Updated: Jan 22
So this blog post will be about me talking about Executive Function in Autistics, and my experiences with Executive Function. Hopefully you can relate to these!
First of all, what does Executive Functioning mean? Executive Function is a term that is widely used in autism circles to describe a broad array of skills that have to do with an individual’s cognitive function. Some sources say that up to 80% of those with autism suffer from executive function disorder.
Some examples of Executive Functioning Disorder in Autistics are cleaning your room, time management, dishwashing, organization, and Sensory Overload!
Personally, I tend to struggle to clean my room, because I sometimes feel that on some days i do not have the energy to do it or am feeling quite lethargic. So, if you saw my recent blog, this is why i tend to do it in the evenings when im most active, if you get what i mean! Managing time can also be a challenge, because sometimes when diary meetings are set for me to attend with other people, i tend to sometimes forget even though its in my diary. Organisation can be also troublesome too, because even though some people say im a god organiser and may be the organised person they may have seen, sometimes my room and my calendar can become messy.. i sometimes have lots of things going on in my head at once, meetings, tasks to do, videos to make, friends to meet, and despite i just about do these tasks well, sometimes i break down and its not no ones fault that i do but its because of so much stuff in my head that it overpowers my brain, like vroom vroom, lol, imagine a car going at top speed but you do not fill it up with petrol, its like that, the thoughts are the speed, and the sensory overload is the override that burns my brain out sometimes.. hence i take breaks often, to try and steady that. otherwise id be a mess imo
Just a Note..
Now, despite communication issues, especially in public that can be a problem for Autistics, note that is not the case when it comes to Executive Function within Autistics, Us Autistics can respond, talk and engage with people but for me personally, sometimes its about organised quickly, like if i send a message, usually ill get back to person "x" but on days i have bad days that can take days to recover from hence sometimes my replies to people can be delayed. Autistic Children with Executive Functioning can sometimes struggle, with engaging in sophisticated play, or playtime, so if they want to play on the swing, a lot of the time teachers go out and help them do that, they do not tend to initiate the first exercise but wait to be prompted in order to do so because they have difficulty understanding or interacting with that activity, if that makes sense and have difficulty with executive function.
So Executive Functioning "labels" or "categories", now the reason I've put these two words in speech marks, is because i hate HATE LABELS, i hate labelling, and categorizing Autistics in boxes, but before i tell you why, ill explain the labels of Executive Functioning first:
So theres High Functioning, and Low Functioning across the Autistic Spectrum, and if you are autistic theres factors to level up where you stand on the Autistic Spectrum, first of all, how you communicate to others, do you need support? do you need assistance with talking and socialising with others, normally this is very prevalent in High Functioning Autistics than low functioning Autistics, The ability to live independently, can you live independently without much support, Can you write fluently, do you need assistance when it comes to writing, for example writing an email, or writing a letter. did you do well in education, did you need help at school, Jobwise how are you when it comes to looking for work. Do you need assistance, are you able to engage in activities, that require independence and group work? Among so many other tasks and work.
Notice that most of these "High Functioning Autistics" can do compared to and Low Functioning Autistics..