In the six years since I first published the Seeing My Time workbook, my work with executive functions has taken me to so many places.
Recently I was on the road at 6:30 AM driving to the Albany, New York airport, savoring a gorgeous sunrise. I was also reflecting over the previous three days spent in Gloversville, NY, at the invitation of the Lexington Center.
Lexington provides services and supports for the most vulnerable of our population: those with significant and sometimes very severe physical and mental challenges. They have approximately 1,200 employees. They manage 80 residential sites. It takes over two and a half hours to drive from one end of their service area to the other. Their services play a crucial role in the lives of many small and rural communities as well as larger towns and cities like Albany.
Their two newest non-profit ventures are housed in a gorgeous building surrounded by trees which, for my visit, were at the height of their fall color. One is a community art center that offers classes in the arts open to everyone in the area, including those with special needs. It’s the home base for a successful rock band called Flame. The other is an impressive program called Transitions, that builds skills for independent living.
Transitions is a program for 18-27 year olds, many of whom have autism. It is open to both residential and day students. They have very meticulously and thoughtfully built a physical space and program to prepare these students for independent living, including teaching them how to cook together in a beautiful kitchen. I am proud to say that I have trained their Transitions instructors to teach Seeing My Time. It is an integral part of their program.
I was invited to Lexington to do two full-day workshops on executive functions. The first day was focused on parents and teachers, my standard audience. The second day’s workshop fulfilled a long-time dream, bringing Seeing My Time concepts to the workplace.
I presented to over 100 managers of the organization with a program titled: “Leading with the Brain.” It was very gratifying to watch them make the connections between their newfound knowledge about the brain and how they might better support their employees, as well as themselves.
What struck me deeply about my time with Lexington were the people I met. Both their employees and their clients serve from their hearts. It was an honor to be in that room full of dedicated hardworking directors and managers. They had such positive energy.
After the manager’s workshop I was invited to dinner with six awesome women leaders of Lexington. The food was great, especially the corn fritter served with maple syrup. The stories shared had all of us laughing heartily. The “purpose” of the dinner was for them to pick my brain about how they might help support their youngest employees, around 21-years-old. These young adults go through 120 hours of technical training.
Some of these new employees themselves acknowledge having dyslexia. And guess what? They have trouble showing up for work on time. So, I tossed out some ideas and sat back and watched their own brilliance take over as they began to see how to apply the Seeing My Time concepts to a wide range of issues.
At the end of the evening I hugged all of my new friends good-bye. As I returned to my hotel room, I knew that my own mission of helping others through Seeing My Time had expanded. I had planted seeds at Lexington. Their thoughtful managers were going to water those seeds and watch them grow to support their community of employees and clients.
In a time where the world is receiving images of behaviors from our country that make me cringe, these good people made me proud to be an American. I was thankful that I had been able to meet them, and help them with their mission.
What are you thankful for?
Marydee Sklar is the president of Executive Functioning Success and the creator of the Seeing My Time Program®. She is an educator and author of three books on executive functions, as well as a trainer and speaker. Marydee has more than twenty-five years of experience working with students and adults with executive function challenges.