Developmental Path
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Below is a list of developmental tasks requiring executive functions for grades 6 through 12. If your child struggles with any of these tasks, the struggle should be considered a warning sign for possible developmental delays in EF. EF Trainer is here to help facilitate normal development through teaching and practicing changes in mindset and skill sets.
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Age RangeDevelopmental Tasks Requiring Executive Skills
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Grades 6 - 8Help out with chores around the home, including both daily responsibilities and occasional tasks (e.g. emptying dishwasher, raking leaves, shoveling snow); tasks may take 60 - 90 minutes to complete.
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Babysit younger siblings or for pay
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Use system for organizing schoolwork; including assignment book, notebooks, etc.
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Follow complex school schedule involving changing teachers and changing schedules
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Plan and carry out long-term projects, including tasks to be accomplished and a reasonable timeline to follow; may require planning multiple large projects simultaneously
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Plan time, including after-school activities, homework, family responsibilities; estimate how long it takes to complete individual tasks and adjust schedule to fit.
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Inhibit rule breaking in the absence of visible authority.
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High SchoolManage schoolwork effectively on a day-to-day basis, including completing and handing in assignments on time, studying for test, creating and following timelines for long-term projects, and making adjustments in effort and quality of work in response to feedback from teachers and others (e.g., grades on tests, papers).
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Establish and refine a long-term goal and make plans for meeting that goal. If the goal beyond high school is college, the youngster selects appropriate courses and maintain GPA to ensure acceptance into college. The youngster also participates in extracurricular activities, signs up for and takes SATs or ACTs at the appropriate time and carries out the college application process. If the youngster does not plan to go to college, he or she pursues vocational courses and, if applicable, employment outside of school to ensure the training and experience necessary to obtain employment after graduation.
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Make good use of leisure time, including obtaining employment or pursuing recreational activities during the summer.
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Inhibit reckless and dangerous behaviors (e.g., misuse of legal or illegal substances including alcohol, sexual acting out, shoplifting, vandalism.
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(Dawson & Guare, 2018)
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"Determining the level of a child's executive skills in relation to these developmental tasks can help us to understand 'goodness of fit' between the child and his or her world. [The EF Trainer n-LAM Learner's Profile] in turn can help us to judge the adjustments that may be needed in the degree of 'frontal lobe' support provided by adults, whether modifications in adult expectations are called for, and whether environmental supports should be added or withdrawn. Such an assessment also sets the stage for determining the next set of skills to be taught as well as how these executive skills can be shaped to promote both success and independence" (Dawson & Guare, 2018).
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