Email to the school: Executive Function

I sent this months ago but found it when sorting through school-related email earlier today and I think it’s worth remembering.

I have found three resources teachers might find useful in understanding how Autism affects executive function and the ability to plan, begin, carry out and finish tasks, and the ability to manage the timeframe in which this happens. I cannot judge how much her teachers will already know or what information they already have on how best to help autistic students, but I know that although we have a plethora of support strategies in place at home she will also definitely need help at school for these long-term tasks, due to executive dysfunction.

(1) “The ability to organise, sequence and prioritise helps us to plan daily activities and manage our time effectively. However, some people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may find organising, sequencing and prioritising difficult. Here, we explain why this can be the case, and list some ways to help.”

(2) This page by Prof Tony Attwood is both old (2000) and focused on primary school age children, but the information about executive function is good though the suggestions are not perfectly relevant.;view=article&id=76

(3) And finally, this is not a British resource but I think it’s an excellent overview of what Executive Function *is*, though it speaks more of ADHD than ASD. “Executive function is like the CEO of the brain. It’s in charge of making sure things get done from the planning stages of the job to the final deadline. When kids have issues with executive functioning, any task that requires planning, organization, memory, time management and flexible thinking becomes a challenge.”


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