In this Episode
In this episode, Seth Perler breaks down some time-saving strategies for parents and teachers to help build executive function skills with their kids and get student buy-in at the start of the new school year.
Plus, hear Seth's empowering message to kids, and learn about TEFOS - The Executive Function Online Summit.
In this week's episode, you'll learn:
- Tips for parents: How to get your kids in the right mindset and off to a good start in school
- Advice for teachers in prepping for the new school year
- Seth's advice for kids as they head into the new school year
- TEFOS (The Executive Function Online Summit): What is it, who is it for, and how to get the most out of it
"What I'm really interested in when I'm working with kids is them really engaging in the learning and growing process and them feeling awesome about who they are."
- TEFOS - The Executive Function Online Summit - Info and Registration
- Executive Function Info Page: Definition, Symptoms, Testing and Treatment
- "Take The Stone Out of the Shoe" by Jill Stowell - Chapter 6: What Do Challenges With Executive Function Look Like?
- "At Wit's End" by Jill Stowell - Chapter 11: Executive Function
LD Expert Podcast with Jill Stowell
PART 2 - Executive Function Tips for Parents, Teachers, and Students + T.E.F.O.S.
Jill Stowell: There are two really big events happening in August. One is that most kids are starting back to school and the other is TEFOS, The Executive Function Online Summit, hosted by Seth Perler and it just so happens that Seth is here with us today to talk about both.
Welcome to the LD Expert Podcast, your place for answers and solutions for dyslexia and learning differences.
I’m your host Jill Stowell, Founder and Executive Director of Stowell Learning Centers and author of Take the Stone Out of the Shoe: A Must-Have Guide to Understanding, Supporting and Correcting Dyslexia, Learning and Attention Challenges.
My guest today is Seth Perler, ADHD, 2e and Executive Function Coach. He really gets out-of-the-box learners and has done so much to help kids overcome executive function challenges and help parents and educators have more effective and compassionate approaches for helping their kids. Welcome Seth.
Seth Perler: How is it going? It’s so good to see you.
Jill Stowell: It is great to see you. It’s great to have you back. So before we jump in and talk about the start of school, what would you like for people to know about you and the kids that you serve?
Seth Perler: Yeah. Well, my name is Seth Perler. I have a website called SethPerler.com or you can find me on YouTube or podcasts or at ExecutiveFunctionSummit.com but I am passionate about executive functioning and the reason I’m so passionate about it is because I was that kid that was struggling with executive function and undiagnosed ADHD. Really felt like a failure and so what I do is I help families, parents, teachers, kids and I wear a lot of hats in this world.
But I really want to see kids who often will fall through the cracks or feel bad about themselves or be misunderstood because people perceive executive function challenges as they’re being willful or they just need to be more motivated or try harder or things like this to help them be understood. So that we can really support in ways that really help them because it just drives me nuts to see kids suffer when they don’t have to because we have tools and resources and methodologies that work. So that is a bit about what I do. Thanks Jill.
Jill Stowell: You know, that is such a passion of mine too that parents and teachers really understand their struggling students because the kids that we work with, they’re bright and they have lots of other skills and talents and so it can look willful or like they’re not motivated or not interested and that’s just really not the case. So I’m really glad that we are both out there trying to get this message out.
Seth Perler: I was thinking when you started today, just to tell your audience to – I don’t know how familiar you are with Jill but Jill is a rock star and I just am so glad Jill that you’re in the world doing the work that you’re doing. That’s the thought I was having as we were starting there. So thank you.
Jill Stowell: Well, thank you. So kids are going back to school and if they have traditionally struggled, they may not be feeling great about that. Do you have some tips – I know you have tons of tips actually. But do you have some tips for parents about how to get their kids in the right mindset and off to a good start in school?
Seth Perler: Yeah. So the mindset, the first thing that I’m thinking about is not going to sound like mindset directly but it is because it affects the mindset. So I want my students to be starting school strong. My students who have executive function challenges are often behind from the beginning. So we really want them to hit the ground running. Be ready on day one with all the pieces in place. Well, you don’t know what all the pieces in place are going to be but there are pieces that we can get in place that people often don’t.
