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Executive functioning issues

Executive Functioning Issues: What You’re Seeing in Your High-Schooler

By Amanda Morin

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Executive functioning issues may show up in different ways in high school as your child becomes more independent. The following symptoms are typical of executive functioning issues, which often occurs with ADHD.

253Found this helpful
Executive Functioning Issues: What You’re Seeing in Your High-Schooler
Teens with executive functioning issues may struggle to organize their thoughts as well as their things. They could have a hard time keeping track of time, too. Here’s what you might see.

Argues Ineffectively
At home: Your child tries to convince you to extend curfew, but can’t give you any good reasons why you should.
At school: Your child gets a bad grade on an essay for not using enough detail, repeating things or making odd comparisons.
The issue: Kids with executive functioning issues can have difficulty organizing thoughts to make a case, especially when they’re feeling pressured.

Waits Until the Last Minute
At home: Your child hasn’t filled out any of the job applications that have been sitting on the counter for a month.
At school: Your child gets a bad grade on a book critique because she turned it in late or didn’t finish the whole assignment.
The issue: Kids with executive functioning issues might struggle to make a plan to get something done and often have trouble figuring out where to start.

Is Out of Sync Socially
At home: Your child doesn’t know when she’s overstayed her welcome at a friend’s house.
At school: Your child has trouble working on group projects and says the other kids won’t work with her—and she might not even know why.
The issue: Many kids with executive functioning issues don’t read other people’s cues well and have trouble knowing when their behavior is inappropriate.

Runs Out of Time
At home: Your child said she would pick up her younger siblings from school but is “right in the middle of something” when it’s time to do so.
At school: Your child has trouble finishing even short-answer tests during the time allotted.
The issue: Kids with executive functioning issues may have difficulty gauging how much time is needed to get something done.
Graphic of Executive Functioning Issues-What You're Seeing in Your High-Schooler
Graphic of Executive Functioning Issues-What You're Seeing in Your High-Schooler

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About the Author

Portrait of Amanda Morin

Amanda Morin is a parent advocate, a former teacher and the author of The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education.

Reviewed by

Portrait of Bob Cunningham

Bob Cunningham, Ed.M., serves as advisor-in-residence on learning and attention issues for Understood.

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