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

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  416 ratings  ·  37 reviews
"I told you, I'll do it later."
"I forgot to turn in the stupid application."
"Could you drive me to school? I missed the bus again."
"I can't walk the dog--I have too much homework!"

If you're the parent of a "smart but scattered" teen, trying to help him or her grow into a self-sufficient, responsible adult may feel like a never-ending battle. Now you have an alternative
Paperback, 293 pages
Published December 17th 2012 by The Guilford Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Chonda You are correct, they are similar. Executive skills concepts are the same but is age specific. In the latter of the two books there are special…moreYou are correct, they are similar. Executive skills concepts are the same but is age specific. In the latter of the two books there are special sections that are not in the other. For example, the Smart and Scattered discusses Individual Education Plans (IEP) and 504 plans that can be set up with schools versus in the teen version there is a section concerning coaching, teen driving and transitioning into college and/or the workforce. IEPs and 504s can be created for students through 12th grade, so even though it is not in the teen edition, it is still relevant for teens.(less)

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Joyce Yattoni
Oct 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Quick and easy read about how to help teens who have executive functioning deficits.
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Trying to implement--
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This has become my bible for executive functioning coaching. It's readable and helpful, and I like that most of the questionnaires have a parent and student version. It's the perfect book for teachers and parents who want to help teens get themselves together. I appreciated the focus on neurological development and the reminder that while it's easy for us adults to look at teens in frustration and think, "Just freaking DO it already!", kids at this age literally don't have the brain capacity to ...more
Cheryl Loveless
Apr 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was exactly what I needed! I feel like the author came into our home, observed us and wrote a book about us. It was a bit dry and repetitive in parts, but has given me some good resources to help our whole family.
This was a great read for parents of smart but scattered teens! Many helpful ideas were provided along with checklists parents can use. While many of the ideas seem obvious, the presentation and order of least to greatest parental involvement strategies are shared.
Michael Loveless
Mar 21, 2018 rated it liked it
I decided to read Smart but Scattered Teens because I am a teacher whose students often have executive skills weaknesses. I thought this book would provide me with helpful strategies for the classroom. I was disappointed to find that the book is clearly aimed at parents, and many of the strategies described are not applicable to a classroom setting. I would however recommend the book to parents whose kids struggle with organization and follow-through. One of the best things about the book is tha ...more
I don’t have a teen, but I feel like I do. This applied nicely to my 12 year old! I listened to it and I feel I will make better use of this by downloading the assessments or getting my hands on a print copy. This is the first time I have heard the term executive function, but hello this is everything I have been trying to help my household do better! I am surrounded by people with a very different executive skills profile than me and I had no way to recognize what was happening, describe or exp ...more
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I bought this book and read it when my son was a teenager in high school struggling with organization, procrastination, deadlines, and the expectations of school. It is a good resource for parents and others who work with teens, as it helps to explain what executive functioning skills are, and how to help kids access and develop them.
Scott Wozniak
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful book for parents with teens who are behind on their planning/organizing/impulse control skills. It not only explained why they're struggling (and why just letting them struggle alone isn't going to help), but it gave very specific options for how to engage, and even had real teens responses to those options to get a flavor of how it works in real life.
Poonam Desai
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
A quick read that focuses on the executive funcitoning skills of adolescents and provides great hacks to help support the development of the critical prefrontal cortex. This book also offers some great handouts and workbook type pages to aid with actionable planning.
Heidi Kelly
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Must Read

