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#ExecutiveFunction a lo Natural: #Fishing

On first glance, one may infer three friends going fishing, but looking closer, it is evident that their are various observations one can deduct if they were to study the painting/ drawing a bit closer.

 In this post, I will unrelentlessly expose fishing itself as a major executive function skills development activity that should be part of every kid's life. With my professional experience spilled out onto a keyboard, it is possible to pinpoint and describe if, how, and to what degree each of the 30-35 or so known executive function skills are coming alive in a natural environment activity like fishing.

Integrating this activity as part of a life-long routine directly and indirectly tones the:

 executive function skills, 
 sensory skills, 
 social/ emotional skills, 
 para verbal skills, 
 and I guess we can't forget to mention, the concept of emotional intelligence.

This is an especially pertinent message to mothers and fathers with children or adult-children on the autism spectrum, including Asperger's, ADHD, or executive function skill deficits. 


By putting metrics, or landmark posts to which you'd like your children to aim for, you can choose to acclimate them to the bigger family picture of what is valued and emphasized by Mom and Dad. One of those values could be:

that practicing mental flexibility is as important as having physical flexibility.

Fishing is a great context for parents to practice their executive function skill coaching prowness. Parents, Special Educators and related service professionals.. but especially parents, who are the most important role-models (present or not present) that children will ever have, can experiment with putting EMPHASIS on conveying the message repetitively to your child that you value mental flexibility more so than just getting the job done. This catapults your child's mindset into thinking about things differently. It is best to convey indirectly by going through a whole map of activities.  Usually I do 8-14 activities in 1-2 hours. Parents who work from home can stagger the completion of a daily map each day to allow them to work from home. The practicality in fishing is that it cost next to nothing and gives time to talk or have high-quality parent time. Always far better than sitting around watching television.

 The importance of planning ahead with a map of activities brings in a level of safety and comfort that is expected and trusted. That is a main selling point to individuals with a deficit in mental flexibility. Even though some activities may be challenging, the child, or adult-child with autism, ADHD, or executive function skill deficits learns to organize, prioritize, plan ahead, and quickly transition across because their goal-attainment is not the end of each actitivity or task, but the successful completion of a cross-categorical array of natural activities.

By mapping out a plan of action with your child according to categories in a bubble format, and then later prioritizing this map WITH your child who was asked for input and saw his input be written into the sequence of activities, we have literally woken up the executive function skills sleeping giant in zero to sixty seconds. The child is engaged due to tailored activities which, because of their engagement value, tend to successfully prompt child to continue on the cascade of sequential activities across categories, as co-created by parent and child. If that is not enough, the parents, emphasis on doing maps on a routine basis and completing them 'metacognitively overrides' common pitfalls that bog down many as they try to empower their children as well as work for a living. A balancing act  that is not always perfect.

Coach Bill is ready to roll out to parents around the world in person, or through video chat. Check out the Wwww.CoachBill.US Training Shop Today.

Fishing executive function skills that can be used elsewhere in life:

patience, which is a form of self-control, 
perseverance, a form of goal-directed persistence,
mental flexibility, the ability to shift and transition and recast your line, the ability to deal with learning to unhook the fish from the hook and throw them back in and then be ok again to keep fishing.
Fishing requires foresight, or the ability to anticipate and predict where the fish are, where they might be. Fishing requires a repetitive
Fishing with others requires behavior modulation.
Fishing requires focus and sustained attention.                                                                                                                               
Starting and task ending each time you reel back in, and/ or complete a fishing session. 
Fishing requires sensory skill awareness. One is Hunting for fish in nature!
The activities are changing all the time, but the mapping, and organizing of ideas.. the prioritization, of them, and the completion of these categorical maps is the GMO-Free butter that smooths the road. 


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