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ALSUPASSESSMENT OF LAGGING SKILLS& UNSOLVED PROBLEMSCollaborative & Proactive SolutionsTHIS IS HOW PROBLEMS GET SOLVEDCHILD'S NAME DATEINSTRUCTIONS: The ALSUP is intended for use as a discussion guide rather than as a freestanding check-list or rating scale. It should beused to identify specific lagging skills and unsolved problems that pertain to a particular child or adolescent.If a lagging skill applies, check it off and then (before moving on to the next lagging skill) identify the specific expectations the child ishaving difficulty meeting in association with that lagging skill (unsolved problems). A non-exhaustive list of sample unsolved problems isshown at the bottom of the page.LAGGING SKILLSqDifficulty handling transitions, shifting from one mindset or taskto anotherqqqqDifficulty doing things in a logical sequence or prescribed orderqDifficulty considering the likely outcomes or consequences ofactions (impulsive)qqDifficulty considering a range of solutions to a problemqDifficulty managing emotional response to frustration so as tothink rationallyqChronic irritability and/or anxiety significantly impede capacityfor problem-solving or heighten frustrationqqqqDifficulty seeing “grays”/concrete, literal, black & white, thinkingqDifficulty taking into account situational factors that wouldsuggest the need to adjust a plan of actionqInflexible, inaccurate interpretations/cognitive distortions orbiases (e.g., “Everyone’s out to get me,” “Nobody likes me,”“You always blame me, “It’s not fair,” “I’m stupid”)qDifficulty attending to or accurately interpreting social cues/poor perception of social nuancesqDifficulty starting conversations, entering groups, connectingwith people/lacking other basic social skillsqqDifficulty seeking attention in appropriate waysqDifficulty empathizing with others, appreciating anotherperson’s perspective or point of viewqDifficulty appreciating how s/he is coming across or beingperceived by othersqSensory/motor difficultiesUNSOLVED PROBLEMSDifficulty persisting on challenging or tedious tasksPoor sense of timeDifficulty maintaining focusDifficulty expressing concerns, needs, or thoughts in wordsDifficulty deviating from rules, routineDifficulty handling unpredictability, ambiguity, uncertainty, noveltyDifficulty shifting from original idea, plan, or solutionDifficulty appreciating how his/her behavior is affecting othersUNSOLVED PROBLEMS GUIDE:Unsolved problems are the specific expectations a child is having difficulty meeting. Unsolved problems should be free of maladaptivebehavior; free of adult theories and explanations; “split” (not “clumped”); and specific.HOME EXAMPLES Difficulty getting out of bed in the morning in time to get to schoolDifficulty getting started on or completing homework (specify assignment)Difficulty ending the video game to get ready for bed at nightDifficulty coming indoors for dinner when playing outsideDifficulty agreeing with brother about what TV show to watch after schoolDifficulty with the feelings of seams in socksDifficulty brushing teeth before bedtimeSCHOOL EXAMPLES Difficulty moving from choice time to mathDifficulty sitting next to Kyle during circle timeDifficulty raising hand during social studies discussionsDifficulty getting started on project on tectonic plates in geographyDifficulty standing in line for lunchREV 013018livesinthebalance.orgFOSTERING COLLABORATION TRANSFORMING LIVES INSPIRING CHANGE

ALSUP GUIDECollaborative & Proactive SolutionsTHIS IS HOW PROBLEMS GET SOLVEDHINTS & TIPS FOR USING THE ALSUP The Assessment of Lagging Skills and Unsolved Problems (ALSUP) is best used as a discussionguide rather than as a freestanding checklist or rating scale. Meetings should be focused almost totally on identifying lagging skills and unsolved problems. It isnot the goal of the meeting to try to explain why a child has a particular lagging skill or unsolvedproblem, so hypotheses and theories about cause are to be avoided. It is also counterproductive tohave participants go into great detail about the behaviors that a child exhibits in response to a givenunsolved problem, so story telling is to be avoided as well. It’s best to discuss each lagging skill (rather than “cherry- picking”), starting at the top. If a lagging skill is endorsed, don’t continue moving down the list of lagging skills. Move over toidentify the unsolved problems associated with the lagging skill. An unsolved problem is an expectation a child is having difficulty meeting. To identify unsolved problems, begin with the stem, “Can you give some examples of times when(name