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
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.