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Late, Lost, and Unprepared: A Parents' Guide to Helping Children with Executive Functioning
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Late, Lost, and Unprepared: A Parents' Guide to Helping Children with Executive Functioning

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  236 ratings  ·  39 reviews
(2009 National Parenting Publications Awards (NAPPA): Honors Award)

Executive functions are the cognitive skills that help us manage our lives and be successful. Children with weak executive skills, despite their best intentions, often do their homework but forget to turn it in, wait until the last minute to start a project, lose things, or have a room that looks like a dum
Paperback, 232 pages
Published October 24th 2008 by Woodbine House
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Lars Guthrie
While I'm not sure I learned anything new about executive functioning from 'Late, Lost,' it helped me to rethink many conceptions I already had and prompted me to formulate new strategies for my work with kids. At least for me, the first six chapters were unnecessary filler. If you are reading the book, do you need to know why you are reading the book? To the authors' credit, they give the reader permission, even encourage the reader, to skip and double back. And although they may bog down in re ...more
The first half of this book is discussion of executive function and the lack thereof. It's sort of anxiety-producing, because it's a lot of descriptions of the problem -- case studies, examples, etc. talking about what's wrong. And some rather disheartening advice, like how deal with all the stress of helping your child, and how you should think of your child as something with a disability (in that they will need some significant level of accommodation). Fortunately, the second half of the book ...more
Krista Stevens
FANTASTIC resource for parents, teachers, and kids. Executive Functioning Disorder is not well understood, even by educators - this book has almost everything you want to know about what it is and how to help kids (and parents and teachers) learn to understand and live with this. If you are frustrated, annoyed or at your wits' end because your child appears to be irresponsible, forgetful, and disorganized, this book may help.

It gives a broad overview of what EF is, the development of EF by age
After receiving feedback from DD's teacher about some impulse control issues I found my way to "Late, Lost." While reading the early chapters I realized that I am the one with more significant executive function issues than my child. With that being said I have picked up some valuable ideas for us both, and I would heartily recommend this quick book for anyone who has a child who:

"doesn't notice when she's gone off on a tangent, who doesn't notice 'careless' errors, who interrupts others so she
Full of insightful information on kids who cannot seem to get it together. I took lots of notes and now just need to start implementing them. Ti is the poster child for this- give him a verbal list- and gaurantee none will get done. Needs to turn something in . . . what was the assignment? you get the idea. SO now I need to try and be proactive and help him learn to deal with his "executive functioning". And there were some interesting ideas that will help Jack and Spicer as well. Hope- well we ...more
I picked up this book after reading an article on twice-exceptional kids that referenced the book. Two twice-exceptional kids and no educator or doctor had mentioned the term "executive functioning": "...a set of processes that all have to do with managing oneself and one's resources in order to achieve a goal. It is an umbrella term for the neurologically-based skills involving mental control and self-regulation." The executive functions include inhibition, mental/emotional flexibility, emotion ...more
This book is written more for partents, or teachers who are just starting to deal with kids who have executive functioning dysfunction. (Exectuive Functioning includes memory, impulse control, organization of materials, planning ahead.) It was too basic for it to be much help for me. It really does have some great ideas (cognitive behavior techniques) for parents who struggle with this in themselves or with children.
This was a great "in a nutshell" book on executive functioning. My favorite on the topic. A nice combination of science and application. I think this whole concept is fascinating and enjoy learning more about how our brains develop. While it can overwhelming to consider making up deficits in my son's development, it's equally awe-inspiring to consider how this usually occurs naturally. What a lot we take for granted!
Karen Christensen
I can highly recommend this for anyone who is trying to raise a child with ADHD...although it would be helpful for the raising of all boys, in my opinion! My only disappointment is that a lot of the examples and tools given are for the younger child, and would not be appropriate for my 11-year old son. Still, some great ideas on how to help him develop his executive functioning skills!
Deirdre Keating
One of the best books I've read in this area. It's the first time I've seen executive functioning separated from other disabilities or issues (ADHA, Asperger's, etc). Aidan saw it on my nightstand and came out laughing and saying, "Hmm, I wonder who this is about?" But really I saw myself in many of its pages.

