Executive Functioning

Brain Training for those with Executive Functioning Skills Deficits

Executive functioning skills are comprised of a set of cognitive processing skills which are necessary to learn, work, live, and function on a daily basis. We have known about executive functioning skills for years because they have been and continue to studied by neuroscientists. Why then is executive functioning the new ‘buzz word?’ It’s basically like teaching an old dog a new trick. The thinking goes something like this…… this is the way we have always done it and we will continue to do it. Change is avoided by staying in the comfort zone by ignoring 21st century scientific research and new technology. ‘Executive functioning is so ‘popular’ now that when schools and even private practitioners promote, it’s implied they are using the latest methods to develop them. In reality, most are simply teaching ways to go around them by using strategies and study skills. This does nothing to enable students to become independent learners! Would you rather walk rather with a cane the rest of your life or get an operation that goes to the source to fix it? I think I know what your answer would be!

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When EFS are not remediated the impact on school is profound and will continue to hold students of all ages back the rest of their lives. They are at a greater risk failing, expulsion, dropping out of school and trouble holding down jobs and to become financially independent. It’s often unrecognized by many parents and teachers. It’s an invisible problem that can easily be mistaken for laziness because others can only see ‘the tip of the iceberg’ and not the base that supports it.

Executive Functioning Skills are a Set of Skills Needed to be Independent in ALL areas of Life

Impulse Control
Ability to think before speaking, resist temptation, think about choices and consequences of behaviors before acting.

Flexible Thinking
Ability to think about different ways to solve problems, adjust to new situations, learn from mistakes, cope with routine changes, try new things, switch from task to another, and learn new things.

Emotional Control
Ability to regulate emotions, choosing which emotions are appropriate in any given situation, maintaining emotions under pressure.

Working Memory
Ability to follow instructions, pay attention, use relevant information while in the middle of an activity.

Self-Monitoring
Ability to have self-awareness of how one is doing in the moment to make adjustments of actions/behaviors to the current situation.

Planning and Prioritizing
Ability to plan daily tasks to meet short and long-term responsibilities.

Task Initiation
Ability to motivate self to begin tasks by directing behaviors and actions.

Organization
Gather and keep track of information and belongings.