Episode 3: The Untold Story of “Failure to Launch”

Episode 3: The Untold Story of “Failure to Launch”

In recent years, Hollywood has glorified and glamorized the stories of “epic failures to launch” with great humor and light-heartedness. The untold story behind each failure is an utter lack of discipline, no impulse control, and zero goal planning. The brain’s executive function skills interfere with all the ingredients for a launch: one’s persistence, planning, prioritizing, and execution. On today’s podcast, Dr. Peg Dawson will discuss what is Executive Function and how it helps us to “launch” ourselves.

About Peg Dawson, Ed.D.

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Peg Dawson, Ed.D., received her doctorate in school/child clinical psychology from the University of Virginia. She worked as a school psychologist for 16 years in Maine and New Hampshire, and for over 25 years has worked at the Center for Learning and Attention Disorders in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where she specializes in the assessment of children and adults with learning and attention disorders. Along with her colleague, Dr. Richard Guare, she has authored several books, including a book for professionals, Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents: A Practical Guide to Assessment and Intervention and two books for parents, Smart but Scattered and Smart but Scattered Teens. Their book, Coaching Students with Executive Skills Deficits has been recently augmented with a planner (Work Smart Academic Planner). Their most recent book, The Smart but Scattered Guide to Success is written for adults. Dr. Dawson is a past president of both the National Association of School Psychologists and the International School Psychology Association. She is also the 2006 recipient of NASP’s Lifetime Achievement Award and a 2010 recipient of the International School Psychology Association Distinguished Services Award.

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Transcript

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Todd Schnick: Welcome back to Full PreFrontal, exposing the mysteries of executive functions. I am here with our host, Sucheta Kamath. Good morning, Sucheta. Looking forward to this. You’re going to tell us a story about Haruki Murakami. Let’s get to it.

Sucheta Kamath: Thank you, Todd. Executive functions are a particular set of skills that help negotiate the demands of childhood, but they’re not limited to childhood needs. Eventually, these skills help adults manage their own executive functions as either students or employees, entrepreneurs, or even parents, and if you think largely, as members of large society. As we strive to live a fully engaged, completely filled to the brim responsible, multi-faceted life, it is our executive functions that come to the rescue and help make everyday transitions seamless. When executive functions work well, they facilitate discipline of persistence and hard work. If not, the glitches vary from many hiccups in living a successful life to utter disaster which causes an epic failure to launch.

I want to share with you a story of Haruki Murakami who is a renowned and celebrated Japanese author who never dreamed of being a writer. He started working at a record store and eventually opened a coffee house and a jazz bar at age 25. The legend has it, apparently, at 29, while watching a baseball game in Jingu Stadium in Japan, he was suddenly inspired to write a novel. By then, working at jazz club late into nights, Murakami had developed a habit of chain-smoking and a truly sedentary life. As he committed to writing, he decided to make a drastic change in his lifestyle. So from hustle-bustle of urban life in Tokyo, Murakami moved to the countryside, quit smoking, changed his diet to eating more vegetables and fish, and took up running. His habit of running daily blossomed into the love for the sport. A quarter-century later, he has run almost 27 marathons and one triathlon. When asked about writing, Murakami says, “It certainly is more than mental discipline. Physical strength is necessary as artistic sensitivity,” he says. He contests that there is nothing called pure talent. Through his journey, he has identified two things: immense focus and deep endurance, and they are nothing but executive functions, as you can see.

So Murakami believes that these can be acquired and sharpened through training. Murakami transitioned from not having a specific passion or direction to more intentional life of a writer. Concerns about whether he’s a good writer or not did not stop him from pursuing writing. Finally, he sharpened and cultivated two fundamental executive skills; one of immense focus and second, of deep endurance by training himself.

So that brings me to our today’s guest. Today, Dr. Peg Dawson will be joining us for a deep and meaningful conversation about these very essential skills that act as a building block of executive functions. She’s an outstanding school psychologist who, through her work, has had a national impact on the field. Dr. Dawson has worked for the Center for Learning and Attention Disorder in Portsmouth, New Hampshire for over 25 years where she specializes in assessment of children and adults with learning and attentional disorders. Dr. Dawson is most known for her Amazon bestsellers Smart But Scattered which she co-authored with her colleague, Dr. Richard Guare, a book every parent and educator should read in my opinion. Their new book, Smart But Scattered: A Guide To Success has been just recently released, and I, again, recommend everybody to read that.

