Thursday, March 8, 2018

Organizing the Disorganized Child Book Review

I went through the list of books at the library to see if there were any helpful hints or books to get my son on track of being able to find his things.  Organizing the Disorganized Child: Simple Strategies to Succeed in School by Martin L. Kutscher was one of the suggestions so I reserved it.  It came in on the shelf and since it was a shorter book, I decided to read it right away.

"You can imagine what my child′s room looked like: clothes on the floor, dresser draws open with clothes half hanging out of them, and toys spread all over the floor."
"Jill is given an assignment on Monday that is due on Friday. The problem is that despite repeated nagging, she won′t start it until Thursday night."
Organizing Ther Disorganized Child finally answers the parents′ question, "How can I help my child get organized without waging a battle?" This essential toolkit for parents and educators factors organizational styles into the equation, and offers effective strategies that deliver amazing long-term results.
Renowned ADHD expert Dr. Martin Kutscher and coach Marcella Moran explain the roots of our children′s organizational problems, and the parents′ role in fixing them. They outline different organizational styles used by different students. (Not all kids organize the same way!) Kutscher and Moran outline exactly what school materials to buy, and how to set up the study area. They provide a step-by-step plan for an organizational system including:
o Refining morning and nighttime routines
o Getting the correct work home
o Planning the work, and getting it back to where it belongs
o Tips for reading and note taking
o Study and test taking skills
o Learning how to ask the right questions
Organizing the Disorganized Child is an essential toolkit that belongs on every parent′s shelf.
Early Praise for Organizing the Disorganized Child
"A superb book! Blessedly brief, pointedly practical, and clear as glass, this book will help any child, parent, or teacher who reads it. Step by step, the authors, who truly know their subject, lead the reader through a method that can′t help but succeed. This book meets an urgent need. I will be referring my patients to it."
- Edward Hallowell, M.D., co-author of Driven to Distraction and Superparenting for ADD
"Organizing the Disorganized Child is a long overdue manual that strives to make life easier on families with children with ADHD. Unlike other books that offer a menu of one-size-fits-all strategies, this book digs deeper and helps parents to understand the root causes of their particular child′s disorganization...This book is a MUST HAVE for all parents of children with or without ADHD!"
- Nancy A. Ratey, author of The Disorganized Mind
"Organizing the Disorganized Child is a breath of fresh air. Straightforward, practical, and most important, providing strategies and ideas that any parent - even the disorganized - can easily implement. Rather than wait till some children struggle I suggest that Organizing the Disorganized Child be essential reading for parents of all entering first graders."
- Sam Goldstein, Ph.D., Co-author of Raising a Self-disciplined Child

I thought that it was a good read and had some helpful hints although I think that we are doing most of the things already like packing our bag the night before and having a pocket for homework and a pocket for going back to school.  Luckily our school already has a folder to send home paperwork once a week and parents to send back paperwork so that it doesn't get lost too.  We have checklists and allow for extra time to get ready because we know there will be stopping to play and other things too.  There is a special section in the back with the difference between being disorganized and having ADD/ADHD.  This helps to see how children are different and I thought that the book was an easy and quick read that was well worth it if you are trying to get a child organized and ready to learn.


  1. I bought that book in desperation several years ago when Middle Son was either in 8th or 9th grade, it seems and I liked it a lot but most of their suggestions were things we had already implemented. I believe that they had a suggestion to use a calendar with Post It Notes that we tried but that didn't last. In the end, Middle Son remained as disorganized (and not caring about it) as ever and still is, to this day. It drives me nuts, especially when it causes him to miss out on things because of all this disorganization! But the child has to be willing to change too and he doesn't think there's anything wrong with the way he does things so he resists a lot of suggestions. Good luck with your son.

    PS: I read it in 2010. I just found the review that I had written for myself and it said "Good suggestions for younger kids, but for teens who don't see anything wrong with the way they do things now, it's harder to find something really useful. I did like the studying tips. I haven't implemented any of the ideas found in the book though. It mostly reconfirmed what I already knew about my kids and that they're not abnormally messy. I suspect that if a teen wanted to read the book on his or her own because they WANT to be better organized, then it would be a great resource."

    1. Totally agree!! It is even hard with a 9 year old but we are working on it. We do most of the things in the book but it was a quick read so well worth the time. It is so hard to make anyone change who doesn't want to but hoping that we can put a few things in place that help but I can't say the ideas came from this book but I need to clean up the homework area but it is always getting more messed up. Oh well!!! A little while of being more aware isn't going to hurt!


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