Smart But Scattered

On Demand

Smart But Scattered

Address executive skill dysfunction through home and classroom routines, lessons and environmental modifications.

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About this Course

Course Description

Youngsters with poor executive skills are disorganized or forgetful, have trouble getting started on tasks, get distracted easily, lose papers or assignments, forget to bring home the materials to complete homework or forget to hand homework in.

They may rush through work or dawdle, they make careless mistakes that they fail to catch. They don’t know where to begin on long-term assignments, and they put the assignment off until the last minute, in part because they have trouble judging the magnitude of the task and how long it will take to complete it.

Their workspaces are disorganized, and teachers may refer to their desks, backpacks, and notebooks as “black holes.” Students with executive skill deficits present tremendous challenges to both parents and teachers who often find themselves frustrated by children whose problems in school seem to have little to do with how smart they are or how easily they learn. 

This course will give educators, clinicians (and parents!) tools to assess and intervene in cases of executive dysfunction. Intervention strategies to be covered include environmental modificationstask modificationsroutines for the home and the classroom to help children improve executive functioning, curriculum building to develop executive functioning skills on a school-wide level and procedures for personalized, child-specific interventions.

(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: 6.5 hours
  • Where: On Demand
  • Speaker: Peg Dawson, Ed.D., NCSP
  • Course Level: Intermediate
  • Target Audience: Parents, Educators, including school psychologists, classroom teachers, school administrators, OTs, speech pathologists, school counselors, ed techs; mental health professionals, including clinical and neuropsychologists, social workers, licensed therapists

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

Describe the brain processes involved in executive skill development both in typically developing children and those with executive dysfunction (such as ADHD).

Identify how executive skills impact school performance and daily living.

Utilize a variety of formal and informal assessment strategies for evaluating executive skills.

Identify environmental modifications to support weak executive skills.

Design protocols for teaching executive skills through embedding them in daily classroom lessons or routines and through solving behavior problems commonly found in a clinical practice.

Explain the process for designing a “student-centered” intervention targeting problem situations associated with executive skill challenges.

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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 0.6 CEUs.

Learning Objectives will be assessed via a post-test given at the end of the webinar. A passing grade of 70% is necessary to receive a certificate of completion.

Recognized by NYSED State Board for PT as an approved provider of PT and PTA continuing education. Approved for 0.6 contact hours.

Recognized by NYSED State Board for social workers as an approved provider of social workers continuing education. Approved for 6 contact hours.

Approved for 6 CTLE contact hours.

Learning Objectives will be assessed via a post-test given at the end of the webinar. A passing grade of 70% is necessary to receive a certificate of completion.

Time Ordered Agenda

Overview of Executive Skills

Underlying theory behind executive skills and introduction to the 11 foundational and advanced executive skills that form the basis of the Dawson/Guare model.
135 Minutes

Development and Assessment of Executive Skills

Key brain processes that support executive skill development and the impact of ADHD or ASD; how to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of executive skills using formal and informal assessment.
75 Minutes


30 Minutes

Intervention Strategies

Environmental modifications; teaching strategies and routines to help children improve executive functioning; embedding skills into a whole-school curriculum; designing student centered interventions.
150 Minutes

Frequently Asked Questions


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