One of those pieces that I want to recommend you really take a look at is creating what I call the SSS or the sacred study space. So when I’m working with students, I help them build a sacred study space. So like I’m sitting right in my sacred study space right now, Jill. You’re sitting in yours. If you have a recording studio, that’s your sacred space for that or woodshop or a craft shop or we have different spaces or gaming area. We have spaces that are sacred to whatever the thing is.
I want my students to have a sacred study space. You don’t put the laundry basket on the sacred study space. You don’t put toys on the sacred study – like this is a place where you know you can get down to business and focus.
Now obviously there are some households where maybe it’s the kitchen table and that is the best place in the house and that there are distractions there and the dog running around and stuff like that. You just do the best you can do. The point is, is that before day one of school, before school even starts, hopefully you can take time with your child and design the sacred study space. Overhaul it. Have fun. Turn on music. Think it through. Really create an awesome space with your child.
It doesn’t matter if they’re in high school, college or elementary school. Any age child, we want to do this. Now what that does with mindset is when they’re creating the space with mindset, it helps us to really have a more clear vision of what we’re going to be doing throughout the school year and where we’re going to be – that we have a place to honor our education and being able to focus and develop who we are.
So I want you to have fun though. Make it a cool event. Like make a shopping list. Go out to the office stores together or the stuff online together or whatever. But make it a fun, really meaningful like big half-day event where you’re – and then afterwards, once you’ve created this awesome space, whether it’s colorful, whether it’s muted colors, whether there’s a board around, so that there’s no distractions. Whether there are ear plugs in the sacred study space or a device that can play classical music, whatever you design, that it really feels like a good place. After you’re all done doing that, celebrate. Do something really fun and again, if you have a college kid, do something fun with your college kid that evening or the next day to celebrate it.
But making the celebration tied to it, I think it’s really important and to really emphasize and help them understand. You just invested in yourself. You just spent time creating something to honor your education and your growth as a person. So that’s my first one. Any questions? I know it’s kind of not the most detailed but it’s about that one.
Jill Stowell: I love that. People know, you know, well, we have to have a place to study. But when you make it really special and you do it together, so now the kids are really excited about it too and the brain loves to anticipate and so the fact that you’re creating this and school is coming up, now the brain is kind of feeding them rewards that they get to anticipate working there because it’s so special. I love that.
Seth Perler: They can put up stuff in their space that represents things they’re interested in. If they’re interested in musicians or video games or certain authors or quotes or art, they can design it really to – like I want them to – like you would want, like we would want. Like I know in your space because I was interviewing you recently and you have photographs and you have things in your space that are you. We want them to have that. It’s not just your desk. It’s like a cool space, so yeah.
Jill Stowell: That’s fantastic. And lots of connection going on with parents and kids around school there too. That’s great.
Seth Perler: Yeah. And then the other two things that I have for mindset is these are my ideas. So I made three ideas for you all. So one of them is to – and this again has to do with connection with your kid. But I want you, the adult, to contemplate. Really sit down without your kid and really contemplate. When you were a child or a teenager or college age or young adult, what do you wish more people said to you when you were starting new semesters or new journeys or new jobs or new challenges in your life or new chapters in your life?
When people were really encouraging to you. For example my grandmother had a way with being so encouraging to me. My parents who I love, they had a way of being like, “Oh yeah, we believe in you. You can do anything.” But here are all the reasons that’s not going to work and so that didn’t feel good to me as a young person.
But my grandma really always did have words of wisdom that I felt very encouraged. Anyhow, what do you wish more people said to you or what did people say to you that really helped you? And write down like a top 10 list of those type of things and on that top 10 list, you’re going to give that top 10 list to your kid with your phone turned off, with their phone turned off, when you can be present and really sit down with them for a half hour and be like, “Hey, let’s have a talk. You’re going back to school soon. I want to share something with you.”
