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  • Writer's picturedrlynnekenney

CogniSuite™ Executive Function Professional Development

Updated: Feb 3, 2023

Executive Function Skill deficits impact up to 80% of children ages 3-17 who have ADHD, Learning Difficulties, Dyslexia, Developmental Coordination Disorder, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Current research shows that we can strengthen the neural pathways associated with executive function skills to improve self-regulation, response inhibition, planning, attention, cognitive flexibility, and memory. The question for teachers, clinicians, and school leadership is "HOW"?

Friday, August 26, 2022, we hosted an interactive 4-hour online CogniSuite™ Executive Function Skills Training. In this professional development workshop, we reviewed the scientific evidence regarding the impact of executive function skills on learning and behavior while we implement the CogniSuite™ cognitive skill building and cognitive-motor brain priming activities. The course is now up on Teachable, if you would like to take the on-demand course.

The CogniSuite™ activities have been developed through my interactions with students in clinical practice and in the classroom since 1986. Currently, the CogniSuite™ consists of: Movimals, CogniTap™, CogniBalls, CogniBags, Think-Ups, Popple, Calm Me Downs, Spotlight™, and Play Math™.

Our #CogniSuite 5-7 minute cognitive-motor activities stimulate Executive Functions + Balance, Beat Competency, Core Strength, Coordination, Motor Timing, Patterning, Sequencing, Processing Speed, Visual Tracking & the Vestibular System. We do these activities 1:1, in small groups, or as a class, for 5-10 minutes at a time to prepare the brain for learning academic content, social skill lessons, and executive function strategies.

Receive 70+ pages of pre-publication activities, cognitive stimulus cards, progress monitoring forms, and relevant research citations for your personal and professional use.

Workshop Objectives

  • Review current applied neuroscience research on the importance of foundational sensory-motor, language, and cognitive skills in learning and behavior.

  • Learn simple cognitive coaching strategies to help students become the "Best Coaches" for their own brains.

  • Learn how to effectively implement brief cognitive-motor activities to prime the brain for learning before, during, or after a clinical or academic lesson or activity.

  • Practice the CogniSuite™ activities so that you can adapt them to your students and clients.

Workshop Progression

  1. What is Executive Function (EF)?

  2. How does EF Differ from Executive Function Skills?

  3. The relationships between sensory-motor, language, and cognitive skills in learning

  4. What are three evidence-based ways to improve EF?

  5. How do you know a child has executive function deficits?

  6. What cognitive-motor activities do you implement? When and how often?

  7. How do you track & measure progress?

  8. Plan your steps to intervention planning and monitoring

During the past three years, we have streamlined our implementation of executive function screening and intervention methods to strengthen executive function, specifically in children with learning, attention, and behavior challenges. Even for the thousands of educators and clinicians who have taken our courses, the CogniSuite™ is a game changer. This workshop will make your implementation of brief executive function interventions seamless.

This workshop is appropriate for classroom & music teachers, school leadership, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, school psychologists, pediatric nurses, educators, classroom support staff, treating clinicians, and Phys Ed teachers K-8. By the end of this 4-hour workshop, you will be prepared to skillfully use our CogniSuite™ cognitive-motor & coaching activities in your good work.

If you have questions simply email me through the contact button on the home page. Thank you for your interest in applied science in service of our students' learning.

What Our Colleagues are Saying...

"This was the best PD I've taken in years. I'm already using your materials with my class and practicing them on myself!! Alisha M., 1st Grade Teacher

"I enjoyed yesterday so much. I felt my synapses firing even after I left. I would love for you to come to my class sometime." Melinda B., 4th Grade Teacher

"I’m 2 hours to your Executive Function seminar and I love your examples. I have to stop every 30 seconds or so to write everything down. The idea of building highways with repetition is perfect for my students." Bob G., High School Teacher

Selected References:

Al Dahhan, N. Z., Halverson, K., Peek, C. P., Wilmot, D., D'Mello, A., Romeo, R. R., Meegoda, O., Imhof, A., Wade, K., Sridhar, A., Falke, E., Centanni, T. M., Gabrieli, J., & Christodoulou, J. A. (2022). Dissociating executive function and ADHD influences on reading ability in children with dyslexia. Cortex, 153, 126–142.

Bhat, A. N. (2020). Is Motor Impairment in Autism Spectrum Disorder Distinct From Developmental Coordination Disorder? A Report From the SPARK Study. Phys Ther. 100(4):633-644.

Battaglia, G., Alesi, M., Tabacchi, G., Palma, A., & Bellafiore, M. (2019). The Development of Motor and Pre-literacy Skills by a Physical Education Program in Preschool Children: A Non-randomized Pilot Trial. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 2694.

Bashwiner, D. M., Bacon, D. K., Wertz, C. J., Flores, R. A., Chohan, M. O., & Jung, R. E. (2020). Resting-state functional connectivity underlying musical creativity. NeuroImage, 218, 116940.

Bedard, C., Bremer, E., Graham, J. D., Chirico, D., & Cairney, J. (2021). Examining the Effects of Acute Cognitively Engaging Physical Activity on Cognition in Children. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 653133.

Bhoyroo, R., Hands, B., Wilmut, K., Hyde, C., & Wigley, A. (2019). Motor planning with and without motor imagery in children with Developmental Coordination Disorder. Acta Psychologica, 199, 102902.

