By Andrea Panebianco, MS
What is trauma? Trauma is a lasting emotional response that individuals experience once having lived through a distressing or painful event. While many people endure traumatic events, it is important to remember that the experience of trauma can significantly impact one’s ability to function in their everyday lives. This notion is particularly true for adults and children who have experienced prolonged trauma, including trauma related to pervasive racism, poverty, and other adversities.
So, with this, what is executive functioning? Executive functioning includes a multitude of mental processes that enable us to communicate, attend, focus, and multitask; it helps us remember and apply information, plan and achieve goals, and make healthy decisions for ourselves and others. Importantly, these types of skills are related to the physical development of our brains. Executive functioning, therefore, is a crucial element for maintaining academic, cognitive, social, and behavioral success throughout our lifetime.
How, then, does trauma impact someone’s executive functioning skills?