Please *CLICK* above if you want to share my work. Thanks! -Seth
Welcome from me, Seth Perler, a guy whose life’s work is dedicated to helping kids overcome challenges so they can have great lives, despite our outdated educational systems.
My mission here: Give parents and educators honest, practical and unconventional approaches to helping complicated, struggling students, without b.s. or misinformation. And teach the world about “Executive Function,” which is at the root of most student struggles.
What parents and teachers ask me?
It sounds like this, “I’ve got a bright student, but things are falling apart and I’m at a loss. If we don’t figure this out, I’m afraid it’ll negatively impact their future. How do I help this complicated child? How do I deal with their resistance? And how do I deal with teachers who don’t get my kid?”
I wish I could tell you there was a quick and easy fix, but the solution is complicated, and it has a lot to do with something called “Executive Function.” Helping these students turn it around requires compassionately and persistently approaching the problem from many angles. But don’t worry, my entire blog is about how to help. I’ve been an Executive Function specialist, and blogging about it, since 2010, and I’ve been working with complicated kids since 1995.
How do I know if my child struggles with “Executive Function”?
- Your child’s grades do not reflect their ability or “potential.”
- Homework problems: missing work, late work, incomplete assignments, zeros, forget to turn in homework, lose homework, forget what the homework was, no names, etc..
- Planning problems: Don’t use a planner to effectively track schoolwork or other responsibilities. Hate planners, lose them, forget them.
- Preparation problems: Often unprepared and late for class or other events.
- Motivation problems: Trouble self-starting, procrastinate, appear unmotivated, don’t know where or how to start.
- Wait until the last minute with important deadlines or miss them altogether.
- An unrealistic perception of how much time and energy is needed for homework, studying, chores, responsibilities, getting out of the house in the morning, etc..
- Attention problems: Can’t focus or concentrate on one thing to completion, gets off task, derailed, easily distracted.
- Takes-a-long-time problems: Because of habits that waste time and because of processing issues, these kids can take a very long time to do homework (as well as taking care of other responsibilities).
- Resist your help. Resist most help.
- Problems reflecting accurately: Unrealistic perception of how they are doing in school.
- Get behind in school and the vicious cycle gets a bit worse with each passing semester.
- They have excellent excuses, know how to wear you down.
- Advocacy problems: Do not self-advocate effectively, don’t ask teachers for help early enough or at all.
- Overwhelmed by the demands of school, leading to denial or anxiety about school, and avoid dealing with it effectively.
- They often want to do well and have great intentions but don’t have the skills.
- These students don’t understand their challenges well enough to know what to do about them.
- Often remarkably bright, have tremendous talents, gifts, passions and skills in high-interest areas.
- May be diagnosed with ADHD, ASD, Dyslexia, or another diagnosis. Some have no diagnosis whatsoever.
At least 1 in 10 students struggle with Executive Function, and since many adults don’t understand how EF impacts these complex kids, they often don’t get the help they need. This causes three massive problems:
- Many of these kids feel shame, as if there is something wrong with them.
- Many of these kids don’t develop the necessary skills they need to launch a successful future (aka “Failure to Launch” kids). They can struggle for decades.
- When trying to help, adults sometimes unknowingly make things worse.
What this tribe believes
- Education is the key to a good life. The purpose of education is to prepare kids to have what it takes to create a happy and successful future for themselves while having a fantastic childhood.
- It’s not working. Despite countless dedicated teachers and involved parents, our outdated educational approaches are off target and ultimately ineffective. Many of our kids are not prepared to succeed in this world and the cards are stacked against them.
- Kids who struggle with executive function are at an even bigger disadvantage because, in order for people to accomplish their goals, they must be able to execute the tasks necessary to reach these goals. In simple terms, we need to learn the executive function skills to get important stuff done, even if we don’t “feel like it.”
- We can and should change our educational methods so we can better serve all kids.
- Sadly, until that happens, we can not depend on schools to adequately meet the needs of all students. Therefore, we must do everything we can to ensure that the kids we work with are properly supported. Understanding Executive Function is an essential part of this.
The good news
We can help these kids develop the executive function skills they need to succeed in school and life. With the right tools, the brain can and does change. The parents who subscribe here are sick of spinning their wheels. Many have seen their kids struggle year after year and watched helplessly as patterns got worse, and they need real answers.
The teachers and professionals who subscribe here are the ones who challenge the status quo. They’re looking for something different because they’ve seen too many ineffective interventions. They’re sick of cookie-cutter approaches and want better tools to decode complicated students.
All of the adults in this tribe want to figure out what’s going on so they can get on with giving kids the support they need.
Why is Executive Function such a big problem?
You don’t know what you don’t know. Teachers are rarely given the training and resources to meet the needs of all students, and a lot of parents tell me that some teachers “don’t get my kid.” Most schools (private and alternative included) fail to understand Executive Function, so adults sometimes make the mistake of believing that these kids are lazy, unmotivated, incapable, not trying hard enough, or that they don’t care about school.
These beliefs are based on misunderstandings, and with the right tools, we can help these kids change the narrative and receive the tools they need to have a happy, healthy and successful future. Most teachers want to understand, and when they get ahold of helpful information, they use it to support kids.