Dr. Dawson is a past president of both National Association of School Psychologists and the International School Psychology Association. Dr. Dawson is a 2010 recipient of the International School Psychology Association’s Distinguished Service Award, and she also has received 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Schools Psychologists.

Finally, Dr. Dawson has a personal connection to the topic of emerging executive functional challenges and she often mentions that in her talks, that is two of her own children who struggled with these issues when they were growing up and how successfully they have circumvented it.

So now, there you go, Todd, we have a really prolific speaker and author who’s going to be a guest with us today.

Todd: Oh, no kidding. And training for a marathon myself, your story about Haruki Murakami, wow, really spoke to me. You’re right; this conversation with Peggy Dawson promises to be a very important episode. Very much looking forward to it, so let’s get to it. Here is Sucheta’s conversation with Dr. Peg Dawson.

Sucheta: Welcome to the show, Peg. I am such a big fan of your work, and your book Smart But Scattered has transformed many of my family’s lives, so I thank you for that. Please tell our listeners a little bit about you.

Dr. Peg Dawson: Yeah, sure. My background is school psychology. I got a doctorate in school in Child Clinical Psychology from the University of Virginia a long time ago. [laughing] I worked in the public schools for about 16 years, and then joined my colleague and ultimately, my co-author, a guy named Dr. Guare, he had a private practice for a while and then we merged to a local community mental health center. And around the time I switched out of the public schools, I became particularly interested in children with attention disorders, and that led me to executive skills, which ultimately led to my writing. We’ve written, Dr. Guare and I have written books for both parents and professionals on the topic, and I think that’s how you got to me, was through Smart But Scattered.

Sucheta: Exactly, and I really want it to have a wider reach and mainly, I want you to kind of simplify to our audience regarding the complex matter of executive functions and its lifelong impact. So let me get started by how would you define executive functions for a layman?

Dr. Dawson: Okay. So executive skills or executive functions are brain-based skills. They manage out of the front lobes of the brain. They are basically the underlying foundational skills that everybody needs in order to execute tasks, so that’s where the name came from. You use them to execute tasks, and they are things like planning and organization, and time management, and task initiation, and sustained attention, but as I say, the connector between them all is they’re the skills we need in order to get things done.

Sucheta: Got it, and also, I think the part of that, how it connects to the self and how you get things done for self, and how it impacts your future outcome for self, so do you see that having an important connection, not just ability to do something but something towards your own gains, correct?

Dr. Dawson: Yeah, are you talking about more being able to achieve long-term goals or..?

Sucheta: Yeah, long-term goals as well as—as you and I know, that students in the classroom are able to answer questions but when it comes to actually producing something in writing or doing the homework, or they love Spanish, they’re doing a lot of it but they hate Math and they’re not doing anything at all. So it’s not their pure ability to do or not execute, but it’s their ability to execute even when they have no specific interest in it.

Dr. Dawson: Absolutely, yeah. Absolutely, and that’s when they really come into play because things like task initiation or sustained attention, for instance, which are two critical executive skills; you don’t need to call on those if you’re playing video games and that’s something you enjoy doing, so it’s absolutely in the context of tasks that are not on your preferred list where you really need—

Sucheta: Exactly. [laughing] And in your book, you talk a lot about that. How do you get kids? Because it’s quite puzzling to an observer if you see a child deeply engaged in a video game for four hours but doesn’t have time to spare to do a project for 20 minutes, and that disparity is really hard to reconcile for an observer. So you described that these are very essential skills to negotiate the demands of childhood, so can you kind of help us understand that a little bit?

Dr. Dawson: Yeah. I mean, basically, we’ve identified, and every neuroscientist or neuropsychologist has sort of a different collection of executive skills with lots of different definitions and categories, but what my colleague and I did was, we identified 11 skills that we thought were absolutely critical to school success. They start developing shortly after birth but they take 25 years at least to reach full maturation, so no kid graduates from high school with a fully functioning set of executive skills. Some of them are more foundational or more elemental, maybe, and earlier developing than later skills, things like task initiation or response inhibition which is the ability to control your impulses; working memory, the ability to hold onto information when you need it, like solving a math problem in your head or something like that, those all come online pretty early. They may mature at different rates, so response inhibition, for instance, in teenagers is notoriously underdeveloped, and that’s what leads teenagers to make a lot of rash decisions and sometimes make mistakes. But they mature across childhood, both, because the brain matures, but also because parents and teachers put them in situations where they have to use the skills, and so the role of parents and teachers is to provide tasks that require those executive skills at a level that the child is able to manage them, so we might give a five-year-old a three-minute chore to do, whereas by the time they’re 11 or 12, we might be asking them to do a 30-minute chore, and that would be like sustained attention and task initiation.

