User:Teromakotero/Autism/Executive Dysfunction Theory

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 Executive Dysfunction Theory

The hypothesis has been suggested that one of the primary cognitive deficiencies in autism is executive function, namely the difficulty to planning strategies for obtaining goals. Autistic person's daily life is complicated by the lack of ability to plan for the future. (Schreibman 2005, 118; Kerola & Kujanpää 2009, 116.)

Autistic people have well known difficulty to design strategies to achieve the objectives, to start things or to get things completed. Researchers have speculated that executive function deficits may also be responsible for the deficiencies in Theory of Mind. (Schreibman 2005, 118; Kerola & Kujanpää 2009, 116.)

Executive function deficits also explain other symptoms of autism like restricted range of interests and insistence on sameness, because these symptoms clearly indicate a lack of flexibility. This hypothesis can also be used to explain splinter skills that are occurring in autism, because those skills usually are associated with over-focused, single-minded approach. The executive function hypothesis, however, does not meet the criteria of primary cognitive deficit in autism, because it does not seem to be specific to autism spectrum. Executive functions deficits are also present in other disorders such as attention deficit disorder (ADD), Tourette syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia. In addition, although researchers have attempted to connect prefrontal cortex as possible biological basis for executive function deficit, it has so far not proved to be true. (Schreibman 2005, 118-119.)