Impulse control, sustained attention, working memory, and problem-solving are just a few of the basic executive functioning skills required in order for a child to successfully navigate their world. Difficulties with executive functioning affect various populations of children including those diagnosed with ADHD, sensory processing disorders, and developmental delays. They can affect academic, social, and functional performance.
Clinicians and teachers well-versed in this fundamental area of practice can successfully identify and treat delays in executive function, thereby improving their children’s overall ability to thrive.
What is executive functioning?
Simply put, executive functioning skills originate in the prefrontal cortex and are the mental functions responsible for organizing, analyzing, and maintaining order in our lives. Being on time, starting, continuing, and finishing a required task, remembering important contextual information, and sustaining attention are all foundational skills required to achieve any given goal. Every action and decision made is partially controlled by our utilization of our unique set of executive functioning skills.
Examples of EF skills include:
- sustained attention
- impulse control
- initiation and termination of tasks, and eventually,
- complex organizational skills
- cognitive flexibility, and
- time management.
Executive function delays are not indicative of cognitive delays, and many bright children who thrive in certain academic areas may struggle with these issues. Interventions aimed at treating underlying skills will positively impact these children’s overall functioning in all environments.
The courses are suitable for:
- Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapist Assistants
- Physical Therapists
- Speech Therapists
- Special Education Providers
- Regular Education Providers
- Pediatric Social Workers
Upcoming Executive Function Courses
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What are executive functioning difficulties?
Unsurprisingly, evidence suggests that children with poor impulse control often grow up to have poorer health and earn less than their peers. When executive functioning skills are delayed or impaired, a child may have difficulty controlling impulses, utilizing working memory, and may forget important details in the moment.
When working with children across varied populations, it is important to accurately diagnose executive functioning skills, as they may differ from academic difficulties and are often lumped together. Taking continuing education courses in this area will enhance a clinician’s reasoning, understanding, and treatment sessions.