(You can find the full text of the 3LPlace Curriculum section on Awareness Development and Executive Function here.)
The ability to lead a purposeful, meaningful, self-determined, satisfying life depends greatly upon one’s level of self-awareness and executive function capability. Self-awareness is the process through which we reflect on ourselves and identify our needs, difficulties, and desires. Executive function capability enables us to use this knowledge to make good decisions, solve problems, evaluate ourselves in a wide variety of contexts, and act in our own self-interest in a socially appropriate manner.
The Awareness Development and Executive Functions (ADEF) section is designed to build self-awareness and strengthen executive functioning. Through an individualized process, students are exposed to experiences, concepts, activities, and interactions designed to strengthen the skills needed to become as independent as possible. The sequence, scope, depth, detail, and instruction methods used in delivery of the ADEF module should be adjusted according to the Student Individual Profile (SIP) to ensure that content is delivered at a rate, volume, and complexity that suits individual learning and emotional needs. Self-discovery is a journey some find exciting, while others experience anxiety and trepidation. Staff must be sensitive to the individual’s cognitive, emotional, sensory, and physical states.
- Define self-awareness and establish the process of achieving it as a discrete activity
- Establish an understanding that increased self-awareness results in self-knowledge, which is a tool for empowerment and independence
- Establish the vast variety of ways in which self-knowledge can be applied to improve one’s functioning, regulation, decision-making, and overall well-being
- Identify, model, and practice methods for raising self-awareness and gathering self-knowledge in a wide variety of environments, situations, and relationships for positive results
- Assist individuals to internalize the process of developing of self-awareness so they are able to use it as a tool as independently as possible given their limitations
- Define executive function (big picture and parts)
- Establish understanding of how improved executive functioning results in increased success in achieving tasks, empowerment, and independence
- Establish the vast variety of ways in which executive functioning can be applied to improve one’s overall functioning, task completion, goal setting, reduced stress, and overall well-being
- Identify, model, and practice methods for using executive function tools and strategies in a wide variety of environments, situations, and relationships for positive results
- Assist individuals to internalize the process of developing executive functioning strategies so they are able to use them as a tool as independently as possible given their challenges
- Continuously provide individuals with meaningful experiences and opportunities that will lead them to be more independent, resilient, and engaged with people and surroundings
Note regarding Individuals with Low or No Verbal Ability: Please see Appendix: “Communication Strategies and Accommodations for Students with Low or No Verbal Ability.”
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