Executive functioning issues are usually found in kids with ADD or ADHD, but they are also common in kids with dyslexia. The following is a list of executive functions found in Late, Lost, and Unprepared by Drs. Joyce Cooper-Kahn and Laurie Dietzel*:
* Joyce Cooper-Kahn and Laurie Dietzel. Late, Lost, and Unprepared. Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House, 2008.
The article “Understanding Executive Functioning Issues” by Amanda Morin shows how executive functioning typically works:
Performing almost any task involves some level of executive functioning. If working well, the brain can move through these steps in a few seconds, but simple tasks become a challenge when these skills are weak.
Because every person has a unique combination of each individual executive function, someone who struggles can display any of the following signs:
Young children do not have well-developed executive functions. These skills typically grow in the course of daily life through imitating the examples set by teachers and parents through the preschool, elementary, and middle school years. For students with learning disabilities, explicit teaching and many opportunities for supported practice are needed for improving executive function skills. Scaffolding with temporary supports is necessary until sufficient repetition occurs to build neural pathways. More and more of these functions become fully operational as the prefrontal cortex in the brain, which controls executive functioning, reaches full development between puberty and the mid-twenties. Concerns regarding executive functioning need to be considered in light of what is typical at a certain age range.
Parents should play the role of surrogate executive and provide supports during growth of these skills. Supports will need to be used many times to provide the repetition the brain needs to internalize the skills. The brain needs many repetitions to strengthen the neural pathways to improve executive function and make these skills automatic.
** Amanda Morin. “Understanding Executive Functioning Issues.” Understood.Org. 2014. https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/executive-functioning-issues/understanding-executive-functioning-issues
See also the article on ADHD and Memory
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