Executive Functioning Deficits And How We Can Work Around Them!

Hi there! I am a Mom of, Wife of, and owner of ADHD brains! Our son was diagnosed with “severe, debilitating ADHD” along with ASD, cognitive/fine motor/gross motor/speech (expressive and receptive)/ and social delays. Three years later dyslexia was added to his list of dx. My husband introduced me to How to ADHD on YouTube and I was hooked! Research, advocating and observation led to my husband’s ADHD and dyslexia dx at 38, and my ADHD dx at 37. It’s sure nice to know it wasn’t because we were deficient that we struggle! Daughter is on her way to her own dx, at 5. The term “executive functioning deficits” was used SO MUCH! I learned that executive functioning is all about task completion through life, like organization, self-starting, time management, etc…

And so I looked up some books that I have found inspiring and helpful that I wanted to share with you all. The first is “The NOW Habit,” by Dr. Fiore. This book took every ounce of guilt away when it came to procrastination for me. And it helps you make big, ugly, I don’t want to do it tasks so much smaller! The second is “Smart But Scattered,” by Peg Dawson, EdD & Richard Guare, PhD. I’m only in Ch 4 on this one, but I absolutely love it as it is helping my assess mine AND my children’s executive functioning struggles while giving suggestions to help work around them.

What solutions have you all implemented in your lives to help with your family? I would love to know :slight_smile:

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I am now trying to read a book by Ari Tuckman. I would have to look up the title but at least it is about executive functioning for people with ADHD.
Have not read much yet since there is a bit too much chaos…
Anyway everyday a little bit seems to help more than whole chunks.

There are topics about habits/routines in How to ADHD YouTube which might help.

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Well, we noticed my daughter had some difficulty when she started to attend a larger more “traditionally” setup classroom 2nd, 3rd, 4th grade. She had trouble writing her spelling words correctly, but always got A’s on oral spelling tests. She was easily distracted by sounds in the classroom also hyper sensitive to loud noises. She could NOT STAND fireworks or other noises that were sudden. She also had trouble with knowing her body (coordination issues). Problems with stairs. My wife was amazing with her, really trying to understand what was going on. She listened and read a lot including How am I Smart?: A Parent’s Guide to Multiple Intelligences by Kathy Koch http://a.co/ea6mVlo
We also read Disconnected Kids: The Groundbreaking Brain Balance Program for Children with Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and Other Neurological Disorders. Understanding from this book we saw that my daughter had a Left Brain difference. ADHD presents itself as a Right Brain difference. The premise of the book is that due to missed developmental ques, children could develop learning problems in there later years. (Apparently the terrible twos is an important part of development), kids that have the tame twos will have issues later.)

Being influenced by this book’s claims we enrolled my daughter in a local Brain Balance Center: Brain Balance. It’s pretty expensive so we could only do 2 semesters, but my daughter really thrived! She was was handling distracting sounds, dealing with simulated tactile sensations and smells all while walking on a balance beam and cognative training, all tasks to stimulate Left Brain Function. At first it was IMPOSSIBLE, but day after to day she got better and better. She also became more confident and sociable. At the end she was jumping rope like a pro, alternating speeds. This was really hard for her in the beginning. She got better in school, but she still struggles with dysgraphia, (But she is a GREAT storyteller!). We also took her out of a pretty rigid school that could only accommodate Neurotypical Brains. She has more support where she is now. I really think she would have gotten even better if we were able to keep her at Brain Balance for the full length of time.

I fully understand how this post might get some folks her fired up, because we tend to celebrate our differently wired brains, but it was so hard to see my daughter struggling, asking, “How come OTHER kids are smart?” and “Why is this so hard for me?” It was so hard to convince her that she had a learning DIFFERENCE not a DISABILITY.

I believe she became more confident in herself, because SHE was able to get to a better place with HERSELF at Brain Balance.
She knew we loved her and was not working for our approval.

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I’m adding that book to my list! That reminded me of something as well. My son started punching at his head one day and telling me he hates his brain. It broke my heart and I told my therapist about it. Im in Wyoming and she commutes from Colorado, and she told me about Temple Grandin and her autobiographical movie. I rented it from Netflix and my son and I watched it together. When it was over I explained to him that his brain worked differently but that it was not broken, in fact in some ways it even gave him superpowers. He began excitedly jumping up and down exclaiming that his brain was special and there are more people like him (ASD). We’re hoping to attend one of Ms. Grandin’s lectures very soon! :blush:

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That’s what I loved most about “The NOW Habit,” because it broke it all down into such small and manageable pieces. Get excited about and implement small! That’s the kind of change I need :joy:.

I also use FlyLady. I haven’t added all of the daily routines yet, or gone as fast as her plan suggests. In fact, the only thing I’ve consistently maintained thus far is getting myself and my kids “dressed to shoes” each day when we wake. I think this one thing might be saving me hours each day! We’re not scrambling to find socks and shoes several times a day as we transition from one appointment to the next.

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Oh SO Cool! Yes, I really hate how lies about ourselves are so much easier to believe than the Truth!

I really see how engaged you are in your kids care! It is actually putting a fire under me to be more engaged with mine. I will be checking out ALL of the resources you mentioned.

Thank you for this post. It was actually therapeutic, (for me) :joy:

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We FINALLY hired an Executive Function tutor who works with our daughter one on one (they can be found at public schools too). I too great up with a Learning Disability and figured I could teach my daughter Executive Function strategies. The fact of the matter is, I am too close. She doesnt want to learn from me and isn’t interested in my advice. Bringing in an outside party seems to be working.

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I found this to be the case for me and organizing/cleaning/decluttering. Working with my mother is just a recipe for disaster and conflict. When I worked briefly with an organizer coach, it was like a revelation. I wish I could have afforded to continue more than one session. How much does an Exec function tutor run, if you don’t mind my asking. (Pretty sure it’s not covered by insurance, LOL)

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Can run between $75 - $150 per hour. And some folks have been successful in submitting to insurance. Our issue is our deductible on out of network providers is higher than we can claim over the school year.

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what is an executive function tutor? Sounds like what my son needs but what have they been doing specifically and how did you find one? What is there qualification or training?

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I know this is an older post, but I’m new on here. Thank you for the book recommendations from a newly diagnosed 37 y/o! All the best! :smile:

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