If you or your child have ADHD, you have executive function issues.
ADHD is basically all about problems in executive function.
What is executive function?
“Executive functions (collectively referred to as executive function and cognitive control) are a set of cognitive processes that are necessary for the cognitive control of behavior: selecting and successfully monitoring behaviors that facilitate the attainment of chosen goals. Executive functions include basic cognitive processes such as attentional control, cognitive inhibition, inhibitory control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility. Higher order executive functions require the simultaneous use of multiple basic executive functions and include planning and fluid intelligence (i.e., reasoning and problem solving).” –from Wikipedia
How executive function problems affect someone varies by the person.
For instance, I don’t struggle with time management as much as some of my ADHD friends. I struggle in some areas, like keeping on a strict schedule, but I don’t struggle to arrive places on time or to make plans.
Some ADHD people have a hard time thinking up creative solutions, but that is one thing I am really good at.
So, while ADHD does involve executive function, how it looks in each person is as individual as the person themselves.
The following chart lists the various areas of executive function that could be deficient in an ADHD person.
It was very helpful for me to identify which areas I am good at and which I am not.
There are some of these areas that I am not struggling with which was very encouraging for me.
It also helped me to see these all written out because I was able to look at this chart and see how my children struggle compared to how I struggle.
At least if I can identify the problems, I can give them more grace and help in that area. If I can identify the issue in myself, then I can realize when one activity is going to cause more stress than another.
You can download the PDF of this graphic here: How Do Executive Function Problems Affect my ADHD Child PDF.
To learn more about executive function, take a look at these posts:
For additional posts on ADHD:
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I cannot diagnose your child or offer you medical advice. A lot of the ADHD information on this blog comes from Dr. Russell Barkley’s videos –many of which are available on YouTube. There are many links in this post to more information about these topics, but since I am not a scientist or a researcher, I am unable to provide you with double-blind studies. I am just a writer and artist making articles and graphics based on information I have seen and read from ADHD professionals in an effort to raise ADHD awareness. I encourage you to look into these ideas yourself and follow the links provided. You can see more of those videos from Dr. Barkley at the bottom of this post.
You can also download a pdf worksheet to evaluate if your child’s ADHD treatment is helping his or her symptoms here.
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