I love that it wasn't about a label but about strategies. Aidan is a brilliant boy who does all his work and then forgets to turn it in. Loses books regularly. Inspires me and drives me cra
Another good executive skills book. Nothing revolutionary; the second half of the book basically recommends the same solution steps for multiple problems - but I found a few good, practical tidbits in it and some good pieces about dysgraphia and task initiation strategies. Worth reading if you have a kid with executive functioning issues, for sure.
Very easy to read. I like how the authors summarize key points at the beginning of each chapter. I also like how they break down the subject matter into smaller, easily digestible chapters. Very informative.
So many writing students struggle to get their papers organized and turned in. This book offers insights into helping children with weak executive function. Helpful for a growing problem.
This was an easy to follow guide. I felt like I kept wanting more nuts and bolts interventions, though.
Excellent information regarding what Executive Function is and how to help a child with it
Heather Chiara-larson
Wonderful book for parents who have kids that are ADHD
This book was a good overview. I can't say there was a lot of information that I didn't already know, but there were some good reminders. It's encouraging that people are really looking hard at how the brain works and recognizing that different people need different kinds of support to experience similar successes.
I read this after reading Smart but Scattered Teens. That one was good as well, but this one was more straightforward and better organized. It took less time to read and yet I feel I got more out of it. Again no magic bullets, but given that there aren't any, this is about as helpful as it gets.
The first half of this book gives a good explanation of what executive function is and how a lack of it can affect a child's behavior. The second half gives strategies to help both parents and educators. This book helped me develop language to use when talking with parents and some good ideas for helping students. Most if the ideas will seem like common sense, but are articulated well.
Carmen Kane
We have a 10yo child recently diagnosed with learning disabilities and ADHD. The first half of the book addresses what an Executive Function disorder is. I felt like they were writing about my child and my family. It was nice to have words and terms to go with what we were dealing with. The second half was not very helpful, most of it seems to be basic parenting advice, much of it was things we already do or weren't applicable.

Explains well the overlap and the effects of executive functioning deficits in the classroom lives and in the social lives of students. While nothing earth shattering, I was able to see how these deficits have such a profound effect socially. A very good, basic book for explaining the complexities of executive functioning and how to work with your child patiently and empathetically.
I didn't recognize my son as much in this book as I thought I woulld, only a little in the chapters on Working Memory and Planning/Organizing. I also did not think this book had any novel suggestions. They all seemed like the obvious things that a consciencious parent would do, like making lists to help remember things or checking/packing backpacks in advance to get organized.
Caroline Kipps
I found this book to be a very helpful guide with specific recommendations on how to assist my son, who is ADHD, non-attentive-type and who also has dysgraphia, especially in the areas of homework and general organization. I would recommend this book for any parent looking for a well-written guide with advice on how to manage the daily struggles these kids (and adults!) can have.
Marissa Morrison
While this book doesn't contain any remarkable new information, it is a good compendium of commonsense advice--e.g. make written schedules for kids, provide a "cool-down" spot and teach kids that big feelings interfere with thinking, have students with difficulty following directions highlight the important words in an assignment's directions before starting the work.
Anne Wall
I thought there were some helpful tips for helping both children and adults. However, the book has to have a foundation on extensive testing for a diagnosis. I don't know how realistic that is for the average person or the average family as far as time and money. If taken in a broad sense, this book could be utilized by many people.
Dan Goldman
The first half of the book is depressing. The second half is uplifting. But ultimately, it didn't present any approaches we haven't already used. Could be more useful as our son enters middle school - I expect to skim it again in another 6 months.
I never quite finished this book, but I'm hanging onto it for reference. I think it applies more towards older elementary children and middle schoolers or high schoolers, (ages 8 and above) but still very useful.
Lori Werhane
this was an excellent book. it literally felt like the author spent time in my life when they wrote it. looking forward to putting some of the strategies in place.
A good overview of Executive Function and the difficulties associated with the LACK of it. A good overview for teachers with some fairly specific recommendations.
Good book to help parents deal with their kids with executive function lags. Very very helpful - very very specific about how you can help and what works.
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“The symptoms of executive skills problems are generic enough that it is sometimes hard for people to see them as other than just bad behavior or signs of poor parenting.” 0 likes
“If a child or adolescent has AD/HD, he experiences some executive function weaknesses.” 0 likes
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