Single Biggest Reason Why Most People Don’t Understand Executive Function:
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!):
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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I wear many certification hats as a Speech-Language Pathologist, Oola Life Balance Coach, Aroma Freedom Practitioner, and Clinical Aromatherapist. I'm also a Speaker, Podcaster, Author, and Blogger. Oh and a mom of 3 teens/young adults! I call myself a Creative Entrepreneur!
My heart is all in on supporting women that are in the whirlwind of raising teens/young adults. You don’t have to do this part alone!!
Many of our kids are wrestling with high levels of stress, anxiety, and/or depression, some are neurodiverse, with or without diagnoses. The common denominator is that their brains are not fully developed and they struggle at various levels with their executive functioning. Obstacles arise that interfere with their relationships, goals and launching into the world.
We mamas need to understand what’s up and be able to gently guide and support them to discover harmony and balance in themselves and their relationships.
ALL WHILE loving ourselves, doing our own work, owning our boundaries, and living our best lives!