Executive Function Summary

Some of you mentioned that it would be nice to have a concise summary of the key elements of executive function impairment to share with family members and others. So I made a thing!

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I also created a new Executive Function page with links to the Executive Function Primer posts plus the slideshow and some introductory text.

28 thoughts on “Executive Function Summary”

  1. Wow! You are amazing. I was not expecting this but thank you so much!!! I really appreciate you using your talents to clearly present this important message:)

  2. The way you’ve organized and presented this is really helpful. It’s like a troubleshooting section for the brain owner’s manual many of us never received.

  3. Wonderful! Thanks, this is really good.

    One question: is there somewhere a list of the most usual conditions/situations/contexts that cause/include problems in executive function?

  4. ugh I just wrote a carefully composed comment and the computer lost it! I can’t do it again so will try to write the gist.

    Essentially I was saying thank you for this series of articles on executive function (EF). I have studied this subject to postgraduate level so am impresses with how you made it accessible but maintained accuracy.

    I also wanted to say that I found it very useful personally. Despite knowing about EF, what effects deficits have on people, and that I have quite severe EF deficits, I hadn’t ever integrated that into something meaningful for myself and still give myself a hard time for not managing things that every other adult seams to without thought (I love the person who commented about showers being a nightmare of remembering separate steps, I honestly thought no-one else had that problem). I am working very hard on not being mean to myself when I can’t do things and make mistakes. I haven’t given up on self-improvement, but my tendency is to try too hard so I can safely give myself a break without turning into a selfish monster. I hope. I’ve said it before, but this blog (and before it your book) is helping me to understand myself and to be kind to myself in a way I’ve never managed before. Thank you.

    1. Oh, I’m so sorry that WordPress ate your comment. I hate when that happens. 😦

      It’s exciting to hear that this is a subject you know well and you felt like I covered it accurately. I’m also so happy to hear you say that you’re learning to be kind to yourself. That’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past year and it’s changing my life in a very good way. It shouldn’t be so hard to do but it is. Self-improvement is good and necessary but it’s only one part of being a whole, healthy person.. πŸ™‚

  5. I am pleased to have “stumbled” upon these musings as a mother of a nearly 13yr.old aspie who’s been homeschooled now for five years as a result of the local school’s inability to see past their own nose. It’s been difficult in a tiny closed community and it’s a joy to have a down-to-earth, conversational, yet intelligently resourceful extension to “reality” in which I can glean tools for myself and others..but primarily for my daughter, for whom it is dawning that she does have a “vast store of awesomeness” (as we put it) and she is not alone. Thank you! I may invite her to contribute in the months ahead as a possible segue to the dreaded machine called the telephone but don’t worry, she’s well versed in swearing, etc. In the meantime, thank you all for your contributions- in particular on the subject of catastrophizing!

    P.S If you don’t want an NT mom dipping in, I understand and, praise be, I know someone will tell me in this forum!

    1. Everyone is welcome to comment! Unless they’re mean, then they end up languishing in comment jail. πŸ™‚

      So many parents end up homeschooling their kids on the spectrum–it’s too bad that school systems drop the ball so often. Your daughter is lucky to have a mom who gets it. And she is very definitely not alone. There is a big and mostly welcoming online autistic community just waiting for her to join in. I try to keep my posts PG-13 so hopefully you’ll feel comfortable letting her read some things here at some point. It’s a big comfort to know that there are others out there who are like us.

  6. this is REALLY useful to put in words what I need to explain as soon as possible to my son’s new teacher (new year starting in Australia today). is there any chance you have the same brief summary as in the slides in a different doc? I see you copyright it but it would be great if there was a downloadable version or something to copy&past to transmit to someone off the internet..?

    1. Just a random aside to “suburp”- I’ve no idea your circumstances, but if you are acting as an ambassador for your child in a new school, along with clarifying EF issues, I found explaining what literalism really means and giving clear examples, helped a light bulb go on in the average uneducated educator head. For some reason this seems to be a “gateway” for educators to begin appreciating how different wiring works. It’s the first place they “catch themselves” making life harder for kids on the spectrum. Good luck!

  7. So I read this article because I came back in here to get the book I wanted to take into the living room and read (to get away from the computer) remembered I needed to send an email to someone about a follow-up / referral, thought I would check your site because it has been a while, and saw this. Then I sent it to a friend because I thought she would be interested. I’m writing this now to try to break away from my normal pattern which would be to pursue “executive function” as a search term for the next few hours and then remember I was trying to avoid getting distracted when I came to get the book I want to read instead of doing all of this… and no, my brain doesn’t do paragraph marks. I add those later as a courtesy for the reader. πŸ˜‰

    So thanks, now I have something I can use to explain to my mom why I am asking her all of these questions about, in her words, “difficulty moving me from one task to another” when I was a kid.


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