Sunday, January 6, 2013

Executive Function: Book Reviews

I am a Neuropsychologist in a medical center.  A Neuropsychologist specializes in understanding how changes in the brain impact thinking skills, emotions, personality, and behavior.  I also have a son who is in the autistic spectrum.  For these reasons, I am always looking for good resources about executive function. 

This book series by Dawson and Guare is my favorite for explaining executive function and offering interventions for anyone with executive function difficulties (e.g., ADD, autistic spectrum, brain injury).

Executive function includes abilities such as planning, organization, time management, working memory, metacognition, response inhibition, sustained attention, task initiation, goal-directed persistence, flexibility (both cognitive and emotional), and emotional control.  

I love that Dawson and Guare highlight not only the cognitive parts of executive function, but also behavior and personality aspects such as anxiety, outbursts, rigidity, etc.  They also have nice questionnaires included so that everyone in the household can identify areas of executive function strength and weakness within themselves and better understand others who have a different pattern.  The second book below is a teacher's manual for the classroom.  The teen edition just came out this week; I have my copy but haven't read it yet. Below are links to for further descriptions of the books.

Smart but Scattered
Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents

Smart but Scattered Teens