woman and girl studying in front of a laptop screen
Executive Functioning Deficits

Executive functioning refers to the skills needed to get things done. Whether planning a family vacation, preparing a meal, writing a paper, or simply starting the day, one must employ multiple skills: attention, effort, memory, organization, and time management. All are needed to set and achieve goals, no matter how large.

Executive functioning deficits are noticeable at home, school, work, and church. Executive functioning skills are required for engaging in class activities like crafts. They are necessary for making transitions between activities. For example, at church these skills are utilized throughout a worship service (stand–sit–pray–recite–sing) to not become distracted. Executive functioning skills are also needed to develop and maintain relationships.

Helpful accommodations for supporting students with executive functioning deficits include:

  • Continually demonstrating, offering examples, and modeling appropriate skills and behavior are some of the best approaches to improving skill deficits.
  • Using visuals. Visual aids and tools can greatly help with organization and planning. Consider using visual schedules, checklists, and timers.
  • Controlling excess in the classroom. Keep your room simple and inviting. Only bring out materials when they are needed. Remove unnecessary items in the room. Reduce clutter, such as removing things on the walls that are not needed for learning.