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Executive Functioning Disorders

November 15, 2010 / Posted by in Blog

Did you know that as many as 1 out of every 5 people in the U.S. has a learning disability? (1)

Did you know that almost 3 million children (ages 6 through 21) have some form of a learning disability and receive special education in school? (1)

Did you know that 30 – 50% of the population has undiagnosed learning disabilities? (2)

With an increasing number of children being diagnosed with learning disabilities (LDs) each year, it has become imperative for parents to stay educated and informed. ADHD, Dyslexia, and different Auditory and Visual processing disorders have been researched and treated for years. Recently, there is evidence that allows doctors to classify some of these LDs differently. One of these classifications is called ‘Executive Functioning Disorder’ (EFD). One of the most common responses that JBG Ed Group hears from parents in response to their child being diagnosed with EFD is, “What is that?” Executive functioning is a significant part of one’s day-to-day life. Doctors describe EF as a collection of brain processes that are responsible for the following:

Inhibition – The ability to stop one’s own behavior at the appropriate time, including stopping actions and thoughts. The flip side of inhibition is impulsivity; if you have weak ability to stop yourself from acting on your impulses, then you are “impulsive.” (3)

Shift – The ability to move freely from one situation to another and to think flexibly in order to respond appropriately to the situation. (3)

Emotional Control – The ability to modulate emotional responses by bringing rational thought to bear on feelings. (3)

Initiation – The ability to begin a task or activity and to independently generate ideas, responses, or problem-solving strategies. (3)

Working memory – The capacity to hold information in mind for the purpose of completing a task. (3)

Planning/Organization – The ability to manage current and future- oriented task demands. (3)

Organization of Materials – The ability to impose order on work, play, and storage spaces. (3)

Self-Monitoring – The ability to monitor one’s own performance and to measure it against some standard of what is needed or expected. (3)

Most children struggle to complete homework occasionally due to lack of motivation or the tendency to be distracted. However, if your child shows an extraordinary inability to complete every day tasks such as completing homework in a timely fashion, finishing his or her chores in an efficient, effective way, or has trouble making the right decisions, there is a possibility that he/she may be suffering from an Executive Functioning Disorder. These disorders can affect a child’s performance in school, behavior in and out of the home, and over all functionality in social situations.

Confidential testing is available though JBG Educational Group by Dr. Jamie Rodriguez.

(1) National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities

(2) National Institute for Literacy

(3) http://www.ldonline.org/article/What_Is_Executive_Functioning%3F

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