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How You Can Improve Executive Functioning Skills in Kids with ADHD

Children with ADHD struggle with their impulse control. They can often be disorganized and struggle with following any tasks that are made up of many steps. This can translate into problems at school, affect friendships and harm their career prospects in the longer term.

The technical term for the skills they are lacking is executive functioning skills; sometimes just called executive function or executive skills. These skills are important for a successful and independent life. So how can we help our children master these?

What Are Executive Functioning Skills?

Executive Functioning Skills are related to self-regulation. These are the skills that help with planning, focus, recollecting the steps in a complicated process, and coping with having multiple things to do at the same time.

These skills are vital to organizing yourself, which becomes more important as children get older and are expected to manage more of their lives. Poor executive skills lead to forgotten or late homework, getting lost in school, and forgetting social engagements. If you think your child might have an executive functioning problem, more signs of the disorder are outlined in this article.

The good news is that improving executive function is possible. With a combination of executive functioning interventions, to make life easier, and executive functioning skills training, you can help your child to do more for themselves.

How to Improve Executive Function

Teaching executive functioning skills is something that can be done at any age and can continue through until adulthood. While these skills may not come naturally to a child with ADHD or some other learning disorders, they can be acquired and coping strategies can be adopted to help set your child up for success.

These exercises work to improve performance in three areas that are important for executive function; working memory, impulse control, and cognitive flexibility. Working memory helps with retaining the different steps needed to complete a task. Impulse control is what stops a child doing something they know they shouldn’t. Cognitive flexibility is the ability to change mental gears quickly.

Games for Toddlers

Pat-a-cake and other songs and rhymes help babies to develop their working memory. As the songs are repeated, so they learn what to expect. Songs with a surprise ending, such as ‘Round and round the garden,’ which ends with a tickle are particularly well received.

Copying games help with impulse control. If you can come up with a game, for example, taking turns to put toy animals into a zoo scene helps them to master self-control.

Younger Children

Usually, it is when children get to school that challenges with executive function are noticed. But this is also a great time to begin interventions. For example, storytelling can be a powerful tool in helping children to improve their working memory and cognitive flexibility.

Telling a story, or recalling what happened in their day so far, means that they need to get events in order and tell them in a logical fashion. If you tell a story together, taking it in turns to decide what comes next, you are working on both impulse control too.

To help with focus, play a version of musical statues where the pose of the statue is agreed ahead of time. Get the children dancing to fast music, then when it stops they have to concentrate in order to stop and get into the same pose as the statue very quickly.

Older Children

Board games and card games are helpful as children get older. Taking turns helps to improve impulse control, and the need to remember the rules; for example, what happens when you land on a snake or a ladder and apply them correctly challenges their working memory.

Sport and other physical activity can be useful too. Not only does it burn off some energy, but it also gives your child the opportunity to work together. That helps them with working memory and cognitive flexibility. Perhaps more importantly, it can improve social relationships and self-confidence, too. If your child isn’t sporty, don’t worry. The same is true of learning to play an instrument or singing in a choir.

At this age, some children begin using a smartphone or tablet computer more often. There are many apps available which can help to work on executive function.


As children grow up to become teenagers, it’s important to start supporting them to develop their own skills rather than trying to do things for them. When they go to college or get a job, you won’t be able to support them in the same way that you have done through their time in school.

Learning organizational skills can be done by working on a practical project. Choose something your child would like to achieve, whether that is college applications or a party for their birthday. Work with them on the plans, but try and let them take the lead. Only nudge when you really need to make sure that things happen.

Older children can be encouraged to ‘self-talk’ when they are struggling with impulse control. In a way, they act as their own parent. When faced with temptation, they mentally explain to themselves why following that impulse is a bad idea. Explaining this process and encouraging your child to find their own way to implement it can be very powerful.

Sport, music and other group activities remain important for this age group. The teen years can be very confusing and isolating, so helping your child to find their clan whether that’s the football team, the cinema club or something else entirely is really useful.

How We Can Help

Speech and Language disorders often go hand in hand with ADHD, and speech therapy can be a valuable part of the process in dealing with this. But if the thought of packing more appointments into your week gives you a headache, you’ll be glad to know that online speech therapy is just as effective as face to face work.

