FLIPP the Switch: Strengthen Executive Function Skills is a practical book written for parents and educators by parents and educators. The target audience is anyone who works with young people aged 3-22 who are disorganized, inflexible, impulsive, and who struggle with planning or problem solving. Readers will learn about executive function (EF) and how EF skills contribute to success in school, at home, and in work environments. Most importantly, readers will receive specific instructions, templates, and how-to scenarios for 25 strategies, five strategies for each of the five FLIPP components – flexibility, leveled emotionality, impulse control, planning, and problem solving. This book is indispensable for anyone who wants to minimize conflict, maximize on-task behavior, and support positive social-emotional development in a child or student with challenging behavior.
Although many educators associate deficits in EF skills with students on the autism spectrum, the reality is that many young people struggle with executive functioning. In fact, it is accurate to say that all young people are learning executive functioning as these skills are not fully developed until people are well into their twenties. In addition, several clinical conditions, such as attention deficit disorders, fetal alcohol syndrome disorder, intellectual disability, obsessive-compulsive disorders, social communication disorder, specific learning disability, Tourette’s Syndrome, and traumatic brain injury are often understood to have a component of EF deficits. Furthermore, individuals with diagnoses such as anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia may also exhibit deficits in the area of executive function.
The good news is that there are evidence-based strategies that can be used at home, in school, in the community, and in work situations that can significantly improve the executive functioning of individuals who struggle in this area. Given the right tools, parents, educators, and others who work with this population can effectively structure the environment and teach strategic thinking skills that will support the critical life skills of flexibility, leveled emotionality, impulse control, planning, and problem solving.