Executive function is the ability to complete tasks and interact with others. Executive function disorder is a learning difference that can cause difficulty with organization, problem-solving, and time management.
Symptoms of executive function disorder include:
- Difficulty staying focused
- Inability to multitask
- Short-term memory issues
People with executive function disorder may experience difficulty with important skills that can impact their daily performance and responsibilities. The following skills could affect a child’s ability to succeed in school and when interacting with other students and teachers:
- Anxiety when routines are disrupted
- Losing belongings frequently
- Always being late or missing deadlines due to poor time management
- Problems completing tasks
It’s important to know that problems with executive function are common in those affected by attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and it can also mean that these challenges may be the result of ADHD as an underlying condition.
How to Help Your Child with Executive Function Disorder
If your child has been diagnosed with executive function disorder, there are a few different options to consider for helping to improve their executive function and the management of day-to-day tasks.
Establishing a task list that will help your child in their daily routine is essential for their academic and social development.
Some strategies that may help include:
- Implementing checklists for school assignments
- Designating time limits for assignments and projects
- Establishing morning and after school routines
- Showing them how to use a planner to track school assignments
- Using a weekly reward system to motivate your child
If your child is diagnosed with executive function disorder, you may be able to request school accommodations for them that will address their specific needs in the classroom. In Connecticut and New York, both states have laws that allow schools to provide classroom accommodations for students.
School accommodations may include:
- Making schedules and directions clear, concise, and accessible
- Having your student repeat step-by-step directions given
- Implementing daily routines that don’t change
- Checking in with your student frequently to ensure they understand the work
- Explaining to your student the importance of what they're learning
In Connecticut,The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) states that “Eligibility for special education and related services and their particular educational needs, including the need for AT (assisted technology), are determined through a comprehensive evaluation that is planned, conducted, and reviewed by a multidisciplinary team” (IDEA 2004). For more information on IDEA, click here.
In New York, children and youth with disabilities are also provided with educational assistance under Sections 3 and 4 of the The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA).
Section 3: “An individualized education program is developed, reviewed and revised for every child or youth found eligible for special education.”
Section 4: “To the maximum extent appropriate, all children and youth with disabilities will be educated in the least restrictive environment and a continuum of alternative placements will be available.”
Enroll Your Child in a School for Learning Difficulties
A school for learning difficulties can offer additional services essential for the success of each child. These types of schools typically offer evaluations that assess a child’s strengths and challenges, personalized accommodations, and one-on-one instruction.
The benefits of a school for learning difficulties include:
- Specialized learning programs - children learn at a comfortable pace specific to their learning disability
- Staff who have expertise and experience providing special education or assistance
- Other students who experience similar challenges
About Eagle Hill School
Eagle Hill School is a private school for learning differences located in Greenwich, Connecticut. Their academic program is designed to help students struggling with executive function disorder, and other differences such as dysgraphia, dyscalculia, dyslexia, ADHD, and auditory processing disorder. Specialized remedial learning programs are taught by experienced teachers who help students navigate through learning challenges, preparing them for bright futures ahead.
Other blogs you may be interested in:
“Executive Function Disorder: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325402.
“Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).” New York State Education Department, www.nysed.gov/budget-coordination/individuals-disabilities-education-act-idea.
“Laws and Policies.” CT.gov, portal.ct.gov/SDE/Publications/Assistive-Technology-Guidelines-Section-1-For-Ages-3-21/Laws-and-Policies.