If you have any questions about how we can help you and your child, with executive functioning skills or anything else, please get in touch today.

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Executive Functioning Training in the Treatment of Learning Disorders

Executive Functioning Training in the Treatment of Learning Disorders

What is intelligence?

What about productivity and competency?

There is an entire world of answers to questions like these, but the way that these things are measured in our lives would suggest otherwise. At school, they’re gauged by performance on a test. At work, they’re tested by output.

One thing that muddies the waters of these evaluations is executive functioning. You might be a very bright person, but executive dysfunction could obscure that.

It’s important not to see this as a personal failure but as a circumstance, you can overcome in life. Executive functioning training helps many people get a better handle on life every day.

What Is Executive Functioning Training?

Executive functioning, the “management system of the brain,” allows us to accomplish tasks. It’s closely tied with our ability to make a conscious effort toward something. Even a small task, like writing your name on a piece of paper, requires executive function.

People aren’t born with these abilities already in place. Instead, they are born with the potential to develop executive functioning skills.

This development starts early on and isn’t complete until age 30. If someone has an issue with executive functioning, they might experience delays at every step of the way. This is often seen with children struggling to meet their learning goals.

Executive functioning training is a treatment option for people who experience these delays or other inconveniences in their lives that arise from executive dysfunction. This is a process best done in conjunction with a professional, and it’s a deep dive into what is causing these delays and issues.

The processes involved in executive functioning cover 3 main areas:

1. Working Memory

This is the knowledge you have that’s readily accessible in the moment.

Have you ever been so tired that you had trouble remembering things? You might have known the information was somewhere in your mind, but you just couldn’t think of it right then. That is, the information was stored in your long-term memory, but you had trouble getting it to working memory.

This is an example of something getting in the way of your executive functioning. Even people who don’t have a mental disorder can experience this from time to time due to stress or fatigue.

2. Mental Flexibility

Like physical flexibility, mental flexibility is a way to describe how much we can stretch ourselves.

According to the Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology, mental flexibility is “the ability to shift a course of thought or action according to the changing demands of a situation.” Someone who has problems with executive functioning might at a loss when a change is made to their plan. Because we live in an ever-changing world, this can make life a lot more stressful.

Mental flexibility is a major component of decision-making. If you think about it, the way we navigate through the day is a series of decisions.

You might’ve heard of people wearing the same outfits every day to avoid decision fatigue. This is because of the thought that executive functioning, especially mental flexibility, is a limited resource. That is, we only have so much executive functioning to use every day, so why spend it on choosing clothes?

We don’t want to overload the system. However, there is another way we can avoid this overload without having to decrease the number of decisions we actually make.

3. Self Control

Self-control is something that’s often talked about in everyday settings, and you probably already have a decent idea of what it is. When you exercise the control not to do something that you know will make things worse, later on, you are using the executive functioning skill of self-control.

This part of executive function is constantly in relationship with the other two parts. If you’re experiencing problems with mental flexibility, that could affect your ability to imagine the future as circumstances change. And having a concept of the future is crucial because it tells you what you are controlling yourself for.

How Do I Know If I’m Experiencing Executive Dysfunction?

As we’ve stated earlier, people without a disorder can experience moments of executive dysfunction in times of fatigue or stress. But it can also turn into a chronic problem. Executive function disorder (EFD), a condition involving continuous executive dysfunction, can be spotted by warning signs like these:

  • Frequently keeping track of objects (like keys)
  • Inability to multitask
  • Trouble following what someone is saying
  • Trouble following directions or other step-by-step instructions
  • Time-blindness, or inability to plan for future events

You might recognize all these things as “normal” human behavior that happens when we’re not feeling our best, or when we’re distracted. And it’s true that executive functioning has its ups and downs in the neurotypical population.

But imagine feeling like this all the time. It might feel like the world was placing demands on you that you couldn’t keep up with. This is what many people experience every day due to executive function disorder.

Executive dysfunction can happen due to an event or a co-occurring condition. For example, someone with a traumatic brain injury, a mood disorder, or a learning disorder can experience executive dysfunction. While treatment for these other conditions may help restore executive functioning, treatment for executive dysfunction, in particular, is a good way to hone in on what you’re struggling with.

