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Smart but Scattered

The Revolutionary 'Executive Skills' Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential
Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
Length: 11 hrs and 51 mins
4 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)
Regular price: £26.29
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Summary

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" child 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. Small changes can add up to big improvements-this empowering book shows how.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2009 The Guilford Press (P)2012 Tantor

Critic reviews

"Dawson and Guare's work should be considered essential." ( Library Journal)

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  • Kate Aiken
  • 23-05-16

Lots of tables and worksheets make this inappropriate for audio

The most useful parts of this book are worksheets that you fill out, and tables that you refer to to make plans. This just does not translate well to being read aloud. You can't flip back and forth between chapters (and there are lots and lots of references to see Chapter 3 or whatever.) You can't skim over the sections that don't apply to your child's age or situation.

So, as much as I'm a fan of audiobooks, I'd recommend getting a paperback edition. Even Kindle would be difficult to photocopy, but it might work out if the format of the tables is preserved.

The book itself is decent, perhaps a bit simplistic, possibly a little wordy. Most solutions boil down to making a list of steps and following them.

18 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • J. Crickett
  • 19-06-15

Great Information - Requires Focused Listening

If you could sum up Smart but Scattered in three words, what would they be?

Interesting, detailed and thorough! I have the hard copy of this book & read it some months ago. I decided to listen to it again through Audible because there's a lot of information in the book & I wanted a refresher.

Overall, I believe in this approach of teaching executive skills & I found this book to be the most thorough on the subject. In my opinion, following the program requires a moderately high level of executive skill development on the part of the adult parent. As I progressed through the book, I increasingly felt that my own executive skill level apparently needed further development. I recommend this book & feel the hard copy could be a good supplemental if you intend to institute this program within your family.

Any additional comments?

Overall, the information contained in the book was well worth the time required to complete it. This is a subject that requires more than just surface understanding & a moderate amount of planning. Perhaps that seems like a novel concept in this modern, microwavable macaroni & cheese culture in which we live!!

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • K. Cole
  • 28-03-19

A Must Read for Every Parent

This book is fantastic. Very, very informative and helpful. I will say that it is a bit of a heavy read and I would have NEVER gotten through it without the audio as some of the sections feel a little like a textbook. But all of the content is so powerful in becoming a more attentive and forward focused parent that it is totally worth it. The book focuses on the executive functioning skills that we all develop from infancy through adulthood (think frontal lobe brain development) and how these skills can support our success in life. There are a lot of real like examples that I could relate with regarding my children and it made me feel like maybe I wasn't the only one pulling my hair out. In addition, there are many actual solutions included! This was incredible! Having ____ problem with your child? Try this plan _____. It takes a lot of the guess work out of the problem and helps create a focus on solutions.

A couple of strong points I took from the book:

1. Take time to teach (coined from a parenting coach I love). We have to be engaged in our children's' learning and growth. If we take time to teach, we WILL make progress.

2. Find systems that the child can manage to solve problems - and include them in the discovery of the solution

3. Provide the minimum amount of support needed for the child. Read: stay engaged in helping them but let them be responsible

4. We often give up on systems and solutions because they don't solve problems fast enough. But some of these problems can take YEARS to work through. We need to stick at it and be consistent.

5. Executive functioning skills are baseline skills that we are necessary for success and are skills that we are all still developing. I was very enlightened by the executive areas I am really underdeveloped in. It helped make more sense of my world and why I continue to struggle with the same things in my life. Learning about these skills is an asset to EVERYONE.

The book focuses a lot on incentive based programs for children which I know some parents don't agree with. For the most part, it all resonated with me as I have found incentives very successful with my kids (and myself - paycheck anyone?). They have a lot of good ideas of how to implement these types of systems and also talk about moving from extrinsic motivation to intrinsic motivation as children develop in different areas.

I would recommend this book to parents and educators in a heartbeat!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Stephanie G
  • 05-06-14

Not great, lots of reputiton and really dull!!

Any additional comments?

The first part was good and then for each chapter in how to improve the skill, the same type of information was just recycled. Once you got the jist of what they were on about there was no need to go through every single one to bore you to death. I couldn't finish it.

11 of 21 people found this review helpful