Sucheta: So you’re describing many key components of executive functions including response inhibition, task management, kind of goal-directed behaviors. Tell us some more executive functions that are essential for formal years of learning that kind of have its way of presenting differently in the classroom versus at home.

Dr. Dawson: Oh, sure. Yeah, and you’re right; these skills do look different in the classroom than at home. Often, in elementary school, because classrooms are structured, and so when a teacher is handing out work and asking kids to get started, it’s often easier for them to do work in the classroom than at home where no parent runs their home the way a classroom is run, with a set schedule and tasks identified to begin at a certain time, so things like planning or organization, teachers sort of meet those out or parcel those out at a level that the kids are ready for. For parents, it’s often trickier because they don’t necessarily have a clear grasp of, when is my child ready to plan his way to room cleaning? Or even organize how his room is going to be cleaned, and so parents are—and that’s why we wrote Smart But Scattered, was because we thought that parents might like a guidebook to help them understand what’s developmentally appropriate and how do you build in a routine that gets kids through their day or routines, I should say, like getting ready for school in the morning or picking up their bedroom, or doing chores, or writing papers, so they’re both school-related tasks as well as home-related tasks.

Sucheta: So I see them quite interestingly, the way you explained it, that they creep up on you, so the parents who have children with executive function problems begin to notice that their own kids are falling out of step with other kids, and there’s that nagging voice that says, “Hmm, something is off,” or “Is this right? Should this be a skill or is this a right way to struggle?” But you are describing—they’re so insidious; they are so slowly creeping into your life that before you know, maybe by seventh grade, it becomes a full-blown problem. So how do parents understand to deal with this complex marriage between gradual development of prefrontal system as well as gradually increased demand on complex self-management?

Dr. Dawson: Well, I think a lot of parents do this just naturally, so for instance, no parent of a preschooler would say to them, “Now, can you pick up your bedroom sometime today?” Assuming that they’re going to initiate that task of their own volition. [laughing] No, when it’s time to pick up the bedroom, the parents say, “Okay, let’s clean the bedroom,” and in the early stages, not only do they decide when it’s time to clean the bedroom but parents are right there side-by-side, helping their child do that. And then as children get older and are able to take on more of that themselves, parents drop away. So they don’t necessarily have to be in the bedroom, or they might say to them, “Okay, I want you to put all your dirty clothes in the laundry and then I’ll check in to see how you’re doing.” So they gradually pull themselves back, but you’re right; if kids are out of sync in terms of their executive skill development, parents may not know that. Sometimes, they realize that because teachers start talking and saying, “Well, you’re child’s having—” or remembering to hand in their homework, or getting through their seatwork on time, and sometimes, when their kids have friends over or have birthday parties or things like that, the parents can start looking at their children compared to their peers and notice that something might not be quite right. Particularly around—I haven’t talked about this executive skill, but there’s another executive skill called emotional control, and another one called flexibility which means your ability to manage your emotions and your ability to adjust to changes in plans or to disappointment. Those kinds of—

Sucheta: Can you give us an example of both?

Dr. Dawson: Yeah. So a child who has his heart set on doing something and maybe even a parent has said, “As soon as I get this work done, then we get to go for ice cream,” and then something comes up that’s out of the parent’s control and they have to change the plans. Well, kids who have trouble with flexibility have a really hard time dealing with those changes in plans. “But mommy, you promised,” might be a response, and they often have trouble managing their emotions, so they may have meltdowns or tantrums associated with either those changes in plans or things not going the way they want it to, or even a sibling taking away a toy they wanted to play with. So those are ones where, actually, parents often recognize those executive skill challenges at an earlier age because they find out that those disrupt family functioning. If a child throws a tantrum that lasts for 20 minutes and they do that a lot, then parents want to try to deal with that, so that may show itself earlier than say, problems with planning.

