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date: 22 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The construct of executive function (EF) has been referred to as an “umbrella” term for a collection of higher order cognitive processes that guide and manage goal-directed behavior and problem solving. EF impairments are common in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). EF is centrally related to characteristics of ASD and real-world outcomes such as adaptive behavior and quality of life. This chapter describes the profile of EF impairment in ASD and reviews its development across the lifespan and how it affects various aspects of daily functioning (social skills, adaptive behavior, co-occurring psychiatric conditions). The chapter also addresses the challenges assessing of EF and describes promising interventions to promote executive skills in ASD.

Keywords: executive function, autism spectrum disorder, assessment, evidence-based treatment, lifespan

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