If you have a learning disorder and want to improve your daily outcomes, you might want to look into treatment that specializes in executive functioning.

Wrapping Up

Executive functioning training is something that can improve the lives of many people who struggle with memory, decision-making, multitasking, and self-control. For some who feel overwhelmed with the demands of daily life, this could be a problem with executive function. Nowadays, this is something you can treat with a specialized approach.

If you’d like to get connected to one of our licensed professionals, schedule an appointment with us today. We’d love to create a plan that works for you.

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Here's How to Help Your School Child Cope With Executive Dysfunction

Here’s How to Help Your School Child Cope With Executive Dysfunction

Executive dysfunction can be difficult for people of all ages and in all situations. For children trying to manage a remote learning or training schedule, though, it can be even more frustrating.

Children haven’t yet developed executive functioning strategies to help aid them in their abilities to focus and complete tasks. These strategies are even difficult for some adults, so little ones need some assistance from caregivers and instructors.

If you’re trying to learn how to improve executive function for your child at home while they’re learning remotely or even completing day-to-day tasks, you’re already taking a good first step.

Keep reading to learn about a few helpful strategies for helping children develop their own executive functioning strategies and assisting them in that journey.

What is Executive Function?

What are the signs that your child is succeeding in their executive functioning abilities?

All children are going to be different, and their success should be measured by progress. A child (or adult) that is having no (or few) problems with executive function will be able to begin and complete a task without getting distracted.

There can be other things going on or other appealing options that they may want to participate in, even sounds or sights that might be distracting, and the task will still be completed even if multitasking is necessary.

A child that is unable to complete this task once set on it, or who is unable to set themself on a task in the first place, is showing signs of executive dysfunction.

This child may not have the ability to “get up and go” or organize their thoughts once they’ve gotten started. They need help facilitating that behavior in themselves in order to succeed.

People who have suffered from traumatic brain injuries, ADHD, mood disorders, depression, and more can suffer from executive dysfunction. Often times, a well-structured environment like a classroom is great for managing this functioning ability. But how can it be assisted when you’re in a non-structured environment for the first time?

Make (and Follow) Schedules

Your child needs structure. This is true of all children. Children thrive with firm structure and boundaries in place to help them learn.

Children who deal with executive dysfunction need structure more than other children, and they need this structure to be enforced. Adults suffering from executive dysfunction might realize that they don’t have the ability to follow their own schedules because they no longer have parents there to guide them. Your child has the benefit of a caregiver to help them on their path.

The schedules should be simple but clearly-laid-out sets of tasks that they can follow and check off as they’re completed. They might be segmented by time to help children go through their days with a clear plan.

When should your child get up for school even when that school is at home? When you’re in charge of lunch, what time will it be? Try to make it the same time every day. Your child will want to wander, but being firm about your schedule will make it more like a school environment.

Over time, these schedules can be less strict. With a child that really suffers from executive dysfunction though, you should not deviate.

Consider Reward Systems and Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a proven method for helping children’s behavior. Negative reinforcement can encourage bad habits in children while positive reinforcement can encourage a feeling of safety.

As a parent, you want to see your child succeed. When they’re struggling with schoolwork or performing poorly, you may be frustrated. That said, progress needs to be rewarded, not just perfection.

If your child is able to pay attention to their studies for longer than the week before, that is behavior that should be rewarded. This encourages growth. When your child doesn’t get up and do other things or get frustrated with their tasks, this is behavior that should be rewarded.

Children are constantly developing. Growing up is an exhausting process and it’s made more exhausting by having a mind that refuses to function “correctly”. Supporting your child with praise when they progress is crucial.

Encourage Active Reading and Listening

Your child may have a hard time focusing on what they’re trying to consume for their studies, whether it’s a movie, a podcast, or a book.

Practicing active reading and listening activities with your child both inside and outside of the learning environment is a great way to help them learn to slow down and focus on what they’re doing. A child with executive dysfunction might seem like a fast reader (if they’re of reading age) but they might be on autopilot and not actually digesting any of the content. The same goes for digital content.

Active reading and listening encourages your child to carefully search through the content for specific things. If you start with non-educational texts, shows, or sounds, your child can ideally move these skills to the classroom.

