ADHD/Executive Function and Literacy: Strategies to Support All Students

Course Number: EDU 6710 CFS1 (graduate) EDU 4710 CFS4 (undergraduate)
Instructor: Debbie Tracht, MA, Literacy; CAGS, Mind, Brain & Teaching
Location: Central Vermont Medical Center, Berlin, VT
Dates and Times: The class will have face-to-face meetings on Saturdays, 2/10, 3/10 and 4/7 from 9 - 3:30. The balance of the class will be online through Moodle.
Tuition: $900

Note: Course payment or purchase order of $900, payable to RRWIB, is due at the time of registration. A purchase order number can be entered into the online registration form. Credit card payments can also be made online. Please mail check to the Castleton Center for Schools, PO Box 6049, Rutland, VT 05701.

Course Description

In the past few years, there has been an increase in the diagnosis of ADHD and a frequent use of the term ‘executive function.’ There is a great deal of overlap between the terms, ADHD being primarily a disability of executive functioning, and both are poorly understood. Concurrently, our schools have increasingly adopted an inclusion model, creating classrooms with a wide range of skills. Many students in our schools have executive function challenges, but may or may not fall into any categories for which they would receive special services. This leaves classroom teachers with the responsibility of recognizing skill deficits related to executive functions that may be causing some students to fall behind or struggle in literacy, specifically reading and writing. 

ADHD and Executive Function in Literacy, a 3-credit graduate course, was designed to provide an understanding of Executive Functions
and ADHD and the important role they play in literacy skills. These skills, including planning, focusing attention, managing frustrations,
processing speed and working memory, impact academic tasks such as reading and listening comprehension as well as writing.
Behaviors caused by ADHD and/or EF challenges may look like laziness or defiance, particularly when work becomes so overwhelming
that students ‘spiral out of control’, sometimes shutting down completely. The goal for this course is to develop an understanding of these
challenges, thereby providing a new lens through which to view these students. You will learn simple strategies that will allow students to
access content and demonstrate understanding.

Course Objectives

  1. To identify and describe core characteristics of ADHD and Executive Functions
  2. To demonstrate understanding of the impact of gender, stress, trauma and poverty on Executive Functions
  3. To demonstrate understanding of the impact of Executive Functioning on reading, including decoding and comprehension
  4. To demonstrate understanding of the complexity of Executive Function skills required for the task of writing
  5. To learn and apply strategies to increase reading and writing success for students with weakness in executive functioning
  6. To demonstrate understanding of the impact of processing speed and working memory on reading and writing

Required Texts

Required texts are not included in the course tuition.

Executive Function in the Classroom: Practical Strategies for Improving Performance and Enhancing Skills for All Students, 1st Edition by Christopher Kaufman Ph.D.

Bright Kids Who Can’t Keep Up by Ellen Braaten, Ph.D. and Brian Willoughby, Ph.D

Getting Ahead of ADHD: What Next-Generation Science Says About Treatments That Work -- and How You Can Make Them Work for Your Child by Joel T. Nigg, Ph.D.

For additional course information

Debbie Tracht

For additional registration information

Bethany Sprague
(802) 770-7060

Register online now!