At a Glance:

8 Key Executive Functions 

1

Impulse Control

What it means:

How it looks:

Impulse control helps your child think before acting.

Kids with weak impulse control might blurt out inappropriate things. They're also more likely to engage in risky behavior.

2

Emotional Control

What it means:

How it looks:

Emotional control helps your child keep his feelings in check.

Kids with weak emotional control often overreact. They can have trouble dealing with criticism and regrouping when something goes wrong.

3

Flexible Thinking

What it means:

How it looks:

Flexible thinking allows your child to adjust to the unexpected.

Kids with "rigid" thinking don't roll with the punches. They might get frustrated if asked to think about something from a different angle.

4

Working Memory

What it means:

How it looks:

Working memory helps your child keep key information in mind.

Kids with weak working memory have trouble remembering directions- even if they're taken notes or you've repeated them several times.

5

Self-Monitoring

What it means:

How it looks:

Self-monitoring allows your child to evaluated how he's doing.

Kids with weak self-monitoring skills may be surprised by a bad grade or negative feedback.

6

Planning and Prioritizing

What it means:

How it looks:

Planning and prioritizing help your child decide on a goal and a plan to meet it.

Kids with weak planning and prioritizing skills may not know which parts of a project are most important.

7

Task Initiation

What it means:

How it looks:

Task initiation helps your child take action and get started.

Kids who have weak task initiation skills may freeze up because they have no idea where to begin.

8

Organization

What it means:

How it looks:

Organization lets your child keep track of things physically and mentally.

Kinds with weak organization skills can lose their train of thought- as well as their cell phone and homework.

Information from: www.understood.org