Scientists who study child development have recently found that kids who are "smart but scattered" lack or lag behind in crucial executive skills—the core, brain-based habits of mind required to “execute” tasks like getting organized, staying focused, and controlling emotions. Drawing on this revolutionary discovery, school psychologist Peg Dawson and neuropsychologist Richard Guare have developed an innovative program that parents and teachers can use to strengthen kids’ abilities to plan ahead, be efficient, follow through, and get things done. Smart but Scattered provides ways to assess children’s strengths and weaknesses and offers guidance on day-to-day issues like following instructions in the classroom, doing homework, completing chores, reducing performance anxiety, and staying cool under pressure. Small steps add up to big improvements, enabling these kids to build the skills they need to live up to their full potential. More than 40 reproducibles are included.
Library Journal Starred Review – January 2009
Smart Kids with Learning Disorders parenting newsletter – 11/08
Scholastic Parent and Child – 1/09
Parenting Press -- Spring 09
Better Teaching Newsletter (The Teacher Institute) -- 5/09
“Info Track” syndicated radio in U.S. – 1/09
“The Parent Report” syndicated radio in Canada and U.S. – 2/09
"The best parent resource on executive skills that I have seen. As a parent of three children, one of whom has learning disabilities, and as a special education associate who works in the classroom, I highly recommend this book. It shows there is hope for children who are struggling, and offers practical, detailed advice."—L. Libbey, parent, Hampton, New Hampshire
"Filled with real-world examples and real-world solutions, this easy-to-read book is the first comprehensive guide to the management of children's executive skills. It gets to the heart of the matter, offering both parents and teachers accessible and highly efficient means to cope with a gamut of obstacles faced by children of all ages and abilities."—Kristina Mecelicaite, MEd, special education coordinator, North Central Charter Essential School, Fitchburg, Massachusetts
"Drs. Dawson and Guare translate cutting-edge research into meaningful, practical, well-organized, and easy-to-implement strategies that parents can use to enhance a child's natural executive abilities. This brilliant book is by far the best on the topic that I have read to date."
—Russell A. Barkley, PhD, ABPP, author of Taking Charge of ADHD
"If you've ever wondered why your child struggles academically or behaviorally—despite having 'the right stuff' to succeed—this book is essential reading. Drs. Dawson and Guare explain the importance of executive skills and provide science-based strategies that empower you to start helping your child today."
—Sam Goldstein, PhD, coauthor of Raising Resilient Children
"Do you feel stymied by your child's failure to live up to his or her potential? Have you run out of ideas about how to handle the situation? Look no further—this fascinating and readable book is packed full of useful ideas that will help you understand what the problem is and how you can help."
—Peter Farrell, PhD, University of Manchester, United Kingdom; past president, International School Psychology Association
I. What Makes Your Child Smart But Scattered
1. How Did Such a Smart Kid End Up So Scattered?
2. Identifying Your Child's Strengths and Weaknesses
3. How Your Own Executive Strengths and Weaknesses Matter
4. Matching the Child to the Task
II. Laying a Foundation That Can Help
5. Ten Principles for Improving Your Child's Executive Skills
6. Modifying the Environment: A Is for Antecedent
7. Teaching Executive Skills Directly: B Is for Behavior
8. Motivating Your Child to Learn and Use Executive Skills: C Is for Consequence
III. Putting It All Together
9. Advance Organizer
10. Ready-Made Plans for Teaching Your Child to Complete Daily Routines
11. Building Response Inhibition
12. Enhancing Working Memory
13. Improving Emotional Control
14. Strengthening Sustained Attention
15. Teaching Task Initiation
16. Promoting Planning and Prioritizing
17. Fostering Organization
18. Instilling Time Management
19. Encouraging Flexibility
20. Increasing Goal-Directed Persistence
21. Cultivating Metacognition
22. When What You Do Is Not Enough
23. Working with the School
24. What's Ahead?
About the Authors:
Peg Dawson, EdD, is a staff psychologist at the Center for Learning and Attention Disorders, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She has worked with children and adults with learning and attention difficulties for more than 25 years.
Richard Guare, PhD, is Director of the Center for Learning and Attention Disorders. In addition to working as a clinician, he is an experienced educator who has taught university courses in child neuropsychology and communication disorders.
The Publisher grants individual book purchasers nonassignable permission to reproduce selected materials in this book for professional use. For details and limitations, see copyright page.