Children develop in different ways. In some cases, children may not develop some of the cognitive capabilities of their peers. This is called “executive function disorder” – where a child struggled to develop some of the executive functions that they are expected to develop, and it causes them to struggle with anxiety, stress, and academic/social functioning.
Long Island Counseling Services has therapists that provide care and support for executive function disorder in the Long Island area. At our offices in Melville and East Meadow, NY, we have treatment and support for children and adults that struggle with executive dysfunction. Please fill out our online form or give us a call today to get started.
What is Executive Function Disorder?
Executive Function Disorder (EFD), also known as “Executive Dysfunction,” is a blanket term for a set of different cognitive difficulties that may affect both children and adults. There are many different cognitive skills that are all considered part of “executive functioning.” These include:
- Cognitive Flexibility – The ability to switch between different tasks or perspectives and adapt to changes.
- Planning and Organization – The ability to set goals, create plans, and organize tasks in a logical and efficient manner.
- Time Management – The ability to prioritize tasks, estimate time, and manage schedules effectively.
- Working Memory – The ability to hold and manipulate information in mind for short-term use.
- Self-Control and Impulse Regulation – The ability to inhibit impulses, control emotions, and regulate behavior.
- Problem-Solving – The ability to identify problems, generate solutions, and make decisions.
- Task Initiation and Completion – The ability to start tasks promptly and follow through to their completion.
- Self-Monitoring and Evaluation – The ability to assess one’s own performance, reflect on outcomes, and make adjustments.
Each of these represents a different type of executive function. If a child or adult is struggling with one or more of these, then they are termed to have “Executive Function Disorder.” Some children struggle with only one or two, and others struggle with all executive functions.
Executive Function Disorder and ADHD
Executive Function Disorder often co-occurs with children that have ADHD. That is why, as part of treatment for ADHD, parents should consider having their children work with a therapist that understands and offers support for those that have EFD.
How is Executive Function Disorder Treated?
EFD is believed to be a lifelong condition, as it arises as a result of neurological differences in brain function. But while EFD cannot be “cured” in the traditional sense, many psychotherapy interventions can help assist children that have issues with executive functioning.
Seeing a therapist for EFD and ADHD can be especially useful because society does not always support children with neurological differences.
Part of a comprehensive treatment plan includes:
- Psychotherapy – Psychotherapy approaches, like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help children with EFD identify and modify negative thinking patterns that may occur when a person struggles with executive function.
- Skills Building – Part of treating executive function disorder involves skills building, such as developing problem solving skills enhancing focus and working memory, controlling impulses, and other interventions.
- Social Skills Training – In addition to cognitive skills, those with executive function disorder may benefit from learning social skills to help them interact with others and develop healthy friendships and relationships.
Executive function disorder treatments may also involve integrating the family – learning to create an environment that helps your child thrive, and enhancing parenting techniques to help those with EFD feel more supported.
Why Visit Long Island Counseling Services?
Long Island Counseling Services has developed comprehensive treatment programs to support children executive function disorder (and their parents). We have solutions for children with EFD, with or without ADHD, and use a wide range of proven techniques to help children with executive function difficulty find the help that they need to identify and address any cognitive or mental health issues they may struggle with.
If someone you love may be struggling with executive function difficulties, or you’d like an assessment to help identify these issues, please contact Long Island Counseling Services, today.