Friday, February 20, 2009

Collaborative Problem Solving

I went to a workshop today called Collaborative Problem Solving: Parenting, Teaching, and Treating Challenging Kids by Ross W. Green, PhD. With any of these workshops I think it is important to look for things you can put in your parenting tool box. This workshop was loaded with them. Ross Green is the author of Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them Information at about this book can also be found at He also wrote The Explosive Child. I did not provide the link for this book because a new edition should be coming out soon which has more of the collaborative problem solving in it.
His belief is that kids do well if they can, if they can't we adults need to figure out what's getting in the way so we can help. He believes that challenging children are developmentally delayed and are lagging in some important skills and have unsolved problems. He provided a test he gave permission to copy:

Child’s Name __________________________________________ Date __________________
_____Difficulty handling transitions, shifting from one mindset or task to another (shifting cognitive set)
_____Difficulty doing things in a logical sequence or prescribed order
_____Difficulty persisting on challenging or tedious tasks
_____Poor sense of time
_____Difficulty reflecting on multiple thoughts or ideas simultaneously
_____Difficulty maintaining focus for goal-directed problem-solving
_____Difficulty considering the likely outcomes or consequences of actions (impulsive)
_____Difficulty considering a range of solutions to a problem
_____Difficulty expressing concerns, needs, or thoughts in words
_____Difficulty understanding what is being said
_____Difficulty managing emotional response to frustration so as to think rationally (separation of affect)
_____Chronic irritability and/or anxiety significantly impede capacity for problem-solving
_____Difficulty seeing the “grays”/concrete, literal, black-and-white, thinking
_____Difficulty deviating from rules, routine, original plan
_____Difficulty handling unpredictability, ambiguity, uncertainty, novelty
_____Difficulty shifting from original idea or solution/difficulty adapting to changes in plan or new rules
_____Difficulty taking into account situational factors that would suggest the need to adjust a plan of action
_____Inflexible, inaccurate interpretations/cognitive distortions or biases (e.g., “Everyone’s out to get me,”
“Nobody likes me,” “You always blame me, “It’s not fair,” “I’m stupid”)
_____Difficulty attending to or accurately interpreting social cues/poor perception of social nuances
_____Difficulty starting conversations, entering groups, connecting with people/lacks other basic social skills
_____Difficulty seeking attention in appropriate ways
_____Difficulty appreciating how his/her behavior is affecting other people
_____Difficulty empathizing with others, appreciating another person’s perspective or point-of-view
_____Difficulty appreciating how s/he is coming across or being perceived by others
_____ Waking up/getting out of bed in the morning
_____ Completing morning routine/getting ready for school
_____ Sensory hypersensitivities
_____ Starting or completing homework or a particular academic task
_____ Food quantities/choices/preferences/timing
_____ Time spent in front of a screen (TV, video games, computer)
_____ Going to/getting ready for bed at night
_____ Boredom
_____ Sibling interactions
_____ Cleaning room/completing household chores
_____ Taking medicine
_____ Riding in car/wearing seat belt
_____ Shifting from one specific task to another (specify)
_____ Getting started on/completing class assignment (specify)
_____ Interactions with a particular classmate/teacher (specify)
_____ Behavior in hallway/at recess/in cafeteria/on school bus/waiting in line (specify)
_____ Talking at appropriate times
_____ Specific academic tasks/demands, e.g., writing assignments (specify)
_____ Handling disappointment/losing at a game/not coming in first/not being first in line (specify)
OTHERS (list)
Think about which lagging skills and unsolved problems your child may have. I'll write about the next step in my next post.

1 comment:

truevyne said...

Wanted you to know I used this checklist talking with my son's teachers about RAD. It was very helpful. Thanks for posting it.