Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Executive functioning

Getting ready to leave for work. Remembering to grab everything when walking out the door. I've got my bag, my lunch, my phone...oh, wait! *runs back to grab my keys* These types of tasks are referred to as executive functions. They can be very daunting for one on the spectrum, especially when you throw ADHD into the mix!

Let's face it: in this day and age everyone and everything is moving so fast, it's hard not to miss a step. For those of us with executive functioning difficulties, however, this is ten times harder. You're trying to keep on top of things in the midst of already racing thoughts, and there are distractions all around you. Let's say you're walking into a room to grab a pen, an important paper and an envelope. You grab the pen. On your way to picking up the paper, something on TV catches your attention. As you're walking to get the envelope, what you had seen on TV reminds you of something else, which is now in the front of your mind. You might find yourself standing there, wondering what it was you were doing in the first place! This happens several times a day for someone on the spectrum.

I try my hardest to come up with little shortcuts and methods to work around my difficulties. At work, I have a chart with all the names of the people on my caseload,
and columns next to them for each important task I need to complete for their chart that month. I have a plastic mailbox that hangs in my cubicle to sort my papers because otherwise, it's out of sight, out of mind. Sometimes we need these accommodations, and believe me, they help! At home, I try to keep my mail sorted, but this is still something I've yet to master. I'm taking it one step at a time!

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