Executive functions are the essential self-regulating skills that we all use every day to accomplish just about everything. They help us plan, organize, make decisions, shift between situations or thoughts, control our emotions and impulsivity, and learn from past mistakes. Children rely on their executive functions for everything from taking a shower to packing a backpack and picking priorities.
Children who have poor executive functioning, including many with ADHD, are more disorganized than other kids. They might take an extraordinarily long time to get dressed or become overwhelmed while doing simple chores around the house. Schoolwork can become a nightmare because they regularly lose papers or start weeklong assignments the night before they are due.