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 journal 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.
According to CHADD org, Executive function skills refers to brain functions that activate, organize, integrate and manage other functions which enables individuals to account for short- and long term consequences of their actions and to plan for those results.
The following resources provides strategies on teaching students with executive function disorder skills:
When most people think of ADHD, hyperactivity is often what people think of. There are actually 3 subtypes of ADHD including hyperactivity, inattentiveness and a combination of both hyperactivity and inattentiveness.
There has been little research done on the inattentive type, however this is slowly changing. there are many reasons why the inattentive type is overlooked and why it is important to discuss it. Studies show that females are more likely to have the inattentive type of ADHD. This type of ADHD is often ignored or overlooked due to its comorbidities. Females are more likely to have learning disorders such as dyscalculia (math learning difficulties) and dysgraphia (writing disorders), as well as anxiety, depression and speech and language issues.
Other challenges faced by children and adults with inattentive ADHD includes issues in executive functioning including difficulty in sequencing, staying on a task, prioritizing, and productivity.
According to DSM-V, a person must meet six of the nine symptoms listed below:
fails to pay close attention to details or makes careless mistakes
has difficulty sustaining attention in work or play
does not listen when spoken to directly.
fails to finish school work, chores or work duties
has difficulties organizing activities
avoids task requiring sustained mental effort
is easily distracted
Strategies in working with students with Inattentive ADHD:
Allow enough time to complete work. students with Inattentive type take a longer in completing assignments and processing information
Be specific and provide structure. Explain your expectations and ensure instructions are clear.
Published by: ADDitude
Written by: Nathaly Pesantez
Executive functioning deficits persist well into adulthood for individuals with ADHD, according to a new study1 in the Journal of Attention Disorders that affirms the clinical theory that executive dysfunction is a core symptom of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
The small Norwegian study looked at attentional processing capacities — namely pre-attentive and executive functioning — in a group of people with and without ADHD over a 23- to 25-year period. Pre-attentive processing — the basic, preliminary stage in the brain whereby auditive and visual stimuli is analyzed — is not as well understood in relation to ADHD as is executive functioning — the controlled brain processes (like working memory) that allow us to integrate information and select optimal actions — the researchers said.
These two processes, according to the researchers, exist on “contrasting ends of [the] ‘attentional processing continuum.’” Because pre-attentive processing deficits may be precursors for brain function deficits of a higher order (like executive functioning), the study aimed to “gain insight into the long-term changes in attentional capacity” for “a clearer conception of attention dysfunction in ADHD.” Click here to read the rest of the story.
Have you ever gone to a parent-teacher conference and felt like the teacher’s comments meant something more than what she actually said? Or that she was vague about a concern she has? Sometimes a teacher isn’t as direct as she could be—or would like to be.
There are many possible reasons for that. She might be bound by official (or unofficial) school policies that limit what she can say to parents. She might not know much about how special education works and may worry she’s going to give incorrect advice. Or she might be uncomfortable saying something negative about your child. Read the rest of the story here.