Skip to main content
Digital Recording

Smart but Scattered: Effective EF Strategies to Empower Children to Thrive Emotionally, Socially, and Academically

Average Rating:
Margaret Dawson, EdD, NCSP
6 Hours 17 Minutes
Dec 06, 2023
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Recording - Also available: Digital Recording
Never expires.


Children who have deficient executive skills often have trouble getting started on tasks, get distracted easily, lose papers or assignments and forget to hand in homework …

Often considered chronic underachievers, these children are at risk for academic failure as well as social-emotional and behavioural difficulties.

… YOU can be the one to help them!

Watch Dr. Dawson, esteemed expert and author on Executive Functioning, for a transformative training that will empower you to support these struggling students. Dive into captivating case examples and interactive discussions that translate cutting-edge research into meaningful, practical, and easy-to-implement techniques to help any student.

Walk away with a comprehensive toolkit that includes evidence-based strategies - assessment tools, environmental modifications, cognitive and behavioral skill building techniques - to help students …

  • Establish effective systems to manage materials, assignments, and responsibilities
  • Prioritize tasks, manage schedules, and meet deadlines
  • Mitigate impulsive behaviours and decision-making
  • Foster perseverance and persistence to reach goals
  • Discover their unique strengths and capabilities

Go back to your office with can’t fail strategies and real-world solutions to help adolescents to overcome obstacles, at home and school!


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.


This online program is worth 6.5 hours CPD.



Margaret Dawson, EdD, NCSP's Profile

Margaret Dawson, EdD, NCSP Related seminars and products

Peg Dawson, EdD, NCSP, is a school psychologist and for over 20 years has worked at the Center for Learning and Attention Disorders in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where she specializes in the assessment of children and adults with learning and attention disorders. She is co-author of the bestselling books on executive dysfunction, Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents: 2nd Edition (Guilford, 2010), Smart but Scattered (Guilford, 2009) and Smart but Scattered Teens (Guilford, 2013).

Peg is a past editor of Communiqué, the newsletter of the National Association of School Psychologists, and has published numerous articles and book chapters on a variety of topics, including retention, ability grouping, reading disorders, attention disorders, the sleep problems of adolescents, the use of interviews in the assessment process, and homework.

Peg has many years of organizational experience at the state, national and international levels and served in many capacities, including president of the New Hampshire Association of School Psychologists, the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) and the International School Psychology Association.She has also participated in many of NASP’s leadership initiatives, including the Futures Conference and the development of both the second and third Blueprint for the Training and Practice of School Psychology. She is the 2006 recipient of NASP’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Peg received her doctorate in school/child clinical psychology from the University of Virginia.


Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Margaret (Peg) Dawson is an author for Guilford Press and receives royalties. She is an author for Amacon publishers and receives royalties. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-financial: Margaret (Peg) Dawson has no relevant non-financial relationships.

Additional Info

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.

For a more detailed outline that includes times or durations of time, if needed, please contact


Visit our FAQ page at or contact us at


  1. Assess the relationship between the executive skills and brain development/function in relation to assessment and treatment planning.
  2. Propose strategies to accommodate and strengthen weak planning and organizational skill, to improve client level of functioning.
  3. Appraise assessment tools used to identify deficits in executive functioning to better inform your choice of treatment interventions.
  4. Determine how executive skills impact performance and activities of daily living at home and school for the purpose of client psychoeducation.
  5. Utilize environmental modification strategies to support deficits in executive skills thus improving treatment outcomes.
  6. Implement strategies that transition children from being externally prompted to internally regulated.


Navigating Executive Skills in Children
  • Underlying theory
  • Brain function and child development
  • Key concepts about executive skills
  • Foundational vs. advanced EF skills
  • Case examples: Goal-directed persistence
Assessment of Executive Skills
Tools to Pinpoint a Range of Cognitive and Behavioural Challenges
  • Parent/teacher/student interviews
  • Behaviour rating scales
  • Observations
  • Informal assessment
  • Formal assessment
Key Strategies to Manage Weak Executive Skills
  • When and how to make environmental modifications
  • How to teach executive skills strategies to children
  • The way it is worded it does not make sense
  • How to build motivation when skills are difficult
Putting Together an Effective Student-Centered Intervention Plan
  • How to:
    • Create the perfect plan to enhance child’s natural abilities
    • Match the skill to child’s developmental level
    • Use the child’s innate drive for mastery and control
    • Effortful tasks and ways to make tasks less difficult
    • Incentives that augment instruction
    • Provide information without being the direct support
    • Transfer responsibility to student
    • Limitations of the research and potential risks

Target Audience

  • Counsellors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Therapists
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Speech-Language Pathologists
  • Teachers
  • School Guidance Counsellors
  • Case Managers
  • Nurses
  • School Administrators
  • Educational Paraprofessionals
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants
  • Other Helping Professionals Who Work with Children

Claim your FREE listing

Need referrals? List your practice in the directory for FREE!



Overall:      4.8

Total Reviews: 21


Kathy B

"This was the best PESI course I have taken! I have taken a few over the past few years."

Janet K

"Excellent course!"

Ami P

"Wonderful Seminar. Looking forward to taking another one of Dr. Dawson's seminar's in the future. "

Rebecca E

"Too little time is spent on intervention methods/ providing concrete examples in a concise manner. "

Wendy A

"Speaker very engaging and knowledgeable. Easy to follow and gave great examples of interventions that I can use!"

Faithe K

"So informative! Would have liked more examples to help parents, so clinicians can help them learn and for clinicians to help clients. "

Deborah E

"Excellent seminar. Very knowledgeable presenter. Information very useful."

Melissa B

"Very engaging presenter. "

Pamela M

"She was excellent! I would have liked to have had more time with her."

Kalyn K

"Dr. Dawson was a knowledgeable and friendly presenter! She obviously has much personal experience with this topic which made it easier to relate to her and what she was presenting!"

Satisfaction Guarantee
Your satisfaction is our goal and our guarantee. Concerns should be addressed to or call 01235847393.

Please wait ...

Back to Top