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High School Student
Executive
Function Checklist

INSTRUCTIONS: Think about a specific student as you read through the Checklist. Consider which phrases describe a significant struggle for that student. (We all tap our fingers from time to time, but that does not represent a problem most of the time.) Check a box if the phrase describes a choice or behaviour that is a genuine obstacle for the student.

Inhibition
Working Memory
Shift
Emotional Control
Monitor (Self & Task)
Organization (Materials & Planning)
Initiation

How many checks represent a concern? There is no specific quantity of checks that represent a concern. To identify what supports to prioritize, consider how much of a problem is caused by each item. 

 

ANALYSIS: Executive functions are deeply interrelated so interpret these results thoughtfully. For example, “Does not study for tests” is an item listed under Organization (Materials and Planning) but it might just as well be listed under Inhibition. After all, there are many reasons why a student does not study for tests. One student might not study because they cannot put down the phone. Another student does not study because they do not have a reliable system to manage their notes and homework. Those students have different executive function profiles and need different types of support.

The Checklist was designed as a tool for helping students. It is a work-in-progress. 

If you have questions or suggestions for additional examples, please email them to jeffrey.maccormack@uleth.ca.

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