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What is Executive Functioning?

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It may seem like “executive functioning” are the new buzzwords of today in the school environment, however, neuropsychologists have been studying this set of skills for many years. In short, executive functioning directs all of our cognitive skills. They are a set of processes that help manage oneself and all of life’s tasks. 
Based on sound research and understanding, many researchers like to develop their own list of these important mental skills, however, the basic concept is always the same. 

The specific skills encompassed under executive functioning include:

  • Inhibition 
  • Shift
  • Emotional Control
  • Initiation
  • Working Memory
  • Planning/Organization
  • Organization of Materials
  • Self-Monitoring
     

At Putnam County, we can use a variety of methods to help us identify students who could benefit from a boost in their executive functioning, but most often it is a quick observation by their classroom teacher, followed by a simple strategy that will help the student build an important life skill.

In the coming weeks, I'll be following up with additional articles that will address each skill area, along with proven strategies that can help your student, both at school and at home.