Executive Function and its Implication for Early Developmental Disorders

The Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation hosted a seminar delivered by one of its international Visiting Scholars, Dr Nancy Garon, entitled: "Executive function and its implication for early development disorders: Are we missing something?"


Dr Garon, based at Mount Alison University, Canada, gave the seminar on 4th August. Her research focuses on the early development of executive function (EF) and temperament, and how they are associated with social adjustment. Her work includes examination of the development of decision making – as a type of executive function – and its association with emotional functioning. She has developed a battery of executive functioning tests for pre-schoolers and used this to inform on the development of executive functioning in children with autism. She is also interested in profiles of temperament in young children that are associated with high risk of autism.

This talk reviewed EF in typical and atypical development, with special emphasis on early development.  It  argued that the development and integration of 'hot' and 'cool' EF is critically important for clarifying our understanding of early developmental disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Finally, an integrative framework, which considers hot and cool EF and how it may be related to different disorders, was suggested.


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