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Pandora's Organization Tips

posted Sep 4, 2011, 12:03 PM by Diane Willcutts   [ updated Feb 28, 2012, 6:02 AM ]
My daughter, Pandora, asked me to post this on my blog.

Pandora has Aspergers, and her executive function skills, left to their own devices, are not great.  I.e., without a system, Pandora can be really disorganized.  Losing papers.  Forgetting to hand them in.  Not being sure of what is done and what still needs to be done.

To help with this, she and her educational therapist developed a notebook system, one of the few that I've seen actually works.

When we first started this in 6th grade, Pandora had one loose-leaf binder that held all of her subjects, one section for each subject.  (Yes, it was a really big binder.)  It went with her everywhere.

One key to her success:  pocket dividers in the front of her notebook, labeled (1) "hand in," (2) "working on" (for assignments that weren't done yet), (3) "needs help," and (4) "take home."  Additional pocket folders acted as dividers for each subject.  Each of the subject pockets stored notes for that subject, assignments that were completed but that might be needed for studying, and other papers that didn't fit in 1-4.  

The binder system didn't work magically on its own.  To start, Pandora needed an adult to review the notebook with her daily to make sure the papers she needed for assignments made it into the binder and that, once there, all papers went in the right section.  (E.g., "working on" papers sometimes didn't automatically make it into "hand in.")  Now in 10th grade, she manages her notebook independently.

The binder is one piece of Pandora's organization system.