What is Executive Function and Why Does It Matter for Your Child?

by | Apr 9, 2018 | Psychotherapist

If you’ve ever wondered if your child may have ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, or a learning disability, it’s likely because you have witness behaviors that are, at least in part, caused by a lack of executive function skills. This is a term that you’ll hear used often when you have an Asperger’s neuropsychological evaluation performed, but what does it really mean? When we see children that lack executive function skills in Springfield, NJ, here’s what we are talking about:

What is Executive Function?

Executive function is the psychologist’s term for all those self-management skills that people learn as they make and accomplish goals throughout their lives. Something that many children don’t even know that they are learning when they are assigned homework is the ability to prioritize one task (doing homework) over another (playing a video game). Skills such as prioritizing, organizing ideas, staying focused on tasks, being productive, and managing your emotions so that you can continue to stay productive, are all part of your executive function.

Signs of Struggling with Executive Function

Ask yourself if any of this sounds familiar:

* Your child has trouble keeping their thoughts and their things organized.

* Your child struggles to pay attention.

* Your child doesn’t understand how to prioritize tasks or order projects to get them done.

* Your child can’t seem to get started on a task without prodding, can’t stay on track without management, and has a lot of trouble with independent problem solving.

* Your child doesn’t seem to understand how to self-reflect and manage their impulses.

* Your child rarely remembers what to do, or when to do those things.

If any of that sounded like your child, then they are likely struggling with executive function. Many parents who seek an Asperger’s neuropsychological evaluation for their child do so because of these behaviors and others like them. Executive function is usually something children develop and learn throughout elementary and middle school, but children who struggle with learning disabilities may not pick up on these critical skills.

Neuropsychological Evaluation for Asperger’s Can Help

Getting evaluated for disorders that include executive function struggles can help a child get on the path to improving these skills much faster. To learn more about how this lack of executive function skill can be a sign of Asperger’s or other learning disabilities, contact Dr. Joshua Shifrin. You can pay a visit to Facebook page for more information.

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