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  • Writer's pictureMinna

Is it ADHD/Autism-related executive dysfunction or is it something else?

The most common reason clients seek out my coaching services is to learn how to recover from burnout. The second most common reason clients reach out is to get help improving their executive dysfunction. This is not a coincidence.

Clients generally assume their executive dysfunction is directly due to autism and/or ADHD and are seeking strategies to help them accomplish the tasks they need or want to. Sometimes they’ve already done ADHD skills programs but are having trouble sticking to the tactics learned. While I do have a plethora of “executive function hacks” to share, the strategies are not where I start.

Before diving into learning new “skills”, it’s important to take a look at the entire picture of what is going on in your life. What are your primary needs? Are they being met? What’s your physical health status? What type of support do you have? What types of support do you need?

So often, I see clients trying to push themselves through what they thought was autism/ADHD-related executive dysfunction, when really they are struggling to add more to their plate because they are totally over-capacity. No amount of new “skills” are going to magically create infinite capacity.

Once we adjust what’s already on their plate and look for ways to better get their needs met, the “executive dysfunction” they were struggling with often clears up or becomes irrelevant. Whatever executive dysfunction remains will be more responsive to the strategies they’ve already heard of or new ones I share with them. Because improving executive function is not about learning how to push yourself even harder- it’s about learning to take care of yourself and operate sustainably within your bandwidth.


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