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  • Joan

ASD - Executive (dys) Functioning

Updated: Sep 5, 2018

Yes, I know the correct term is executive functioning. Here's a good-enough definition.


"Executive function:

The ability to organize cognitive processes. This includes the ability to plan ahead, prioritize, stop and start activities, shift from one activity to another activity and monitor one’s own behavior."   https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/executive-functioning-issues/3-areas-of-executive-function. 8-03-18


Photo credit: Jkoc - "Urban Art" series


Having ASD, my brain sometimes trips over itself when I attempt tasks requiring sequencing. (e.g., follow a recipe; sweep a room; plan an event.)  Thus my [not-altogether kidding] term: executive dysfunction.


Example: Facing off with a recipe


START: Find a recipe.  Stare at the instructions.  Select an ingredient.  Recite aloud the amount of the ingredient while walking toward its location in the kitchen. Pick up the container, still repeating to myself, aloud:  "OK, flour......, " Ooof.  I forgot how much.  Go back to START.


Can I read? Yes.


Can I remember while moving from the counter [where the recipe is poised] to the mixing bowl how much of what I was supposed to put into the pot? No. Is this age-related "recent onset?" Nope.


I know this about me.  So, I take a deep breath, go back to the recipe and try again.  


More effective work-around: I seldom use a recipe as written!