How Does a Child With Executive Functioning Issues Think Differently?

Thinking Differently

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Q: Last week a psychologist told me my son hasexecutive functioning issues. She said he has a “disorganized mind.” What does this mean? How do kids with executive functioning issues think differently?

A: Executive functioning issues can vary greatly from one child to the next. That’s why I want to start off by saying that I can’t make any broad generalizations about how children with these issues think. There is no one-size-fits-all explanation.

It’s also important to note that children withexecutive functioning issues don’t necessarily “think” differently. What they struggle with is the process of coordinating, prioritizing or managing information needed to perform tasks successfully. (Trouble with executive functioning, or executive dysfunction, is often referred to as a “performance disability.”)

So even though kids with these issues may be highly intelligent, gifted, artistic, athletic or musically talented, they may struggle to complete seemingly simple tasks like remembering to turn in their homework.

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