Consider a game: You find a family-friendly podcast. Make sure you’ve listened to it first. You make a list of “scavenger hunt” style questions and give it to your child. Who are the characters involved? What did they want? Where did they live? The questions will vary based on the content.

Your child can listen to the podcast, maybe while coloring or doing something simple, maybe on its own if they’re not yet at the multitasking stage. If they’re actively listening, they’ll be able to answer those questions while the podcast is happening. They’re digesting the information.

Executive Functioning Strategies are Crucial for Children

Developing these executive functioning strategies early can help a child thrive. It’s much easier for a child to adapt than an adult, so it’s crucial that your child learns to manage their executive dysfunction early.

Children want to learn and grow, but some need extra help focusing. It’s easy to get frustrated with them, but negative reinforcement won’t encourage a positive change in behavior.

If you want extra help for your child who’s dealing with executive dysfunction and you’d like to have them see a professional, contact us. We help tweens, teens, and young adults learn new strategies for managing their executive dysfunction.


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Sometimes Skills are as Effective as Pills

Is your son’s desk a disaster?

Has your daughter’s teacher mentioned she has trouble focusing in class?

You may have seen subtle signs in your child suggesting ADHD. Sometimes I think our culture of multi-tasking and the constant barrage of text messages is a factor in our inability to concentrate. But while you are checking out the right professional to help you explore the origins and scope of the behavior in question, there are skills you can reinforce at home which can improve behavior and concentration. While medication ultimately may be required, pills are only effective when taken. Skills on the other hand, last a lifetime.

Here are some of my favorite organizational skills:

  • Create a designated quiet and organized environment for schoolwork. Have supplies available and keep distractions to a minimum.
  • Introduce the process of time management. Discuss together when projects are due and create a timeline to keep your child on track.
  • Use a timer and have your child work in blocks of time, with built-in breaks designated at the end of each block. The amount of block time will vary with each child as will the type of activity you can encourage each child to do during their break. Some kids need a physical activity while others may need to respond to texts or emails.
  • Demonstrate helpful organization skills like writing assignments in a designated agenda or pad and crossing off (or highlighting) assignments that are completed. The satisfaction of seeing a page of highlighted tasks can be a reward in itself.
  • Reward organizational efforts! Never underestimate the power of positive reinforcement. Even simple praise can be effective.

What great organizational skills have you found helpful? Let’s share and learn from each other!

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7 Signs Your Child Might Have an Executive Functioning Disorder, online speech therapy for kids

7 Signs Your Child Might Have an Executive Functioning Disorder

Over 4.6 million school-aged children have been diagnosed with some kind of a learning disability.

But when your child is one of those millions, it can feel like your world has turned completely upside-down. Perhaps you know that something isn’t quite right with your child’s learning and processing abilities, but you’re struggling to get the correct diagnoses.

If you suspect that your child may have an executive functioning disorder, we know that you want answers.

In this post, we’ll define these disorders, discuss the common symptoms, and let you know how you can help them.

What Is An Executive Functioning Disorder?

Before we get into some of the most common signs of an executive functioning disorder (EFD,) let’s first make sure you’re clear on what it is.

In a nutshell, it’s when a child has a hard time meeting “deadlines,” being on time, making and keeping plans, multitasking, and even with more basic organizational skills.

For example, a child with an EFD might struggle to finish a test or complete an assignment on time. They may frequently lose or leave their homework elsewhere, or they may even struggle to take proper notes during class.

Essentially, children with EFD have difficulty understanding both how much time it takes to complete a task and the steps that need to be taken in order to get it done. They will likely also face challenges when it comes to adapting to changes in plans, or thinking on their feet.

If your child has another learning disability, like ADHD or dyslexia, then they may be more likely to have an EFD.

While there has not yet been an accepted cause of EFDs, many learning professionals and scientists believe that these issues may be hereditary. There may also be developmental issues in the prefrontal cortex of your child’s brain.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the most common symptoms of an executive functioning disorder.

1. An Inability To Multitask

Do you notice that your child struggles to do more than one thing at once?

Do they begin one activity, only to abandon it without completion in favor of another?

