Monthly Archives: January 2016

executive function disorder symptoms

Executive Function Disorder Symptoms

Executive function disorder symptoms vary from individual to individual. It’s also important to note that if you suspect your child has executive function disorder you should schedule an assessment with your doctor to be absolutely sure.

This article is not meant to help diagnose your child with executive function disorder, it’s meant to guide you on a path towards further treatment if you suspect it is needed.

If your child is exhibiting any of the following executive function disorder symptoms it may be grounds towards seeking further information from your doctor.

Typical Executive Function Disorder Symptoms

Executive function disorder can usually be identified by a few telltale symptoms, which all equate to a pronounced difficulty in performing daily tasks.

Tasks that people simply go through as part of their day to day lives are a challenge for those with executive function disorder. This includes things like having organization to their lives and sticking to schedules.

Some of the symptoms that could lead to difficulty in carrying out day to day tasks are hyperactivity, inattentiveness, and impulsivity. Executive function disorder symptoms can be seen very early on in life because that’s when the brain starts to develop.

Executive Function Disorder Symptoms: Early Stages

Executive function disorder begins around the time that one enters into puberty. Puberty is when the frontal cortex of the brain starts to mature. This area of the brain is responsible for enabling people to carry out very high level tasks.

Think of the tasks that the leader of a company would be expected to perform, or an entrepreneur, or someone going through high levels of schooling. These all involve 6 components of executive function, which are as follows:

  • Analyze
  • Plan
  • Organize
  • Develop
  • Adjust
  • Complete

Someone without executive function disorder would be able to:

  • Analyze a task
  • Create a plan to complete the task
  • Organize the various steps involved in completing the task
  • Develop a scheduling for when each step should be completed
  • Adjust the plan on the fly if needed
  • And finally, complete the task on time.

It’s possible that your child is exhibiting executive function disorder symptoms if he or she has difficulties following a task through to completion as outlined above.

Another symptom of executive function disorder may be if your child can complete tasks, but routinely misses deadlines when doing so. This could involve handing in homework late, not having an assignment done on time, and so on.

Executive function disorder symptoms can be well observed in a child’s school life. EFD can lead to a child losing papers, homework, and other items that a child needs to stay organized in school.

Symptoms can also be observed in the child’s home life. A child with executive function disorder may have trouble keeping track of personal items or organizing their room.

If your child just can’t seem to grasp these everyday tasks after trying over and over again, then he or she may be demonstrating executive function disorder symptoms.

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, don’t diagnose your child simply by what you read online. Make an appointment with your doctor if you believe you’re seeing EFD symptoms in your child.

Alternatively, we invite you to try out our free games, many of which are designed to identify your child’s executive functions strengths and challenges.


Image Credit: Flickr User hepingting