Sucheta: So Peggy, before we came about using the term executive function, we would have typically called such kids behaviorally problematic, and we would just even have two thoughts; maybe one is the parents are not managing them well, that means they don’t have good behavior management plan for how they raise their children, or the children are not really listening to the parents, but it was very behaviorally driven. How do I get people to understand that the cognitive nature of executive functions? Can you comment or give our listeners a framework of the underpinning neuropsychological skills that are cognitive in nature that go into executive function management?

Dr. Dawson: Well, there’s certainly an overlap but I do think by labeling the executive skills more specifically, it helps direct parents to strategies that might be effective, so when you can call a child willful but that doesn’t help you deal with, “Oh, this child has trouble managing his emotions so let’s give him some strategies for managing his emotions,” or kids who are impulsive; some kids are naturally more impulsive than others but if we understand that there may be strategies for helping kids stop and think before they say or do something, or ways we can, if they truly are impulsive, ways we can structure their lives so their impulsivity doesn’t get them in trouble or lead to danger, so a very impulsive child may need to be reminded before they get out of a car in a parking lot past the age where other kids do, “Remember to watch for cars or I’m going to have to hold your hand to make sure you don’t run out.”

Sucheta: I like what you’re saying because by labeling it, you’re even bringing out the concreteness of, this is a skill that has not emerged versus this is a skill that exists but child is failing to exercise, and that can really shift the way we treat others, right? Treat children or treat adults with executive function problems.

Dr. Dawson: Yeah, exactly. When we tend to see all of these as skill deficits as opposed to things that the child is choosing not to do, or even again, going back to the parents, rather than blaming the parents, we may say to them, “This is something your child hasn’t learned yet so let’s see if we can figure out how to teach them.”

Sucheta: Beautiful. So can you now talk a little bit about parents’ own executive functions and this kind of a song and dance that goes between parents managing executive functions of children with their own executive functions?

Dr. Dawson: Sure. When we wrote Smart But Scattered, we—and actually, this came after years of working with both kids and adults around executive skills, but we realized that the more parents understood about their own executive skills profile that might help them either understand their kids or get a better understanding of the tension points in their relationship with their kids. Very often, kids have very similar profiles to parents but sometimes, they have very different profiles, and so the chapter we wrote in which we, in Smart But Scattered, where parents can assess their own executive skills, I don’t know how many parents I’ve talked to said, “That’s my favorite chapter in the whole book.” [laughing]

Sucheta: [laughing] Me too.

Dr. Dawson: Because they learn so much about themselves, and I just find that so help—I mean, if a parent is highly organized and they have a disorganized child, in fact, I say this to adults all the time, “If you are naturally good at any particular executive skill, it’s probably really hard for you to understand people who are naturally bad with those skills,” and so a highly organized parent with a disorganized kid, that is often a source of conflict because to a parent or for that parent, organization comes very easily; it does not come easily to the child and so they really need to step back and say, “Okay, this is my strength but it’s my child’s weakness, so how can I both help him to get more organized and how can I learn to tolerate my kid’s disorganization while he’s learning that skill?”

Sucheta: And as a true psychologists at heart, I like the way you bring people’s attention to that the idea about all this is to negotiate that space within which two parties are operating and managing, these ever-so-moving executive demands requires a constant adjustment, mental flexibility, adaptive thinking, and so if you’re dealing with somebody who has deficit in that, and if you react to it with a deficit model, then it’s going to be a disaster. So it’s a good idea to think about giving a lot of kind of an introspective thought to your own executive process. How do you present this to educators and their own executive functions when they’re dealing with many students in the classroom and who are not their children?

Dr. Dawson: Sure. Well, interestingly enough, I used the same approach. I start by having them identify their own executive skills, strengths, and weaknesses to help them understand, and I’ve recently gone a step further when I do workshops with teachers because after they fill out their executive skills questionnaire, I then ask them to think about, where did you get those skills? How do people acquire skills? Are we born with them? And I give them four options: do they just emerge naturally the way vision does in kids? Or are they learned through practice the way kids learn how to walk? Are they learned through modeling and shaping the way kids learn language? Or are they explicitly taught them? And then, I have them vote and it’s always interesting to see, no, they ultimately—most teachers recognize that the two biggest influences on the development of executive skills are practice and modeling and shaping, and then I can say, “Okay, so if you’ve got kids in your classroom who are not particularly good, that means they need more practice and they may need more modeling and shaping from you.”