Do they often forget the first part of instructions, or seem to struggle to focus when there’s too much going on?

If so, they may struggle with an EFD.

2. Struggles To Make Choices

While problems with decision-making skills are common in most children, those with an EFD will seriously struggle to definitely choose one thing or another.

They may say that they want to do one activity, only to change their minds again two minutes later. When faced with a choice, they may become deeply angry or sad, and perhaps even deal with feelings of guilt.

Other times, you may notice that your child seems to “do nothing” when faced with the possibility of having to make a firm decision.

3. Loses Track Of Time

If you’re often filled with anxiety because your child is late, or even filled with frustration because they just can’t seem to manage your time?

Then your child may have an EFD.

Your child will likely also struggle to remember their own schedule, and may become confused about the length of tasks or even where they’re supposed to be at a certain time.

You may find that your child’s concept of time is markedly different than most children’s. They may seem to have trouble understanding the difference between ten minutes and an hour, or that tasks take them much longer to complete than is normal.

4. Frequently Forgets Schoolbooks And Work

Do you feel like you spend half of your time transporting forgotten books and assignments to your child’s school?

Even if you remind your child to put something in their bag the night before and the morning of, do you still find they forget it?

Has your child forgotten about a book report or another assignment altogether, or seems to always wait until the night before it’s due to start it?

If so, then they may have an executive functioning disorder.

5. They Have Trouble Explaining Things

Maybe you’ve tried to talk to your child about some of the symptoms we’ve described — but you’ve noticed that they can’t express themselves well.

It’s not that your child is unintelligent — it’s just that sometimes, it seems as though they struggle to process their emotions and put things into words.

They may even have a hard time speaking clearly.

They may often end a discussion in the middle of a sentence without seeming to realize it, or they may withdraw into themselves in silence for a long period of time.

6. They Get Lost

This is a symptom that usually appears in older children, especially when they’re old enough to be out on their own.

You may notice that your child seriously struggles to remember how to get to even familiar places, like your home or their school. They may often call you asking for help with directions, and they may have challenges understanding the directions you give them or even reading maps.

How Can You Help Your Child?

If any of these symptoms sound familiar, then we strongly suggest making an appointment with a learning specialist to determine whether or not your child has an executive functioning disorder.

We know that, as a parent, you’re willing to do anything and everything that it takes to help your child succeed and feel confident in themselves.

Meeting with one of our specialists might be the answer you’re looking for.

We’ll help your child to stay on task, strengthen their language skills, find new ways to communicate with them that benefit their unique needs, and much more.

Get in touch with us today to schedule a free consultation, and put your child on the road to success and happiness.

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7 Signs of Executive Function Disorder in Adults

7 Signs of Executive Function Disorder in Adults

Mental health is a complex issue. There are millions of different symptoms, disorders, and treatments.

Add on to that is the fact that every brain works on different levels and has different quirks.

The tragic wrench that drives this issue even further into confusion and complexity is how little we focus on the issues of adults. Finding an issue like Executive Function Disorder in adults can be a monumental task.

Today we are focusing on Executive Function Disorder and how you can recognize it as well as how you can combat it. Ready to get started? Read on below.

Recognizing the Key Signs of Executive Function Disorder in Adults

The basics of Executive Function Disorder stem from issues with focus. In general terms, the disorder divides and distorts the focus centers of the brain, making it hard for many to complete what would be basic tasks.

There are many who may view the symptoms of Executive Function Disorder as distracted, overemotional, or even lazy.

The truth of the matter is for many it can be close to impossible to attempt these small functions with regularity.

To recognize this disorder, you need to catch some of the key symptoms. While this list is not comprehensive, and some of the symptoms can range from major to minor, all of these can still point towards Executive Function Disorder.

1. Trouble With Emotions

Emotions are already a problematic matter to deal with. In today’s society, many view emotions as unprofessional, unneeded, or misunderstood.

Because of these misunderstandings and criticisms, many bottle their emotions or choose to ignore them. This can lead to false signs of a symptom, as some may lack emotional maturity due to abuse or trauma.

For those with Executive Function Disorder, a big symptom comes in the form of a lack of control over both emotions and impulses.

