Reading is a great life-long occupation! Did you know that there are books on executive functioning for all ages? Check out this list for your next read, while teaching kids about executive functioning skills…and maybe learning a thing or two yourself!
Books on Executive Functioning for All Ages
Books are an accessible and approachable learning opportunity for many skills, including executive functioning! From children’s books, to workbooks geared to teens, to evidence-filled books for adults, there is a plethora of option to meet your needs.
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Books on Executive Functioning for Ages 4-10
Experts support the use of books to support child development in social and emotional health, which is highly interconnected to executive functioning. Children in the early school-age range benefit from intentional introduction to these concepts. Many books geared toward this age lend themselves to activities to further solidify their concepts.
Here are a few favorites for this age range!
- The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds
- Books by Julia Cook, including It’s Hard to be a VERB!, -Difficulty with impulse control can look like wiggles, getting out of one’s seat, fidgeting, or constantly moving. This is a great book on managing impulses.
- My Mouth is a Volcano! – A great book on impulse control, managing thoughts and words, and teaching the skill of listening and waiting for one’s turn to speak.
- Planning Isn’t My Priority…and Making Priorities Isn’t in My Plans!– Planning, prioritizing, and thinking ahead can be hard. This book teaches kids about making choices, prioritizing, and using one’s strengths and weaknesses creatively to build these essential executive functioning skills.
- I Can’t Find My Watchamacallit!– Some kids are more organized than others. This books highlights unique skills and helps kids understand, develop, and apply organization skills.
These books can make reading fun for even the most hesitant reader!
Books on Executive Functioning for Ages 11-18
This is a fun (and critical) age range for executive functioning development! Self-awareness is beginning to develop further. These books emphasize skill development in this area to promote participation in everyday activities!
Check out these books for preteens and teens:
- Learning to Plan and Be Organized by Kathleen Nadeau, PhD
- Learning to Slow Down and Pay Attention by Kathleen Nadeau, PhD and Ellen B. Dixon, PhD
- The Executive Functioning Workbook for Teens: Help for Unprepared, Late, and Scattered Teens by Sharon A. Hansen
Books on Executive Functioning for Ages 18+
Whether an individual struggling with the demands of executive functioning in everyday life, a parent, or a professional, there are plenty of books for adults to learn more about executive functioning! Some are even available as audiobooks, if you are looking to develop the skill of shifting and divided attention by multitasking!
- Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary “Executive Skills” Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential by Peg Dawson, EdD and Richard Guare, PhD
- Smart but Scattered Teens: The “Executive Skills” Program for Helping Teens Reach Their Potential by Richard Guare, PhD, Peg Dawson, EdD, and Colin Guare
- Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents, Third Edition: A Practical Guide to Assessment and Intervention by Peg Dawson, EdD and Richard Guare, PhD
- The Smart but Scattered Guide to Success: How to Use Your Brain’s Executive Skills to Keep Up, Stay Calm, and Get Organized at Work and at Home by Peg Dawson, EdD and Richard Guare, PhD
- Late, Lost, and Unprepared: A Parents’ Guide to Helping Children with Executive Functioning by Joyce Cooper-Kahn, PhD and Laurie Dietzel, PhD
- Executive Functions: What They Are, How They Work, and Why They Evolved by Russell A. Barkley
In this list, you are bound to find some new favorites! Enjoy learning more about the brain. After all, that in itself is an executive function!
Kids of all ages (including adults) can use The Impulse Control Journal to work on self-regulation, self-control, planning, prioritization, and executive functioning skills in every day tasks. These hands-on journaling sheets are perfect for all ages. Grab the Impulse Control Journal here.
This post was written by contributing author, Emily Skaletski, MOT, OTR/L is a pediatric occupational therapist in the Madison, WI area. Emily participated in the Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association’s Emerging Leaders Program (2016), earned her level 1 digital badge in autism from the American Occupational Therapy Association (2017), received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Chatham University (2018), and was appointed the South-Central District Co-Chair of the Wisconsin Occupational Therapy Association (2019). Emily has presented at both state and national conferences and is passionate about professional development. While trained as a generalist, Emily particularly enjoys working with clients with autism spectrum disorder and challenges related to executive functioning skills.