What are Executive Functions?

It was once understood that the frontal lobes were really the coordinators, the site of the executive function activity.  They still of course play an extremely important role but as the graphic below shows it is a conducting or coordination by several areas of the brain that give us executive functioning.

 Defined area's include:

  • Goal Directed Behaviors
  • Organizational Abilities
  • Time Management Activities
  • Strategic, Purposeful, Analytic and Critical Thinking
  • Problem Solving
  • Decision Making
 As the slide below shows, implications of executive functioning in education can be categorized as follows.  These different components are the ones used to develop the Rush NeuroBehavioral Center

Executive Function is a term that describes a person's ability to follow through on tasks and think and act independently. While all of us have these abilities in varying strengths a person with executive function disorder seems unable to do them at an adequate level. In fact, some experts believe that children, who do not learn to exercise executive functions early on, are misdiagnosed as having ADHD.

Programs such as  Cogmed's Working Memory Training are available on the market.  Cogmed's Working Memory Training is a computer-based solution for attention problems caused by poor working memory. What is this industry saying about the processes of executive functioning and what intervening role do these programs play?

Lazy Kid or Executive Functioning?

Helping Children with Executive Functioning Stop Irritating Behavior

Helping Children with Executive Functioning Problems to Manage Physical Impulsiveness