Each of them is well regarded in the professional literature. Each requires professional evaluation for appropriate use. Information obtained in each of them complements the other, deepening their application for daily practical use.
The BRIEF2 (2015 revision) is the premier professional evaluation for executive function strengths and deficits. It is my first choice, as an experienced pediatrician and child development specialist, for times when a thorough and comprehensive inventory is needed. Used for children 5 to 18 years old, it is widely reviewed and recommended in the scientific literature. Forms are filled out by parents, teachers, and by students older than 11. – (behavior rating PDF – click here)
The BDEFS (Barkley Deficits in Executive Functions) defines executive functions in terms of self-regulation, which Dr. Barkley is a long-established and statistically valid scale. Dr. Barkley defines executive functions as self-regulation for the purpose of self-interest. These functions are “are self-directed and intended to alter a later consequence.” (book information – click here)
The BDEFS assesses capabilities and weaknesses in: Self-Management of Time, Self-Organization and Problem Solving, Self-Restraint, Self-Motivation, and Emotional Self-Control. Results are age and gender determined. As opposed to a CPT or neuropsychological evaluation, Barkley’s scale is based on performance in everyday life, and is therefore “ecologically valid.” It relates to real life in the real world.
These professional inventories are only one part of a comprehensive evaluation. Context is extremely important – determining how these functions work or odn not work effectively in specific situations with specific activities. My pediatric perspective of child development informs my coaching observations. It provides a thorough foundation to assess and interpret behavior, goals, and coaching objectives.
Please contact me for more information about your child, or about this complex topic.