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Is your child struggling to study, complete homework, and be organized for school? At first thought, many parents assume that their child is being lazy. What they don’t understand is that it could be something much bigger going on inside the brain. Enter Executive Dysfunction Disorder. This disorder is very commonly linked to ADHD. If your child has ADHD, there is a good chance that it is affecting their executive functions.  Here are some important things to know about this disorder and how to get your child executive function support.


What Is Executive Functioning?


Executive Functioning are the cognitive actions people take to strive toward a goal. It involves actions such as planning, organizing, and completing tasks. The functions are crucial in school-age children. They try to juggle busy schedules and make plans for things like completing projects or applying to college. The issue comes into play when a child experiences Executive Dysfunction. While doctors are not fully sure what causes Executive Dysfunction, they do know that it is strongly linked to ADHD.

Children who have executive functioning issues struggle to plan, organize, adjust their schedule, and do things on time. They also struggle with self-awareness and following directions with more than one step. Naturally, all of this can lead to these children having issues in school. What may outwardly appear as laziness, may be a true cognitive issue. The child is unable to successfully plan a timeline to work on a project.


How Executive Functioning Impacts School Performance


Executive functioning is a part of every task at school. Students are constantly being pushed to do homework, complete projects, study for tests, take the SATs, and apply for college. Unfortunately, the list goes on and on. While this may not seem like a big deal for some students, it’s very overwhelming for students with Executive Dysfunction. For example, a student with Executive Dysfunction may be confused about the directions for a project and how to take the necessary steps to complete it. At the same time, they also struggle with creating a timeline to actually get the work done. Executive dysfunction affects everything from memory to focus to emotions.


What To Do About Executive Functioning


If you think that you child has Executive Dysfunction, it is important to go see your primary care doctor. The doctor may recommend other specialists to see such as a child psychologist. Students typically take a few tests to assess whether they have executive functioning issues. There are many ways to help your child with their Executive Dysfunction. First, make sure the school knows about it so they can add executive function support. This adds accommodations to an existing IEP, or gets the process started to create an IEP. Teaching the child to use tools such as sticky notes and graphic organizers can also be a big help. It is also a good idea to get your child a one-on-one coach or tutor. This person can guide your child through executive function support strategies.


The next time you think your kid is lazy, think again! They could have Executive Dysfunction Disorder that is affecting how they approach and succeed in school. For more information about the disorder and to learn about support and strategies, contact Just2Tutoring today.


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