Find out what experts in the fields of education and psychology are saying about Drs. Dawson and Guare's books.

The Smart but Scattered Guide to Success

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"Drs. Dawson and Guare provide adults of all ages with practical, well-grounded advice for staying on top of today's busy lives. Each chapter combines just-right background material with ready-to-use tips and tools to put into practice immediately."

-Joel T. Nigg, PhD, Professor and Director, Division of Psychology and ADHD Program, Department of Psychiatry, Oregon Health and Science University

"This isn’t just a good book, it's a great book! Chock full of highly useful recommendations and guided by science and practice, this book is rich with methods to help any adult overcome problems with time management, organization, self-control, and related skills."

-Russell A. Barkley, PhD, ABPP, ABCN, author ofTaking Charge of Adult ADHD

"This book addresses the exact issues I struggle with when I'm feeling scattered and not accomplishing my goals. It helped me evaluate my areas of weakness and gave me clear, simple suggestions to help me improve some of the frustrating challenges I've experienced my whole life. The authors' personal, accessible, supportive writing style kept me engaged and focused."

-Sue V., Rochester, NY

"This is a terrific self-help book—one of the best I’ve seen—for helping individuals develop their executive skills. Chapters offer sound solutions and strategies, with lots of everyday examples. The authors have an impressive grasp of current brain science, and have translated it into language that is meaningful and easy to understand."

-Mary V. Solanto, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine

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The Work-Smart Academic Planner

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"This is a wonderful tool. Importantly, it provides a menu of options for coaches and students and the language is transparent and logical. Dawson and Guare draw on their knowledge of how executive skills develop and are refined to explicitly teach strategies for academic and personal self-management and self-advocacy. Both the student and the executive skills coach will gain from using this planner."

-Jackie Gilson, NCSP, school psychologist, Chicago Public Schools

"In my 17 years as a teacher, I've worked with countless frustrated, struggling students who are clearly capable of doing better. The executive functioning and coaching components in The Work-Smart Academic Planner are vital to improve the academic performance of these learners. The planner helps students develop a growth mindset and increase their sense of self-efficacy. It builds the cognitive skills necessary for success in school and beyond."

—Timothy McElroy, MA, special education teacher, Mountain View High School, Fairfax County (Virginia) Public Schools

"Dawson and Guare provide a true compass for navigating the path to academic growth. The planner provides invaluable practical strategies that encourage students' independence and foster learning. It will be a welcome resource for students, coaches, educators, and parents."

-Barbara Saint-Amour, board-certified coach, Yarmouth, Maine

"While it is valuable to develop theoretical models of executive functioning, it is incredibly more so to develop practical strategies and clinical tools for overcoming problems in this area. Congratulations to Dawson and Guare for doing just that. This planner provides a set of tools that will help teens with executive skills deficits—including those with ADHD—to function more effectively. Parents and teachers will find the book highly useful, and clinicians will want to add it to the list of resources they recommend for dealing with executive skills deficits on a daily basis."

—Russell A. Barkley, PhD, ABPP, ABCN, Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of South Carolina

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Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary "Executive Skills" Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential

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"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

"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

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Smart but Scattered Teens: The "Executive Skills" Program for Helping Teens Reach Their Potential

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More psychologists, parents, and developmental counselors are examining the why when it comes to understanding the strange and puzzling behaviors of tweens and teens. Here, best-selling authors Richard Guare and Peg Dawson (Smart but Scattered), along with Colin Guare, look at brain development research to help readers understand (and suffering teens overcome) the vexing impulses and time-management issues that plague many adolescents. The book’s “executive skills” are the critical tools needed to solve problems, manage time, and perform tasks. As many parents know, tweens and teens often lack these abilities, which, according to the authors, stem from the brain’s frontal lobe, where its functions are not fully developed in teenagers. If parents can better comprehend brain development, they can help even the most disorganized, reckless teens exhibit more sensible and responsible behavior. The book includes lots of anecdotes and commentary; readers can skip around to relevant chapters or read straight through.

Verdict: A very helpful addition to parenting shelves, comparable to David Walsh’s Smart Parenting, Smarter Kids.

Linda Beck, Indian Valley P.L., Telford, PA

"I was hooked from the first chapter! This book has opened my eyes to ways to foster my son's strengths, not just criticize his weaknesses. With all the issues we battle daily, it's easy to forget the power of the positive. I'm thrilled to have a specific plan of action for targeting the skills my son needs to do better in school and become more focused and responsible."

-Kim L.

"Executive skills are critical to success in life, but may be delayed in some teens and young adults—and parents are often at a loss for how to help.Smart but Scattered Teens is just what parents need. This is a highly useful guide for improving teens' executive skills and motivating them to use the skills they already have."

