“Optimizing Executive Functions in Children and Adults with ADHD” [Video Replay & Podcast #383]
Access the video replay, listen to the podcast episode (#383), download the slide presentation, and learn how to get a certificate of attendance for this ADHD Experts webinar originally broadcast on December 14, 2021.
To succeed in school, at work, and in life itself, your executive functions need to be sharp and working well. What are ‘executive functions,’ exactly? The abilities to reason and creatively problem-solve, to exercise self-control and resist temptations, to think before you speak or act, to stay focused and concentrate, and to exercise the flexibility to see things from different perspectives and adapt to change. The good news is that executive functions can be improved at any age.
Stress (even mild stress) seriously impairs executive functions. Mindfulness practices that involve movement (such as t’ai chi or taekwondo) have been especially successful in improving executive functions. School programs such as Tools of the Mind, MindUP, Montessori, and PATHs also help to optimize executive functions. Like mindful movement practices, they train and challenge diverse executive function skills and reduce stress in many ways.
Almost any activity improves executive functions if it challenges you, and you enjoy the activity enough to keep working at it and pushing yourself. The most successful programs involve more instructor-trainee interaction than offered by most computerized training. Having a supportive mentor who firmly believes in you and the efficacy of the program, and who genuinely cares about you, is critical to the success of any program in improving executive functions.
Recommendations for children or adults with ADHD who want to optimize or improve their executive functions include:
- Commit to doing an activity you really love that requires, trains, and challenges executive functions – it could be a practicing traditional martial art, performing with a band, or pursuing photography, dance, orienteering, gardening, etc. – try to push yourself outside your comfort zone.
- Take steps to reduce stress in your life – for example, try to avoid stressful situations or defuse them, try to maintain a regular routine and put things in the same place so you can find them, follow a mindfulness or yoga practice, spend more time out in nature or with a pet, and remember that no one is perfect, so don’t be so hard on yourself.
Watch the Video Replay
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Download or Stream the Podcast Audio
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More on Executive Functions
- Free Download: Common Executive Function Challenges — and Solutions
- Self-Test: Could You Have an Executive Function Deficit?
- Self-Test: Could Your Child Have an Executive Function Deficit?
Obtain a Certificate of Attendance
If you attended the live webinar on December 14, 2021, watched the video replay, or listened to the podcast, you may purchase a certificate of attendance option (cost: $10). Note: ADDitude does not offer CEU credits. Click here to purchase the certificate of attendance option »
Meet the Expert Speaker:
A leader in two fields, psychology and neuroscience, Adele Diamond, Ph.D., FRSC, helped pioneer a now flourishing interdisciplinary field called “developmental cognitive neuroscience.” As the Canada Research Chair Tier 1 Professor of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of British Columbia, Dr. Diamond studies how executive functions can be modified by the environment, modulated by genetics and neurochemistry, derailed in disorders, and improved by effective programs and interventions. Her work has helped change medical practice for the treatment of PKU (phenylketonuria) and for the inattentive type of ADHD, and it has impacted early education worldwide.
“So glad that you brought in Adele Diamond! She is a great scientist and does a phenomenal job communicating information in a way that is meaningful and easy to understand.”
“This was by far one of the most engaging, well-paced, and insightful webinars I’ve attended. I’ll get lots out of this for days to come as I review my notes and the slides.”
“Expert was extremely knowledgeable; webinar was very useful and provided concrete tips that I will apply.”
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