What is EFD?

What is Executive Functioning Disorder?

According to the National Center of Learning Disabilities, Executive Functioning Disorder (EFD) is having difficulty with a set of mental processes that helps connect past experience with present action. Students with EFD will have more trouble performing activities such as planning, organizing, strategizing, paying attention to and remembering details, and managing time and space. There may also be a weakness with working memory.

This learning challenge can run in families and often becomes apparent in the later school years as the demands of completing schoolwork independently and depth of assignments increases.

Ways this learning challenge may be recognized is if a student has trouble:

  • Planning projects
  • Comprehending how much time a project will take to complete
  • Telling stories (verbally or in writing), struggling to communicate details in an organized, sequential manner
  • Memorizing and retrieving information from memory
  • Initiating activities or tasks, or generating ideas independently
  • Retaining information while doing something with it, for example, remembering a phone number while dialing

Sometimes, students with EFD fall behind in school because they don’t know how to approach a list of things to do or know how to schedule themselves to complete the tasks. Many of these students are very intelligent, motivated, creative and are willing to use simple tools that will help them with organization, planning and time management.

Below is a graphic that shows the functions our Executive Functioning Processes manage. If a student, displays trouble in a variety of these areas as well as some of the actions listed above, he/she may struggle with this learning challenge.

For a really awesome graphic that explains Executive Functioning CLICK HERE!

 Dr. Thomas Brown’s article and explantation of that graphic is here

To learn more about EFD and coping strategies, visit the National Center for Learning Disabilities webpage by clicking HERE.