Share like 10 of the most important like things you wish people said to you or things that people did say to you. You make this yours but things that really would have impacted you or did impact you as a young person. Bring yourself back there first so that you can remember what it’s like because I think we get away from that too much.
Then really think about it and without distraction, sit down with them and tell them. Like one of the things that I would have on my list is my dad, that one thing my dad did say that was awesome is he would say, “You are not your grades,” because I always struggled with the grades. He would say, “You’re not your grades.”
To this day, I remember that. You’re not your grades. So that would be 1 of my 10 things that I would want to share with them that people share with me or that encourage me or what have you. So that’s number two. Should I move on to number three or do you have any questions about that one?
Jill Stowell: No, I love that. Yeah, it is and in a conversation like that, your child is going to learn things about you that they didn’t know and they’re going to connect and I think it’s really going to change how they look at themselves too. That’s great.
Seth Perler: You’re not lecturing them and telling them you should do this. You’re telling them – yeah, this is me.
Jill Stowell: Yeah, I love it.
Seth Perler: OK. Here’s the last one and I’m going to say this and it’s going to sound kind of ambitious at first but you can alter it. But the next thing again, this is a connection thing and we’re talking about mindset. But what I’m really interested in when I’m working with kids is I’m interested in them whether I’m a teacher, whether I’m a coach physician, a mentor physician, whatever the situation is. I’m interested in them feeling awesome about who they are.
I’m interested in them really engaging the learning process or the growing process or building executive function skills. I want them to feel good about who they are. That is the – probably the biggest objective when I’m working with somebody more than any of the skill building or any of that. The mental health, helping them understand how awesome they are.
So this one is to make a list of 100 reasons you’re awesome for your kid. Now you might not be able to come up with 100. Maybe you do 50 or maybe you do 10. Maybe you do 10 that are extensive. Maybe you do 100 that are bullets.
But sit down and then maybe you do 48. I don’t care. But sit down without your kid and really just go into your heart and ask yourself. What are all the things you love about your kid? What are all the things that amaze you about your kid? What are all the things that are so cool about your kid? What are all the things you adore about your kid?
Just write that list and write it out and just keep adding to it and adding to it. But take time to really do this. Then similar to what I was saying about before, take the time. I think it should be a different time, if possible, to go into that exercise and sit down with them and say, “Hey, I want to spend some time with you today and we’re going to sit down for a half hour, an hour or eat a meal,” or whatever.
One of the things that’s hard and I do this sort of an exercise with families a lot and a lot of times we will do it live online. We will turn off the cameras. I will set it up. We will turn off the cameras. Everybody will deal with their child. They will turn the cameras back on. People will come back in and reflect.
This is such a powerful exercise and one of the things that we see during this exercise is that a lot – and this is true for adults and this may be true for you Jill. It was true for me. I’m a lot better at it now. But it’s hard for adults and it’s hard for kids. It’s hard for a lot of us to receive compliments, to receive that depth of love. Like imagine somebody coming to a 10 or 15 or 100 things that they think are just awesome about you.
So it can be hard to receive. Like we want – so the way I want to set it up and the way I set this up with families is to tell the students, “I want you to just listen to your parent. Don’t interrupt them. Don’t say no that’s not me or don’t – you don’t have to nod or anything.” But try to receive it. Try to just receive it and not interrupt them and try to just listen even if it’s uncomfortable.
I do hear students coming out of that thing going, “That was so uncomfortable but it was so good.” The kids are crying and the parents are crying and it’s – we often are focused so much on the behavior or the grades or the things they’re not doing or the things we’re doing “wrong” or things – you know, kids hear so much of what they need to do differently and this is just a really powerful connecting activity that really works and talk about mindset for school. What better way to have a great mindset than understand how awesome you are in like this massive downpour of rain of like compliments and being seen.
Jill Stowell: Yeah.
Seth Perler: So that’s the third one.
