What Is Executive Function?
Executive Function is an umbrella term that refers to brain functions that activate, organize, integrate and manage other functions. It enables individuals to account for short and long term consequences of their actions and to plan for those results. It also allows individuals to make real time evaluations of their actions, and make necessary adjustments if those actions are not achieving the desired result.
Academic success, and subsequent occupational success, is contingent on strong executive skills. When someone experiences deficits in executive skills, they encounter many issues including: disorganization, difficulty getting started and finishing work, remembering homework, difficulty memorizing facts, writing essays or reports, working complex math problems, remembering what is read, completing long-term projects, being on time, controlling emotions, and planning for the future. Dr. Tom Brown, an expert in the area of Executive Function, provides a useful metaphor by comparing executive function to the role of the conductor in an orchestra.