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How I built the Semester Success Blueprint course for students with ADHD and ASD

I am proud to describe myself as a teacher.


It's an identity that is close to my heart in the same way I cherish my identity as a father and husband.


As a teacher, I believe my learning is never done and that there are always new ways to teach, inspire and support students.


One of the most powerful modalities for learning I have utilized to personally transform my life has been through online courses. Teachers like Miss Excel and Seth Perler have generously shared their expertise and allowed me to grow in leaps and bounds from my home.


I am now proud to offer my expertise through a compact learning experience called the Semester Success Blueprint, aimed at providing game-changing strategies that can transform the educational experience for students with ADHD and ASD.


In this post, I’m peeling back the curtain on a course born out of years of expertise as an executive function coach and special education teacher. It's not just another set of lessons; it's a blueprint for success, carefully crafted to bring out the best in students who learn differently.


If you are interested in the insights I've garnered through my course creation process, learn what it takes to craft a course like this and the personal milestones along the way, including how a simple cashmere sweater became a symbol of accomplishment and celebration I will wear for life.


Ready to get inspired?


Why I created this course

After years of providing executive function coaching, working as a special education teacher, and training hundreds of EF coaches, I realized the profound impact that a streamlined, efficient approach to improving EF skills could have on students' lives.


My experiences have shown me the intricate challenges and unique triumphs of students with ADHD and ASD, from middle school through college. It became my mission to distill all the knowledge and strategies I've gathered into a simple, actionable system that anyone could follow.


This course is the culmination of that mission.


I've crafted it to be incredibly straightforward to implement, with a belief that within approximately three hours, students and their supporters can have a robust framework in place.


This isn't just about academic success; it's about real, meaningful change. The small time investment required for this course has the potential to save students dozens of hours across their educational journey.


It can reduce family tension by providing clear, collaborative strategies for managing EF challenges. Grades can improve as students learn to harness their abilities more effectively, leading to better educational outcomes.


But most importantly, this course can enhance the overall life trajectory for students with ADHD and ASD by empowering them with the skills they need to navigate their academic and personal lives with confidence and autonomy.


That's why I created this course — to make a lasting, positive difference in the lives of these students and their families.


What this course is not

This course is not an all-encompassing dissection of every executive function skill, nor is it a rigid script dictating precise actions for every conceivable scenario a student might face. Instead, it’s a carefully designed framework, focused on bringing out the best in students with ADHD and ASD.


What sets this course apart is its core emphasis on the 'how' of doing school — a critical aspect often overlooked in traditional education. Rather than merely teaching students what to learn, this course equips them with the methodologies and techniques to navigate the educational landscape efficiently and effectively.


It acknowledges that while every student and situation is unique, a flexible framework can empower students to adapt and apply fundamental principles to various challenges, fostering independence and self-reliance.


This course is about providing the tools and strategies that can be tailored to each student's needs, helping them to not just cope, but to thrive in their educational journey.


Why I chose 6 modules

I opted for six modules in this course because it compelled me to prioritize the most impactful elements essential for student transformation. This constraint was intentional; it pushed me to distill the content to its purest, most potent form.


My favorite quote is "strength is born in constraint and dies in freedom" by Leonardo DaVinci

By focusing on the absolute essentials, I could ensure that each module was packed with value, steering clear of filler and fluff that might dilute the effectiveness of the teachings. It also means that the course is concise enough to be manageable for busy students and their families, while comprehensive enough to enact real change.


Any information that didn't make the cut for these six modules wasn't discarded but rather set aside for potential future courses where it can be explored in the depth it deserves. This approach ensures that students are getting exactly what they need to start making immediate improvements in their academic and daily life.


What executive function skills did I use to create this course?


Planning

In creating the 'Semester Success Blueprint' course, I wanted to approach it with careful planning and a clear vision. I started by envisioning every possible step it would take to bring this course to life, then deliberately overestimated the time each task would take. This wasn't about padding my schedule but about grounding my expectations in a tangible plan rather than an open-ended commitment.



By assigning more hours than I might actually need for tasks like recording modules, setting up my workspace, and crafting the landing page, I've given myself a clear picture of the journey ahead.


This approach is rooted in my understanding of executive function—by having a well-defined destination, my motivation to embark on and continue the work is significantly increased. I'm not just working until it's 'done'; I'm working towards a carefully plotted point on my timeline.


It's a strategy that taps into the power of visualization and detailed planning to transform a complex project into a series of achievable steps, making the entire process more manageable and less daunting. This is the essence of what I hope to teach through my course—effective planning leads to successful execution.


Prioritization

I set a clear goal for myself: complete the course by January 1, 2024. This goal was written on the first page of a new journal, which I placed on my dresser amidst other items that matter to me. I made a rule not to turn that page until the goal was achieved.


Seeing this written goal daily, right next to my other important items, served as a straightforward, effective reminder. It kept me focused on the big picture, especially when smaller, less critical tasks like answering emails threatened to distract me. This simple visual cue helped me stay on track, ensuring my primary objective was always front and center in my mind.


My commitment to myself kept me going until the goal was complete

Inhibition

To motivate myself further in completing the course, I came up with a reward system. Every time I found myself wanting to make a purchase, instead of buying it on impulse, I would add it to a wishlist.



I kept myself motivated by creating a "wish list" in my notes


This strategy turned my fleeting wants into a catalog of potential rewards, reinforcing my focus and discipline. Upon the completion and publication of the course, I allowed myself to select one item from that list as a prize for my hard work and dedication.


The chosen reward was a luxurious cashmere polo sweater from Marine Layer — a tangible representation of my achievement and a personal indulgence to celebrate the milestone.


Conclusion

The 'Semester Success Blueprint' isn't just a course; it's a concise, actionable tool designed from years of expertise in executive function coaching and special education.


If you're looking for a strategic, effective approach to improve the educational experience for students with ADHD and ASD, this course offers practical solutions. It's structured to provide just what's necessary, avoiding overload while maximizing impact.


For those ready to make a real difference in how they or their loved ones manage academic challenges, I encourage you to explore what the 'Semester Success Blueprint' has to offer. Click on the link below to start your journey towards more efficient learning and better educational outcomes today.



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About the author

Sean G. McCormick is a former public school special education teacher who founded Executive Function Specialists to ensure all students with ADHD and Autism have access to high-quality online executive function coaching services. 


With this mission in mind, he then founded the Executive Function Coaching Academy which trains schools, educators, and individuals to learn the key approaches to improve executive function skills for students.


He is also the co-founder of UpSkill Specialists, a business with a mission to provide adults with ADHD and Autism Spectrum Disorder, access to high-quality executive function coaching services that can be accessed through Self-Determination funding.

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