kameyama, M., Nakahara, K., Sekihara, K., and Miyashita, Y. (1998). Transient activation of
cortex during cognitive set shifting. Nature Neuroscience, 1(1), 80-84.
inferior prefrontal
Meltzer, L. (2007). Executive function in education. New York: Guilford Press.
Mischel, Shoda, & Rodriquez. (1989). Delay of gratification in children. Science, 244, 933-938.
Seidenberg, M., Giordani, B., Berent, S., & Boll, T. (1983). IQ level and performance of the Halstead–Reitan Neuropsychological
older children. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 51(3), 406–413.
Toplis, R. and Neighbor, J. Stratgies and interventions: Brain injury and executive functioning. PowerPoint Presentation:
http://cokidswithbraininjury.com/resources/
Wagner, A. (2002). Worried no more: Help and hope for anxious children. North Carolina: Lighthouse Press.
Test battery for
Questions?
Thank You!

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