Executive Function/Dysfunction


Well-Known Member
Neither one of my kids have "officially" had this mentioned. However, my own best guess is that younger difficult child (ADD) has it in spades; older difficult child (ODD with very few other problems) does not.


(the future) MRS. GERE
There is no doubt in my mind that my difficult child has this.



Active Member
Hi alisha leigh. Adam does have executive dysfunction -has been diagnosis'd with ADHD- I know it comes with NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) too and think his is more a result of that than ADHD. I guess this is just because I think of him being learning disabled by Executive dysfunction because there's no medication to change it. SOnja


Former desparate mom
Executive function disorder is practically a NEON sign across difficult child.


New Member
Yep, describes difficult child to a "T". But difficult child's parents never had her fully evaluated, so this was never given as a "formal" diagnosis. But I would put money on it.

Pam R

New Member
My son also shows many of these problems, but no diagnosis of ADHD, just ODD, so far.

Pam R.


New Member
Thanks Alisha Leigh for posting this info.

The light bulbs started flashing the first time I read about Executive Function Disorder and NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD). Definately fits my difficult child to a "T". My difficult child was diagnosis'd with ADHD and Learning Disability (LD) at age 7. Also being treated for depression in the last year. Most recently in the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) he is in the School Psychologist that did his evaluation for continued Special Education services found that he exibits many AS characteristics as well. More light bulbs flashing when I started doing research on AS.

Sadly, at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) (court ordered juv justice) they do not want to even hear about any diagnosis's. They believe we as parents are trying to "make excuses" for difficult child's behavior. We are not. We are just trying to get them to understand him and what makes him tick. They could care less. They just want to label him "defiant, manipulative and self-centered".

Now they are even trying to question his ADHD diagnosis and he has been off all medications (was on Adderall and Zoloft) since two weeks after he got there. And now they write in his reports that "he doesn't focus and is withdrawn and isolates himself" :confused: :eek: Go figure their rationale, I certainly can't.

I am intending to get him a full psyc evaluation whenever he gets to come home. Just don't know when that will be though. He has already been away for 7 months :frown: .

I can certainly relate to 'Lets blame the parents'. I've been blamed by everyone from PO's to judges and everyone in between.



Active Member
Alisha -

My son was diagnosed so long ago with ADHD. I don't think they called it Executive Function back then, but on all difficult child's reports, it would state "high impulsivity". That's a real problem for him, always was - still is. No concept of time. Bingo. So, I guess if they were to diagnose him today - they might mention it. In recent years, they always seem to zero in on his Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) characteristics more than the ADHD, so it's hard for me to say.



New Member
difficult child has many of these problems. He sure didn't have much of a chance. Both bio Mom and bio Dad are ADHD, she of the inattentive type and he of the hyperactivity type. Both also have additional problems. difficult child is more the inattentive type, but has ODD and a lot of the symptoms of other areas of executive function disorder.


Active Member
My kid is over-focused, trouble shiting gears, short-fuse but no memory/planning problems and does well at school. Does he also have Executive Function Deficits ?

ADHD and Executive Function Deficits
Many children with difficult temperaments also wind up being diagnosed with ADHD at some point. As discussed in a prior issue of ADHD RESEARCH UPDATE, current conceptualizations of the core difficulties associated with ADHD focus on deficits in a crucial set of thinking skills called "executive functions". Although there is no universal agreement on the specific skills that constitute executive functions, the typical list of such skills would include such things as: organization and planning skills, establishing goals and being able to use these goals to guide one's behavior, holding information in memory, selecting strategies to accomplish these goals and monitoring the effectiveness of these strategies, being able to keep emotions from overpowering one's ability to think rationally, and being able to shift efficiently from one cognitive activity to the next.( executive functions include cognitive skills )

Yours Allan


Former desparate mom
I just want to point out a few examples of Executive function disorder.

1) If a grade school child comes in and says "I'm thirsty" and your response is "what should you do about that?" Does the child know? as they get older do they think "I'm thirsty, I should get a drink" automatically.

Same thing with "I'm cold". What should you do about it? They seem to not know the next step.

As my child got older, he would wear shoes or clothes that were too tight because that was there. No identification of the problem or ways to solve it.

You can see if there is not coping strategies how this will affect their lives.

*When filling out the learner's permit,he left the blank for hair color blank. I asked why. His response was "no one knows the color of their hair. You can't see your hair"

Ugh.. It is a difficult and crippling disorder if difficult child's are not taught to take an obstacle to the next step.

I am forever asking "what should you do about that?"

It has very little to do with difficult child's ADHD although one probably magnifies the other.


I plugged in a few individual disorders together with Executive Function/Dysfunction -- seems this problem is linked to at least several neurological disorders -- not just ADHD.

Fran, could consider changing the title of this thread to Executive Function/Dysfunction and archive it?