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Executive functioning issues

4 Ways Executive Functioning Issues Can Affect Your Child’s Social Life

By Amanda Morin

13Found this helpful

Executive functioning issues affect the way children think and approach problems. These issues can make it hard to interact with people. Here are four common social challenges kids with executive functioning issues may face—and ways you can help.

13Found this helpful
4 Ways Executive Functioning Issues Can Affect Your Child’s Social Life

Executive functioning skills are mental processes we use daily to do things like organize and pay attention. Kids with executive functioning issues might run into trouble socially. Here’s how that can play out.

1 Social Challenge
Your child loses things he borrowed or forgets appointments.

The executive functioning link:
Kids with executive functioning issues struggle with organization.
How you can help:
Get your child into the habit of writing down appointments as well as what he’s borrowed or lent. Review this information with him regularly

2 Social Challenge

Your child has trouble understanding other people’s viewpoints.
The executive functioning link:
Kids with executive functioning issues can be “inflexible” thinkers.

How you can help:
Work together to come up with ideas for getting along better with a friend, such as letting his friend choose an activity for the first half of their next playdate.
3 Social Challenge

Your child blurts out whatever is on his mind.

The executive functioning link:
Kids with executive functioning issues often have difficulty controlling their impulses or sensing when they’re making social mistakes.
How you can help:
Agree on a subtle signal you can use to let your child know he’s saying something he shouldn’t. Afterward, talk about why the situation went the way it did.
4 Social Challenge

Your child has meltdowns at social events.

The executive functioning link:
Kids with executive functioning issues struggle to control their emotions, especially when frustrated or unsure of what’s expected of them.
How you can help:
Play 'Follow the Leader' at home without either of you using any words. Feeling comfortable doing things for reasons he doesn’t fully understand can make it easier to participate in new situations.
4 Ways Executive Functioning Issues Can Affect Your Child's Social Life
4 Ways Executive Functioning Issues Can Affect Your Child's Social Life

Trouble with social situations can be hard on your child’s self-esteem. But just because he’s struggling now doesn’t mean he always will be. There a number of ways you can help your child build up social skills, develop more confidence and ultimately learn to make and keep friends.

About the Author

Amanda Morin

Amanda Morin

As a writer specializing in parenting and education, Amanda Morin draws on her experience as a teacher, early intervention specialist and mom to children with learning issues.

More by this author

Reviewed by Bob Cunningham Feb 16, 2014 Feb 16, 2014

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