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

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  440 ratings  ·  56 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, 217 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Woodbine House Inc.,U.S.
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3.84  · 
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 ·  440 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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Lars Guthrie
Jun 13, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
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
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you have a child with ADHD and an LD this book gives you wonderful insight into what your child is going through. It is easy to read and understand. The authors did not bog it down with a lot of psychological terminology that can often turn you off from the book because it is too clinical. Also the examples they provide seem true to life and you are able to relate to them. The suggestions to help your child make sense and seem doable.
Previous to reading this book, I often thought my son was
Deirdre Keating
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
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
Feb 11, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was highly recommended from my son's Psychiatrist as a way to cope with a child that has issues with executive functioning. I read it and agree with his assessment. I however, found that much of the recommendations are pretty standard coming from a Military mind set. While it gives you a lot of great paths forward, they are very difficult to keep up with. In many ways you have to micromanage everything until the child can do it on their own.

Sometimes it is nice to read something that r
Nov 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teaching
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
Jul 29, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Apr 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
May 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: special-needs
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
Apr 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: autism-adhd
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!
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazingly good book for children with executive issues

I felt that this book really helped me understand my child more. I feel more equipped to help him become successful.
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting
This was a great overview of executive functioning and what it means to have deficits or challenges in executive functioning. I learned that there are several subcategories - inhibition (stopping one's own behavior), shift (moving from one situation to another flexibly), emotional control, initiation, working memory, planning/organization, organization of material and self-monitoring (monitoring one's own performance and measuring it against a standard).

The book outlines what neuropyschological
Jason Strayer
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
As a parent (or a step-parent in my case) of a child with ADHD, I wonder often how to connect with my child, who clearly doesn't think and move about the world as I do. Activities I find simple seem easily forgotten or performed half done in such a way that it raises a perception of laziness. However, he clearly cares and wants to do right by the world just as much as anyone. This may be a general problem for all children, and we parents have just forgotten what a child's brain feels like in our ...more
Jun 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
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
Ryan Frantz
Jul 19, 2016 rated it liked it
The book provided some good insight into the executive functions many of us take for granted. While the book's focus is on diagnoses that include weaknesses in one or more of those executive functions, I was struck by the fact that really anyone, for any reason, can present with temporary weaknesses as well. Consider when one is tired or worn out from a taxing day at work.

The latter half of the book provided some guidance on how to assist children (at various ages) in developing improved skills
Morninglight Mama
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting, nonfiction
I cannot recommend this book highly enough for families with children who have executive functioning difficulties, such as is so common with ADHD. This book addresses so many of the challenges in organization, planning, self-monitoring, task initiation, and working memory that my eleven year old son experiences, and it was incredibly reassuring to read that several of the approaches that I've tried to help him put in place were recommended. But, even more often, my eyes were opened to ways in wh ...more
Carmen Kane
May 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
Caroline Kipps
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference
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.
May 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Mar 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Anne Wall
Jan 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-challenge
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.
Marissa Morrison
Aug 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Apr 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
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.
Nov 25, 2012 rated it really liked it

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.
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
Dan Goldman
Mar 06, 2014 rated it liked it
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.
Beth Hahn
Apr 16, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Nov 09, 2016 rated it liked it
This book was very practical and helpful. A lot of good reminders about how to interact and what to expect. Nothing ground breaking, but that think is littered with book darts marking a good idea.
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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.” 1 likes
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