Autistic children who have impaired executive functioning skills can face challenges at school

Published by: News Medical Life Sciences

Researchers from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have found that children on the autism spectrum who have impaired executive functioning skills, which help control thoughts, emotions, and actions, can face challenges at school that are different from the ones they face at home.

Additionally, as children experience adolescence, problems with executive functioning can worsen, suggesting the need for more intervention supports. This is the first study of its kind to examine how these skills are impacted specifically in a school setting. The findings were published in the journalĀ Autism.

Executive functioning skills encompass a variety of key abilities like keeping information in mind, flexibly shifting focus or breaking from a routine, and ignoring irrelevant information. These skills are often impaired in children on the autism spectrum, and the extent of impairment can predict how they perform in school and their ability to carry out daily activities such as hygiene or keeping their room clean.

While caregivers have identified significant executive function challenges in the home setting, there are no large studies where school personnel rated executive function skills for children on the autism spectrum. Click here to read the rest of the story.

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