Executive Functions, Intelligence(s), The Learning Process: Effects of the ADHD spectrum, acquired brain injuries, epilepsy and seizures, and many learning disabilities have on these essential functions of the human mind

Main Areas of Interest on Spectrum of Minds

  • 1. Cognitive Diversity
  • 2. Executive Functions
  • 3. Intelligence(s)
  • 4. Learning
  • 5. The ADHD Spectrum & Executive Function
  • 6. Acquired Brain Injuries
  • 7. Epilepsy and Seizures 
  • 8. Various Learning Disabilities 
  • 9. Learning & Coping Strategies

and how all affect learning and functioning

Thank You for Learning with Us!

Beth D. Johnson, MEd+ 
Head Writer, Researcher, 
Spectrum of Minds™

Executive DYSFunctions + The ADHD Spectrum Equals Cause and Effect!

ADHD is a Problem Based on a Mixture of One's Executive DYSfunctions! It Does Not Stem From Low Intelligence or LAZINESS! 

Proven by thousands of brain imaging studies showing areas of the brain working TOO hard OR NOT hard enough to accomplish their tasks 

Example of a Whole Brain Image Scan

EVERYONE has trouble with their executive functions from time to time

 HOWEVER, those along the ADHD spectrum have trouble with their own specific mixture of executive DYSfunctions ALL the time (unless involved in something they are VERY INTERESTED IN).

** The ADHD Spectrum includes those who exhibit hyperactive and impulsive behaviors all the way to those who are extremely inattentive.

This includes during school ( for subjects and skills that they are not interested in) and those times when they are NOT at school (again, for those things for which they have no interest).

ADHD = Executive DYSfunctions

Executive dysfunctioning is THE main problem with the neurobiological disorder of ADHD, although this is debateable by some leaders in this area. 

It is easy to see why problems with memory, self-regulation, time, and the mental management of time, among other cognitive problems could be mistaken for low intelligence, laziness, brain damage, etc.

HOWEVER, this assumption is based on perceptions that have NO basis in the most recent research in brain functioning.
What has been learned in the last 10-20 years through new brain imaging technology, such as FMRI, MET and other functional, as opposed to, static imaging of the brain, has increased "real" knowledge of what is truly behaviors we can only guess about and make assumptions concerning motivations.

Gene studies, beginning with the World Genome Project has allowed scientists and researchers to isolate specific genes that create deficiencies in specific neurotransmitters essential for the effective workings of those brain regions that control executive functioning processes.

This chart from Thomas Brown, Phd.  summarizes the executive functions that are impaired in ADHD for your reference. 
(Remember that ADHD is an umbrella term for any of the subtypes of this disorder.)

Executive Impairments in ADHD

Different leaders in the field of attention deficit disorder, such as Dr. Russell Barkley and Dr. Thomas Brown, disagree on the exact executive functions involved in this disorder. However, they do agree that EF's are the main culprit involved in dysfunction. Regardless of their viewpoints, learning from what they know puts us all at a clear advantage when helping children and adults. In this short video, Russell Barkley discusses the executive functions involved in ADHD based on the research he follows.

Thoughts on Dyslexia, Intelligence, Being Different, ADHD, and Why People Have The Wrong Perspective in These Areas by Jonathan Mooney

Jonathan Mooney speaks on his book, "The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal", and disorders like dyslexia, ADHD, and others, including the problems with the way most people perceive differences such as these. 

About Jonathan Mooney
He grew up dyslexic and had learning extreme learning disabilities in a time when these problems were not acknowledged and helped on as broad of a scale as they are today (and we have a long way to go!). He learned to work with his differences and succeeded in college, making cognitive diversity his passion and life goal. 

About His Books and Speeches
His books, as well as, his talks are funny and inspirational. He gives practical and knowledgeable advice to anyone who has or deals with those who have conditions that create brain "wiring" that makes them learn or function different from the "norm".

The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal is the second of Jonathan Mooney's bestselling books.