Bidzan-Bluma, I., & Lipowska, M. (2018). Physical Activity and Cognitive Functioning of Children: A Systematic Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(4), 800.

Blair C. (2017). Educating executive function. Wiley interdisciplinary reviews. Cognitive science, 8(1-2), 10.1002/wcs.1403.

Bodrova, E., and Leong, D. J. (2019). Tools of the mind: the Vygotskian-based early childhood program. J. Cogn. Educ. Psychol. 17, 223–237.

Bonacina, S., Krizman, J., White-Schwoch, T., Nicol, T., & Kraus, N. (2020). Distinct rhythmic abilities align with phonological awareness and rapid naming in school-age children. Cognitive Processing, 21(4), 575–581.

Bonacina, S., Krizman, J., White-Schwoch, T., Nicol, T., & Kraus, N. (2019). How Rhythmic Skills Relate and Develop in School-Age Children. Global pediatric health, 6, 2333794X19852045.

Brimo, K., Dinkler, L., Gillberg, C., Lichtenstein, P., Lundström, S., & Åsberg Johnels, J. (2021). The co-occurrence of neurodevelopmental problems in dyslexia. Dyslexia (Chichester, England), 27(3), 277–293.

Buzsáki, G., & Watson, B. O. (2012). Brain rhythms and neural syntax: implications for efficient coding of cognitive content and neuropsychiatric disease. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience, 14(4), 345–367.

Cairney, J., Dudley, D., Kwan, M., Bulten, R., Kriellaars, D. (2019). Physical Literacy, Physical Activity, and Health: Toward an Evidence-Informed Conceptual Model. Sports Med. 49(3):371-383.

Cancer, et al. (2019). “Cognitive Processes Underlying Reading Improvement during a Rhythm-Based Intervention. A Small-Scale Investigation of Italian Children with Dyslexia.” Children, vol. 6, no. 8, p. 91.

Christiansen, L., Beck, M. M., Bilenberg, N., Wienecke, J., Astrup, A., & Lundbye-Jensen, J. (2019). Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Performance in Children and Adolescents with ADHD: Potential Mechanisms and Evidence-based Recommendations. Journal of clinical medicine, 8(6), 841.

Corriveau, K., Pasquini, E., & Goswami, U. (2007). Basic auditory processing skills and specific language impairment: A new look at an old hypothesis. Journal of Speech Language and Hearing Research, 50(3), 647–666.

Corriveau, K. H., & Goswami, U. (2009). Rhythmic motor entrainment in children with speech and language impairments: Tapping to the beat. Cortex, 45, 119–130.

Cortés Pascual, A., Moyano Muñoz, N., & Quílez Robres, A. (2019). The Relationship Between Executive Functions and Academic Performance in Primary Education: Review and Meta-Analysis. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 1582.

Crispiani, P., Mountstephen, M., Palmieri, E. (2019). Early Markers of Executive Functions and Their Relation to Dyslexia: Cross Patterns and the Level of Initial Activation. Asia Pacific Journal of Developmental Differences. Vol. 6, No 1, pp. 115-126.

Diamond, A. (2015). Effects of Physical Exercise on Executive Functions: Going beyond Simply Moving to Moving with Thought. Annals of Sports Medicine and Research, 2(1), 1011.

Doherty, A. & Forés Miravalles, A. (2019). Physical Activity and Cognition: Inseparable in the Classroom. Frontiers in Education, 4:105.

Egger, F., Benzing, V., Conzelmann, A., & Schmidt, M. (2019). Boost your brain, while having a break! The effects of long-term cognitively engaging physical activity breaks on children's executive functions and academic achievement. PloS one, 14(3), e0212482.

Ferreira-Vorkapic, C., Alves, H., Araujo, L., Joaquim Borba-Pinheiro, C., Coelho, R., Fonseca, E., Oliveira, A., & Dantas, E. (2021). Does Physical Activity Improve Cognition and Academic Performance in Children? A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. Neuropsychobiology, 1–29. Advance online publication.

Fiveash, A., Bedoin, N., Gordon, R. L., & Tillmann, B. (2021). Processing rhythm in speech and music: Shared mechanisms and implications for developmental speech and language disorders. Neuropsychology, 35(8), 771–791.

Gordon, R. L., Shivers, C. M., Wieland, E. A., Kotz, S. A., Yoder, P. J., & Devin McAuley, J. (2015). Musical rhythm discrimination explains individual differences in grammar skills in children. Developmental Science, 18(4), 635–644.

Gordon R. L., Fehd, H. M., & McCandliss, B. D. (2015). Does music training enhance literacy skills? A meta-analysis. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1777.

Goswami, U. (2018). A neural basis for phonological awareness? An oscillatory temporal-sampling perspective. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27(1), 56-63.

Gunzenhauser, C., & Nückles, M. (2021). Training Executive Functions to Improve Academic Achievement: Tackling Avenues to Far Transfer. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 624008.

Habib, M. (2021). The Neurological Basis of Developmental Dyslexia and Related Disorders: A Reappraisal of the Temporal Hypothesis, Twenty Years on. Brain Sci. 11, 708.

You will access over 100 reference citations through the course.


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