What is Executive Functioning?

(detailed brochure available for download, here)

Wanzenberg and Associates Executive Functioning Coaches with Dr. Peg Dawson, Cove School January 13th, 2017


Executive Functioning Skills are an entree of interrelated abilities that help us manage:


  1. Time-oriented tasks, task monitoring, and effective budgeting of time
  2. Accurately assessing the demands of a task, along with an understanding of the variables that may impact these demands
  3. Initiation (starting), inhibition (stopping), and self-regulation (monitoring) of certain behaviors
  4. Maintenance of focus and development of resiliency during stressful tasks
  5. Accurate appraisal of strengths and needs and development of a sense of a learning profile


Wanzenberg and Associates was founded, in part, to provide support for students who exhibit various and concomitant executive skills dysfunction or inefficiency:


Initiation: the ability to begin a task independently

Inhibition: the ability to stop a behavior at the appropriate time

Maintenance: sustaining attention during a task and developing task routines

Flexibility: moving from one activity to another and adapting to various academic demands

Organization of Materials: imposing order on school materials and storage spaces

Forecasting: the ability to manage current and future demands, including time and task management; includes assessment and budgeting of required resources

Self-Directed Behavior: the ability to self-monitor oneself, maintain awareness of one’s own capabilities/limitations, and functionally advocate for one’s own needs

Working Memory: the ability to retain information in the moment while solving multi-step problems

Emotional Control: modulation of emotional responses by bringing rational thought and coping strategies to the situation


The capable and caring staff at Wanzenberg and Associates provide assessment and researched-based instruction in support of these unique needs.

Our passion for executive functioning skills improvement arises from our experiences in a variety of educational and vocational settings.  We often observe that these needs are often “accommodated away” without intervention  and commonly marginalized as willful behavior by many school teams. We feel strongly that executive functioning deficits are often an important part of a hidden curriculum that many students need to be taught deliberately. 

Dr. Wanzenberg has taught graduate level coursework to teachers and administrators in the planning and implementation of our executive functioning skills curricula.

Our coaches are peak performing, certified educators with a high degree of knowledge and experience in case management of students with learning differences. We work tirelessly to develop student-centered plans that tailor the strengths and needs of the student to the competencies and personality  of the specific coach. 

Typically, executive skills instruction is conducted 1-2 sessions a week at our office in Glen Ellyn. We have also made arrangements for service provision in a supervised home, study alcoves of your local public library, and other public spaces.

Each student’s executive functioning skills portfolio is developed with ample evaluative information, realistic timelines, and opportunities for ongoing support and feedback. We pride ourselves on a high degree of communication with the family.

The student and family always contribute to a set of goals statements that drive the intervention plan.  Most intervention intervals occur within a 6 month period, although in some cases, is supported on an ongoing basis as academic demands increase and change.

While the model is designed to support the needs of a broad range of learners, our curriculums especially effective for students with Autism Spectrum Needs, Twice Exceptional Learners, and students with a variety of affective disorders.


A detailed brochure regarding these unique services is available here.


Please contact us for an overview of our services in this area and how we might be able to meet your child’s needs.

                       Wanzenberg & Associates 386 Pennsylvania Ave Suite 3SW Glen Ellyn IL 60137  Office:  (630) 545-0234 Fax: (888) 271-0887