of child) is having difficulty ” and then restate the endorsed lagging skill.EXAMPLE: Can you give me some examples of times when Tommy is having difficulty making transitions? Identify as many unsolved problems as possible for each endorsed lagging skill don’t move onafter identifying only one unsolved problem Many lagging skills may contribute to the same unsolved problem don’t spend valuable meetingtime trying to be precise about which lagging skill best accounts for a given unsolved problem.GUIDELINES FOR WRITING UNSOLVED PROBLEMS They usually begin with the word Difficulty.EXAMPLE: Difficulty taking out the trash on Thursday mornings They should contain no reference to the child’s challenging behaviors, though reference toexpected behaviors is fine.EXAMPLE: You wouldn’t write Screams and swears when having difficulty completing the wordproblems on the math homework. Instead, write Difficulty completing the word problems onthe math homework. They should contain no adult theories.EXAMPLE: You wouldn’t write Difficulty writing the definitions of the spelling words in English.because his parents were recently divorced. They should be split, not clumped.EXAMPLE: You wouldn’t write Difficulty getting along with others, but rather, Difficultyagreeing with Chad on the rules of the four-square game during recess. They should be specific. Here are two strategies that help:s Include details related to who, what, where, and when.s Ask What expectation is the child/student having difficulty meeting?REV 013018livesinthebalance.orgFOSTERING COLLABORATION TRANSFORMING LIVES INSPIRING CHANGE

DRILLING CHEAT SHEETCollaborative & Proactive SolutionsTHIS IS HOW PROBLEMS GET SOLVEDThe goal of the Empathy Step is to gather information from the child about his/her concern or perspective on theunsolved problem you’re discussing (preferably proactively). For many adults, this is the most difficult part of PlanB, as they often find that they are unsure of what to ask next. So here’s a brief summary of different strategies for“drilling” for information:REFLECTIVE LISTENING AND CLARIFYING STATEMENTSReflective listening basically involves mirroring what a child has said and then encouraging him/her to provideadditional information by saying one of the following: “How so?” “I don’t quite understand” “I’m confused” “Can you say more about that?” “What do you mean?”Reflective listening is your “default” drilling strategy if you aren’t sure of which strategy to use or what to say next,use this strategy.ASKING ABOUT THE WHO, WHAT, WHERE/WHEN OF THE UNSOLVED PROBLEMEXAMPLES: “Who was making fun of your clothes?” “What’s getting the way of completing the science project?” “Where is Eddie bossing you around?”ASKING ABOUT WHY THE PROBLEM OCCURS UNDER SOME CONDITIONS AND NOT OTHERSEXAMPLE: “You seem to be doing really well in your work group in math but not so well in your work group insocial studies what’s getting in the way in social studies?”ASKING THE CHILD WHAT S/HE’S THINKING IN THE MIDST OF THE UNSOLVED PROBLEMNotice, this is different than asking the child what s/he is feeling, which doesn’t usually provide much informationabout the child’s concern or perspective on an unsolved problem.EXAMPLE: “What were you thinking when Mrs. Thompson told the class to get to work on the science quiz?”BREAKING THE PROBLEM DOWN INTO ITS COMPONENT PARTSEXAMPLE: “So writing the answers to the questions on the science quiz is hard for you but you’re not sure why.Let’s think about the different parts of answering questions on the science quiz. First, you have to understand whatthe question is asking. Is that part hard for you? Next, you need to think of the answer to the question. Is that parthard? Next, you have to remember the answer long enough to write it down. Are you having trouble with that part?Then you have to actually do the writing. Any trouble with that part?”DISCREPANT OBSERVATIONThis involves making an observation that differs from what the child is describing about a particular situation, andit’s the riskiest (in terms of causing the child to stop talking) of all the drilling strategies.EXAMPLE: “I know you’re saying that you haven’t been having any difficulty with Chad on the playground lately, butI recall a few times last week when you guys were having a big disagreement about the rules in the box-ball game.What do you think was going on with that?”TABLING (AND ASKING FOR MORE CONCERNS)This is where you’re “shelving” some concerns the child has already expressed so as to permit consideration ofother concerns.EXAMPLE: “So if Timmy wasn’t sitting too close to you, and Robbie wasn’t making