Executive Functioning and ADHD

Executive functioning refers to the cognitive functioning that many of us without deficits take for granted. It is considered a term that covers areas of cognition that allow for success. Most who have ADHD are affected by executive functioning deficits. Not all have them…and those that do may only be affected by one or two.

girl over thinking

The list includes:


• Working memory
• Organization
• Initiating a task
• Time management
• Emotional regulation
• Self-talk
• Ability to evaluate behavior and tweak
• Focus
• Sustain effort
• Prioritization
• Accounting for consequences in the future

kid lost

Many times, realization that one or more of these exists can be the impetus for an ADHD evaluation. Those with mild ADHD symptoms initially or those with inattentiveness may fall through cracks early on. As they progress through the school system and academics become harder, more demanding, and require much of this cognition, it becomes apparent that there are impairments that maybe related to ADHD.

Strategies and structure can support those areas of executive functioning that pose a problem for the child.
It is important to discover those areas that impair success in order to advocate for the supports needed in school.

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