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Train Your Brain for Success: A Teenager's Guide to Executive Functions [Paperback]

Randy Kulman PhD

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Book Description

April 1 2012
Executive functions are a set of thinking, problem-solving, and self-control skills that tell the brain what to do, and this book demonstrates the ways kids use executive functions in school, at home, and in their other activities and shows how these skills can be improved through sustained effort. Beginning with a test to determine executive-functioning strengths and weaknesses, the book then explores in detail eight distinct sets of skills, including planning, organization, focus, time management, self-control, flexibility, memory, and self-awareness. In addition to giving an overview of each executive-functioning skill and how these skills are used in the real world, the book—intended as a self-directed learning guide for students themselves—also provides teens tools and tips for improving executive functions, including how to use video games, iPods, cell phones, and other electronic media to their advantage. A section for teachers and parents who may be dealing with a teenager with one or more executive dysfunctions is also included, as well as information for teens on how to recognize when they need help and where to go for help when a problem arises.

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"Fills an important gap in clinical practice by providing adolescents with practical, user-friendly strategies to improve their organizational, planning, memory, and time-management skills. . . . Dr. Kulman has done an excellent job of interweaving his wealth of clinical experience with empirically based research in describing strategies that teenagers can use independently or in collaboration with their parents."  —George J. DuPaul, PhD, professor of school psychology and chair, department of education and human services, Lehigh University

About the Author

Randy Kulman, PhD, is the founder and president of LearningWorks for Kids, an educational technology company that specializes in using video games to teach executive-functioning and academic skills. For the past 25 years, Dr. Kulman has also been the clinical director and president of South County Child and Family Consultants, a multidisciplinary group of private practitioners that specializes in assessment and interventions for children with learning disorders and attention difficulties. He is the author of numerous essays on the use of digital technologies for improving executive-functioning skills in children and is the coauthor of a chapter in the book Designing Games for Ethics: Models, Techniques, and Frameworks. He lives in Wakefield, Rhode Island.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Very Practical! Feb. 19 2012
By tchcdon - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Over my 20 years of primary care practice, I have seen the social and mental health consequences of teens with poor executive function. This book offers step-by-step very practical tools that teens can do on their own. Its down to earth, sometimes folksy, style draws in the reader. By being so concrete and concise, it's a book both teens and their parents can easily understand. Almost every chapter (organized by the particular skill one wants to work on) has suggestions for incorporating technology which speaks directly to this digital generation. I would expect high school teachers and guidance counselors to find this book enormously valuable as well.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Solid Contribution Oct. 27 2012
By Neil Brandon - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book packs a wealth of information into a practical, readable format. The author has a talent for simplifying potentially complex concepts into clearly understandable segments. He first introduces a simple survey to identify executive functions that the reader most needs to strengthen. He then works methodically through the eight executive functions, explaining each one in detail in terms of how it helps, how to grow it, and how a child can help themself to improve each particular function. He includes appropriate suggestions to utilize modern technology such as search engines and social media. He concludes with valuable, concise recommendations to parents that will help them form a partnership with their child to work on executive functions constructively.
Overall, I highly recommend this book for teachers, families, and students facing issues with paying attention, self-control, and problem solving skills. It is a solid contribution to the field.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT book for parent - teen collaboration Aug. 25 2013
By Working Mom likes! - Published on
As a working mom who values education AND self -esteem for her kids, I only wish this book was available when my son was in middle school/high school. Dr. Kulman knows his audience AND his topic. He makes executive function accessible and judgement-free for teens. He respect teens' intelligent and holds them accountable for their own success. The book is organized so clearly and offers concrete skill-based options - it invites a teen to take action!

I would recommend this book as a helpful resource for families trying to help their teens break through to a new place in study habits and as a user-friendly supplement to other resources offered through school, etc.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book for Middle Schoolers Too July 9 2013
By great game lots of fun - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Easy to understand. Wish book could be expanded with more details and diagrams and pictures that keep attention focused. Good Book.

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