The Exceptional Educator, Episode 1 – Unlocking Executive Function with Pamm Scribner

Welcome to the first episode of The Exceptional Educator!

I’m excited to launch a new format for delivering actionable teaching strategies to learning specialists and parents – the podcast. The Exceptional Educator will feature master teachers, authors, thought-leaders, and researchers for in-depth discussions about the best ways to reach every student in the classroom, regardless of ability or learning difference.

If you have feedback on the show, please let me know by leaving a review in iTunes or tweeting @btlearning #exceptionaleducator.

I can’t think of anyone better than my good friend and mentor, Pamm Scribner, to kick off the inaugural episode of the show.

Pamm Scribner

Pamm is a world-class teacher and specialist helping kids with ADHD find success in school and life. Pamm is a Board Certified Educational Therapist, and a certified PEERS Coach through the UCLA PEERS Clinic. She is also an instructor for the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) Extension: Educational Therapy Certificate Program and an educational consultant for schools throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. She has extensive experience supporting students with executive functioning disorders and assessing and treating learning disabilities. An all-around-good-person and volunteer in her community, Pamm has been an inspiration to me, and I know she’ll inspire you as well. Please enjoy!

Listen on iTunes or on Stitcher, right click here to download an mp3, or stream below:

You can also click here to listen to this episode on Youtube.

In the this episode we discuss:

  • Executive function defined – what is it?
  • Understanding the distinction between ADHD and executive functioning weakness.
  • Red flags to look for when working with students who might struggle with executive functioning or ADHD.
  • The most important factors for managing/overcoming ADHD symptoms.
  • Why taking work breaks is crucial for students with executive functioning weakness.
  • How to quickly and easily find the best, current research on ADHD and executive functioning.
  • How to get a good diagnosis for a child with executive functioning weakness.
  • Low cost solutions for families in need of a formal diagnosis for their child.
  • The educational therapist’s role in supporting students with executive functioning weakness.
  • Best practices for communicating with parents who’s child struggles with executive functioning.
  • Getting students to “buy in” to an intervention and why this is crucial for success.
  • Using technology to help students stay organized when you’re not there.
  • When is medication the right option for children with ADHD and executive functioning weakness.
  • The keys to becoming an effective teacher.

Links and Resources Mentioned in This Podcast

  • Dr. Ned Hallowell’s Website – A treasure-trove of information about ADHD.
  • Cogmed – Working memory training. This may or may not be an effective tool.
  • Russell Barkley’s Newsletter – One of the best places to get current research on executive function and ADHD.
  • CHADD – Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) is a great place to stay abreast of new research.
  • Masonic Center For Youth And Families – Sliding scale assessments in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • Khan Academy – A free educational resource providing rich, online content in a variety of subjects from Chemistry to Philosophy.
  • Time Timer – A visual countdown timer. I use this tool every day with students who struggle to comprehend timespan.


Click here to download a PDF transcript of this episode.

You can subscribe to the show on iTunes or Stitcher to get automatic updates when new episodes of the Exceptional Educator are released.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments. What did you like? What didn’t you like? Who should I interview next?

Thanks for listening!


9 Replies to “The Exceptional Educator, Episode 1 – Unlocking Executive Function with Pamm Scribner”

  1. Pamm provides an excellent demonstration of what a very good wholistic therapist can do: She integrates physical, psychological, and neuropsychological information to provide practical solutions to problems with executive functioning. She does this with a teenage population, including people with ADHD, and she does it with a sense of humor. Bravo!

  2. THE most helpful podcast I’ve heard as a parent of 2 ADHD boys who are medicated. In PHD counseling I have understood the need of providing a framework to keep the kids from failing, however, for us it has ended up micromanaging as Dr. Scribner describes. I have never been taught how to provide an effective framework like Dr. Scribner does in her practice. THANK YOU!!!

    1. Wendy! I love your comment; thank you so much for sharing. I too struggle with finding the balance between keeping kids from failing and providing too much support. I’m glad that you found Pamm’s framework as helpful as I do.

  3. still waiting to download so I can listen sometime but yes! being so close to my childs learning, I am always wondering if I am micromanaging too much and worried that not allowing her to fail as she would have in school is negatively impacting her ability to take responsiblity for her work. From the blog posts, she certainly looks like she has a problem with exective function and laying all the points out has helped me understand the issue a lot the framework to help is great!

    1. Sharyn — thanks so much for commenting. It’s so interesting to hear your perspective as a homeschooling parent. I think it’s an ongoing challenge to find the right balance of support and independence.

  4. forgot to mention I was homeschooling… always having trouble with falling off chairs, losing pens, baby animals to care for.. tons of distractions that can’t often be helped in our case!!

  5. Thank you so much for this podcast. I enjoyed it so much I’ve listened to it twice and have listened to all of the others! I want more please! As an Education Support person I’m always keen for material to help me best support students as we don’t get professional development opportunities like teachers do. Your podcast has also helped me with understanding what is going on with my own child who clearly has executive functioning problems. I look forward to listening to and reading future posts.

    1. Susanne — thank you so much! I really appreciate your comment because one of our missions for the blog is to share resources with educators and parents who might not have access to professional development. With comments like yours, we’re definitely inspired to keep it coming.

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