Speech, Occupational, Physical Therapy and Social Work

Executive Function

Does your child answer questions off-topic?
Does your child struggle with completing tasks?
Does your child have trouble following multi-step directions?

  • Executive functions are a set of mental skills that are important in learning. They are housed in the frontal lobe of the brain which is our “action center.”  
  • We use our executive function skills to manage our thoughts, emotions, and attention in order to get things done.  
  • These skills are developed throughout life but they emerge rapidly during the preschool years.  
  • Strong executive function skills help us in every aspect of life and learning. 
Executive Function

There are three main areas of executive function:

  1. Working Memory: 
    • Holding onto information long enough to use it but not “storing it” in your brain as learned information.
      • Example: When you’re reading a book and you put it down for a couple of days you are able to use your working memory to remember the characters. If you put the book down for 2 months you likely won’t remember what is going on and will need to re-read.
      • Example: In conversations, we hold onto information long enough to ask a related question or comment on the topic. 

2. Cognitive Flexibility: 

    • Our ability to solve a problem in more than one way and our ability to transition between thinking about one thing to the next. Without cognitive flexibility, we cannot problem solve because our brain won’t allow us to consider other options.

3. Inhibitory Control:

    • Our ability to tune out distractions and focus on the task at hand. Kids with ADHD have difficulty with Inhibitory control. 

These three things, when working together, enable us to:

  • Pay attention
  • Organize and plan
  • Initiate tasks and stay focused on them
  • Regulate emotions
  • Keep track of what we’re doing

TherapyWorks favorite resources for executive function:

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COVID-19 Protocol

We hope you and your family are continuing to stay safe and healthy! We have outlined our protocols for in-person sessions during COVID-19. As you know, the health and safety of our clients and therapists remain our highest priority. As always, please reach out with any questions or concerns. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding as we work together through these unprecedented times.

Hand Washing:
Upon arrival at your home, your therapist will wash their hands with soap and water and/or use hand sanitizer. We ask that you and your child also wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer upon your therapist’s arrival.
We are asking our therapists to wear masks upon entering your home and throughout your child’s session. That said, we understand that some children have adverse reactions to seeing adults in masks and will leave it up to you and your therapist to decide your comfort level while still taking safety precautions.
We ask that parents and caregivers also follow the guidelines and wear masks when sitting in on sessions. We will not enforce that policy, but we do kindly ask for compliance.
As for your child, we realize that masks may not be appropriate for every child so we will not enforce the rule that children over the age of 2 should wear a mask.  However, if your therapist insists that your child wear a mask, then that will be a requirement directly between the two of you. We respect our therapists’ individual comfort levels with safety precautions and ask that you respect them as well.


Protocol Acknowledgment and Health Certification:

Before your child’s first in-person session, we are asking clients to submit an acknowledgment of these protocols and a health certification, which you can find here. Thank you again for your cooperation and for helping all of us stay healthy!