Executive functioning is a type of cognitive control. It includes planning, impulse control, prioritizing, and other high-level forms of cognition. Like how an executive is running a business, executive functioning allows you to coordinate your resources to achieve a specific goal. When one’s executive functioning skills are impaired, it’s known as executive dysfunction.
Various learning disorders and cognitive disabilities undermine executive functioning. For example, those with dementia or Alzheimer’s may have difficulty keeping track of recently learned information. Individuals with ADD may have trouble organizing their thoughts. A licensed therapist or counselor can help you manage executive dysfunction symptoms and treat any underlying issues.
Executive function training
Your executive function skills enable you to be successful in work and school by helping you keep track of time, pay attention, and get your assignments done. Executive function training helps improve specific cognitive skills, such as:
- Working memory
- Spacial relations
- Processing speed focus
It can also help you improve:
- Reading ability and comprehension
- Math skills
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Attention deficit disorder (ADD)
- Written language skills
- Receptive and expressive language
- Creative thinking
- Ability to focus
Signs of executive dysfunction
Most people experience executive dysfunction on occasion as a result of stress, boredom, or even fatigue.
It’s common to have sporadic interruptions to executive functioning. These moments don’t necessarily mean a person Is experiencing an underlying mental health or neurological condition.
Executive dysfunction turns into a clinical issue when it starts to effects your daily life. Some signs of clinical executive dysfunction can look like:
- Trouble multitasking
- Regular loss of concentration.
- Difficulty with planning and organization
- Impulsive and reckless behavior
- Troubles with decision-making
- Chronic procrastination or low motivation.
- Difficulty staying on task
- Distress getting focused after getting distracted.
Someone is more likely to experience clinical executive dysfunction if any of these symptoms frequently appear, getting in the way of day-to-day functioning.
A wide range of tests can assess executive dysfunction, as well as the conditions that are most likely to cause it. The proper test typically depends on the type of executive dysfunction a person is experiencing.
A clock-drawing test is one of the first examinations professionals use to assess for dementia. This particular test measures executive functioning and memory, as well as other cognitive impairments.
Causes executive dysfunction
Executive dysfunction isn’t a diagnosis but rather a symptom that may signify a host of mental or neurological conditions. a few common causes of executive dysfunction can include:
- Traumatic brain injuries, tumors, and other types of brain damage.
- Dementias, such as Alzheimer’s
- Issues with addiction
- Developmental disabilities like ADD/ADHD
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
The team at Abbey Neuropsychology Clinic in Palo Alto, California, offers executive function therapy, intensive training that helps each person learn and improve their executive function skills. To schedule an appointment for therapy, call the office today.
The clinic is now offering Telehealth to clients in Washington State, California, Texas, and Vermont!