Unfortunately, on the surface, failure to perform these tasks looks like a simple choice was made to be lazy and not complete the work.
However, that's not the case; a neurological deficit makes these tasks extremely difficult for students with attention deficits.
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Practically speaking, problems with the "brain's CEO" contribute to several problems: disorganization, difficulty getting started and finishing work, remembering homework, plus difficulty memorizing facts, writing essays or reports, working complex math problems, remembering what is read, completing long-term projects, being on time, controlling emotions, and planning for the future.
Before we understood the role of executive functions, parents and teachers were often baffled when students, especially those who were intellectually gifted, teetered on the brink of school failure.
More simply stated the reduced levels of brain chemistry in this key area explains why students can play video games for hours but struggle to complete their homework in a timely manner.
Impact of ADHD and Executive Function Deficits on Learning and Behavior.
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Executive functions are crucial for school success!
Brown gives us a helpful visual image by comparing executive function to the conductor's role in an orchestra.
The conductor organizes various instruments to begin playing singularly or in combination, integrates the music by bringing in and fading certain actions, and controls the pace and intensity of the music. Gerard Gioia and his colleagues also contributed to our knowledge of executive functions when they developed the BRIEF (Behavior Rating Scale of Executive Functions). Researchers vary widely in reports about the frequency of these deficits in students with ADHD. Russell Barkley, a noted authority on ADHD, reported that 89-98 percent of children with ADHD have deficits in executive skills. Barkley believes that the scores on EF rating scales are a better predictor of real world functioning than the lower EF deficit prevalence rates reported on traditional tests of executive skills. Barkley, students with ADHD experience roughly a thirty percent developmental delay in some skills such as, organizational and social skills.
Poor Working Memory and Recall Contrary to conventional wisdom, researchers report that working memory skills are a better predictor of academic achievement than IQ scores.