When there is an inability to control impulses or to hold off on rash decisions, Executive Function Disorder may be the cause. This can also apply to sharp changes in emotions or emotional outbursts with little warning or cause.

2. Problems With Starting or Completing Tasks

The lack of focus at any point during a task can be a major sign of Executive Function Disorder. This can appear at any point, whether starting, completing, or even organizing and planning a task.

This can be a bit different from uncertainty in a task or a lack of knowledge or skill needed to finish the task.

For Executive Function Disorder, this is a flat-out mental block in continuing where you left off. This can often come with frustrating effects as it is rare that it is rational or wanted.

This can be a common shared symptom with ADHD. ADHD and Executive Function Disorder can have a lot of overlap and share a lot of the same physical and mental symptoms.

3. Issues with Paying Attention or Learning

It can be an awkward situation when you are doing a presentation or explaining an item to someone and their attention is elsewhere.

It is possible that some people are rude. That said, if it is persistent despite the person’s shows of desire to pay attention and learn, then it may be a symptom of Executive Function Disorder.

Those with the disorder have great troubles focusing on a task at hand. That also applies to when others are discussing or providing information. The disassociation with the subject is often the main culprit.

4. Short Term Memory Problems

Have you ever had a forgetful moment where you lost track of what you were doing? It may be a misplaced item or a lost space in the current task.

It can happen a lot to those who multitask a lot (see next symptom) but if it is a persistent problem no matter how focused you are on the issue at hand, it may be Executive Function Disorder.

It can happen at any given moment and can often be persistent multiple times in a single task.

On the worst days, it can be backbreaking to not be able to keep your memory going for more than a few moments at a time.

5. Inability to Multitask

Back to the previous example, many people who are very goal-oriented and push for constant productivity can multitask. For those with Executive Function Disorder, it is a recipe for forgetfulness and lost focus.

This does not make those with Executive Function Disorder wrong or unproductive. It means that, with the right training and skills, their focus is best mastered on a single task.

If you find yourself overwhelmed when more than one task comes your way, no matter the stress level, than it may be a strong sign that you have Executive Function Disorder.

6. Various Social Issues

Reading the room and acclimating to social issues is already a difficult task. There are many mental disorders that can create or worsen poor social skills.

Due to the lack of focus and the inability to pick up on too many details at once, many with Executive Function Disorder can have poor responses in social situations.

This does not mean that those with these issues are unable to have any social interaction. It does mean that they may get the wrong emotional read on the situation, or misunderstand someone’s intent.

This can lead to a lot of harmful and frustrating moments in your social circles.

7. Difficulty Overcoming Certain Problems

Problem-solving is a trait that is a high priority in many jobs and will be a used trait in almost every aspect of life.

While problem-solving is broad enough to not always be an issue, having troubles with basic problem-solving skills can be a symptom of Executive Function Disorder.

From the mathematics of all varieties and degrees to understanding the relations of a large number of variables, there is a huge variety of problem-solving that can fall under this umbrella.

The biggest way to denote whether someone may have this issue is frequency. Again, getting confused about a problem here and there is not quite a symptom, but a frequent inability to break down or solve a problem is huge.

Getting Help From People Who Care

Understanding the signs of Executive Function Disorder in adults is a big way to help start someone on the road to getting a handle on their issues.

While children can be the most susceptible to learning and change, adults have the potential to overcome these conditions as well. This improves with the right teacher!

We here at Great Speech specialize in powerful training and programs to help break down and deal with issues such as these. Contact us today for more information on how you can get started!

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10 Exercises and Strategies to Help with Executive Function Disorder

10 Exercises and Strategies to Help with Executive Function Disorder

Have you been diagnosed with executive function disorder?

Individuals who have abnormal executive function symptoms may feel frustrated, alone, and misunderstood. Many people don’t yet comprehend this disorder, including some professionals who work in the medical and behavioral health industry.

Executive function disorder often gets lumped into the same category as Attention Deficit Disorder. And, while the two do share some similarities, there are also traits which distinguish them from one another.

Learning how to cope with executive dysfunction symptoms can be vital for individuals who struggle with symptoms.

Read on to learn 10 strategies and exercises to help you deal effectively with executive function disorder!

What Is Executive Function Disorder?