One of the coolest things is when I see a family decide to proactively start solving these problems. To see the change in how they feel is remarkable. Parents move from a worried, baffled state to feeling a sense of relief, knowing that their child has turned the corner. Students move from a place of chaos and scattered energy to feeling some confidence and groundedness. Seeing a child transform their educational experience is a tremendous gift.
To help the world understand Executive Function, so we can better support all students to get their needs met and be able to self-actualize and shine.
About me, Seth Perler
I’m Seth, a renegade teacher turned Executive Function Coach/Education Coach based in Boulder, CO. I help struggling students navigate a crazy educational landscape and do my part to “disrupt” and improve education. I specialize in Executive Function and 2e.
School was incredibly challenging for me and it isn’t working for countless outside-the-box learners of today. I use my blog to:
- Give you free, actionable solutions to help your child, &
- Challenge the status quo to improve education.
Sign up here for updates and my free toolkit to help your kids. No spam, no games, no flashy stuff, just a weekly email with solutions for your child (all ages). If you want to know what you get by signing up, click here.
Start exploring my site
- My True Story – Read about my struggles as a student and how I overcame them.
- About Seth now – Here’s a more personal peek into my current life.
- Executive Function – This is a MUST READ article, the most essential one on my site. It’s about why EF is THE most important thing parents and teachers must understand, but don’t.
- 2e Twice Exceptional Learners – Another MUST READ. Everything you need to know about 2e/twice exceptional kids and how to support them.
- Podcast – Like to listen? Parents and teachers rave about this episode because it’s packed with tips.
- YouTube – My YouTube channel with tons of helpful videos. Please subscribe (this helps my channel grow and can update you).
- Coaching – About my practice for struggling students (online or locally).
- Speaking – How to hire me to speak or run a workshop for conferences, parent groups, teacher trainings, etc..
- My in-depth, unconventional professional background/resume.
- Subscribe HERE for free tools and blog updates to help your child
More About Complex Struggling Students
“The most impressive attribute of Seth is his steadfast dedication. He has never given up on our daughter, even when she has become overwhelmed and wanted to give up. He has taught her to believe in herself. She is now graduating and will walk in the December ceremony. She could not have done it without him.” – Bonnie A
As you know, I’m Seth, an Executive Function Coach, Education Consultant & Advocate.
In my blog I teach you exactly how I empower outside-the-box learners to navigate a baffling educational landscape so they can successfully launch a great future after school. Those are the essential steps; Empower students to navigate so they can successfully launch! These steps apply at any age, Elementary-College.
Struggling students are often misunderstood, usually as a result of deep systemic dysfunction (in other words, schools may look great on the surface, but can be off course behind the scenes). Many of these kids are seen as lazy, unmotivated or uncaring, which couldn’t be further from the truth. These kids are expected to conform to an outdated system rather than the system conforming to the legitimate needs of neurodiverse learners.
This drives me crazy, because it causes a ton of unnecessary suffering, for far too many students, way too often, and this can literally knock them off course in life, (which can take people decades to recover from.) Education is not a game.
“Life ain’t a dress rehearsal.” We need to do right by our kids, and in this day & age, it can be hard to even know what that means. But my blog is meant to help you cut through the noise & get results that matter. It’s all about a little-known, yet absolutely critical concept called Executive Function.
I specialize in neurodiverse learning needs like ADHD, twice-exceptional, 2E, stress, avoidance, anxiety, gifted & talented, dyslexia, Aspergers, autism, ASD, sensory integration, etc.. I generally work with kids in middle school through college.
“Sarah absolutely aced this day! I am sitting back in wonderment! She attributes her success to you! Normally, she’d be crying, frustrated, overwhelmed, and angry. Instead, she was quite calm! She took that in stride, I was so impressed with her! I said, “How does it feel?” She said, “Norma!!” Go Sara! I said, “Wow! So much executive skill went into making this day work! What do you think enabled you to be so successful and on top of things?!” She said, “Seth!” Thank you, thank you, thank you! I’m so thrilled for her (and for me) to see her starting to take charge and function more age appropriately in her life.” — Karin A., New Jersey
I have extensive experience working with extraordinarily diverse learners and I specialize in helping complex, struggling students turn it around in school. I was a teacher for 12 years (several grades and subjects), have a B.A. in Education, an M.Ed. in Gifted Education, have worked with teens with substance issues for over 15 years, taught on the Navajo reservation, and much more. Most recently I have been an education coach, consultant and advocate for 9 years.
After all this experience working with all types of struggling students, it became clear that they ALL had ONE thing in common, problems with “executive function” (don’t worry, I’ll teach you all about it). Once I figured this out, the pieces began to come together and the way I helped kids skyrocketed.
Because of these experiences, and because I’ve had to overcome these learning challenges myself, I’m committed to empowering your kids to navigate their education successfully so they can craft an awesome future.
This blog is shared by a tribe of over 9,000 concerned parents and teachers who aren’t willing to sit back and watch dysfunction shortchange kids. They’re everyday people who work hard to advocate in a baffling system, so our kids can get what they need — an education which teaches them how to harnesses their unique gifts, so they can craft extraordinary lives.
I share actionable solutions designed to help these kids turn it around, navigate the system, and get everything they can out of education. I pour my heart into this blog and it’s 100% free. I hope you join us, share it with others who would benefit, and most importantly, I hope you apply what you learn. Subscribe now!
ps – If you like my work, please click to *share*. Thanks!