Executive Function Skills

WHAT ARE EXECUTIVE FUNCTION SKILLS?

Executive functions control how the brain communicates within itself and processes information. These skills influence how we manage our daily academic and personal lives and strongly impact success in these areas. As school-age children advance in school, basic patterns of thought such as controlling impulses, flexibility, planning, and organizing should develop and improve. If they don't, children can't succeed. Children with learning disabilities, attention deficits (ADHD and ADD), processing disorders and even average students suffer when assignments aren't completed or turned in, books are lost and projects are turned in late.

EFS skills control the way we.....

  • Retrieve and process learned information
  • Synthesize, pull together or connect ideas
  • Break down, initiate and execute tasks
  • Plan, organize and manage our time
  • Sustain attention
  • Adapt to change
  • Problem solve
  • Control our social-emotional and behavioral well being

HOW IS YOUR STUDENT DOING ACADEMICALLY?

Does he/she struggle in any of the following areas.....

  • Difficulty with a specific subject or just school work in general
  • Unable to organize school materials, bedroom or belongings
  • Difficulty understanding assignments or what is expected
  • Unable to pay attention, stay focused or sit still
  • Confused by how information fits together or breaks down it into smaller pieces
  • Takes longer to complete tasks than necessary
  • Poor attention to detail
  • Trouble starting tasks and transitioning to new ones
  • Difficulty seeing how information fits together or breaking it into smaller pieces
  • Surprised when grades aren't as good as expected
  • Disappointed that grades don't reflect what is known or understood
  • Loses important assignments and forgets to turn things in
  • Speaks well, has great ideas and is inherently bright but this does not show in school work and grades

IS YOUR STUDENT STRUGGLING IN OTHER WAYS?

Have you found any of the following to be true......

  • Appears lazy, unmotivated, confused, disorganized, or unproductive
  • Impulsive and acts without considering future consequences
  • Rigidity which often triggers anxiety
  • Low self esteem and easily frustrated
  • Difficulty learning from past experience and applying to the future
  • Difficulty solving problems and trying new strategies
  • Difficulty managing/estimating times and often late
  • Apparent behavioral/emotional management issues: seeks immediate gratification, overreacts, overly emotional, unenthusiastic, unable to pick self up, or fluctuates between highs and lows
  • Provides automated responses (uh-huh, ok, no) without actually processing
  • Difficulty regulating self or having self awareness/assessment
  • Difficulty interpreting and translating instructions/social cues
  • Random interjection of thoughts (perhaps from previous topic)