Smart but Scattered Practical Summit

On Demand

Smart but Scattered Practical Summit

A comprehensive, practical approach to assessing and treating executive functioning deficits in the classroom, clinic and home.

smart scattered summit cover

About this Course

Course Description

MODULE 1 - Executive Skills: The “Hidden Curriculum” that Is Essential for School Success

Description: Executive skills are task-oriented skills that underlie students’ ability to learn. Although seldom taught explicitly, it has become apparent to professionals and parents alike that students who are strong in these skills are more successful than those who aren't. This webinar will introduce the Smart but Scattered model of executive skills, which consists of 6 foundational skills and 5 advanced skills that students need to be successful learners. These skills will be presented within a developmental context so that participants understand the normal developmental progression of these skills. The webinar will also include a discussion of how these skills look different in children with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, and learning disabilities. Module I will conclude with a description of three intervention strategies for supporting students with executive skill challenges.

MODULE 2 - Assessing Executive Skills in Children and Adults

Description: In this module, Dr. Dawson discusses the purposes for assessing executive skills and describes how executive skills may be evaluated within the context of a comprehensive psycho-educational or neuropsychological evaluation. She outlines five sources of information she relies on in this assessment process and illustrates how she uses informal assessment and behavior observations to augment standardized testing and norm-referenced rating scales. She also discusses how assessing executive skills can inform special education decision-making, how to use assessment to identify targets for executive skills interventions, and strategies for progress-monitoring.

MODULE 3 - Embedding Executive Skills into Classroom Lessons and Daily Routines

Description: This workshop will provide step-by-step instructions for incorporating executive skills into everyday classroom lessons and activities. After an introduction to executive skills that includes definitions and an overview of how brain development impacts executive skills, participants will learn how to: 1) connect classroom behavior to specific executive skills; 2) introduce executive skill concepts and terminology to students; 3) create classroom routines to help students with weak executive skills and to foster executive skill development in all students; 4) embed executive skills into lessons for whatever subject matter they are teaching; and 5) engage students in a problem-solving process to address both class-wide and individual issues associated with executive skill challenges.

MODULE 4 - Skill-by-Skill Strategies for Helping Children and Teens with Executive Skill Challenges

Description: While there are intervention strategies that support executive skill development in general, there are also strategies targeted to specific executive skill deficits. This webinar will take each of the 11 executive skills in the Smart but Scattered model and give participants ways to make appropriate environmental modifications for each executive as well as specific teaching strategies for each of the 11 skills. The webinar will also present a process for designing a personalized intervention that is collaborative and student-centered.

(Note: Although ASHA is not listed in the Educational Credits section below, ASHA credits can be arranged with advance request. If you would like to receive ASHA credits for this course, contact us before course purchase at


  • When: On Demand
  • Time: 12 hours
  • Where: On Demand
  • Speaker: Peg Dawson Ed.D NCSP
  • Course Level: Intermediate
  • Target Audience: OTs, PTs, SLPs, COTAs, PTAs, parents, behavioral therapists, educators, administrators and psychologists working with children

Meet the Presenter

Picture of Peg D. - SBS

Peg Dawson Ed.D NCSP

In over 40 years of clinical practice, Dr. Peg Dawson has worked with thousands of children who struggle at home and in school. At the center of their struggles are often weak executive skills. Along with her colleague, Dr. Richard Guare, she has written numerous books on this topic for educators, mental health professionals, and parents, among them Smart but Scattered, Smart but Scattered Teens, Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents, and Coaching Students with Executive Skills Deficits. Peg is also a past president of the National Association of School Psychologists, and the International School Psychology Association, and is a recipient of NASP’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Disclosure: Peg Dawson receives a speaking fee for her presentation. She has no relevant non-financial relationships to disclose.

Learning Objectives

Define the 11 executive skills in the Smart but Scattered model and differentiate between foundational and advanced skills.

Describe how brain development informs the acquisition of executive skills.

Identify how neurodevelopmental disorders impact executive skill development.

List three strategies for supporting students with weak executive skills and know when each approach is appropriate.

Identify 4 purposes for assessing executive skills.

Describe the strengths and weaknesses of 5 different components of a comprehensive executive skills assessment.

Identify at least 3 progress monitoring measures for evaluating the effectiveness of executive skills interventions.

Be able to give examples of how the 11 executive skills in the Smart but Scattered model manifest themselves both as strengths and challenges in daily school and home activities.

Learn a step-by-step process for embedding executive skills into general education classrooms.

Be able to identify a variety of strategies for teaching executive skills to students of all ages.

Learn a collaborative, student-centered protocol for designing a personalized intervention to address the unique needs of an individual child.

Know how to make environmental modifications to support students with challenges in 11 executive skill domains.

Leave with specific teaching strategies to strengthen each of 11 executive skills.

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Educational Credits

Hands on Approaches, Inc. is an AOTA Approved Provider of continuing education. AOTA does not endorse specific course content, products, or clinical procedures.

Approved by AOTA for 1.2 CEUs.

Recognized by NYSED State Board for PT as an approved provider of PT and PTA continuing education. Approved for 12 contact hours.

Approved for 12 CTLE contact hours.

Time Ordered Agenda

Module 1

Overview of Executive Skills

45 minutes

The “Smart but Scattered” Model

45 minutes


15 minutes

Underlying Brain Development Supporting Executive Skills

45 minutes

3 Strategies for Supporting Students with Weak Executive Skills

45 minutes

Module 2

Brief overview of Dawson/Guare model of executive skills and purposes of assessment

30 minutes

Assessment to understand underlying factors contributing to a perceived problem

Including how to use the methods of: Parent/teacher interview, behavior rating scales, formal assessment, behavior observations, informal assessment
45 minutes


15 minutes

Assessment for the purpose of special education decision-making

45 minutes

Assessment for determining appropriate targets for intervention

30 minutes

Assessment for progress monitoring

30 minutes

Module 3

Applying executive skill terminology to student learning and behavior; introducing the concepts to students

45 minutes

Incorporating executive skills into daily routines, lessons, classwork and homework assignments

45 minutes


15 minutes

Creating strategy lists and class brainstorming solutions to executive skill challenges

45 minutes

Student reflection and self-evaluation; carryover beyond the school year

45 minutes

Module 4

Review of 3 strategies for executive skill interventions

60 minutes

Examples of environmental modifications and teaching strategies for each one of the 11 executive skills

60 minutes


15 minutes

Designing interventions tailored to individual students

60 minutes

Frequently Asked Questions


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