What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is the only profession that helps people across the lifespan to do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations).

What are Executive Functions?

Executive functions are those capacities of the brain that allow a person to recognize the tasks that he or she needs to do, be motivated adequately to begin those task, plan for and organize how to accomplish the tasks, initiate the various components of the tasks without excessive delay, and sustain effort and actions needed to complete the tasks.

Executive functions can be described as:

  • CEO at Fortune 500 company overseeing everyday operations
  • Conductor of an orchestra- orchestrating a complex musical ensemble
  • Air traffic controller-working to maintain safe orderly skies

Executive functions not fully developed until mid to late 20’s.

Executive function difficulties can include challenges with the following:

  • Organization/prioritization/activating to work
  • Focusing/sustaining and shifting attention to tasks
  • Regulating alertness, sustaining effort, and adjusting processing speed
  • Managing frustration and modulating emotions
  • Utilizing working memory and accessing recall
  • Monitoring and self-regulation action

What does occupational therapy at ACES Clinic do?

  • Conduct a standardized executive function assessment
  • Develop appropriate treatment plan to improve executive function skills

Sources: AOTA.org; Thomas E. Brown (2017); Fuster (2015)