Our team members are recognized for their expertise in problems involving executive function, but it’s their personal approach to care that has the greatest impact on patients.
The Executive Function Program provides advanced care for patients with known or suspected neurological disorders, injuries, or other conditions which affect aspects of executive function.
Executive function refers to the collection of abilities related to behavior control and cognition, including skills such as:
- Appropriate control over impulses and emotions
- Ability to flexibly shift between ideas and activities
- Ability to plan and organize
- Capacity to hold and manipulate information actively in working memory
- Ability to react appropriately in social situations
A child with executive function difficulties may exhibit an inconsistent performance in school for example, and may have trouble “putting the brakes on” behavior, thoughts, and emotional reactions.
The disorder affects every child differently, and a pediatric specialist should diagnose the condition to rule out other causes of behavior problems or related concerns. Children with the following conditions are frequently referred to us for evaluation:
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Traumatic brain injury
- Autism spectrum disorders (ASD)
- Brain Tumors
Gerard Gioia, PhD, and Lauren Kenworthy, PhD, specialists from Children’s National, authored an innovative set of measures that assess the difficulties of children and adults with these concerns in everyday environments — the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF).
The Executive Function clinic uses the BRIEF tool to assess the role of the executive functions and attention in affecting the lives of our patients.
Children evaluated in the clinic complete one half-day of testing, and families typically receive feedback on their child’s performance the same day. Feedback includes extensive, individual recommendations for helping your child overcome specific areas of difficulty.