Single Biggest Reason Why Most People Don’t Understand Executive Function
Single Biggest Reason Why Most People Don’t Understand Executive Function:

Google Gobbledeegoop

I hear from many parents that they’ve been told their child has executive functioning challenges, but they aren’t really clear what that really means.  

Perhaps they have had some sort of assessment done, been delivered test results, and sometimes even a diagnosis.  

Lots of information is provided at once, too much to digest and they haven’t even begun to formulate the questions. 

The term “Executive Function” is typically shared in the context of test results and sometimes the specific areas are broken down and shared as strengths or weaknesses.

More often than not parents walk away from the meetings with papers in hand, a bunch of standardized test scores, and questions they aren’t yet sure how to formulate.   

Sometimes the term has been used by an educator in a meeting, not necessarily linked to testing.  

Executive functioning is not something that requires diagnosing.  It can be impaired for a variety of reasons.  For example, under times of high stress or when depressed, temporary challenges can occur. 

Either way,  parents will typically follow up with some time on Google seeking answers.  'Cause that's where we all usually end up! 

Looking up Executive Function in cyberspace is going to bring up a bunch of scientific jargon and confusing definitions.  

Executive Function is broken down in different ways depending on who you ask.  

The bottom line…Executive Function is the ability to get shit done!  

It is the brain functioning required to execute complex tasks such as (though not limited to!): 
  • planning
  • organizing
  • time management
  • initiation
  • emotional regulation
  • focus
  • persistence
The Executive Function "umbrella" is quite large and one doesn’t necessarily struggle with all of that falls under it! 

Age and development are key factors.  For example, it is not uncommon for a two-year-old to be highly impulsive, but by the time the child is 10, we expect to see them have fewer impulsive behaviors. When that child is a teen and is still impulsive it presents a challenge as it may manifest in risk-taking that can be troublesome.

Simplified further...all of our brains engage in Executive Functions and 

Want more info on Executive Function at different ages and stage? Click Here

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2 Comments

  1. And are there times when Executive function is more prevalent than others? There are times when I'm a powerhouse. Organizing and getting things done. Then others when I'm'a sit here a while, thank you very much.
  2. I have to say I have good executive functioning skills. I love to organize and plan. My husband? Not so much. And yet who became CEO of his company? Sigh. Not me.

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