Executive functions refer to the high-level skills that help humans get things done. They impact decision–making, self-control, and help with figuring out what to do, how to do it, and when to do it
· Paying attention
· Inhibiting inappropriate responses
Children with autism have difficulty with executive functioning. They may have trouble with certain skills like planning, staying organized, sequencing information, and self-regulating emotions.
Sometimes children with ASD pay attention to minor details, but they have trouble seeing how these details fit into a bigger picture. Others have trouble maintaining their attention in the classroom or other settings. When preparing to do a task, children may find it hard to organize their thoughts and actions to figure out what structure of steps is needed.
Executive functioning complications can also be related to poor impulse control. Some have difficulty with complex thinking that requires holding more than one train of thought at the same time.