Organization and Executive Functioning

Executive functions are the mental processes that allow us to plan ahead, set priorites, evaluate our progress, start and finish a task and manage our time. These skills affect our ability to focus and juggle many thinking skills at the same time.

Executive Functioning skills can also impact how we interact with others. They help us to control our emotions, think of options to solve a problem, monitor and stop our actions. During school, problems with executive functioning impact students in almost all their subjects and daily tasks.

You might notice difficulties with:

  • starting and staying focused on a task or school work,
  • completing work
  • remembering to do the work
  • losing belongings
  • having a hard time gathering materials needed for a task

When children present with these problems they are often incorrectly labeled as: lazy, unmotivated, undisciplined, defiant, not very bright or as simply not trying. It is also important to be aware that difficulties with executive functioning also effects self-regulation, emotional regulation and decision making around behavior.

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