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Executive Functioning Support

Get the support and services you need with ITP.

Our approach to ABA often includes executive functioning (EF) support, particularly for older learners. Following George McCloskey’s identification of executive functions, our programming promotes generalization of those skills that allow you or your loved one to navigate socially significant environments from home to school to the workplace. In particular, we have worked extensively to support learners in their teen and young adult years by focusing on EF skills.

Executive Functions in your everyday life

Marvin (4 years old) has had a hard time putting the iPad away when it is time for bed, with EF support he can learn to interrupt his favorite iPad activities and smoothly transition into bedtime.

Sophia (12 years old) can't keep track of her school supplies, her chargers, and her homework--it's been really hard for her folks to get her prepared for school on weekdays, but with EF support she picks up organizational skills that make mornings better for the whole family.

Alex (21 years old) has been ordering excessively from online retailers and has been having negative interactions with his coworkers, but with EF coaching he can learn to inhibit his spending and have coping strategies at work.

What are Executive Functions?

Executive functions are not the mental processes that we use to think, act, or feel, but rather the processes that direct us to do so. Our approach to programming centers your needs and the skills you need to use in the most important parts of your life. Starting with your strengths, we successively build layers of EF support to allow you or your loved one to access their skills across environments, providing a smooth pathway to achieving your goals.


Here is how McCloskey, in his paper, Executive Functioning: A General Overview, describes EF skills:


  • Inhibiting reflexive, impulsive responding;

  • Stopping, or interrupting, and returning to, an ongoing activity;

  • Directing and focusing attentional processes, screening out interference and distractions, and sustaining attention

  • Cueing the initiation of effort and judgments about the amount of effort required to complete a task, and the sustaining of a sufficient amount of effort to effectively complete the task

  • Demonstrating flexibility to consider the need for changes and the capacity for shifting of cognitive resources to focus on new demands or to respond to new conditions or new information

  • Directing the efficient use of, and alternation between, pattern and detail processing (Knowing when to focus on the “big picture” and when to concentrate on the details, and when to switch between the two).

  • Monitoring and regulating speed of information processing; finding the right combination of speed and accuracy for optimal performance of an activity

  • Monitoring and correcting task performance for accuracy and efficiency

  • Overseeing the selection of verbal-nonverbal and abstract-concrete information processing mechanisms

  • Directing motor output, altering performance based on feedback

  • Directing the efficient use of fluid reasoning resources

  • Directing the use of working memory resources – that is, directing the ability to hold and mentally manipulate information

  • Directing the efficient and fluent production of language when highly specific production demands are made

  • Directing the integration of multiple abilities to produce oral or written responses or products that reflect the level of capacity of the component abilities involved

  • Directing the efficient placement of information in long-term storage

  • Directing the retrieval of information from long-term storage

  • Regulating social behavior

  • Regulating emotional control

  • Enabling self-observation and self-analysis

  • Making use of hindsight and foresight in the direction of current processing

  • Enabling the capacity to “take the perspective of the other” in order to infer how someone is perceiving, thinking, or feeling at a given point in time

Ready to find out more?

We want to talk with you. How can we support your transition into a new phase of life? Learn more about ways you can benefit by scheduling a consultation today.

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