What is Executive Function
and How Does It Relate To Organization?
Executive Function Definition
Source: National Center for Learning Disabilities, 2010.
"Executive function is a set of mental processes that helps connect past experience with present action. People use it it perform activities such as planning, organizing, strategizing, paying attention to and remembering details, and managing time and space."
What is Executive Function?
Source: Jericho Public Schools Executive Functioning Handbook
(9) Executive Function Skill Sets
- Inhibition - The ability to stop one’s own behavior at the appropriate time including stopping actions and thoughts.
- Shift - The ability to move freely from one situation to another and to think flexibly in order to respond appropriately to the situation. The ability to stop an old behavior and start a new one.
- Emotional Control - The ability to modulate emotional responses by bringing rational thought to bear on feelings. Ability to manage emotions in order to achieve goals and complete tasks.
- Initiation - The ability to begin a task or activity and to independently generate ideas , responses, or problem-solving strategies.
- Working Memory - The ability to hold information in one's mind for the purpose of completing a task.
- Planning/Organization - The ability to manage current and future-oriented task demands .
- Organizational Materials - The ability to impose order on work, play, and storage spaces.
- Self-Monitoring - The ability to monitor one’s own performance and to measure it against the
standard of what is needed or expected.
- Sustained Attention - The ability to notice information and maintain focus over a long period of time. The ability to hold attention in one spot and to maintain focus over a prolonged period of time.
What are Executive Skills?
Source: Peg Dawson, EdD. and Richard Guare, PhD.
(12) Executive Skills
- Response Inhibition: The capacity to think before you act - this ability to resist the urge to say or do something allows us the time to evaluate a situation and how our behavior might impact it.
- Working Memory: The ability to hold information in memory while performing complex tasks. It incorporate the ability to draw on past learning or experience to apply to the situation at hand or to project into the future.
- Emotional Control: The ability to manage emotions to achieve goals, complete tasks, or control and direct behavior.
- Task Initiation: The ability to begin projects without undue procrastination, in an efficient or timely fashion.
- Sustained Attention: The capacity to keep attention on a situation or task inspire of distractibility, fatigue or boredom.
- Planning/Prioritizing: The ability to create a road map to reach a goal or to complete a task. It also involves being able to make decisions about what's important to focus on and what's not important.
- Organization: The ability to create and maintain systems to keep track of information or materials.
- Time Management: The capacity to estimate how much time one has, how to allocate it, and how to stay within time limits and deadlines. It also involves a sense that time is important.
- Flexibility: The ability to revise plans in the face of obstacles, setbacks, new information, or mistakes. It relates to an adaptability to changing conditions.
- Metacognition: The ability to stand back and take a bird's eye view of oneself in a situation. It is an ability to observe how you problem solve. It also includes self-monitoring and sell-evaluative skills. (For example, asking yourself, "How am I doing?" or "How did I do?")
- Goal-Directed Persistence: The capacity to have a goal, follow through to the completion of the goal, and not be put off by or distracted by competing interests.
- Stress Tolerance: The ability to thrive in stressful situations and to cope with uncertainty, change, and performance demands.
How does Executive Function relate to Organization?
Does your child ...
- have trouble planning ahead
- lose important papers
- have difficulty with prioritizing
- have difficulty getting organized to accomplish tasks
- forget to turn in assignments
- not manage time well
- have difficulty with transitions
- difficulty with starting and completing assignments
- miss steps in multi-step directions and tasks
How does Energize and Organize support students with Executive Functioning learning issues?
We assess student's current homework routines, study spaces and time management skills. We discuss his/her organizational strengths and challenges with the student and parents/caregivers. We model and teach effective organizational strategies customized to the student's preferred learning style.
Source: Child Mind.org
Title: Helping Kids Who Struggle with Executive Function
Keyword Search: Brain Based Learning
Source: Harvard University
Title: Executive Function and Self-Regulation
Source: Pediatric Therapeutic Services
Title: Executive Function/Organization
Title: Executive Function Issues in Children/Working Memory
Title: Executive Function 101 Ebook
Energize and Organize works with children/students to identify their organizational strengths and challenges then creates customized, innovative organizational systems and solutions to assist them as they work towards and achieve academic excellence.