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Smart but Scattered

The Revolutionary "Executive Skills" Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential

Peg Dawson and Richard Guare

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Hardcover
January 1, 2009
ISBN 9781593859879
Price: $53.00 $45.05
314 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
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Paperback
January 2, 2009
ISBN 9781593854454
Price: $17.95 $15.26
314 Pages
Size: 7" x 10"
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e-book
November 30, 2011
ePub ?
Price: $17.95 $15.26
314 Pages
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Paperback + e-Book (ePub) ?
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314 Pages
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There's nothing more frustrating than watching your bright, talented son or daughter struggle with everyday tasks like finishing homework, putting away toys, or following instructions at school. Your "smart but scattered" 4- to 13-year-old might also have trouble coping with disappointment or managing anger. Drs. Peg Dawson and Richard Guare have great news: there's a lot you can do to help. The latest research in child development shows that many kids who have the brain and heart to succeed lack or lag behind in crucial "executive skills"—the fundamental habits of mind required for getting organized, staying focused, and controlling impulses and emotions. Learn easy-to-follow steps to identify your child's strengths and weaknesses, use activities and techniques proven to boost specific skills, and problem-solve daily routines. Helpful worksheets and forms can be downloaded and printed in a convenient 8½" x 11" size. Small changes can add up to big improvements—this empowering book shows how.

See also the authors' Smart but Scattered Teens and their self-help guide for adults. Plus, an academic planner for middle and high school students and related titles for professionals.

“Groundbreaking....Compassionate and parent friendly....Dawson and Guare's personal anecdotes lend immediacy....Smart but Scattered is comprehensive, accessible, and hopeful....Dawson and Guare's work should be considered essential.”

Library Journal


“Fun to read....This book is quite interactive....Questionnaires are provided both for children (of various ages) as well as parents, so that they can both see their strengths and weaknesses....Techniques to teach executive skills are shown in a step-wise manner, and planning sheets are available throughout the text....Another strength of this book is its focus on the emotional aspect of executive functioning, and providing strategies to bolster the emotional skill set of children....Strongly recommended for any parent who wishes to help their children maximize their potential, even if they do not have identified academic or behavioral struggles.”

Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry


“The authors provide a satisfying framework for creating environmental supports in areas needed and supplying the hands-on direction necessary for children to function well and build confidence. While Susan Ericksen's distinct and assertive enunciation promotes respect for these ideas, her warmth also makes them sound inviting.”

AudioFile


“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, NH


“Filled with real-world examples and 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, MA


“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. It presents practical and proven techniques based on rigorous scientific research.”

—Peter Farrell, PhD, University of Manchester, UK; past president, International School Psychology Association


“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


“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

Table of Contents

Introduction sample

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 psychologist on the staff of the Center for Learning and Attention Disorders at Seacoast Mental Health Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She also does professional development training on executive skills for schools and organizations nationally and internationally. Dr. Dawson is a past president of the New Hampshire Association of School Psychologists, the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), and the International School Psychology Association, and a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from NASP. She is coauthor of bestselling books for general readers, including Smart but Scattered, Smart but Scattered Teens, Smart but Scattered—and Stalled (with a focus on emerging adults), and The Smart but Scattered Guide to Success (with a focus on adults). Dr. Dawson is also coauthor of The Work-Smart Academic Planner, Revised Edition, and books for professionals including Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents, Third Edition.

Richard Guare, PhD, is Director of the Center for Learning and Attention Disorders at Seacoast Mental Health Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Dr. Guare's research and publications focus on the understanding and treatment of learning and attention difficulties. He is a neuropsychologist and board-certified behavior analyst who frequently consults to schools and agencies. He is coauthor of bestselling books for general readers, including Smart but Scattered, Smart but Scattered Teens, Smart but Scattered—and Stalled (with a focus on emerging adults), and The Smart but Scattered Guide to Success (with a focus on adults). Dr. Guare is also coauthor of The Work-Smart Academic Planner, Revised Edition, and books for professionals including Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents, Third Edition.

Audience

Parents of 4- to 13-year-olds; also of interest to teachers, school psychologists, and other mental health professionals who work with children. The approach is suitable for children with ADHD or learning disabilities as well as those without a clinical diagnosis.