Executive function (EF) and working memory
ADHD is largely defined in terms of executive function impairment (Biederman, 2004), and shares descriptive language. Very recent studies describe executive function as "executive attention" (Kane, 2005) and show a unitary model that links it with working memory in terms of working memory control, or WMC, and higher levels of cognition. WMC is central to to EF, often called "central executive functioning" (McCabe, 2010). McCabe indirectly describes WMC in terms of ADHD: inhibitory control, and focus of attention.
WMC benefits from education
Gathercole shows benefits for impaired working memory through remedial education (Gathercole, 2006), and Berneir shows autonomy support as the "strongest predictor" for healthy EF in children (Bernier, 2010). Jang suggests a blending of autonomy support and traditional structure, or "autonomy-structure," that has high understanding and leadership, and low admonishing and uncertainty in a way that should benefit working memory control in view of recent executive function material.
Speculated benefits for ADHD
These executive function, ADHD understanding, and educational concepts form a tight matrix with respect to working memory and its control. Perhaps, for this reason, parenting and early education strategies that target WMC development via autonomy and guidance will help children with ADHD and other executive dysfunctions.
Bernier, A., Carlson, S., & Whipple, N. (2010). From External Regulation to Self-Regulation: Early Parenting Precursors of Young Children’s Executive Functioning. Child Development, 81(1), 326-339. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01397.x.
Gathercole, S., & Alloway, T. (2006). Practitioner Review: Short-term and working memory impairments in neurodevelopmental disorders: diagnosis and remedial support. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry, 47(1), 4-15. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2005.01446.x.
Jang, H., Reeve, J., & Deci, E. (2010). Engaging students in learning activities: It is not autonomy support or structure but autonomy support and structure. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102(3), 588-600. doi:10.1037/a0019682.
Kane, M., Hambrick, D., & Conway, A. (2005). Working Memory Capacity and Fluid Intelligence Are Strongly Related Constructs: Comment on Ackerman, Beier, and Boyle (2005). Psychological Bulletin, 131(1), 66-71. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.131.1.66.
McCabe, D., Roediger, H., McDaniel, M., Balota, D., & Hambrick, D. (2010). The relationship between working memory capacity and executive functioning: Evidence for a common executive attention construct. Neuropsychology, 24(2), 222-243. doi:10.1037/a0017619.