Executive function skills are mental abilities that help us complete tasks or prepare to achieve long-term goals. Children with executive functioning challenges often struggle to complete school projects. These challenges affect organization, focus, planning abilities, time management, and other task-related functions that are essential to academic success.
Executive functioning challenges are often seen in students with learning and attention disorders, such as ADHD or dyslexia. However, this is not always the case. Executive functioning skills begin developing at age two and continue to develop through adulthood. With the right support, a child who struggles with executive functioning can overcome issues, develop new skills, and reach his or her full potential.
The teachers at Tampa Day School understand the complex cognitive process of executive functioning. We are uniquely equipped to help students manage their difficulties and build skills required for lifelong learning.
We help children with executive functioning challenges improve their skills in the following areas:
- Response inhibition: Stopping yourself from doing things you aren’t supposed to do
- Working memory: Remembering the information you need when you need it
- Emotional control: Controlling your feelings through using your brain
- Sustained attention: Paying attention, even when you are distracted, tired, or bored
- Task initiation: Getting started on things, especially things you don’t like to do
- Planning and prioritizing: Figuring out what’s important and what’s not so important
- Organization: Keeping your belongings organized, tidy, clean, and in good shape
- Time management: Knowing how much time you have, how to use time, and how to be done when time is up
- Goal-directed persistence: Finishing tasks, especially tasks you don’t really like to do
- Flexibility: Changing your behavior to do what is expected and appropriate
- Metacognition: Thinking about what you’re doing and figuring out how to be better
According to Harvard University’s Center for the Developing Child, “children aren’t born with these skills—they are born with the potential to develop them.” Their researchers explain key brain functions that must work together for a person to apply strong executive function skills, including working memory, mental flexibility, and self-control.
From the capacity to learn to the ability to make positive life choices, there is much at stake when it comes to executive function skills.
Learn More About Tampa Day School
If you would like to learn more about how we help students with executive functioning issues, request more information about Tampa Day School today.