Following a parent workshop on the topic of “Taking Charge of Attentional Difficulties and Homework Challenges” that I recently presented at a school, I was approached by a parent who wanted some advice. She explained that her 10 year old son, a fun loving, energetic boy, had trouble bringing in homework on time, and in general, staying organized. For some young people, getting and staying organized, finding materials, coming prepared to class, and meeting deadlines in a timely manner comes naturally and easily. For others, this can be very challenging. Keeping ourselves focused and on trackdespite the many distractions and demands of life is a challenge for many of us.

“Organizational Skills Training (OST) is an evidence based skills building approach that helps young people get and stay organized, and to be

Some youth struggle with attentional difficulties, and may face even more challenges. These youth are often distracted, unfocused, and may also be restless and impulsive. They may find it even more taxing to begin projects, keep track of papers, belongings, or deadlines, and complete homework or chores. Even when they are able to get themselves to begin a project or activity, they may find it difficult to persist especially if the task is uninteresting, tedious, sedentary or demanding. This can result in failure to complete tasks at home or at school, and, for some, this can also cause lowered self-confidence / self-esteem, as well as possible diminished school engagement.

It turns out that the root to parenting youth with attentional difficulties lies in having a better understanding of how their brain works. It is now widely accepted that the human brain is not completed its development until we reach the age of 25–30 years. Research indicates that for people with attentional difficulty, this can be delayed by up to 30%. Specifically, people with attentional difficulties experience more challenges with executive functions: The part of the brain in charge of planning, concentrating, and staying on task is not as active as it should be compared to others the same age. As such, when youth with attentional difficulties have to get themselves to do something that is not delicious to them, it takes that much more work for them to focus, plan, stay organized, and persist until the task is accomplished. This has nothing to do with will power, inadequate parenting, laziness, or lack of intelligence. In fact, many people with high intelligence (even talented and gifted categories) can still find themselves having trouble with focus, attention, impulsivity, and organization.

The good news is… there are ways to help !

Organizational Skills Training (OST) is a skills building approach that helps young people deal with these difficulties. This system uses specific brain based teaching strategies to engage students, and, according to research, has been shown to: Improve academic productivity and academic performance, as well as decrease problems associated with doing homework Organizational Skills Training (OST) is an evidence based skills building approach that helps young people get and stay organized, and to be more successful at home, at school, and in life. Contact DM for more information ! Sincerely, DM FAMILY & SCHOOL SERVICES