Jill Stowell: Yeah. And you’re right. It’s hard sometimes to receive that but what a gift. We have done something similar to that with some of our kids who they have such a – they feel so bad about themselves and so we would start – we put a big piece of paper on the back of the door and so when you close the door, that’s what you see and then every single day, we put something that was awesome about them and pretty soon they have this long, long list as tall as the door and they see it over and over. It's very cool and they do absorb that and it’s great.
Seth Perler: And you want to give it to them too because they will keep it – for me, I keep certain things from my childhood that I will keep for the rest of my life. Like this is a really meaningful thing.
Jill Stowell: Yeah, yeah. OK. So you were a teacher for many years. What advice do you have for teachers? I’m sure it would be kind of along the same lines. We want kids to feel great about themselves. But what advice do you have for teachers for setting their struggling students up for success from the beginning?
Seth Perler: Yeah. I went in a different direction with this but you can adapt anything. For example the compliment thing, one way that I’ve done that is the kids would all graffiti their name on – we would take time to really graffiti their name. They would make their own huge piece of construction paper and make their name just awesome and then we would pass it around the room and it would go through all 25 or 30 kids and they would each write something that they liked about the person.
Then they would get them back and they would read them and it’s – so there are so many variations on that but that’s – and then that’s further in the school year anyway once they know each other. But in terms of setting up the school year, so I have three ideas for you.
Number one is ask what they want and you ask what they want and need. When you’re setting up your classroom, it really does take about six weeks in my opinion. I thought for 12 years to really set up the classroom and set up the vibe in the classroom.
The most important thing for me in the beginning of the school year is not what is most important to the district or the principal, which often is diving into that curriculum and covering content. The most important thing is creating an environment, a safe environment where kids feel seen, safe, heard, where they know that they are emotionally safe in that place. That if somebody in the classroom, another student is mistreating them in any way, that they’re heard, that they’re really heard. It’s not like, oh, go work it out or oh, ignore it or that type of – like these kids are really heard and supported by the teacher.
But ask your class. What do you want and need? Have class meetings. Set up the classroom democratically. When I say set up the classroom, I mean the design of the classroom, the desks of the classroom where the books are, where the supplies are, what the rules are, the environment. Ask them for feedback about you. What tips do they have for you? What makes a great teacher? What makes a not-so-great teacher. What advice do they have? Get scrappy, teachers, in terms of coming up with creative ways to create a democratic classroom that asks them what they need and get their input, their buy-in, their ownership in the creation of the classroom, the classroom environment, the curriculum as much as you can, the learning objectives, the field trips, any of those things.
Now when I did this as a teacher, I know where I want to take that. It depends on the grade. I’m thinking for me I mostly thought that in sixth grade. Like I know where I want to direct it. So I’m leading it that way. But they’re taking the ownership and the buy-in and they’re doing it.
One real quick idea for this is so you can do visual surveys where like they can use sticky notes or scraps of paper or write on a whiteboard or write on a piece of a posterboard. But let’s say that you have a bunch of posterboards in this case. Let’s say you took a handful of posterboards, put them up around the room and you have let’s say 25 kids and maybe you put up 5 posterboards. At each posterboard, about 5 kids can be at a time and they’re moving around and you can have a bell go off after two or three minutes. The beeper can go off.
But maybe the first one says, “What advice do you have for me as a teacher, to be the best teacher I can be? What advice do you have about making the classroom a place where you can really learn? What’s one thing a teacher did that you really didn’t like over the years?”
What’s – and like put up five posterboards with different questions and then people can then see what everybody wrote after the five stations went through and it’s such good feedback for you. But I’m just – again be scrappy. I’m just throwing out one idea but just – the point is ask what they want. Ask what they need. Ask what’s going to make it awesome for them. So that’s number one.
Number two and interrupt me Jill at anytime if you want me to go over that one because I’m going to move on to number two. Number two is make classroom visual. Visual, visual, visual. Everything has a place. Every place for everything is labeled. The labels are clear. More buy-in and ownership. Have the kids create the labels. These are the colored pencils, the markers, the line paper, the graph paper. This is the homework bin. Everything has a place. It’s visual. It’s colorful. It’s clearly labeled.
