Cognitive functions that are presupposed to control our behavior patterns and abilities bear the name of executive function. It broadly includes a lot of abilities that refer to planning, responding, reacting and changing behavior, handling new and unexpected situations.
Executive function is also in charge of abilities to evaluate and predict things, plan ahead and think abstractly as well. For the majority of people all this comes naturally and these activities do not represent any particular problem. However for people with executive function disorder it might be a pretty great challenge.
One of the problematic things about this condition is that it might be a part of some other, frequently even more serious condition such as ADHD, or autism, as well as OCD, depression and Tourette’s syndrome.
First symptoms of executive function disorder can be traced in childhood and exactly in elementary school when the aforementioned abilities start being used in full. It is possible that the kid with this disorder will be pretty successful at first but later on the condition is capable to affect the conduct and the personality pretty much later on in life if not diagnosed and treated properly in time.
As it has already been said, the executive function is in charge of a lot of abilities in our lives. A lot of things we do instinctively and without any effort as we have thing function working well. However if it fails there come a lot of complications.
People with executive function disorder generally tend to demonstrate the following symptoms:
- Everything connected with planning and crating projects comes hard and represents a complication. It is equally hard to meet deadlines and in general complete the projects if such were somehow started;
- People with executive function disorder find it difficult to organize their thoughts and also plan and arrange accordingly their actions. They experience difficulties everywhere where there is a need to put actions or things into a sequential order;
- Frequently such people find it hard to concentrate and are easily distracted;
- Their working places generally lack order and are pretty messy;
- Executive function disorder is also the reason why such people are also not great generators of new ideas;
- They are fascinated with adventurous experiences, everything that is thrilling and unpredictable.
It is really pretty hard to make a diagnosis for an executive function disorder as there are a lot of conditions that include some of its symptoms and, besides, this particular disorder may be a part of some other. Moreover, at the present moment there is no distinct diagnostic method that will allow making exact conclusions. The only thing to be done in case any problems are suspected is to subject a person to a series of tests that will show if there are any irregularities in his or her abilities.
This is the limit of modern diagnostics for executive function disorder so far. However in many cases this is enough for certain measures to be takes. Here is no exact treatment for the condition as well but there are recommendations (especially for teachers and parents of executive disorder patients) that can improve the situation considerably.
- First of all, as any planning and organization is a challenge it is recommended not to give people with executive function disorder large projects at once but rather provide them by parts. Such division and step-by-step completion will represent less difficulty.
- It is also very helpful to provide kids with a exact plan of action for any activity; for an adult a planner will be of great help as it will make clear what the next steps are to be done and so on.
- When it comes to instructions, it should be remembered that everything vague and abstract will never be heard and understood. All the instructions should be exact and absolutely clear. It is also very helpful, especially, when it comes to kids and their education, to use visual clues.
- Organization of the work and study process gets easier for people with executive function disorder if the working place is cleared of all the mess and a certain plan for the activities is set.
- One of the compulsory conditions for a working place is also that it should be devoid of any possible distractions and anything that might interfere with a process.
- A person with such a disorder will cope much better if a proper and clear feedback will be provided.
It is important to start taking measures as early as possible if there is a suspicion for an executive function disorder. This will help a person will definitely be able to live normally and not experience all these life-complicating problems.