Sunday, September 28, 2014

What are Executive skills?

What are executive skills? The executive skills are so named as they oversee and manage the thinking functions of the brain. Does your student have problems thinking or focusing on tasks? Do they leave important projects to the last minute? Executive skills play a major role in information processing, abstract thinking, problem solving, initiation and inhibition. Executive skills are needed to organize, sequence, sort, group, relate, differentiate, combine, separate and many other operations with the data and information taken into the brain during class or outside of school. The student then uses this information to plan, reason and make decisions. Cognitive flexibility is a desirable attribute of executive functioning as it leads to better information processing and hypothesis generation. Better cognitive flexibility means better academic success!! The executive skills interplay with the attention skills in determining the target of focus and keeping track during attention shifting and divided attention. Does your student get distracted or "forget" their books at school? Many executive functions may begin in childhood and preadolescence. Yet, it is during adolescence when the different brain systems become better integrated. At this time, youth executive functions become more efficient and effective and improve throughout this time period. This skill emerges in childhood and improves over time, planning and goal-directed behavior. Likewise, functions such as attentional control, with a potential spurt at age 15, along with working memory, continue developing at this stage. This is the best time to hone skills for a lifetime of use. If you have trouble with executive function, these things are more difficult to do. You may also show a weakness with working memory. This is an important tool in achieving academic success. Need help to strengthen your executive skills for academic success? We can help with our program of executive coaching with executive skill building. Contact us today for a FREE consultation for academic success!
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