Executive Functioning Disorders – not just kid stuff


 by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part 4 in a Series (click HERE for Part 3)

EFD – the gift that keeps on giving

graphic image of lady in formal dress and long gloves“The more you know about EFD challenges, the better you’ll be able
to help your child build her executive skills
and manage the difficulties.”

~ from a fairly comprehensive – albeit misleading article:
Understanding EFDs – Executive Functioning Disorders.

In fact, MUCH of what you will read about EFD is misleading — UNLESS it makes it clearer than clear that difficulties with Executive Functions are NOT exclusively – or even primarily – a childhood problem.

NOR are the problems rare

In my [25-year] experience with ADD and it’s “sibling” disorders (including TBI, anxiety and depression – among many others), the number of people struggling with EFDs is grossly under-estimated and under-reported.

EVEN an excellent article in a published in the well-respected Journal of Attention Disorders, “Executive Dysfunction in School-Age Children With ADHD” reports that “An estimated 30 percent of people with ADHD have executive functioning issues.” ~ Lambek, R., et al.

AND YET, many ADD experts like Dr. Thomas E. Brown from Yale, who has spent his entire career studying ADD/ADHD, position it AS a condition of Impaired Executive Functions.  
[A New Understanding of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD)]

So, wouldn’t that place the best estimate of
the percentage of ADD/ADHDers
challenged with impaired executive functioning
at 100 percent?

But wait!  There’s more

MORE folks on Team EFD than folks with ADD/ADHD

image source: addwithease.com

For the most part, the executive functions are mediated through a particular region of the brain called the prefrontal cortex [PFC].

Implication: any individual with a disorder, stroke or other brain damage affecting the prefrontal cortex is highly likely to experience brain-based executive functioning challenges of one sort or another.

That includes individuals OF ANY AGE with mood disorders, autistic spectrum disorders, TBI/ABI, and more than a few neurological conditions such as sensory integration disorders, Parkinson’s, dyslexia — in fact, almost all of what I refer to as the alphabet disorders.


BY THE WAY . . . if you already suspect that YOU are probably a member of Club EFD, unless your reading skills are EXCELLENT and you are already a voracious reader, enroll a friend, loved one or coach to help you work through the EFD articles.

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Distinctions: Coaching vs.Therapy


Some of the DIFFERENCES
between

The THERAPIST
and The COACH

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, A.C.T., MCC, SCAC
Dr. Lee Smith,
CTP, MCC  ©1994, ’95, ’02, ’11, ’15

Obviously, the well-being of the client is the context for this discussion, and determining what kind of assistance is appropriate is an important question.

Why?

Because most coaches are not trained therapists and most therapists are not trained coaches.  


•  For potential clients:
 the question is, Which do I choose and how do I decide?

•  For helping professionals: the issue becomes when, what, and to which professional to refer.

• When ADD is part of the picture, (or any of the Executive Functioning** dysregulations), the differences between an ADD Coach and any other kind of coach becomes important as well.

**(Check out the Executive Functioning LinkList
jump to the one you are most interested in reading,
or read them ALL – opens in a new window/tab)

Beginning at the beginning

Let’s begin the process of differentiating therapy and coaching by focusing only on the items in common with all coaches, without regard to specialties.

At the end of this article are some links that will help you understand some key differences that only comprehensively-trained, brain-based ADD Coaches understand how to work with.  In a future article I will address the issue ADD Coaching differences more directly.

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Ten Basic Coaching Skills used most often with ADDers


— Updated legacy post -orig. 11/15/95- by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, A.C.T., MCC, SCAC
LINKS within post are
dark gray to reduce distraction potential; they turn red on mouseover

ADDers have had people trying to “fix” them all their lives: 

Source: behance.net

If you’d listen to your father . . .
“If you’d just get organized . . .”
“If you’d only try . . .”

While those suggestions usually come from a loving intention, they are actually UNloving in execution, most frequently because they collapse won’t with can’t.

At the heart of those ever-so-well-meaning “should-s” is the assumption that all ADDers have to do is make a commitment to willingness and their worlds will shift.

In other words, the underlying belief is that the ADDer could
“if they really wanted to,” and that “all” that is missing is

a high enough degree of “wanting to.”

BALDERDASH!

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