Learn All About Executive Functioning With Mindy Hudon! by Donna John
Would your child forget her head if it wasn’t attached? Is she disorganized? Unmotivated? Easily distracted? If yes, your child may have an executive functioning weakness. Mindy Hudon, 30Second Mom contributor and speech-language pathologist, explains what this is and how your child may benefit from executive function coaching. Mindy is the mom of “twin-agers” and the co-founder of The Center for Advanced Learning, a private practice of ASHA-certified speech-language pathologists that specializes in developing executive function skills.
Q: What is executive function?
A: Executive function skills refer to brain functions that make it possible for you to set a goal, plan, remember what that looks like and the steps to get there, and get started, be flexible and revise when things don’t go as planned. Meanwhile, you are continuously self-monitoring and maintain a persistent awareness of the passage of time.
Q: What are some symptoms of executive function?
A: Executive function symptoms can be seen in a wide range of skills. It depends on what skill(s) are most challenging and impacting daily living.
- Difficulty getting started on an assignment or task and becoming easily overwhelmed. “I’ll start my homework as soon as I finish this text.”
- Has problems figuring out time management. “My term paper is due in a week. I don’t need to work on it yet.”
- Impulsive with tasks, causing them to be incomplete, messy or unorganized. “My teacher said it’s OK if I squeeze that in.”
- Is forgetful and unorganized. “I thought I put my homework in my backpack.” “Mom, where are my sneakers?”
- Needs directions repeated often and misses important details, “You never told me that!” “My teacher didn’t tell us we had a test!”
- Difficulty paying attention and is easily distracted. “I think I need to … hey, what time is it?”
- Completing multi-step tasks. “What do I need to do after I take out the trash?”
- Easily loses thought focus. “What was I going to do/say?”
- Makes simple tasks long and complicated. “I was late because I had to take the garbage out.”
Q: Who would benefit from executive function coaching?
A: Executive function coaching is for those who have desire and need help putting together pieces that let them function at highest potential. The purpose of executive function coaching is to allow individuals to learn strategies needed to manage or overcome barriers. We work together to identify strengths, weaknesses and generate goals accordingly. Frequency and duration of executive function coaching will be guided accordingly. Communication is a key component in determining/working toward self-selected short and long-term goals. We are focused on helping individuals to become successful in all areas of their lives.