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Organizational Challenges

Copyright © Barbara Bissonnette 2013

Executive function refers to a broad array of cognitive processes needed for the effective management of time and resources. These processes serve as an “inner CEO,” enabling an individual to establish goals and a realistic plan to achieve them; prioritize tasks; see options; monitor progress; and change course, if needed. Multitasking requires strong working memory, which is one of the executive functions. The ability to shift between the big picture and the relevant details is another. Asperger’s Syndrome can impact executive functioning in various ways. The employee may not see how his tasks fit into the larger whole, unless this is explicitly explained. He may need assistance to establish priorities, and utilize written notes and checklists in order to remember multistep processes (Meltzer 2010). Co-workers, who are aware of the person’s talent and intellect, may brush aside appeals for help with comments like, “You should know what to do; it’s obvious!” or, “At your level, you should know what the priorities are.”

Common organizational challenges:

  • not knowing how to begin an assignment
  • difficulty estimating how long a project will or should take
  • too much focus on details; loses sight of the purpose of a task
  • unsure of what the finished product should look like
  • forgets verbal instructions
  • needs help prioritizing tasks
  • difficulty with multitasking and frequent interruptions
  • appearing not to take initiative, because next steps aren’t clear
  • asks too many questions, in an attempt to clarify assignments or expectations
  • acts impulsively, or based on too little information.