UHS Counseling Center Newsletter January 2021

Smart but Scattered: Helping Children Strengthen Executive Skills to Reach Their Full Potential

Executive skills are critical to the acquisition of academic skills, but, more important, they are the skills students need to get things done. They are brain-based skills such as task initiation, sustained attention, working memory, planning, organization, and goal-directed persistence that are absolutely critical to school success. Some students seem to acquire them naturally, but many students struggle with them—and for these kids, schooling without the structure of the classroom to support them may be particularly challenging. Dr. Peg Dawson, co-author of the books Smart but Scattered and Smart but Scattered Teens, will describe how these skills develop throughout childhood and suggest strategies parents can use to help children acquire the critical skills they need to be successful students.

Peg Dawson, Ed.D., is a school psychologist by training with an expertise in the assessment of learning and attention disorders. She is the co-author of numerous books on executive skills, including Smart but Scattered and Smart but Scattered Teens, is a past president of the National Association of School Psychologists, and a recipient of NASP’s Lifetime Achievement Award.


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