As adults, we don’t talk back to our boss when we disagree and we refrain from honking the horn when someone cuts us off on the road because we have control over our behaviors. We look at problems from different angles or attempt different strategies until we are successful because we can think flexibly. Adults can recall an address and simple driving directions for a period of time without writing them down thanks to our developed working memory. We are successful adults today not because we were born with executive function skills, but because we developed these skills through our experiences through childhood and adolescence. With each experience we learned what made us successful, what strategies worked for us, and built our “library of executive function”. We have both the books with the experiences and the catalogue system by which to locate the right book for the moment. By the time we had our first jobs, we had a decent sized library to pull information from but we continued to learn from our experiences and still are today.
Although all children are born with the capacity to develop these skills there are some children that require additional support. A child that has attention difficulties may miss cues that can help them assess (more…)