Sucheta: Beautiful. And I really think this is a great way to break it down because I absolutely, in my interactions, in my presentations and my work, I experience that many have preconceived notion about this natural ability which takes its own course of development which it emerges, it comes on board and when it comes on, it is at its best, and that is not how executive functions work.

Dr. Dawson: Yeah, exactly.

Sucheta: See, why this has become such an important process to address or a set of skills that we need to talk about collectively as a culture, as an institution, as a system in 21st century, how do you see, our last 100 years, how we have changed as a working people, people who are functioning in this universe, and how have they become so important?

Dr. Dawson: Well, I think for a couple of reasons. Primarily, because life has gotten more complicated. I mean, technology has expanded our capacity for doing all kinds of amazing things but it also means that we’re stretching ourselves cognitively, especially when kids are required to use technology for academic pursuits. On the other hand, the double-edged sword of technology is that it’s also become incredibly seductive to kids, so at a time when they are not particularly good at impulse control or resisting temptation, there are so many fun things out there that kids can and want to be doing that compete with doing school work, and so that’s one. I think parents lead more complicated lives now so that they may be less available to be patient and walk their kids through executive skill development, and so those two things in particular, I think, have an impact. And then when we look at how schools have changed, when I was growing up, I could pretty much get through school just by memorizing stuff, and yeah, I had to learn a few skills like how to put together a coherent paragraph or something but nowadays, so much of what we’re asking kids to do for a homework or even in school work is much more sophisticated and complex, and you can’t memorize your way to a high school diploma anymore, and so that demands that you use things like planning and organization, and time management, and what we call metacognition, which is sort of the last executive skill to develop which is really the ability to put all the pieces together and to see the big picture, and so do you have other thoughts about things that impact?

Sucheta: I think you make these beautiful points. I think the last point I might add is, I think our expectation has changed regarding what means to be proficient and multitasking, which is, you and I know is a myth, has become a cultural expectation without any thought given to what it means to multitask or what cognitive abilities, behavioral abilities go into it. So I think there is a cultural, kind of culture has gotten blindsided by its own grand sense of self. [laughing]

Dr. Dawson: Yeah, I’d agree with that too.

Sucheta: What a fabulous conversation. Thank you so much for your time, and before I let you go, if people want to reach you or find out more about your work, where can they find you?

Dr. Dawson: Probably, the easiest way is to visit my website which is smartbutscatteredkids.com. And there are numerous resources on there but there’s also a place for Contact Me, and that’s probably the best way to reach me.

Sucheta: Fantastic. Thank you so much for being a guest on our show and I really appreciate your time.

Dr. Dawson: Okay, very good. Thank you.

Todd: Alright, so that was Dr. Peg Dawson. What an intriguing conversation, Sucheta. You know, as a psychologist who has worked in schools, Dr. Dawson has a very comprehensive take of the nature of executive functions. What do you think about that?

Sucheta: She certainly does. I really enjoyed, first of all, conversing with her, and her wisdom is definitely going to benefit all our listeners. I like the way she describes executive functions. Her take is that there are 11 set of executive skills that go into managing one’s self, and she didn’t go through each and every one of them but just for the listeners’ benefit, I thought I will summarize them. They are response inhibition, working memory, emotional control, sustained attention, task initiation, planning and organization, time management, goal-directed persistence, flexibility, and metacognition. She also talks about stress tolerance as one of the skills that has also an additional impact on executive function, so when you use this kind of a comprehensive framework, as you can imagine, if any of these components are problematic for a child, that can lead to having a direct impact on educational achievement.

Todd: Well, reflecting on the conversation with Dr. Dawson, there were a lot of really critical takeaways. Lead us off with some that you think that are relevant for us to be thinking about.

Sucheta: Sure, Todd. The first, I think, that all of us need to keep in mind, that executive functions refer to your capacity to execute a goal that you have in mind. These skills, as I listed earlier, are a collection of many, many underlying skills. They’re slow to emerge. They take a long time to master. Some of them are more elemental, while the others are more interdependent and complex, and finally, in absence of some of these skills, it creates a tension between a person who is performing effectively or is trying to achieve these skills that are not mastered yet can create a lot of roadblocks.

