Executive Functioning

What is Executive Functioning

By definition; executive function and self-regulation skills are the mental process that enable us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions and juggle multiple tasks successfully!

Many cognitive processes are involved in executive functioning, including impulse control, emotional control, flexible thinking, working memory, self-monitoring, planning and prioritising, task initiation, and organisation.

Let’s look at children today!

Are children today on executive function overload?

The academic and social settings in which they must learn and function have changed since their own parents and caregivers were children. There are changes in education processes to high stakes testing (e.g. NAPLAN). We also looked at the complex nature of contemporary school instructions (shared learning – learning how to learn with another person – group work) has heightened demands on executive functions. Children now have an abundance of extra-curricular activities, which adds load on children. 

All of this additional cognitive load can add to stress – causing the children can then not think straight. Therefore from an executive functioning perspective, YES, children of today might be on executive function overload!

How can we help children?

An Occupational Therapist has the knowledge and understanding of a Childs occupational performance to assess and provide intervention to children.

What interventions could be provided by an Occupational Therapist?

  • Task analysis
  • Highlighting strengths and building confidence
  • Capacity building

If you have concerns with your Childs Executive Functioning skills book in with one of your amazing OTs to discuss further!