This book is sometimes a tedious read, but it is chock full of invaluable information and resources for both parents and educators alike.
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Great book for parents who have ADD/ADHD teens. Looking forward to trying some of the tactics and approaches recommended, because what we've been doing so far clearly isn't working!
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Kids are hard. Sigh
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great book with lots of useful advice!
Margaret Wang
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
it did helped me on helping my teenagers.
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lots of very useful information.
Conor Schoeneberg
Apr 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Smart But Scattered Teens is a constructive book that explains how to increase your teen’s executive skills (a set of skills people need in order to “execute” jobs and solve problems). This book assists you in identifying your child’s executive skills, then building upon them so that they may achieve success not only in middle or high school, but in college and future jobs.
The authors (Richard Guare, Peg Dawson, and Colin Guare) are unquestionably authors that know a large abundance of informati
Kristin Larson barlow
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I recommend this book to anyone with kids over age 12. I loved it. Mine is full of highlights, folded down pages, and notes. The book starts with a self assessment quiz for your child to take and for you to take. I did it for my child and for myself. My husband also did it for my child. Interestingly, we all had almost the exact same results. It was interesting to see that my son's honest assessment of himself matched how we were seeing him. This is just a jumping off point. This book helped me ...more
Amy Neftzger
Feb 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
A very useful nonfiction book for anyone with teenagers who appear unmotivated. The book describes "executive skills" – which aren't skills that executives use, but rather a set of higher self management skills that are needed in order to be successful. What's so useful about this book is that it defines the different types of executive skills t help parents identify which ones their teens have or lack, and the book provides guidance to parents on how to assist teens in developing these skills. ...more
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has an excellent approach to helping teens learn executive functioning skills. It covers each of the skills separately, and lists a wide range of approaches to building each skill, with specific advice for parents on how to communicate with their teens and how to approach each problem. There were sections that didn't apply to my kids, and a few approaches I thought wouldn't be as successful as they suggested, but after trying a few solutions, I've been stunned at how well they work. Go ...more
Mar 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
I think every parent who reads this is probably hoping for a magic bullet of some sort, and of course, this book doesn't unveil one. I had actually been implementing most of the strategies suggested already, but still it was very helpful for keeping me on track and shoring up my instincts. It's so easy to let plans slide or second guess yourself when parenting, and this book definitely helped me to see that I'm doing the right things and gave me the motivation to do them more consistently.
Carlene Alexander
Oct 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Lots of really good ideas but could do with a UK version. Very American as most examples related to driving and car ownership. Young people in the UK can't start driving till 17 and the cost of driving lessons and car ownership is beyond the reach of most young people. This did grate a little. Would make a good group study book for parents/ teenagers.
Jan 13, 2014 rated it liked it
This book was helpful. It was written to parents about how to strengthen their teen's executive skills. I was reading it for myself so had to translate how I would implement the strategies presented to the parent. I skipped around a bit but feel slightly more knowledgeable about my own executive skills, and how to strengthen them.
Jan 19, 2014 rated it liked it
If you have any issues with your tween/tween being overwhelmed by school this book is a good place to start. Some of the quizzes where helpful and some of them were a waste of time. It did make Tim and I stop and think about what type of learner our kid was and how we can help him. But it's not a miracle and there are still lots of intense discussion about homework and organization .
Jan 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Since basically all my teens ( & preteen) suffer from a lack of Executive Functioning Skills, I'm finding this really useful in identifying their strengths and weaknesses (we don't always agree on which attributes are weak).
Jan 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
this book had a lot of helpful scenarios and possible solutions that would be practical in my everyday life with my PDD-NOS and my Gifted/Talented child, definitely going to be referenced back to more than once, glad that I purchased this book.
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: education
It gave me insight on the development of teenagers, and worksheets to use concerning strengthening executive skills.
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
loved this book. very helpful and practical ways to guide teens to take responsibility for areas they might lack in.
Apr 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
An excellent resource/ primer for parents (especially those new to ADHD and executive functioning issues). Easy to digest, with useful supplemental material (checklists, strategies, etc.).
Valerie Deloach
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Absolute must read for parents of teens!
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RICHARD GUARE, PH.D., (Rye, NH) is a neuropsychologist and the Director of the Center for Learning and Attention Disorders.
“Two Dimensions of Executive Skills: Thinking and Doing Executive skills involving thinking (cognition) Working memory Planning/prioritization Organization Time management Metacognition Executive skills involving doing (behavior) Response inhibition Emotional control Sustained attention Task initiation Goal-directed persistence Flexibility” 2 likes
“Your teen is probably trying—and trying hard—to do everything his or her peers are expected to do as they mature and face increasing responsibilities. But it’s a daily struggle when the teen has a deficiency in what are called executive skills, the functions of our brains and thought processes that help us regulate our behavior, set goals and meet them, and balance demands and desires, wants, needs, and have-tos.” 1 likes
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