Monthly Archives: May 2016

Executive Function

Executive Function Skills- such an important area to discuss, this set of skills that influences a person’s ability to complete tasks functionally and independently. These skills are managed by the frontal lobe of the brain.  As noted by WebMD (2005-2016), executive function helps one:

  • Manage time
  • Pay attention
  • Switch focus
  • Plan and organize
  • Remember details
  • Avoid saying or doing the wrong thing
  • Do things based on your experience.

Executive function skills develop from infancy until adulthood. All children and young adults are developing these skills as they grow and progress through life and through school.  Some students need extra assistance and direction to use these skills functionally, maybe due to frontal lobe injury, ADHD, or learning disabilities, just to name a few potential reasons. As we work with our children/students in transitioning through each school setting – grade school, middle school, high school, after high school – we may need to provide them with training, to fine tune the areas needed to achieve more independent executive skills and/or adaptive methods to overcome tasks more difficult for them to achieve.

In recent readings, I have found several articles regarding executive functioning issues for students- one article for each level of education. is a website that addresses  learning and attention issues. It is an amazing source of knowledge regarding needs that some students demonstrate in the classroom and in life!  Regarding executive function skills, here are those links for information regarding each level in life cycles:

I recommend reading these articles for helpful ideas. And then explore this website, it is full of definitions, information, and great articles! ©2014-2016 Understood, LLC. All rights reserved.

WebMD. (2005-2016). What is executive function? Retrieved from

Great Link!

These OTs and PTs  have put together a great series on kids’ functional skills! It’s full of information regarding activities of daily living, classroom skills, playground skills and many more. It’s a monthly series, so I recommend checking it every month.

Plus, the page includes multiple links to professionals with great pediatric therapeutic ideas. One can never learn enough!



Happy Mother’s Day 2016

I am having an emotional day…This is my first mother’s day not being spent with my son, since 1995 – when he was born. My son is a student at the University of Florida, beginning his senior year (Go Gators!). He is experiencing his own period of transition. Graduating from high school, moving away to college, managing his own bank account, driving I-75 and the FL turnpike alone, moving into an apartment off campus, changing majors, getting a job, attending to his own medical crises without my help… All learning experiences for him (and for me!).  Now, he did not have an Individualized Education Program (IEP), does not use Section 504 for accommodations or have special health care needs, so our transition experience is different than most of the students/ families I work with. In my role of OT practitioner in the high schools, being involved with students at different stages in their life and with different diagnoses, I am constantly reminded how amazing the parents of my students are!

I read this article last night on and I hope you will read it.

Happy Mother’s Day to all: to those with children with special needs and to those with neurotypical kids. I hope you have a special day,  and encourage you to celebrate your role in your child’s life!



My name is Katie Harris. I am an Occupational Therapist,  have been in practice for almost twenty years.  I am currently a school-based OT Practitioner, working in multiple educational settings. The students that I work with have a broad range of diagnoses. I love to work with so many different and special students. At this time,  I am also a distance learning graduate student, with my studies focused on Education-Health Care Transition (Master’s  Degree in Education, Train Well Online Academy at the University of Florida). It’s great to be in school again!  I am very interested in exploring research/studies and increasing my knowledge of paths and ideas to work with students and their families where they are today and on into their transition planning. Working on this degree is exposing me to even more information.

This blog is to share what I am learning as I explore and grow. As noted, I am a distance learning student and sometimes wish I had ‘friends’ to talk to about all the great discoveries I find! As much experience as I have in Occupational Therapy, I feel as though I am on a new endeavor. It is very important to me to  enable successful transition for students to the post-secondary role of their choice, as possible. This may include post-secondary education, vocational education, supervised employment, community participation, and more.  Some students and families need a great deal of assistance and training, some simply need guidance.

I look forward to exploring the many facets of Occupational Therapy, Education, Special Education, Transition Planning and how it all  works together. I hope you enjoy exploring this path with me. Thank you!