Many students, especially those with ADHD and executive functioning disorder, often have a hard time getting their day started. At times, this can be a result of their internal voice giving them a huge to-do list as soon as they wake up. Faced with an enormous number of options, these children tend to move from one task to the next without accomplishing one or the other, frequently growing distracted and discouraged. Watching from the outside, it is easy to boil this tendency down to a lack of desire, laziness, or even apathy. However, in many cases, this challenge stems from poor executive functioning skills and a lack of routine. When presented with multiple choices, such as eating breakfast, getting dressed, or packing a lunchbox first thing in the morning, children can easily feel overloaded with the demands of making decisions. When they become overwhelmed, their emotional brain takes over and can cause them to start a task but not finish it because they are unsure how to accomplish it. Routines are designed to help individuals prioritize tasks and apply more structure to their day.
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