So in my classroom, when a student would say, “Where is such and such?” I would be like, “You probably know where it is. Where do you think it would be?” and they would be like, oh, it would be in the – like in the whatchamacallit section, the supply section or whatever. So sometimes they will ask still but they – you’re setting up executive function skills. You’re teaching them how to create spaces. You’re doing it with them. Rather than you doing all the setup before the school year starts, you want them to be a part of that process at least somewhat.
But the point is, is visual, visual, visual and not only are the places and the homes for the materials and the classroom visual but also the routines. So depending on the age, you know. If it’s high school, it’s going to be different than elementary school. But where do they line up? Where do they turn in their homework? Anything that’s a routine, have it in a Post-it and huge fonts with as short of two to three bullets as possible for what is the routine, so that everything is really easy. Everything is really, really laid out and really clear.
Have you ever walked into a restaurant Jill where you’re like, “Where are you supposed to go? What are you supposed to say? Where are you supposed to line up?” I don’t – do we seat ourselves in your …?
There should be no confusion like that in a classroom. Like things should be clear and in the restaurant where you’re guided in and it makes sense visually to find everything you need. Like we have those experiences. So that’s the second one. The first one was ask what you need. The second one is visual classroom and I have a third one. But did you have a question or a comment on anything so far?
Jill Stowell: Just as I’m listening to you, I’m thinking, “Oh my gosh. I want to go back to the classroom.” But really I can just see how excited kids would be about that and how they start to take ownership and they do remember where things are because they participated in putting it together.
Seth Perler: Yeah.
Jill Stowell: Very cool.
Seth Perler: Yeah, and then the third one is the FAQ and that is that anytime a parent or a kid asked you a question two or three times, that’s too many times. Teachers, save your energy but you’re going to have to do some work upfront by doing this.
I have seen thousands of email correspondents with teachers from – I work with so many students, middle, high school, college, elementary school and there are teachers where their systems are clear as day and everything is navigable and there are teachers where it’s confusing and it’s so hard for the parents and the kids and me to figure out what the heck is going on. What’s the expectation? When is this due? When is it going to be graded?
You know, so basically, the FAQ should be on every email you ever send out and when a parent emails you and says, “Hey, I heard there’s a project coming up,” like, “Oh, yeah. Look at the FAQ,” and the FAQ says, “How do we know where to find projects?” and it takes you there.
Look, teachers, parents sometimes – and kids sometimes have to go to multiple portals. Sometimes in one school or one class, one student might have to go to a Google classroom for one teacher and in the campus for another teacher, a special website for another teacher and so on and so forth.
It is not how we grew up. Like just them finding out the information they need, their grades or their homework or due dates or extra copies of a rubric or the study guide or whatever. They have to go to all these different places on a screen that has things that are much more interesting than your portal.
So you have to look at it like that and be like, “How am I going to make this easy?” So a parent should be able to go, “Oh, hey, when are we going to find out the grades for this? Oh, look at my FAQ.” I do grades intermittently or I post grades every day exactly when they’re done. I post them immediately or I’m the type of teacher who does it every Friday or whatever the thing is.
Tell them. You should check the portal once a week. You should check the portal once a month in my class. You should check the portal daily in my class. Homework should take a half hour. Homework should take 45 minutes 3 times a week. Be specific. They need to know. They don’t know. There are different expectations for everyone.
The kids with executive function challenges aren’t remembering all the details like the ones with really strong executive function. A lot of them love the details and they’re very good at it. A lot of them are very good at it. They really can manage that stuff.
Well, these kids don’t. They don’t remember. What do I do in this class versus this class and how do you turn it in? Did I put my name on it? So every FAQ, every question that parents are asking you, you shouldn’t – in my opinion, you shouldn’t ever have to send a parent an extra copy of something. Why? Because you proactively already put it online and people know how to get extra copies of things and if they don’t, it’s in the FAQ telling them.
