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Discussing executive functioning

Alvarez welcomes attendees. Pat Arnow

Alvarez welcomes attendees.

Crystal Gaskin (left) of Queens Vocational HS and Sonia Nieves of JHS 104 in Man Pat Arnow

Crystal Gaskin (left) of Queens Vocational HS and Sonia Nieves of JHS 104 in Manhattan share a laugh during the discussion.

Emmy Pai of PS 105, Brooklyn, asks a question. Pat Arnow Emmy Pai of PS 105, Brooklyn, asks a question. The second workshop in the two-part series will be held on Sunday, June 12, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at union headquarters in Manhattan.

Despite a stormy morning, more than 100 special education teachers turned out on Sunday, May 15, to join UFT Vice President for Special Education Carmen Alvarez for the first workshop in a two-part series on “Executive Functioning and the School Experience.” Executive functions refer to the set of processes dealing with managing oneself and one’s resources in order to achieve a goal. “The term is a useful catchall for those nervous-system-based skills involving mental control and self-regulation, and the workshop explored how weaknesses in those neurologically based skills can prompt behavior problems, academic difficulties and organizational challenges for students,” Alvarez explained. The workshop covered how educators can spot executive functioning weaknesses in their students as well as how to implement strategies that address specific skill deficits. Alvarez noted that the number of participants “cleary demonstrates that our members will go out of their way to learn research-based information that helps them reach all children.” Presenters were Aaron Lanou, Gizem Tanol and Lauren Hough of NYU’s ASD Nest Project.

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