Frequently Asked Questions about
Executive Functions

What is Executive Dysfunction?

Executive Dysfunction is not a diagnosable disorder, but rather a group of symptoms that can affect a person’s working memory, cognitive flexibility, and inhibition control ability. There are many causes of Executive Dysfunction including ADHD, Anxiety/Depression, and head trauma. To understand Executive Dysfunction is it helpful to understand Executive Functioning. 

How do I know if my child needs help?

Children with Executive Function challenges may exhibit some of the following problems or difficulties organizing work, starting or completing tasks, holding more than three-step directions in their head at a time, organizing materials, finding important items, managing their time, attention, and self-regulation. 

If your child is falling behind at school because they can’t seem to finish (or even start their homework), or have trouble remembering and executing larger tasks, or their lack of organization is impacting their ability to achieve their goals, they may benefit from support with Executive Function skills. 

EF Family Workshops

Executive Functions and ADHD?

Many children diagnosed with ADHD have executive functioning challenges, but not all children who have executive functioning challenges have ADHD. A proper diagnosis is needed to support children with ADHD and/or EFD 

RNBC’s Clinical Services

At what age do Executive Functions begin to develop?

Our brains start to develop Executive Functions right away but see the biggest growth between the ages of 2 and 5 with development continuing throughout adolescents and early adulthood.  Learn More!

How can I help my child develop better EF Skills?

There are many things parents and caregivers can do to help support your child develop strong executive function skills. Our EF Desk Video Series contains many Executive Function strategies for families and teens.

EF Desk Video Series

Other ways to help your child include:

  • Modeling time management by taking time each month (or week) to review the family calendar.
  • Break down directions or tasks into small, manageable chunks. 
  • Create family SMART goals with clear action steps and timelines 
  • Practice a growth mindset by acknowledging the effort your child puts into a challenge rather than the outcome

Do you provide EF Coaching for students?

Yes, we regularly host live, virtual family workshops for students in 5th — 12th grade struggling with executive functioning. After participating in a family workshop students and families can sign up for individual executive function coaching if more individualized support is necessary. EF Family Workshops