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ADD & ADHD Health Center

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What Is Executive Function?

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How to Manage Executive Function Problems

Here are some tips from the National Center for Learning Disabilities:

  • Take a step-by-step approach to work.
  • Rely on visual organizational aids.
  • Use tools like time organizers, computers, or watches with alarms.
  • Make schedules and look at them several times a day.
  • Ask for written and oral instructions whenever possible.
  • Plan for transition times and shifts in activities.

To improve time management:

  • Create checklists and estimate how long each task will take.
  • Break long assignments into chunks, and assign time frames for completing each one.
  • Use calendars to keep track of long-term assignments, due dates, chores, and activities.
  • Write the due date on the top of each assignment.

To better manage space and keep things from getting lost:

  • Have separate work areas with complete sets of supplies for different activities.
  • Organize the work space.
  • Minimize clutter.
  • Schedule a weekly time to clean and organize the work space.

To improve work habits:

  • Make a checklist for getting through assignments. For example, a student's checklist could include such items as: get out pencil and paper; put name on paper; put due date on paper; read directions; etc.
  • Meet with a teacher or supervisor on a regular basis to review work and troubleshoot problems.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari, MD on April 27, 2015
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