Executive Functioning measures an individual’s ability to initiate, plan, organize, implement, and sustain future oriented problem solving. Executive functioning abilities direct and control perceptions, thoughts, actions and to some degree emotions. Good executive functioning control in one domain does not guarantee good executive control in the other domains. Executive functions are separate but interrelated skills. Executive Functioning expectations depend on one’s developmental level:
In Preschool, you should expect:
- Run simple errands (i.e. “Get your shoes from the bathroom”)
- Perform simple chores and self help tasks with reminders (i.e. brush teeth, get dressed)
- Inhibit behaviors: don’t touch a hot stove, run into the street, snatch a toy from another child, hit, bite, etc.
Kindergarten – Grade 2:
- Bring papers to and from school
- Complete homework assignments (20 minutes maximum)
- Inhibit behaviors: follow safety rules, don’t swear, raise hand before speaking in class, keep hands to self
Grades 3 – 5:
- Perform chores that take 15-30 minutes long (vacuuming, dusting)
- Keep track of belongings when away from home
- Complete homework assignments (1 hour maximum)
- Keep track of changing daily schedule (different activities after school)
Grades 6 – 8:
- Use system for organizing schoolwork; including assignment book, notebooks, etc.
- Follow complex school schedule involving changing teachers and changing schedules
- Plan and carry out long term projects, including tasks to be accomplished and reasonable timeline to follow; may require planning multiple large projects simultaneously.
- Manage schoolwork effectively on a day to day basis, including completing and handing in assignments on time, studying for tests, creating and following timelines for long term projects, and making adjustments in effort, and quality of work in response to feedback from teachers and others (i.e. grades on tests, papers).
- Establish and refine a long term goal and make plans for meeting that goal