Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary “Executive Skills” Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential
by Peg Dawson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book is full of excellent ideas for helping your child when they struggle with executive skills.
Yep, one line… that’s enough for Goodreads. But you, reader of our blog, deserve more.
More of my thoughts
I think any and every parent could benefit from this book. Maybe you get it from the library, maybe you buy it. But you should read it. We’ve got 3 “smart but scattered” folks around here, 2 of whom are adults, and I’m thinking of all kinds of ways to help all 3 of us. And these ideas were all seeded from this book.
I remember first hearing about “executive function skills” when I was teaching at a local private school, and I had a student who was particularly difficult to work with. I didn’t understand it back then, and I tend to blow off those things I don’t understand. And then Little Man came along.
He has always been my ‘crazy active boy’, and he is a smart one. (don’t tell him that, though, ’cause he already knows it and doesn’t need any help that way….). As he has reached school age, we could see ways that he wasn’t quite as able as other kids. Like knowing when to change speed (e.g. crazy fun recess to classroom), lack of impulse control, and keeping track of his stuff. These things can mostly traced back to a lack in executive function skills.
The book covers the basics of modifying the environment and more advanced direct teaching of these skills. These authors do a good job of making the discussion practical and straightforward. They give a set of ready made plans for various skills that you can use if you don’t feel confident coming up with your own.
These authors also talk about how to do this if you share a weakness with your child. If you are both weak in working memory, it’s going to be hard for you to help your child. But strategies are offered for still helping your child. And really, you might get ideas for helping yourself grow in a weak area.
We’ve all got weak areas and areas of strength. Some of us find ways to compensate for the weak areas, and others of us just need a more direct intervention. Why not work to help your child grow in their weak areas?