Parents should never have to ask you for details on how to do their homework because you should have explained it very clearly in your portal in a place that’s easy to find of what the homework is, how long it should take, what the purpose of the homework is, which a lot of teachers don’t tell what the purpose of it. So it feels like busy work for it is busy work.
I’m not a big proponent of homework. Homework only when it’s really necessary and stuff like that. Either way, the point of the FAQ is to really communicate clearly. I just cannot emphasize this enough, teachers. There’s so much vagueness and confusion and it’s so hard for my families to find the information they need easily. Do anything and everything you can to make it simple, not complicated, easy to find what’s going on in your class to know how to ask for help, where to ask for help, when to ask for help, where the extra copies are, when the big projects are, when the big papers are due, all of these sort.
How you assess, how you grade. All of these things, really easy to find. Look, your kids want to do well. But when parents are like, “What’s your homework? What?” and then the parents go to look for it online and they still can’t understand what the heck you’re saying, that’s a problem and that’s on you and that’s on us as teachers or educators. I’m not trying to blame anybody. I’m telling you what I see all the time.
So for anybody who’s feeling sensitive right now, look, this is what I see. These people are – and I’m unclear a lot of times when I’m looking at this. So really take time to build out an FAQ. So to recap, Jill, it was ask for what they want and need to create a democratic classroom learning environment, classroom rules and learning experiences hopefully.
Make your classroom visual, visual, visual and of course if you have kids with visual disabilities, we have to consider how to meet those needs as well. But the point of the visual I think comes through to make it easy. Like think about UX user experience. Like when your classroom have a fantastic user experience and the FAQ. Create an FAQ that kids and parents can refer to that really helps them find things that you shouldn’t have to waste your time answering over and over because you created the systems for that.
So – and again, if there is a question that comes over and over, that means that your system isn’t built out enough and that’s an indication for you to think that through, polish up the system.
Jill Stowell: Great stuff. That is incredible advice and the thing about executive function, all of this is building executive function and it’s saving teachers time ultimately. But for parents and teachers, sometimes it feels like taking the time to do this with kids, these kinds of things with kids, it does take a little bit of time on the frontend, but it saves you so much on the backend and you’re building executive function skills and buy-in and relationship all through …
Seth Perler: And modeling it.
Jill Stowell: Absolutely, yeah. So Seth, I have one more thing about back to school and that is if you were going to give kids one piece of encouragement or advice as they start the school year, what would it be?
Seth Perler: Just kind of what I was saying before about the 100 reasons you’re awesome. Just how awesome you are. How your neurodivergent brain is awesome, your neurodivergent personality is awesome, your quirks, your – the things that are interesting and different and unique about you, that you may feel sensitive about are actually awesome about you.
Like you have very, very, very unique strengths and talents and interests and passions and things that matter to you and that provide meaning for you. You have this very unique setup of who you are. Like I’m this person who for some reason I love helping complicated kids who struggle. I don’t know why. I don’t really care why. But I had to own that in my life that that is the thing that is the most magical, powerful, amazing, meaningful thing in my life for some reason and then I like guitars.
No, but I have all sorts of passions and hobbies and things like that. But for some reason, that’s really meaningful to me. Other things that are meaningful to me is like animals and the environment and nature and things like that and yada, yada. But that is the number one thing in my life.
Now, not everybody has a number one thing nor do you need to have a number one thing. But what you need to understand is your unique, interesting brain and strengths and passions and interesting talents and gifts and those things that – and the things that matter to you, you are perfect, amazing exactly how you are. That doesn’t mean we don’t work on ourselves and things like that. That’s not what I’m saying. But you are amazing. What happens is we have a world, a culture, a school system that tends to focus very heavily on deficits or challenges or problems or weaknesses and it doesn’t do a good job on building our strengths unless your strengths happen to be already aligned with how school functions, which is not for everybody’s brain. It’s for – it works for some people but not for everybody.