noises, and the floor wasn’t dirty,and the buttons in your pants weren’t bothering you is there anything else that would make it difficult for you toparticipate in Morning Meeting?”SUMMARIZING (AND ASKING FOR MORE CONCERNS)This is where you’re summarizing concerns you’ve already heard about and then asking if there are any otherconcerns that haven’t yet been discussed. This is the recommended strategy to use before moving on to the DefineAdult Concerns step.EXAMPLE: “Let me make sure I understand all of this correctly. It’s hard for you to do your social studies worksheetfor homework because writing down the answers is still hard for you and because sometimes you don’t understandthe question and because Mrs. Langley hasn’t yet covered the material on the worksheet. Is there anything elsethat’s hard for you about completing the social studies worksheet for homework?”Prepared with the assistance of Dr. Christopher WatsonREV 013018livesinthebalance.orgFOSTERING COLLABORATION TRANSFORMING LIVES INSPIRING CHANGE

F.A.Q.Collaborative & Proactive SolutionsTHIS IS HOW PROBLEMS GET SOLVEDA more compassionate, productive, effective, approachto understanding and helping behaviorally challenged kids.Dr. Ross Greene is the originator of the research-based approach-- now called Collaborative & Proactive Solutions(CPS)-- to understanding and helping behaviorally challenging kids, as described in his books The Explosive Child andLost at School. The CPS model has been implemented in countless families, schools, inpatient psychiatry units, therapeuticgroup homes, and residential and juvenile detention facilities. The approach sets forth two major tenets. First, challengingbehavior in kids is best understood as the result of lagging cognitive skills (in the general domains of flexibility/adaptability, frustration tolerance, and problem solving) rather than as the result of passive, permissive, inconsistent,noncontingent parenting. And second, the best way to reduce challenging episodes is by working together with the child– collaborating – to solve the problems setting them in motion in the first place (rather than by imposing adult will andintensive use of reward and punishment procedures). Here are some of the important questions answered by the model:QUESTION: Why are challenging kids challenging?ANSWER: Because they’re lacking the skills not to be challenging. If they had the skills, they wouldn’t be challenging. That’sbecause –and this is perhaps the key theme of the model – Kids do well if they can. And because (here’s another keytheme) Doing well is preferable to not doing well. This, of course, is a dramatic departure from the view of challenging kidsas attention-seeking, manipulative, coercive, limit-testing, and poorly motivated. It’s a completely different set of lenses,supported by research in the neurosciences over the past 30-40 years, and it has dramatic implications for how caregiversgo about helping such kids.QUESTION: When are challenging kids challenging?ANSWER: When the demands or expectations being placed upon them exceed the skills that they have to respondadaptively. Of course, that’s when we all respond maladaptively: when we’re lacking the skills to respond adaptively. Thus,an important goal for helpers is to identify the skills a challenging kid is lacking. An even more important goal is to identifythe specific expectations a kid is having difficulty meeting, referred to as unsolved problems and to help kids solve thoseproblems. Because unsolved problems tend to be highly predictable, the problem-solving should be proactive most of thetime. Identifying lagging skills and unsolved problems is accomplished through use of an instrument called the Assessmentof Lagging Skills and Unsolved Problems (ALSUP). You can find the ALSUP in The Paperwork section of the website ofLives in the Balance, the nonprofit Dr. Greene founded to help disseminate his approach (livesinthebalance.org).QUESTION: What behaviors do challenging kids exhibit when they don’t have the skills to respond adaptively tocertain demands?ANSWER: Challenging kids communicate that they’re struggling to meet demands and expectations in some fairly commonways: whining, pouting, sulking, withdrawing, crying, screaming, swearing, hitting, spitting, kicking, throwing, lying, stealing,and so forth. But what a kid does when he’s having trouble meeting demands and expectations isn’t the most importantpart (though it may feel that way). Why and when he’s doing these things are much more important.QUESTION: What should we be doing differently to help these kids better than we’re helping them now?ANSWER: If