Executive Functioning Skills Fact Sheet

In this quick fact sheet, CNNH Neuropsychologist Hilary Murphy, PhD explains what executive functioning is, different executive functioning skills, and what these skills may look like or how they may be used in a home or school setting. It’s important to note that the significance of these skills increases with age as individuals are expected to take on additional academic and social responsibilities.

Neuropsychological evaluations at CNNH NeuroHealth can assess for weaknesses in executive functioning and inform treatment planning. Click the link below to learn more about our neuropsychology services!

Dr. Murphy has extensive experience evaluating children, adolescents, and young adults and her areas of expertise include Attention-Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, executive functioning, and other specific learning disabilities, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), concussion, epilepsy, neuro-oncology and late effects of chemotherapy, stroke, and developmental disabilities.

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Exploring & Managing the Impact of ADHD Across the Lifespan


While Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is commonly associated with childhood, research indicates that deficits in attention and executive functioning can persist well into adolescence and adulthood. For those individuals whose symptoms are misunderstood or misdiagnosed, these unaddressed deficits are associated with academic underachievement, underemployment, and psychosocial difficulties. The current presentation seeks to explore the literature regarding the long-term impact of unmanaged or undiagnosed attentional deficits and executive dysfunction and how these symptoms can interfere with all areas of functioning.

Hosted by NJCTS (NJ Center for Tourette’s Syndrome)

Presented by:
Hilary Murphy, PhD
CNNH Neuropsychologist

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17 Back to School Tips to Accommodate the ADHD Student

October is ADHD Awareness Month! Here are a few tips to help parents and teachers ensure all students succeed this school year…

1. Ask for a formal reward system in the classroom, and establish it early in the school year

2. Ask for a daily report card! Allows parents and teachers to work together to reinforce behavior and work completion goals at home and school

3. Ask for an extra set of books or relevant classroom materials at home

4. Communicate what works for your child at home

5. Don’t retain!

6. Decrease work expectations to the essential – reduce assignments to show mastery

7. Allow frequent short breaks during the school day

8. Do not send unfinished work to complete at night

9. Consider homework reduction or elimination for elementary school students

10. Get color-coded binders and commercial organizers, make sure that the child uses them

11. Use technology – working on computers and iPads is often more engaging and thus more effective for kids with ADHD

12. Assign a study buddy for a child with ADHD so they can complete classwork and even homework together

13. Use short assignments with clear goals and frequent feedback

14. Have children be involved in stating their work goals

15. Train on keyboarding and allow typing of assignments

16. Encourage continual involvement in lesson when children are reading or listening

17. Establish a quiet area where children can go if they become upset

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Back to School Tips for Managing ADHD

October is ADHD Awareness Month!
Here are some quick tips to help you manage your child as they get ready for the new school year…

Define the house rules!

– Use clear and consistent rules that are applied in all settings
– Post rules visually (in writing for older kids, with drawings for younger kids)

When giving direction…

– Touch your child’s shoulder and encourage eye contact before giving a direction
– Only give a direction when you are able to follow through
– Have your child repeat directions and rules out loud in their own words

Rewards and punishments…

– Focus on the positive and give genuine praise and rewards frequently and immediately (Catch them being good!)
– Give mild but swift punishment for misbehavior
– Use high value rewards
– Change rewards frequently, every two to three weeks, to maintain their motivational value
– Behavior systems only work when they are being implemented, and they require ongoing monitoring and adjustment – Don’t give up too soon!

Other helpful suggestions…

– Establish consistent home routines
– Use clocks and timers for different activities and breaks
– Warn your child in advance of transitions (e.g., 10 minutes, 5 minutes, 1 minute)
– During homework, give frequent breaks (use a timer)
– Plan for problems: Identify times when your child tends to misbehave, discuss expectations in advance, and tell your child what will happen if they do not follow the rules

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