-Patricia O. Quinn, MD, coauthor of Ready for Take-Off: Preparing Your Teen with ADHD or LD for College

"An absolute 'must read' for parents. Many detailed examples show you exactly how to teach your teenager the skills needed for success in school and beyond. The clever strategies for getting around teens' creative resistance to making changes are particularly helpful. I will recommend this gem of a book to all of the parents and adolescents I treat."

-Arthur L. Robin, PhD, coauthor of Your Defiant Teen

"Does your teen's behavior have you tearing out your hair in frustration? Quit nagging and use this wonderfully insightful and practical book to coach your 'smart but scattered' teen for personal, educational, and social success."

-William Pfohl, PsyD, past president, International School Psychology Association

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Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents: Second Edition

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"This is a rich and practical resource for all those working with children, including educators, therapists, and psychologists. Dawson and Guare demystify the complex and often confusing construct of executive function, citing its neurological basis, but also providing practical insights about how executive dysfunction affects the lives of students of all ages and ability levels. Notably, Dawson and Guare address executive functions from a developmental perspective, acknowledging the dynamic interaction between brain development and the ever-changing societal demands placed on children. The second edition also addresses the issue of primary prevention of executive function problems. Readers will especially appreciate the case examples and recommendations for intervention in the classroom, home, and in therapeutic and coaching settings, as well as the many intervention guides provided in the appendices."

--E. Mark Mahone, PhD, ABPP, Director, Neuropsychology, Kennedy Krieger Institute; Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

"Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents, Second Edition, is a thoughtful, thorough, and timely resource for education students, practitioners, and school psychologists. This book is the definitive examination of executive functioning in children and adolescents. It is comprehensive in its coverage and highlights the need for assessment of executive skills in the classroom. This is an excellent reference for practitioners designing instructional programs for students who need additional training in executive skills."

--Tina Stanton-Chapman, PhD, Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education, University of Virginia

"The book represents a welcome step forward in designing and implementing interventions and supports to promote executive function at home and in the classroom. Dawson and Guare integrate up-to-date theory with interventions that take a real-world, problem-solving approach to the full spectrum of executive difficulties, from inhibitory control and emotional regulation to initiation, working memory, planning, and organization. An essential 'how-to' manual."

--Peter K. Isquith, PhD, Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Dartmouth Medical School

"The perfect introductory book to understanding executive skills....The appendix includes planning worksheets accessible to families and professionals that help them to identify and understand executive skill deficits and to address them in the family and school environment. We have used this book in our own practice and have given it to clients for their use as well. We love this book, and it has earned the EP Symbol of Excellence. This book is a must have!"

--Exceptional Parent

"...a valuable resource for practitioners and a good introduction to the topic."

--Canadian Journal of Education

"The intervention chapters for individual children (rather than classroom-wide interventions) are particularly well written and may be extremely helpful to educators as well as parents....This is a short book with a strong message especially for those parents and educators who deal with children who have difficulties in achieving executive skills. It is clear, concise, and easy to understand. I am not aware of any comparable book that can be used as a practical guide for parents and educators and that approaches this entire problem without a reliance on pharmacology....3 Stars."

--Doody's Review Service

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Coaching Students with Executive Skills Deficits

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"Dawson and Guare are to be congratulated for writing such a readable yet scientifically rigorous manual that will be invaluable to teachers, counselors, and school psychologists who work with students with executive skills deficits. The book is illustrated with fascinating case examples that will be all too familiar to teachers who have struggled to find ways of helping students to reach their potential. It provides constructive, step-by-step guidance on what it means to have an executive skills deficit and how to implement an effective coaching program. Practitioners and graduate students will find this book an excellent resource for planning intervention programs for students with executive skills deficits."

--Peter Farrell, PhD, CPsychol, FBPsS, Professor of Special Needs and Educational Psychology, University of Manchester, United Kingdom

"This is a unique and marvelous book that presents a useful coaching model for students with executive skills deficits, including those who have ADHD. It is the most informative, practical guide available on the topic. As with their other books, the authors have again produced a resource that is straightforward, well organized, easy to understand, and filled with strategies that can be readily implemented. The book will prove exceptionally useful not only for teachers, practitioners, and coaches, but also for graduate courses in education and in school, child clinical, and counseling psychology."

--Russell A. Barkley, PhD, ABPP, Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of South Carolina

"If coaching kids with executive skills deficits were a game of football, this book would be the playbook. Dawson and Guare provide both theory and the minute details of how to implement a coaching program. They synthesize cutting-edge research on learning and the brain into an accessible approach. The numerous handouts and clear instructions make the model very easy to start using immediately. As a student of child development and the brain, I strongly recommend this book."

--Thomas (Lee) Reynolds, MD, child and adolescent psychiatrist, North Canton, Ohio

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