By Dr. Dheeraj Mehrotra
You can follow a plethora of ways to assess if your child’s development in terms of executive skills is as per his/her age.
Does your child meet general expectations?
The first way is to know whether your child is meeting general expectations at the school. Many children not only excel in their academic by getting good grades but also properly manage their all responsibilities, including doing homework and other co-curricular activities. Executive skills of such children need to be honed up with utmost care so that they can progress further in their life.
However, there are children who are good in school but not that good when at home. There are several reasons behind this. Some of them can be like their siblings who may be getting on each other’s nerves, their home may not be as structured as their school is or executive functioning may be either very low or very high as compared to your child’s development.
To judge the caliber of your child, you need to know various responsibilities and tasks that are ideally expected from children of different age groups. For instance, children in preschool can easily understand one-step direction like to get shoes from bedroom. Similarly as they grow, they are given 2-3-step directions, perform simple chores and even help around the house with routine chores as per their age. The execution of these tasks by children will ultimately help you notice and understand the development of executive skills in children at different ages.
Certain factors of your child having executive skills weaknesses can be found out by looking closely to his/her behavioral and emotional response to the tasks being assigned to him. Figure out the executive skills required for a particular task and question yourself if your child possesses those skills to complete the task. If your child is able to do a task sometimes but not always, this directly signifies the weakness of an executive skill.
Compare your child with children of his/her age
Comparing your child with his/her classmates or friends may help you get an idea how executive skills in a child of that age develop. However, you should keep in mind that every child develops at his/her own pace and caliber. For instance, every child can’t be expected to start walking when he/she is 12 months, he/she can’t be expected to have developed the required executive skills at his/her age. If you think or find out that your child is developing certain executive skills late as per his age, contact the class teacher to know someone’s views on his/her development.
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