Executive Function

Executive function describes the part of the mind that helps you to be organised.

What is Executive Function?

Think of it as a difficulty with: where, when and how.

  • Where things are, or where they belong
  • When things are due, or when something is happening
  • How to get started and the steps involved in getting something done

Difficulty with executive function becomes greater, as children get older and are increasingly expected to work more independently.

What are the difficulties?

  • Losing things
  • Having a chaotic, messy bedroom and school bag
  • Trouble organising, planning and prioritising
  • Having disorganised folders and papers
  • Difficulty prioritising what needs to be done
  • Getting a sequence of actions mixed up
  • Not allowing enough time and often being late
  • Not completing a task before moving on to another
  • Forgetting when homework is due
  • Forgetting what a teacher told them to do

Helpful strategies

  • Set routines to create habits
  • Establish set places for things
  • Use calendars and planners when a child is not old enough to have a phone
  • ​​​​​​​Use a phone to take photographs of homework or things you need to remember


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