How Executive Function Deficits Can Affect a Teen’s Social Skills

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Executive function issues often make it difficult for children and teens to interact with others because of the way they think about and approach problems. Children with executive function disorder often have difficulty seeing others’ perspectives and reading social cues. They also may feel overwhelmed in large group settings. Other common social problems for teens with executive function deficits include:

  • Unflexible viewpoints
  • Interrupts others
  • Doesn’t know when to stop
  • Insensitive to the feelings of others
  • Forgets scheduled appointments
  • Has difficulties waiting for his or her turn
  • Forgets to return borrowed items
  • Throws tantrums or meltdowns both at home and in public
  • Says whatever is on their mind, even if it’s hurtful

Trouble managing these issues in social situations can be hard on a child’s self-esteem and can lead them to feel socially isolated. As a result, they may receive few social invitations and  withdraw to their bedroom. However, it is important to remember that just because a child may be struggling now with social issues, doesn’t mean he or she always will. There are several ways to help these individuals improve their social skills, develop confidence, and learn to make and keep friends.

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About Vantage Point by Aspiro

Vantage Point is a specialized offshoot of Aspiro Adventure, the program that pioneered wilderness adventure therapy. Vantage Point focuses on helping students with executive function disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Nonverbal Learning Disorders, among others.

The Vantage Point programs are designed to build self-efficacy in our students through overwhelming mastery experiences – our students accomplish goals they never believed possible, which creates a belief that they are capable of changing their own lives for the better. We focus specifically on social dynamics and social skills to help our students connect with others and feel like they can be a part of the world. Experiential Learning is a tenet of our philosophy and our program. Paired with ongoing individual therapy and targeting specific areas for growth, our wilderness therapy programs are proven successful by outcome studies and are overseen by experienced Field Guides and clinical professionals