We offer personalized Executive Functioning training & support for Gr 7-12 students, post-secondary students, and young people transitioning into the workforce.

What is Executive Functioning?

“Executive function and self-regulation skills are the mental processes that enable us to plan, focus attention, remember, and juggle multiple tasks … the brain needs this skill set to filter distractions, prioritise tasks, set and achieve goals, and control impulses.”

(Source: https://developingchild.harvard)

Executive function is a set of mental skills we use all day, every day to learn, work, and manage daily life and relationships.  They include:

  • Working Memory
  • Self Control
  • Focus
  • Motivation
  • Organization & Planning
  • Time Management

At NowWhat, we offer tailor-made support packages and for individuals and small groups who want to learn and improve their Executive Function skills, usually in 4-8 week blocks.  We call this program ControlCentre because our goal is to help people take control of their own learning and success.

First, we assess each student’s specific needs.  Then we create a personalized plan that includes training, accountability and ongoing support as we implementing helpful processes designed to break down the barriers between your student and success.

Who is it for?

  • Grade 7-12 students, post-secondary students, and people entering the workforce
  • Students who are frustrated by not being able to produce work that consistently reflects their true understanding and abilities
  • Students whom teachers, parents, counsellors or GPs have identified as struggling with self-motivation, focus, organisation and follow-through
  • Students with diagnosed or suspected ADHD Executive Function challenges
  • Adult ADHD and vocational support is also available – click here for more information.

What is Involved?

  • There are 3 levels of coaching packages with our experienced Certified Teachers to choose from (see below for pricing) – 6, 12 or 20 hour packages
  • Weekly coaching sessions and follow-up check-ins, which can be a combination of in-person and virtual
  • Each family works out their preferred schedule and format with their coach for maximum impact and success, and remaining package hours are tracked by the coach
  • Includes email support as required
  • Includes brief parent updates & teacher communication as required (full parent coaching/counselling sessions can be booked separately through front desk anytime)
  • Includes supervision and collaboration with our Social Worker & Clinical Supervisor Helen Brook
  • DBT concepts and principles are woven seamlessly into the support (mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation and skilled socialization)

Where is it held?

  • 144 Wilson St E, Ancaster (between Halson & Jerseyville)
  • In-person sessions are held in our spacious ControlCentre  room with physical distancing and full Covid safety procedures in place as required by government regulations

How much does it cost?

  • There are 3 levels of coaching packages with our experienced Certified Teachers to choose from:
    1. PACKAGE ONE:  6 hours of personalized coaching ($750)
    2. PACKAGE TWO: 12 hours of personalized coaching ($1380)
    3. PACKAGE THREE:  20 hours of personalized coaching ($2000)
  • SSAH and OAP funds can be put towards this program
  • The financial commitment is for the full chosen package price, due on registration
  • Course is covered under most benefit plans and billing can be shared between participating family members (if parents are involved for example)
  • A credit card number is required to be kept on file, with paid receipts emailed weekly for whatever hours have been used for you to submit to private insurance

What kind of content is covered?

Because Executive Function factors into every aspect of life, parents and students will work with our Certified Teacher and Behaviour Coaches to assess the most pressing needs for each individual, and determine their areas of focus.  We can offer strategies to help with:

Digital Organization: 

  • Organizing digital files and folders

  • Keeping digital workspaces tidy

  • Reducing distractions in digital workspaces

School Organization: 

  • Preparing supplies for in-person classes

  • Keeping track of materials

  • Binders and planners

Home Life Organization: 

  • Creating and maintaining effective work spaces

  • Separating work/fun, finding balance

  • Managing external expectations

Self-Motivation:

  • Task initiation

  • Sustaining motivation/persistence

  • Completing and submitting work

Focus & Attention Skills:

  • Understanding task expectations

  • Managing distractions

  • Strengthening focus skills

Task Management:

  • Scheduling

  • Chunking

  • Prioritizing

Time Management:

  • Developing time awareness

  • Developing and using visual tools

  • Dealing with deadline stress

Executive Function in Math:

  • Reading and understanding directions

  • Showing your work effectively

  • Navigating complex or abstract ideas

Executive Function in Writing:

  • Chunking out long assignments

  • Planning and editing work

  • Maintaining focus on the purpose of assignment

Executive Function in Reading:

  • Reading for meaning

  • Maintaining focus while reading texts

  • Identifying literary components

Money Management:

  • Financial literacy

  • Understanding the value of money
  • Long-term & short term planning

Personal Care & Routines:

  • Eating

  • Sleeping

  • Hygiene & self-care

Digital Literacy:

  • Online interaction etiquette

  • Navigating the attention economy

  • Understanding long-term impacts

Social Media Awareness:

  • How to get what you need from web searches

  • Navigating online sources

  • Effective and efficient research skills

Post-Secondary/Vocation Planning:

  • For grades 11 & 12 +

  • How to get to where you want to go

  • Post-secondary plan mapping

Navigating Employment:

  • Landing and keeping a job

  • Workplace interactions & expectations

  • Balancing work + school + life

Who is involved?

Dan Zaitzow [B.A., B.Ed., OCT] (They/them) is an Ontario Certified Teacher with over 7 years of experience in teaching, literacy coaching, executive skills support, and special education. Dan is a dedicated educator who excels in both group settings and one-on-one instruction, and this is reflected in their commitment to education in and out of the classroom. Dan is the lead teacher in our supplementary education programming as well as offering individual behaviour coaching & Executive Function coaching sessions, and consulting and collaborating across the team on program development. While they have worked as a school teacher since graduating with their B.Ed, Dan has also dedicated their extra time to volunteering with marginalized adults teaching literacy, and working with vulnerable students on their executive skills.

Denise Hagger, B.A., PGCE (Education) (She/Her):  Denise is in her 30th year of teaching with the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board at the Secondary level.  She holds a Specialist qualification in Special Education and English and has spent the last 20 years of her career focusing on alternative education and special education as a Learning Resource Teacher, with a range of learners including those experiencing giftedness, ASD, ADHD, learning disabilities, anxiety, and social-emotional struggles. She is an Executive Function specialist who uses a wide range of behavioural and support strategies to assist students to understand themselves as learners, leverage their strengths and find a way around, over and through any challenges.

Helen Brook [RSW, MSW] (she/her) has been a social worker for 18 years, working extensively in child welfare as well as with parents, children and youth. Helen is an experienced individual counsellor, as well as a highly competent clinical supervisor and treatment planner. Helen supports patients with depression, anxiety, mental health challenges and stress, from children to adults. Helen has always been passionate about advocating for vulnerable populations, having facilitated Anti-Oppression/Anti-Racism Training at the CAS among other social justice initiatives. Her approach to therapeutic intervention is to always find the gentlest path to healing for each individual. Helen is also a parent to two wonderful girls and has personal experience managing various learning disabilities and neurodiversities within her household.

Nigel Applewhaite [BA (Hons.) Psychology] (He/him) lends his irrepressible energy & enthusiasm as well as his widely varied therapeutic experience to NowWhat as a Behaviour Coach, Executive Function Coach & academic support, and lead DBT facilitator. Nigel specilizes in delivering DBT concepts to children and teens in a relatable and enjoyable ways in our group programs as well as 1:1.  In the past, Nigel has worked in recreation therapy with seniors suffering from dementia, in supported conversation groups for individuals with aphasia, and in rehabilitation therapy within the ABI population.  Nigel’s free time revolves around sports, recreation and music. His passion for athletics and understanding of that world is an important shared interest for many of his 1:1 clients; Nigel has the ability to meaningfully engage even the most reluctant of participants.