Executive functions begin to develop EARLY!

At ages 3-5...

  • inhibition, working memory, cognitive flexibility, goal directed behaviors and planning

At ages 4-5...

  • Day-to-day EF skills emerge with metacognition, greater flexibility, and inhibitory self-control

  • Preschool age kids reliably show: inhibition, shifting, emotional control, working memory, and plan/organize

At ages 6 and up,

  • task initiation, organization of materials, self-monitoring

What might impede development of executive functions?

Unfortunately, we also know that poor executive functioning is a common correlate of many mental health problems.  However, everyone can be impacted, some more than others. Below are a list of disorders or problems that are associated with weak or impaired executive functioning.

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Conduct Disorder
  • Depression
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Anxiety
  • Autism
  • Learning Disorders
  • Traumatic Brain Injury