Still pondering on EFD (Executive Function Disorder)

Hello my lovely Bloggy friends,

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”

~William James

I read this quote and thought, “HOW?”

How do you choose one thought over another when there are so many. Very often it seems to me that the thought we follow is the one that nags the loudest.

But that is not always the best one to follow. It might not even be my own thought looping away in there. It could just be someone elses thoughts, feelings, opinions. This is in my head, it’s how my brain thinks. I know now that I am Aspie. I don’t know how others think but I’m guessing that most can choose one thought over another naturally, or with less effort, not so much stress and it’s not draining.

I am a big believer in journaling.

I have many journals for my many thoughts, feeling, inspirations and moods. I can’t always journal in the same way. I write lists, I keep reflections, I listen through my loops to my poetic ramblings. I write prayers and letters and I also express through my art, through quotes and lyrics when I have no words of my own.

Now look at this from Autism Discussion Page

The prefrontal lobe carries what is called the Executive Functioning skills. These skills allow us to attend to what is important, inhibit our impulses, and use forethought to evaluate possible effects of our behaviour before acting. It also allows us to break a task down, evaluate options, plan and organize a course of action. These skills also allow us to hold our plans in short memory while we carry out our course of action. Executive function is the “conductor” telling the rest of the brain how to work together to appraise, evaluate, and execute action. Without it we could not function in day to day living.

“Attend to what is important”

Executive Function Disorder causes me to get what is important all confused. Everything is important and somewhat overwhelming a lot of the time in my head.

As a small child with my family I knew who I could ask what I needed to do and when it needed to be done. My Mom was NeuroTypical (NT) and loved me unconditionally. Once I started school the confusion got so bad I cried because I didn’t want to go, but I didn’t understand why I didn’t want to go. By the time I started secondary school my anxiety went through the roof, I could hardly read, my hand writing was terrible and the classes I was in were full of bullies.

The William James quote is very true

Our greatest weapon against stress is the ability to choose one thought over another. But if the brain has less ability to do this, from what I can see it needs to be trained other ways, external ways to do this.

I started journaling in 1996

The exact date, 21st April, I know this because it was the day I got baptised and the day I started to let God help me to see what was important. I started to look to Jesus. I had always had Jesus as my friend, but now He had become my teacher too. I started reading my Bible and writing down what it spoke to me.

Those closest to me know from experience

I can’t always stop my brain from stressing about things that I believe to be important. Irrational fears can completely take over my thinking. When that happens it is all I can talk about, write about, pray about until I shutdown then I can’t talk at all. I said to my closest NT friend the other day, “When I am going into shutdown all I need to know is that you hear me, you love me and you won’t go away. You don’t have to find words to make me feel better, I just need to let it out and get through my process.”

I’m writing this down for this reason

I know that everyday my blog is read by many people. Some leave comments, but many don’t. I know that there are Aspies and parents of children on the spectrum all looking to find connection, answers, comfort, support, friendship, and to not feel alone. Every story is important because we never know what will pull things together bringing hope, comfort and healing to another. For me, sharing is like my therapy it brings me healing when I write what has been hidden for so long.

For those reading who also live in a spectrummy world

I know that if I would have found my passion as a teen, if I would have had the confidence to be me and have hobbies. If I would have only had a little self belief and did what was on my heart to do. If I would have known why I felt so alone and so very different. If I would have met other teens like me. Then maybe, just maybe I wouldn’t have gone through the pain of rejection, dejection, isolation, anxiety, abuse, self abuse and constant fear of loss. If what I write helps just one person then it’s worth me sharing.

Being able to write my thoughts down, learning to prioritise and assess.

I couldn’t do this as a child, so I always felt so very out of things. Friendships were so complicated and painful and consumed every minute I was at school. I cried that much about feeling alone that I got to a point where I just stopped crying. I stopped caring about me because it was the only way to function. I find it very sad now to think back to all those years I spent with no tears because I switched off to myself.

I just did, I stopped asking questions

I chose not to listen to who I was, I chose not to listen to how I felt. I just accepted that I was worth nothing and I believed that the world was a bad place. I found my escape in video games, heavy metal music, TV and nail polish.

Early intervention is key

Special interests are passions for every Aspie, child or adult. We connect, express and have hope through what we feel inside of us. Being able to share what excites us helps us to feel complete. Having love and acceptance for who we are makes all the difference and helps us to show love in return.

I know for myself that EFD and SPD make me impulsive.

I can’t stop my body even when my brain is saying, “First you need to do this Lisa.” The loops will not stop and if I am stopped from having an interest, a passion, I switch off and do nothing. I do know however, with the right type of person helping me, or knowing God is directing me my interests can be expanded on. Also I am learning to plan so I don’t keep getting sidetracked, or stuck in my flow activities.

My Bloggy friend Lori put it this way (This is a link to Lori’s Blog)

“I lose myself in the maze of my mind on a regular basis.”

Excellent quote, I love it! Thanks lori 🙂

As an Adult Aspie and Mom to Aspies

I have found ways of directing my children’s special interests. I have expanded their special interests and helped them set achievable goals. Once they show a passion I find a way to help that passion grow and become a means to help them.

Yes…I spend a lot of time researching.

Yes…it is hard when I am dyslexic.

But my kids are worth every second, as I am sure every Mom to an ASD child will agree.

Love and hugs.

Lisa. xx 🙂

A link to what I have so far on EFD, I’m still pondering on it all. If anyone else has written posts about this and would like to share please leave your links in my comments and I can add them to this post. Thank you.

Executive Function Disorder and the Senegal Parrot

Links on EFD written by my friends.

Executive functioning and visual aids.

You Down With EFD? (Executive Functioning Disorder)


7 thoughts on “Still pondering on EFD (Executive Function Disorder)

  1. I read your opening quote and before moving on, I winced. Yet, the next words I read were:

    ‘I read this quote and thought, “HOW?”’

    Ah, sweet relief! Then, I read on:

    “How do you choose one thought over another when there are so many.”

    I think you summed up all of autism with that simple sentence. Daily, I feel blasted with symphonies of ideas, they are all so melodic, compeling, how do I choose a single one and move forward? How can I do anything with so many possiblities?

    The world dazzles me. Thoughts are like a bakery–so many delicious options, but the mouth can only hold so much. Even stuffed to bursting the nose smells and mouth salivates. My poor mind! It bursts with ideas like an overfilled stomach!

    Thank you Lisa, for the inspiration and curious thoughts!

  2. I have read your post but haven’t got around to reading the inks yet. Sometimes I have to take one thing in at a time. Neuro Typicals go through exact same fears, fear of acceptance, rejection and insecurity are all feelings I am very familiar with. I think we all find our own ways of offloading as we are all different. Mine is in music and poetry and artistic expression. I have had to change my expectations of how others react towards me, otherwise I would be very unhappy. Love you xxxx

  3. I found this entry when googling opinions on the cause of EFD. When my son began to suspect either Autism or Asperger’s for his son, we all stopped to ponder. Myself, my two boys, and my grandson all have “aspects” of Aspie, although many things do not fit. The reason I was looking for causes of EFD is in trying to understand my own thought patterns and behavior. Your initial quote here, arrested me. Like Lori, I felt a surge of relief at your confession to wondering HOW. It kept me reading. I am 57 years old. Yesterday is the first time in my entire life that I recall realizing as I was formulating thoughts that I had a choice in what I was thinking, and how I could choose my reaction to an impending situation. The fact that that thought even AROSE — the fact that I realized I had a choice — is cause for celebration for me. I am eager to read more of your blog. I will never cease in this life to seek answers, to keep learning — even if only to pass on to those who come after what I have learned.

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