Help! What's the Link Between Executive Functions and ADHD?

I've heard a lot about executive functions, but I have to admit I don't really understand them. What are they, and how do they relate to ADHD?
The Experts | posted by Russell Barkley, Ph.D.

An executive function (EF) is a self-directed action, a kind of self-control, that is used to improve a person's future welfare — to accomplish a goal. I think there are at least six such actions: inhibition and resistance of distraction, self-awareness, working memory, planning and problem-solving, emotional self-control, and self-motivation. In my experience with ADHD, those with the condition have great difficulty using EFs (self-directed actions) for self-regulation and attaining their goals. This is due to a delay in the development of, or an injury to, those brain networks that create EFs and self-regulation.

ADHDers must either be helped to correct these delays/deficits, or at least compensate for them (through accommodations), in order to be more effective or successful in managing themselves.

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