I agree with Peg that we should use more of a skill deficit model when we talk about executive functions versus a child not using, to use the skills that he does have. This can help us understand more effectively and more compassionately the struggles that are going through the child’s mind as well as in his learning experience. I also like the point that she’s making that each and every skill that, when it’s absent, leads to certain symptoms or behaviors and they need to be labeled properly. Labeling can have a great positive impact and it can have benefit for the educators, parents, but most importantly, this labeling using executive function framework can help the child.

Todd: Well, addressing executive functions, understanding executive functions, it really seems to be now what I would consider an urgent calling in the 21st century, yeah?

Sucheta: Operating in 21st century is certainly a much more complex matter. The way my discussion with her got into these details, I feel our listeners need to understand this takeaway where we are living in a hyper-connected and technocentric world and this has created a situation where emergent brain, which to begin with lacks the executive control, are expected to exercise impulse control which is slow to be mastered. This requires the child, a young developing mind, to resist temptations, and when you have such kind of a direct access, it can create a great challenge in navigating the goals that you’re trying to accomplish.

The second part of the 21st century living is, parents lead more complicated lives, as Peg pointed out. They are juggling themselves on multiple sets of demands on their executive functions and on top of that, they’re required to manage their children’s lives independently without much support from so-called ‘the village.’ Every family’s operating as an independent, individualistic unit and they are trying to navigate all these responsibilities.

The third point that she was making in this takeaway, that schools have changed the way they teach and educate. There is more focus on collaborative project-centered and beyond memorization kind of learning, and there’s no specific teaching or explicit instructions about how to do that, and that’s created a 21st century challenge.

And I would say, finally, the families have less time to learn to work with each other as a collective unit and as collective group of challenges is posing a problem for this emergent brain to show mastery.

Todd: Well, what I found very intriguing about your conversation with Dr. Dawson was, she discussed, and she has a really nice way of making both parents and educators very aware of their own executive functions; their strengths and weaknesses, and that’s very much connected to their own understanding of the support needed for their children, yes?

Sucheta: Yeah, that was so true, Todd. Her work and her collaboration emphasizes a lot on parents, as well as educators doing executive function self-assessment, and these checklists kind of are designed to give them a little bit of an insight into themselves. So as she was talking about, once adults take this inventory for themselves, then Peg proceeds to ask them, that where did you learn these skills and do you even recall? And generally, she wants our listeners to be aware that there are four categories of patterns of learning. The first one is a naturally emerging skill, like vision. That means you open your eyes and vision comes on. You don’t have any progressive improvement in vision; that means your vision doesn’t get better with time or with age. The second type of learning development is learning through practice; doing something over and over again. Jump roping, for example, you get better and better and more skilled as you practice, or take an example of using a spoon or a fork, or a fork and a knife together. The third set of emergent learning is through modeling or shaping behaviors, that feedback is given and you tweak and you adjust, and you kind of develop that ability, and finally, a skill that is taught explicitly, so take piano, for example. You have to be taught which finger needs to be placed where to get the maximum impact of maneuvering all the fingers and all the keys. And what she points out to adults including parents and teachers, that some of these skills need to be explicitly taught. They’re not going to emerge like vision, and if you carry that preconceived notion that you’re going to create a certain type of mindset and that will be a sort of resistance to noticing the challenges that a child has with executive functions. So I love this perspective because it really is inviting everybody to think that, am I expecting executive functions to be turned on just the way I turn on my vision, by opening my eyes? And if not, then what options do I have to help them emerge? It was a terrific way that I think she kind of broke things down for us. I really appreciate that.

Todd: Yeah, I agree with you. Very profound, and again, a great conversation with Dr. Peg Dawson.

So that’s all the time we have for today. On behalf of our host, Sucheta Kamath, and all of us at Cerebral Matters, thank you for tuning in today and we look forward to seeing you next week on Full PreFrontal.

Sucheta Kamath on EmailSucheta Kamath on FacebookSucheta Kamath on LinkedinSucheta Kamath on RssSucheta Kamath on TwitterSucheta Kamath on Wordpress
Sucheta Kamath
Executive Function Specialist at Cerebral Matters
Sucheta Kamath, founder of private practice (Cerebral Matters), is an expert in brain training & Executive Function development. She is a TEDx speaker and a recent graduate of the Leadership Atlanta class of 2015. Sucheta will be launching ExQ, an educational software company that offers accessible, web-based learning management tools for all in Fall of 2017.

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