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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Anxiety and Learning Differences

In this WEBINAR VIDEO RECORDING, Dr. Hilary Murphy, PhD, a Neuropsychologist at CNNH NeuroHealth, approaches the topic of Anxiety in the classroom from a clinical perspective. She explores the many relationships between, and contributors of, anxiety and learning differences for developing students. This webinar should help both Educators and Parents to better understand and manage potential issues of their students and children.

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The Value of a Neuropsychological Evaluation


Presented by: Michelle Humm, PhD, Neuropsychologist at CNNH

A comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation may be recommended by a neurologist, pediatrician, or Child Study Team to measure a child’s intellectual and academic abilities, information processing, learning and memory, attention and executive functioning, and other relevant cognitive skills. It might also address social, emotional, and/or behavioral concerns. A variety of assessments are used to collect these data, depending on the specific referral question. This webinar recording addresses what to expect from a neuropsychological evaluation, how a neuropsychologist evaluates these abilities, the value of neuropsychological assessments for children and adolescents, and what doctors, educators, and parents can learn from them.

“Wisdom from Wall” is a Webinar series presented by our clinicians at the CNNH – Wall Township office in an effort to showcase the wonderful staff we have working at that location.

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Executive Dysfunction and Academic Performance


This Webinar Recorded on November 16th, 2017 as part of our “Wisdom from Wall” series.

Presented by: Hilary Murphy, PhD, Neuropsychologist at CNNH

Executive functioning is an umbrella term encompassing a myriad of individual skills necessary for academic success and self-sufficiency. Weaknesses in these areas often manifest most prominently in late childhood and early adolescence and present as a challenge for parents and educators, alike. Although executive functioning has been an area of increasing interest in education, psychology, and the general media, it is often unclear how this skill set relates to school performance and everyday functioning. This webinar will focus on reviewing the specific abilities subsumed under the term “executive functioning” as well as the educational and functional implications of deficits in these areas. In addition, a brief review of interventions and strategies for addressing these difficulties will be provided.

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Specialty Care Medical Home and the Changing Landscape of Healthcare Delivery

Mark Mintz, MD, President, Founder and CEO of CNNH, discusses the changing landscape of healthcare delivery models, what is a medical home, and what is special about CNNH’s “Specialty Care Medical Home”® model of care.

This conversation occurred during Practical Neurology’s coverage of the American Epilepsy Society’s 2015 69th Annual Meeting: https://www.aesnet.org/meetings_events/annual_meeting/general_info

This video is courtesy of Practical Neurology and Bryn Mawr Communications, see more coverage of AES 2015 here: http://practicalneurology.com/series/daily-coverage-aes-philadelphia-2015/video.asp?f=agegorew

CNNH Presents Research Findings at Autism Research Summit


Article Excerpt from “State’s First Summit on Autism Aims to Broaden Definition” by Briana Vannozzi – NJTV News:

A broader definition of autism, it’s a change researchers agree was needed.

“These individuals with autism have many different different reasons why they have this common final pathway to developmental issues and behavioral problems,” said Dr. Mark Mintz, President and CEO for the Center for Neurological and Neurodevelopmental Health.

And these doctors and families want to know why. This statewide summit on the autism spectrum disorder — held at Montclair State University — brought together some of the state’s leading minds to present the latest research.

“The problem with autism is you can make a diagnosis for autism without regard to what causes it from a biological perspective. So our research is really trying to understand the biological causes and contributions to autism spectrum disorders,” Mintz said.

Genetic sequences and DNA patterns were a big topic today. Researchers say they’ve found that the features of autism share many genetic similarities with other neurological disorders.

“If we approach the behaviors more as a neurological disorder, than the treatments might be total different,” Mintz said.

21 Days to a Happier Lens

It all started way back in the summer of 2013. I was home with my teenage son, who was serially watching TED talks on his computer. From the kitchen, I overheard an engaging man speaking about Positive Psychology. “Wait!! Hold up!!,” I shouted, “Please restart that from the beginning!”. I had never heard of Positive Psychology. The ideas were intriguing and, for me, life changing.

The speaker’s name was Shawn Achor. He is an alumnus of Harvard University who has taught a class called “The Happiness Class”. Yes…he teaches a class on happiness to Harvard students.

Happiness is something we all want. Happiness is something that we all wish for ourselves, and especially for our children. But what can we do about making happiness a habit? Isn’t happiness just something that happens out of our control? Something you are or aren’t? How can we teach happiness?

Mr. Achor’s theory is that happiness is something we can achieve by doing, something we can actively pursue, something our brain can learn. We can change our brain through practice. We can make ourselves be happier by using our brain’s neuroplasticity (i.e. the ability of the brain to change and reorganize in response to behavior, memory, development, learning, and environmental influences) to our advantage.

Most people I know base their happiness on their achievements and rewards; that kind of happiness is often fleeting, though, or off in the distance. Perhaps we are happy… for a while. It is something that comes over us, but is it a general state of being? Could we achieve more in our lives if we started from a place of happiness rather than a place of chasing happiness? These are all questions asked and answered in Mr. Achor’s book, The Happiness Advantage.

The idea of doing something to become happier intrigued me. I had been working with my clients for years to change the way they think in order to change their emotional response to events and thus their actions. But this idea was new. I have been thinking about Mr. Achor’s ideas and applying some of them to my own life. I have even begun sharing them with clients in therapy sessions. His ideas about happiness are very accessible for people of all age groups, and I’d like to share them with you, too!

Here’s the idea… It takes 21 days to change a habit. Can we make happiness into a habit? Let’s try!

For 21 days do these 5 things, every day, and I guarantee YOU WILL BE HAPPIER!

  1. At the end of each day think of three things for which you are grateful or appreciative. Three different things for each of the 21 days!
  2. Write a journal entry about a positive event that happened to you that day.
  3. Exercise at least 10 minutes per day. Exercise helps to change neurotransmitters and alter your mindset.
  4. Meditate at least 10 minutes per day. Meditation is a great way to clear your mind of its preoccupations, eliminating any stress and anxiety that builds up throughout the day.
  5. Do one conscious random act of kindness each day. This does not have to be something difficult, make it an easy thing to fit into your day.


  • For me, it helped me stick to the exercise by emailing my #1’s and #2’s to a friend.
  • For me, after Day 10 I had a HARD TIME coming up with three different things I was grateful for EVERY DAY, and when I had a bad day, I had a hard time coming up with a positive story. But this challenge FORCED ME to search for things throughout my day that were positive stories and for things to be grateful for or appreciative of, and thus changed the lens through which I saw the world.
  • For me, this exercise was life changing.
  • I have taught this to 5 year olds and 75 year olds, and everyone likes it!
  • “Can I draw a picture of the positive story?  I don’t like to write,” asked one 9-year-old client. “Of course you can!”
  • The same client asked, “Can I bounce a ball against the wall when I meditate? It helps me clear my mind.” “If your Mom lets you, of course you can!”

Make these exercises fun and light!

Change your habits. Change your lens!

By Cindy Feder