What is executive function and how does it affect learning?
Executive Function (EF) refers to a set of skills responsible for things like Planning, Prioritizing, Organization, Task Initiation, Working Memory, Flexible Thinking, Impulse Control, and Emotional Control. This set of skills functions like the “command center” of the brain and is commonly referred to as the brain’s Chief Executive Officer. Like the CEO of a company, EF is responsible for making sure things get done, from the planning stages to the final output.
Every day we use executive function skills in activities such as decision making, strategizing, troubleshooting, managing our emotions, paying attention, keeping “on-task”, and remembering details. Students with EF challenges may have difficulty with: keeping track of time, completing school work and projects on time, working successfully in a group, memorizing information and retrieving information from memory, waiting to speak until called on, asking for help, and more.
Executive Function skills training is essential for children identified with ADD/ADHD or other learning differences; however, plenty of people lack executive function skills without having a diagnosed learning disability or attention deficit. Our program teaches kids and teens to plan, prioritize, estimate time requirements, self monitor, start and shift tasks, and organize effectively, despite any learning or attention difficulties.