A Strategy for Disorganized Kids

More often than not, I speak with a parent who finds going through their child’s backpack a depressing thought.  Within it may be a homework assignment due the previous week, or a book report that was due the previous quarter!  I’ve certainly experienced this with my students, and I’m sure at some time you’ve seen examples of this.

Parents and teachers need to understand that disorganization is an outgrowth of a neurodevelopmental profile, and that the challenges include attention processing, and disorganization of space and materials, such as the desk, locker, and……”gulp”……backpack.

Weaknesses in active working memory can cause disorganized thinking, such as in writing an essay, or not being able to put things in sequential order.  Time management also is an issue, so the child never seems to complete long term projects.

If you recognize any of these symptoms, what do you do about it?

In his book, “How Can My Kid Succeed in School?”, expert in the field, Craig Pohlman, Ph.D.  explains, “One strategy is to use a rating scale with 1 being a total state of disarray and 10 representing the ultimate organization.  If you discuss the scale with your child and ask him to rate himself, he might choose a 2 and understand his disorganization.  This may inspire him to work harder and go for a 4 the next time.  This in itself is encouraging, and could resolve academic difficulties as the child may be inclined to hand in his homework on time.”


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