Can You Recognize Executive Function Disorder?

How do you define Executive Function?

Executive function includes a set of skills that act as the CEO of your brain. They include:

  • Sustained attention (focus)

  • Self regulation (emotion and action)

  • Time management

  • Planning, prioritizing and organization

  • Task initiation

  • Self motivation and persistence

  • Working memory

  • Metacognition

Out of the 7 EF skills defined in this article, do you think any are most important to develop first? If so or if not, why?

I think that they are all related. Some people have a natural aptitude for these, while others need help to develop them. Some people have developed a few while not others. If I were pressed to choose just one, I would say that the most important is the ability to sustain attention when the task at hand is not interesting. Unfortunately, life is not interesting 100% of the time. If you can find a way to make it interesting for your brain so that you can focus, you can accomplish quite a bit.

What package or frequency of coaching would best accompany developing EF skills?

You are talking about essentially training your brain. Just like you can train your body to achieve a certain level of performance, you can train your brain. That doesn’t happen overnight. In my experience, it takes about three months, sometimes more, to achieve a solid, consistent skill set. Weekly sessions need to be interspersed with frequent check-ins for accountability and motivation to stay on track.

Why are EF skills so necessary in an individual’s life?

They are all necessary to function in society and participate in a community. For example, how would life be for you if did not have the ability to think before you act? Or the ability to remember multiple step directions? Or the ability to manage your emotions? Or if you did not have any notion of time whatsoever? Most people take these skills for granted, but for many, they are extreme challenges.

How can you determine that you are struggling with EF skills?

There are several ways to determine if you are struggling with Executive Function skills, but this quiz is extremely beneficial.