SKILL… OR WILL?
Introducing the New FRDC-Executive Functioning Evaluation
Do you find yourself frustrated with constantly repeating the same directions to your child? Are you exhausted
from having to manage every step of your child’s life so that things don’t get lost, forgotten or ignored? Do you
wonder why your child can’t work efficiently, even after you have discussed how to get things done? Is your child
prone to temper outbursts at the smallest issue? Do you debate if your child is lazy, spoiled, selfish, or if they are
choosing to act this way?
While parents expect to take care of a baby’s every need, one hopes that the child will become more self-sufficient
as they approach their teen years. However, many children struggle with the skills necessary to be independent and
efficient, which is commonly referred to as “executive functioning” (or “EF”). The executive functions are a set of
processes that have to do with managing oneself and one's resources in order to achieve a goal. It is an umbrella
term for the neurologically-based skills involving mental control and self-regulation. The executive functions are a
diverse, overlapping set of skills identified in the list below.
Inhibition: Ability to stop one's own behavior (actions/thoughts) at the appropriate time, the converse being impulsivity
Flexible Thinking: Ability to move freely from one situation to another and to think flexibly in order to respond appropriately to the situation
Emotional Control: Ability to modulate emotional responses by bringing rational thought to bear on feelings.
Initiation: Ability to begin a task or activity and to independently generate ideas, responses, or problem-solving strategies
Working Memory: Capacity to hold information in mind for the purpose of completing a task
Planning: Ability to manage current and future- oriented task demands
Organization: Ability to impose order on work, play, and storage spaces
Self-Monitoring: Ability to monitor one's own performance and to measure it against some standard of what is needed or expected
While executive functions (EF) are brain-based, they are also skills that can be strengthened, mediated and
addressed through targeted interventions. The Family Resource & Development Center is excited to announce that
we will now be offering an assessment of executive functioning that can pinpoint the areas of weakness that are
hindering your child from meeting their goals, as well as identify stronger skills which can be utilized for
intervention. The FRDC-EF Evaluation (“EF Eval”) includes a dynamic battery of formal and informal measures
to screen for all of the areas of executive functioning, including measures to assess symptoms of ADHD. The
FRDC-EF Eval can result in recommendations for future therapy services, suggestions for learning
accommodations in school (504 and IEP based supports) as well as structures and parenting practices that can be
implemented within the home setting for a more positive family climate.
Questions & Answers About the FRDC EF-Eval
Q: What measures will be included within the test battery?
A: The battery will always be personalized to the individual needs of the client, but can include parent/teacher/self
ratings scales for EF, parent/teacher/self ratings for ADHD, performance-based ADHD measures, EF behavior
checklists, and a background/developmental history.
Q: How is the FRDC EF Eval different from a
neuropsychological evaluation? Can it replace a neuropsych?
A: While the FRDC EF Eval measures many of the same areas as a neuropsych (even using many common tools), a
neuropsychological also measures overall cognitive abilities that may detect processing deficits and learning
disabilities. The FRDC EF Eval is designed to assess the skills and behavior of children who demonstrate the
capacity to learn, but struggle to complete tasks, attain goals and manage oneself.
Q: How long does the FRDC EF Eval process take?
A: Since the test battery is designed individually for each client, the time can vary, but will typically involve a
60-minute in-person session for the client and their parents to review background history/symptoms, complete
performance tasks, rating scales and additional required forms.. School-based measures will be provided
electronically to selected staff. Once all measures are completed, a follow-up 60-minute session will be scheduled
within 2-3 weeks with parents to review the results and report.
Q: What types of information will be included within the report?
A: The comprehensive report will include a relevant history of behaviors of concern, specific scores from
standardized rating and performance measures, defined areas of deficits, multiple accommodations for the home
environment related to the individual deficits identified, school-based accommodations that can be used for
504/IEP services (if applicable), and recommendations for therapeutic goals. Applicable diagnoses relating to
attentional and executive functioning disorders will also be included within the comprehensive report.
Q: What is the cost of the FRDC EF Eval?
A: The cost of the direct evaluation session and associated report is $1,000.00. Additional services can be arranged
including consultation with school personnel and/or individual therapist, participation in school meetings
(504/PPT) and ongoing individual/family therapy to address skill deficits and needs, for additional cost.
Q: What can I do with the information provided in the report?
A: The report can provide useful information to increase structure in order to support EF deficits both at home and
school. The report can also be used for eligibility for 504 services within the learning environment. The
information may also be helpful for medication management.