Lori Kury brings 29 years of experience as a speech language pathologist to her private practice here in Charlotte known as BrainStorm Cognitive Wellness and Speech Therapy. She has worked improving communication and cognition in children, teenagers and adults with neurologic disorders such as head trauma, post concussion syndrome, language learning disorders and dysphagia. She treats children, teens and adults with cognitive impairment, post concussion syndrome, and language learning disorders.
She has provided speech and language therapy in a variety of settings including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and private schools. Now we get her at Charlotte Smarty Pants! Lori can help Smarties understand speech pathology, cognitive wellness and what she does to help those who need some assistance.
In today’s Q and A, Lori explains executive functions.
Q: What exactly are executive functions?
A: In simplest terms, executive function means the ability to get things done. A few examples include: completing homework, cleaning a room, writing papers, studying for a test etc. It is the systems the brain uses to execute complex tasks through to completion.
Q: Who can have difficulty with executive functions?
A: Executive function difficulties are common in children, teens and/or adults who have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD/ADHD), language processing disorders, those who’ve suffered traumatic brain injury or have post concussive syndrome.
Q: Can you share some ways executive function difficulties show up in every day life:
A: Sure. Some examples are as follows:
– always losing keys, phone, wallet or other personal items
– overreacting to a problem with friend and or family member or school situation
– finding and keeping up with papers in locker, backpack or desk
– getting overly upset when your plans get changed at the last minute
– forgetting about a practice or appointment, missing a work shift
– feeling overwhelmed with a project, task or homework…not knowing where to start
– always being late
– underestimating how long it will take to finish a task/project
– making impulsive comments or decisions and regretting it
– not knowing how to prioritize tasks
– rushing through chores, homework and work, making careless errors.
Q: Who should my child or family member see If I suspect difficulty with executive functions?
A: A licensed speech pathologist with a background in treating cognitive disorders is a great place to start. Of course consulting your pediatrician or family doctor can be helpful if you need to be tested for ADD or ADHD. They can refer you to a neurologist, psychologist or psychiatrist for diagnostic testing.
Q: What are treatment strategies for helping those with executive function difficulties/disorders?
A: BrainStorm Cognitive Wellness and Speech Therapy uses a holistic approach in treating patients with executive function difficulty. This means we gather information from doctors, parents, teachers, along with interviewing the child, and possibly observing them at home and school. Our therapy is based on working with each patient’s individual areas of difficulty and teaching him or her strategies or providing tools to manage the problem area. Along with specific treatment strategies, we also work with healthy eating, sleep patterns, exercise and other ways to support a healthy brain.
Q: Why is anxiety so prevalent in individuals who have ADD/ ADHD/ Executive Function Disorders/ Post Concussive Syndrome and TBI?
A: Anxiety and ADHD/ADD definitely have a powerful link. When a person is overwhelmed by circumstances around them, worry and stress creep in and take over thoughts in the brain. This causes a vicious cycle of negative thinking, discomfort, difficulty handling emotions and even physical symptoms that are difficult to ignore. Most adolescents and young children are not equipped with the tools to handle these feelings, or to even recognize them. They begin to believe that something is wrong with them, and that they cannot learn or function like “everyone else”.
BrainStorm Cognitive Wellness & Speech Therapy
6827 Fairview Rd, Unit-A
Charlotte, NC 28210