Whoever you are, whatever your quirks are, honor that, own that, love it. Understand how amazing you are because the fact is, is that the world needs you. Your community or your neighborhood or your whatever – when you grow up, your specific strengths, the world needs you. It needs you to develop into the best that you are and one of the secrets to life for students that I like to share with them is that some of the most – in fact maybe the most joy that we find in life is through service, through giving, through helping.
Right now Jill and I have the opportunity to do right now, right this second. Jill and I are doing something we love. We’re going to get off this call. Jill and I will talk in the post-interview and we’re both going to be like happy and excited because we are literally doing what we love right now.
So service, kids building a life, building their strengths, not just focusing on the weaknesses like school often does. But building those things that some people may never even know. Like playing with Legos might be a great strength and they may – those skills that you don’t get a grade on Legos. You don’t get a grade on drawing. Well, you might in our class but you know what I’m saying.
Like building these skills, that is what they’re hopefully going to be building a career based on things that they’re aligned with. So that service is where it’s at and the more that the world needs them to serve and the more that they do who they are and understand how awesome they are and how their unique brains are perfect the way they are. That is what’s going to build them a great life but also have them have a richer life now. Then the last thing that I would say to students is what my dad said. You are not your grades and that was the second to the last thing and baby steps.
When it comes to kids with executive function challenges, it’s overwhelming. Where do you start? They are so disorganized. They are so – have such poor planning skills. They often have a poor self-concept. They’re struggling with stuff, struggling to get stuff turned in, to do their homework, to focus, whatever.
The way we grow, the way I grow, the way Jill grows, the way your parents grow, the way teachers grow, the way human beings grow is baby steps. I want to get good at guitar. It does not happen overnight. It happens baby steps, persistent, continuing to practice the skill over and over. I want to get good at skateboarding or this or that or anything. It is baby steps. That is what works and that’s hard because it seems like such a long journey. You will get this for students. You will get there. You persistently take baby steps. You will get there. I tell you from my experience, as somebody who failed out of college – I almost failed out of the second college but I dropped out before I was going to fail out.
I almost failed out of high school. Like I had more Fs than you can imagine and really felt like a failure, felt very hopeless. I was able to turn it around with baby steps, very small steps and created an amazing life for myself and that’s what I wish for all students. So that’s my message to them, Jill.
Jill Stowell: Fantastic. Well, wow, that was amazing, all of it. I want to switch gears briefly here and just talk about the other big happening in August. TEFOS, The Executive Function Online Summit, will be starting on August 11th and I know lots of people already know about this and wouldn’t miss it. But for those who are new to it, what do they need to know?
Seth Perler: So, TEFOS Summit, it’s my fifth year running this summit. It was this crazy idea because I wanted to get the term “executive function” more to the vernacular because it’s important and I’m passionate about it. So I started doing this. I invite all of these amazing experts from all over the place to share with parents. A lot of teachers and therapists and grandparents and others come but it is designed specifically for parents, but we have things for teachers and other people.
But it’s a free event. So we do three days free and then we do two bonus days and then you can buy a package. If you want, you can check that out with bonuses and stuff like that. But the free event itself is so powerful. We have about 90,000 registered already for this year. It’s just in from about 80 different countries. It really is an amazing – I really get speakers who come from here. That’s my focus and I just – and I am hard on my speakers. Jill will tell you.
Like I put them through the ringer. But that is because I do way more work there. OK. But I do. I really get them to really bring a lot of value to you, to really give exceptional insights to help you help your kiddo.
Jill Stowell: And how – because it’s a three-day event and then two bonus days. How can people get the most out of it?
Seth Perler: Well, executive function planning, pop it in your calendar right now. Register right now and I will send you emails as we go along the way with reminders and access on the 11th. But be ready for August 11th. Here is the way that I look at it. Like I do a lot of like conferences, weekend summits, things like that. Look at it like a live in-person conference and clear your schedule as much as you can and block out time.
