What is Executive Functioning?


  • Inhibit: Ability to control impulses (inhibitory control) and to stop engaging in a behavior.
  • Shift: Ability to move freely from one activity or situation to another; to tolerate change; to switch or alternate attention.
  • Emotional Control: Ability to regulate emotional responses appropriately.
  • Working memory: Ability to hold information when completing a task, when encoding information, or when generating goals/plans in a sequential manner.
  • Plan/organize: Ability to anticipate future events; to set goals; to develop steps; to grasp main ideas; to organize and understand the main points in written or verbal presentations.
  • Organization of materials: Ability to put order in work, play, and storage spaces (e.g., desks, lockers, backpacks, and bedrooms).
  • Monitor: Ability to check work and to assess one’s own performance; ability to keep track of the effect of one’s own behavior on other people.
  • Initiate: Ability to begin an activity and to independently generate ideas or problem-solving strategies.



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