A common concern raised by parents (well, mostly the moms) is their child’s lack of what they label as “executive function deficits (EFD).”

With EFDs there’s always the underlying question of whether these issues are a biproduct of immaturity, skill deficits or a legitimate neurologically based disorder?

I’ve met a gazillion of these kids and by now I should have an answer to that question, but I’m embarrassed to admit I still am not sure.

What are the signs of  EFD?

A low level of  “sustained mental effort” is one of the big indicators. With low sustained mental effort, there may be a degree of reasonable effort put toward a task at the beginning, but this effort quickly fades.

Another sign of EFD is the characteristic of not being a “self-starter.”   That is, excessive parental (or teacher) reminders are needed to get started on a task.

Predominant disorganization, coupled with inattentiveness are other qualities pushing parents over the edge.

In basic terms, a good way to think of these kids is that they are “floaters.”  Effectively, there’s not much of a rudder steering them.  As the wind blows, so goes their boat.

Recently, I came upon an article called “ADHD & Executive Function Deficits:  Identical Twins or First Cousins.”

I think the title of the article sums up the dilemma pretty well.

What do you think?  Are you in the camp that these floaters represent more of a neurological disorder or a function of maturation or lack of skill.

Feel free to make comment below. 

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