Laziness … or Poor Executive Skills?

December 1, 2013
by: Peg Dawson

As a psychologist who specializes in children with learning and attention disorders, I see a lot of kids who are struggling in school. Very often, their parents are struggling too, with what is causing the problem. When they come to see me, the initial interview often goes like this: Me: Why don’t you start by telling me how you ended up here and what you’re hoping to get out of this evaluation? Parents: We can’t figure out why Sam (this could be Samuel or Samantha, but for the sake of simplicity, we’ll assume Sam’s a boy) is having such a hard time in school. He did fine in early elementary school, and his achievement test scores are consistently above average, so we know he’s not stupid. To be honest, we’re beginning to think he’s just lazy. Me: Tell me what leads you to suspect that. Parents: Well, if he hasn’t “forgotten” that he has homework or forgotten to bring it home, he puts it off until the last minute and then rushes through it. He makes a million mistakes but can’t bring himself to go back and check his work. And if he has a choice between playing video games… Continue reading Laziness … or Poor Executive Skills?