Executive Functioning

How We work with Executive functioning deficits

Executive Functioning comprises cognitive functions that enable individuals to manage emotions and behaviors, making it a core component of every aspect of the Cornerstones program. Executive functioning enables us to set and work towards long-term and short-term goals and it enables us to think through the obstacles (whether internal or external) that interfere with reaching our goals. 


Setting and achieving goals is a foundational building block of the Cornerstones program and provides the canvas for our clients to engage in an ongoing process of learning how to become effective agents of their own success. This includes learning how to set goals and breaking them down into concrete achievable increments. Then the client is engaged in observing the factors that interfere with achieving their goals, such as distractions, organization, time management, or boredom. Once the obstacles are identified, strategies can be implemented to surmount those obstacles. This learning process is achieved through one on one coaching and scaffolding provided by our Life Skills and Academic Success Coaches.  Through Executive Functioning Coaching they aid each client to address their individual Executive Functioning challenges, starting immediately upon enrollment and continuing through to graduation. Using calendars, scheduling systems, and other task-oriented tools, our clients are engaged in the moment-to-moment practice of organization, time management, and planning. Additional programmatic components are in place to engage and develop our client’s executive functioning such as our daily intentions group run every weekday morning with the purpose of engaging clients in the practice of reviewing their schedule and goals for the day and the week. Incorporating executive functioning organically throughout the program reflects the Cornerstones methodology.


Although, almost all our clients arrive to the program with some degree of executive functioning difficulties, but the good news is that the young adult’s brain has a great capacity for change and the impact of experience is especially powerful during this developmental period.

Research has demonstrated that poor executive functioning is directly related to almost every aspect of daily life. Research has also consistently shown that executive functioning

can be improved throughout a person’s lifetime.

The core executive functions are: