Executive Functioning Skills + Occupational Therapy Support

Dr. Hana Khan, OTD, OTR/L, CCTP shares how executive functioning is something that occupational therapists are really equipped to help clients foster.  In this interview, Dr. Khan leans into the importance of executive functioning being at the root of being able to accomplish life tasks.


Dr. Hana Khan, OTD, OTR/L, CCTP | Clinical Occupational Therapist


Executive functioning is something that occupational therapists are really equipped to help clients foster. And so that can include, it’s really just getting stuff done. Those are the skills that are required for us to get stuff done. So whether that’s something like creativity, flexibility, prioritization, initiation, a lot of times people will feel shame when they start to think that something as small as, or as small as brushing your teeth or getting out of bed is limiting them. It comes down to our executive functioning skills. People will start to think that those are kind of innate, but as with everything and our bodies, it’s all a skill. And our brains just pick up on all of these patterns as we’re living lives. 


My focus is to really build those skills through, you know, capitalizing on our brain’s ability to learn patterns. Task initiation and sequencing, and I think I really like to bring that creativity in as well, and help clients to do that in fun ways. We’ll always kind of weave in activities that might be meaningful to clients individually, or maybe they’re just activities that are required of them. Morning ADL routines. Maybe it’s something like eating lunch or just even a craft that might be meaningful to them. And really developing that sense of self-efficacy, self-esteem, self-confidence through that repetition and being able to see what they’ve accomplished in such a short period of time is really great for building those executive functioning skills that are going to affect their, their engagement across the board. That’s something that really stood out to me about occupational science in general, is just being able to study engagement and how that affects our mental health, how therapeutic it is, how we were designed to really engage with the world around us and engage in activities. What would happen if, if those activities that are meaningful to us are suddenly something that we’re not able to engage in, how would that affect our lives? How would that affect our mental health? To kind of weave in those adaptations that are necessary after the fact, after we’ve experienced an injury or a traumatic life event and figuring out how can I rebuild myself? How can I collect everything and, and start over and, and reroute my life now? And figure out what my narrative looks like after this.

Neurodivergent Therapist Interviews

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