Parents should already know that those on the Spectrum typically lack or are weak when it comes to Executive Function. But what is that? Starting with a Google Search, here is what I found out.
National Center for Learning Disabilities has a good 2-page introduction, nice navigation features if your child is older, and several links that will help overcome or lessen the symptoms. The comments at the end are lengthy, but may give you insight into yourself and how you think, and can begin to sort out what strategy may work best for you.
Wikipedia also has some useful, but terse, scientific-slanted definition, and a number of psychology models if you want to delve into the scientific side of executive functions.
WebMD also has a good summary; here is an excerpt:
having difficulty with executive function includes trouble in:
- planning projects
- estimating how much time a project will take to complete
- telling stories (verbally or in writing)
- memorizing information
- initiating activities or tasks
- retaining information while doing something with it (for example, remembering a phone number while dialing)
With this in mind, there are ways to overcome organization and behaviour problems. Visual organization tools with a planner, calendar, and timer certainly will help. When it comes to regulation of behaviours, finding an effective reward and reinforcing the desired behaviour should help.
Here are a few more links, but don’t forget the Google Search!