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Executive Functioning Disorder

To understand Executive functioning disorders, let us try to understand what exactly are Executive Functions.

Broadly speaking, Executive Functioning refers to the cognitive and mental abilities that help people engage in goal-directed action. They direct actions, control behavior, and motivate us to achieve our goals and prepare for future events

Just as an air traffic control system at a busy airport safely manages the arrivals and departures of many aircraft on multiple runways, the brain needs this skill set to filter distractions, prioritize tasks, set and achieve goals, and control impulses.

Executive functioning skills depend on three types of brain function

Working memory, Mental flexibility, and Self-control. These functions are highly interrelated, and the successful application of executive function skills requires them to operate in coordination with each other.

  • Working memory governs our ability to retain and manipulate distinct pieces of information over short periods of time.
  • Mental flexibility helps us to sustain or shift attention in response to different demands or to apply different rules in different settings.
  • Self-control enables us to set priorities and resists impulsive actions or responses.

Children aren’t born with these skills—they are born with the potential to develop them. Some children may need more support than others to develop these skills.

Providing the support that children need to build these skills at home, in early care and education programs, and in other settings, they experience regularly is one of society’s most important responsibilities.

The executive Functioning disorder is a term used to describe the range of cognitive, behavioral, and emotional difficulties that often occur as a result of another disorder or a traumatic brain injury. Individuals with executive dysfunction struggle with planning, problem-solving, organization, and time management.

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