So I would block out actual time and accountability. I would gather a friend or two or three and each day, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, your “job” and my “job” in terms of when I go to a conference or a summit is that I am there to learn everything I can and that’s my job on those weekends. So that’s how you get the most out of it in my opinion is prioritize yourself. Prioritize it and show up for yourself and block out large pieces of time where you can dive into the content and you’re going to walk away from the weekend. Your brain exhausted and also completely inspired.
Jill Stowell: Absolutely. Well, we are going to put the link in the comments so that you can register to watch the live free event on August 11th through 13th or you can also purchase the all-access pass that allows you to listen or watch anytime or watch it again, which I think is really helpful and there are lots of other bonuses that are included in that. So just give us a quick glimpse into what some of those bonuses are.
Seth Perler: Oh, so one of the things that – so Jill is one of my speakers on the summit. One of the things that Jill did and that everybody does, I have every speaker do a teacher tip. So they tell teachers one thing that they can do to support executive function in the classroom. You also get a workbook which was designed with Gretchen Wagner who is an expert in studying, which teaches the parents how to study on the summit. But teaches you evidence-based things that you can teach your kid about how to actually study and learn.
We also have kid vids. So each expert took like one minute to like think about holding their heart like a kid that’s struggling that they’ve known and like speak encouragement to kids that are struggling so parents can watch those. They love them and they look at the ones that they want their kids to see, share those with their kid, the ones that they like. Share them with their kids and the parents are always like, “Oh, my kid won’t listen to me but they will listen to you.”
So here we’re like, OK, well the experts are saying and reinforcing things that parents are saying when they’re trying to encourage their kids anyhow. So those are amazing. We have the audio on the all-access pass, so you can listen to it on a special podcast we created. We also created the transcripts for it because people wanted those. So we just really pull out all the stops.
Jill Stowell: Yeah.
Seth Perler: It’s fantastic.
Jill Stowell: It really is. There are lots and lots of conferences and summits out there and I just really want our audience to know about this one because it is so relevant. It is just so relevant to struggling kids and kids who aren’t struggling in school. So I know Seth you put work into this all year long to make sure this comes off and it’s really truly an incredible gift for parents and educators. So thank you for that.
Seth Perler: Oh, thanks for being on it. I’m proud of it. Yeah, everybody put so much heart into it and that’s …
Jill Stowell: Absolutely.
Seth Perler: That matters.
Jill Stowell: And it is always fun having you on the podcast. So …
Seth Perler: Good to see you Jill.
Jill Stowell: Yeah, thank you so much …
Seth Perler: Or hear you if you’re listening to the podcast.
Jill Stowell: Yeah. Where is the best place for people to connect with you outside of …
Seth Perler: SethPerler.com or TEFOS, executivefunctionsummit.com or YouTube.
Jill Stowell: Great. All right. Well, thank you again Seth. I will see you in a week at TEFOS.
Seth Perler: Take care. Take care, parents.
Jill Stowell: At Stowell Learning Centers, we help children and adults eliminate struggles associated with dyslexia and learning differences. We want to make this journey easier for you. Connect with us on social media and on our website stowellcenter.com for information and free resources. Be sure to register for the free Executive Function Online Summit with the link that’s in the comments and please share this episode with other parents. There was so much fabulous information in here and there are so many parents looking for answers. The struggles associated with dyslexia and learning differences can be eliminated. Let’s change the narrative together.
- Episode 69: Embracing Differences and Building Social Emotional Health – Suzanne McClure
- Episode 68 – Executive Function Tips for Parents, Teachers, and Students + T.E.F.O.S. – Part 2 – Seth Perler
- Episode 67 – The Executive Function Online Summit PLUS a Special Message for Kids – Part 1 – Seth Perler
- Episode 66 – Auditory Processing and Managing Anxiety – Jill Stowell on the Re-Focus Podcast with Angela Stephens
- Episode 65 – “Smart but Struggling” – What Does it Mean? – Jessyka Coulter, Love to Learn 2023
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