Would you describe your son or daughter or student as disorganized? Does he sometimes seem unaware of events going on around him? Does she have difficulty getting started on chores or homework? Once started does he have trouble sustaining his effort until the task or chore is completed? Does she have trouble staying focused on a task or activity? Is it difficult for him to shift from one activity to another in school? Is she inflexible in her thoughts and/or feelings toward others or herself? Does he have difficulty holding information in his memory long enough to complete a task or chore? Does she have difficulty planning or estimating the amount of time an activity might take?
These issues (and others) may indicate that one is struggling with problems in executive functioning. Executive functioning problems can impact an individual’s self esteem, their ability to successfully interact with others, and their performance in school. Students with executive function problems often become frustrated because while they can understand and learn the material being taught, they often struggle to produce the work to show what they have learned. Their lack of production is often misinterpreted as oppositional behavior or simply “laziness,” when it is more likely an effect of less than optimal executive functioning. This can also be exasperating for teachers and parents.
There are strategies and techniques to evaluate the level of effectiveness of an individual’s executive functioning. There are also interventions such as counseling, skill training, and coaching that can be implemented to improve executive functioning. These evaluation and intervention services are available at Pathways.