According to statistics, 90% of people with ADHD exhibit symptoms of executive function disorder.

However, one doesn’t need to have symptoms of both disorders to have executive function disorder. It’s possible to have either one of these diagnoses or the other, without having both diagnoses simultaneously.

Executive function disorder is the inability to organize and regulate behavior to achieve long-term goals.

Executive functioning refers to the cognitive and mental abilities to engage in goal-directed action. When an individual is impaired in this area, they have trouble with planning, problem-solving, self-restraint, self-awareness, and retaining memory.

Individuals with executive functioning impairment often have trouble fulfilling their day-to-day responsibilities.

They may find that school, work, and other regular daily activities pose an extraordinary challenge when comparing their efforts with others.

10 Exercises & Strategies to Assist With Abnormal Executive Functioning

If you struggle with symptoms of executive function disorder, there are some exercises and strategies that might help.

1. Maintain a Daily To-Do List

Many people, even those with normal executive functioning, can benefit from keeping a list of daily tasks that they must meet. However, for individuals with executive function disorder, a daily to-do list is practically essential.

Make a habit of beginning each day with a list of priorities. Include a list of immediate things to do, as well as things that need your attention in the near future.

Your daily to-do list will help you to stay on track throughout the day and ensure that you are taking care of your most important responsibilities.

As you complete each task, you may want to check or cross the item off your list. This will provide a visual aid of your daily accomplishments, and might also encourage you as you move from task to task.

2. Take Notes

Always keep a pen and notebook in hand.

This strategy comes in handy when you attend doctor appointments or meetings. But, it can also be a useful tool when you are alone. Whenever you think of something you need to remember, write it down.

For many people who struggle with executive function disorder, keeping up with a notebook is easier than keeping track of their own thoughts.

3. Plan Ahead

Mapping out a plan for the month, week, and day is a must-do.

Keep a calendar posted where it is visible to remind you of important dates and appointments throughout the month. Then, use a day-planner to track your week. Include your bills, as well as phone calls and emails to return or send.

The more that you can remind yourself of important tasks, the less likely you will be to forget them. And, this is a huge fear, and struggle area, for those with executive function disorder.

4. Wrap Up Each Day With a Daily Review

At the end of each day, conduct a daily review. This will help you succinctly wrap up the day, as well as plan for the next.

If you have any items that need your immediate attention, make a note to remind you to prioritize these items.

5. Be Accountable

According to research, maintaining regular accountability to another person can increase our odds of successfully reaching our goals to 95%.

While the percentile might be slightly lower for those with an executive functioning disorder, the principle remains the same.

Choose someone who you trust to share your goals.

Not only will you feel more challenged to meet your goals, but an accountability partner can also serve to remind you of important events and due-dates that you might otherwise forget.

6. Set Reminders

Whether you choose to use a phone alarm, a timer, or another device, it can be helpful to give yourself some sort of reminder throughout your day.

You may correlate your schedule with alarms to help you stay on track. This can even be a productive way of reminding you when it’s time to change tasks as you go on with your day.

7. Give Yourself Plenty of Time

Time-management tends to be a problem for those with executive function disorder.

You can help remedy your struggle against the clock by giving yourself plenty of time to prepare for upcoming items on your daily itinerary.

8. Practice Makes Perfect

Although perfect may be a stretch, practice certainly doesn’t hurt. Role-playing prior to important conversations and meetings can help to prepare you for when the time arrives.

9. Meditate

When you start your day, or when you are feeling overwhelmed, meditation can help you to center your mind.

Deep-breathing and meditation exercises can be monumental when we feel anxious or forgetful.

If you begin to feel angst creeping in, take a moment to re-center and balance yourself. Then, you can re-emerge with a more focused, calm state of mind to complete your day.

10. Ask For Help When You Need It

Sometimes, the best thing to do is to ask for help. When you feel like you are incapable or unable to tackle the tasks at hand, a little encouragement from another person can go a long way.

Before letting things reel out of control, reach out to another friend, family or co-worker for help. Often times, they are more than happy to help you get back to where you need to be.

Need Help Managing Your Symptoms?

If you’re managing symptoms of executive function disorder, we can help.

Contact us today for help with abnormal executive functioning!

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