Executive Function Skills

Executive function skills are a set of processes that enable us to execute behaviors related to self-management and critical thinking. These skills are necessary for success in school and in the workplace.

Executive function skills begin to develop in infancy and continue to develop into adulthood. Children with ADHD, high functioning autism and many other people struggle with deficits in executive functioning.

BSI uses standardized assessments to determine specific area which may be problematic for your child. Interventions to enhance the skill area and/or compensatory strategies to provide support in deficit areas are developed.

Executive function skills include:

  1. Attention: the ability to stay focused on a task.
  2. Emotional Control: one’s ability to control emotional responses.
  3. Initiation: one’s ability to begin a task
  4. Working memory: the capacity to hold information in mind to complete a task, generate a plan and the sequential steps to achieve a goal.
  5. Planning and organizing: the ability to anticipate what needs to be done and to organize information, key concepts and materials to reach a goal.
  6. Inhibit: the ability to resist impulses and to stop one’s own behavior.
  7. Cognitive flexibility: the ability to switch gears and move from one situation to another and to adjust to changing demands and priorities.
  8. Monitoring: the ability to monitor tasks and one’s behavior

For more information on child executive functioning visit developingchild.harvard.edu. We suggest you download the publication Enhancing and Practicing Executive Function Skills with Children from Infancy to Adolescence. This brochure has excellent information as well as games and activities to teach and strengthen executive function skills.