Frequently Asked Questions
Coaching Students with Executive Skills Deficits
by Peg Dawson & Richard Guare
Your first step is to contact us. We will answer all your questions. Then we can arrange a meeting with you and one of our coaches so we can get to know you and your child. This meeting is charged as one session and you are under no obligation to further employ our services. We want to find out what your goals are and what you hope to achieve from academic coaching, and you and your student will be able to have some time with us before committing to a coaching plan.
How do I get a tutor or coach?
Academic coaching is an intervention that helps students develop more effective executive skills. The goal of coaching is to provide students with tools they will eventually be able to use on their own to function more effectively in a variety of problem situations. Coaching generally targets only one or two behaviors at a time through the use of goal setting. Targeted behaviors are specific and measurable, so there is no question about whether the plan has been followed or the goal achieved.
What is academic coaching?
Students with poor executive skills are disorganized or forgetful, have trouble getting started on tasks, get distracted easily, lose papers or assignments, forget to bring home the materials to complete homework, or forget to hand homework in. They may rush through work or dawdle and they often make careless mistakes that they fail to catch. They don't know where to begin on long term assignments, and they put assignments off until the last minute, in part because they have trouble judging the magnitude of the task and how long it will take to complete it. Their work spaces are often disorganized.
What do poor executive skills look like?
What's the minimum time to work with a tutor?
The Resources section describes the packages available to you. Generally, the basic package of 10 weeks is the best value and allows both tutor/coach and student the time to experience success in trying new skills.
As you consider the challenges your student faces in school (and life), you should be able to determine which intervention is best suited to his or her needs. However, our coaches/tutors can help you decide through a series of structured interviews.
Does my child need a tutor or a coach?
Coaching can be implemented for students at all levels of education--from elementary school through college--to address both academic and social skills deficits. Coaching works most effectively for students of average to near-average capabilities. Although it can be effective with students whose school performance problems fall under a variety of disability categories, coaching is likely to be more effective with those whose problems do not fall at the extreme end of any of those disorders.