Category: Therapy

executive function disorder in children

Executive Function Disorder

Does your child's difficulties in school lead to any of these?

  • stress and anxiety
  • trouble developing strategies
  • difficulty caring out plans
  • misplaced items
  • disorganization

If so, they may be suffering from executive function disorder.  If your child is having any of these difficulties, please call me today at 919-401-8261.  I am an expert at developing therapies for this issue.  Don't delay your child's progress.

It is time once again for children and parents to consider their hopes and concerns for the new school year. As parents and students prepare for this school year they may also be thinking about the student’s performance during the last year and wonder how this year can be as or more productive.  For those who do well in school, the coming year may lead to some concerns but overall they may feel positive about school. On the other hand, there are those students who think of school and only feel an overwhelming sensation of stress and anxiety.

There are several reasons a student may feel stress and anxiety in relation to school. There are pressures coming from themselves and others to do well. But what happens if you feel as much as you would like to do well, it just seems extremely difficult to accomplish.

Most individuals have heard of learning difficulties, ADD/ADHD, and other special needs that many children experience which make succeeding in school very difficult. As a professional working with children and their families I have learned over time that children do not go to school with the intention of failing. There is usually some struggle or another that a child faces which leads to difficulties at school.

Searching for answers regarding the challenges some children face at school led me to learn about something that is a very important factor in facilitating learning. That factor is called executive function.  Executive function is a set of mental skills that help you get things done.  It acts to manage various parts of the brain. Executive function allows us to analyze a situation, plan how to address the situation, organize the steps needed to carry out an activity, develop timelines for completing the activity, adjust the steps, if needed, to complete the activity, and complete the activity in a timely way. Having difficulties with executive function, executive function disorder,  has to do more with the rate at which this part of the brain is maturing and not with a person’s intelligence. In working with children and adults, I have found that learning about executive function in the brain allows a greater understanding for parents, teachers and other professionals of an individual’s development.

Children and adults with executive function disorder may have problems organizing materials and setting schedules. They often misplace items, reports, and other school materials. They might have problems keeping their personal items and bedroom organized. Individuals with executive function disorder may also have difficulties in planning ahead, initiating tasks, problems with short term memory and managing their emotions.

You are able to help your child at home by working with them and assisting them in making checklists and setting time limits for tasks, including using timers.  You can help them by getting them into the habit of using planners and calendars.   Communicate concerns and expectations with your child and listen to their concerns. It is also important to find out more about the areas of difficulty you are noticing or your child has noticed in him/herself. Seek professional help from a professional who is knowledgeable about this area of development. Contact the school and work with the school to have a support plan for your child.

Studies have shown that executive functioning skills continue to develop through the teen years normally reaching maturity around the age of 25. Helping with executive function difficulties at a young age allows that child to learn strategies to decrease negative effects and help them reach their full potential. In addition, receiving support to manage difficulties with executive function at any age may lead to a more positive outcome in an individual’s life.

You do not have to suffer or let your child suffer from executive function disorder.  Begin on the path to a better future for you or your child by calling me today at 919-401-8261.


executive function disorder in teens

executive functioning disorder

school anxiety



what motivates people to change

What Motivates People to Change?

When considering the question of what motivates people to change, one may say that there are many factors that one could come up with to answer this age old inquiry. Many people might say that motivators such as money, material goods, fame, etc. lead to change. These are all valid motivators, which are generally considered extrinsic (coming from the outside). However, I would like to focus on even stronger motivators, intrinsic motivators, which are coming from within. They are coming from a place that has to do more with feelings and drives. These motivators normally lead individuals to feel a sense of urgency when it comes to wanting personal change.

Emotional Discomfort Can Be What Motivates People To Change

emotional discomfort can motivate changeWhen you consider the psychological aspect of change, it is generally believed that change is born out of feelings of emotional discomfort or pain. We generally tend to want to remain in a state of complacency or at rest, unless there is another strong force affecting our state of complacency. Once we are receiving messages that lead us to feel discomfort or pain, we seek to get rid of these feelings. For example, we may experience problems in our personal lives and they may escalate to the point where we realize we need to change our thinking or our behavior to experience more stability in our lives. These feelings of discomfort or pain may affect various aspects of our lives resulting in physical or mental illness, job problems, and/or relationship difficulties. At that point, it is our intrinsic motivators that are guides in seeking a sense of well-being and happiness. It becomes what motivates people to change. Some of these intrinsic motivators include having a sense of purpose or finding meaning in our lives, feeling trust in ourselves and others, feeling secure, growing in knowledge and skills, feeling satisfied with our performance and capabilities and also feeling appreciated. Intrinsic motivators lead individuals to feel satisfaction in all aspects of their lives, spiritual, physical, emotional and intellectual. In addition, they helps us feel engaged in the process of change.

Plan For Change

talk with a therapistOnce you find yourself feeling discomfort or pain and you realize that things need to change, it is time to make a plan. At that time it is important to carry out a personal evaluation of what you believe needs to change. It is also a good idea to take an honest, and more objective look at what others who care about you have suggested in regards to change. If a self-evaluation is not providing enough information about the physical or mental state that is being experienced or changes that need to take place, then professional assistance by a medical doctor or therapist may help access intrinsic motivation to bring relief and well-being. In other words, you may need help accessing what motivates people to change.

If you need this sort of assistance call me, Maria Rodriguez-Fischer at 919-401-8261.

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