The best books to help children with ADHD boost executive functioning skills

Who am I?

Is there a Japanese or Dutch word for "One who loves to geek out on organizational strategies, productivity (and post-its) SO MUCH they focus their career on it?" If there is, um......that's me. I'm Dr. Rebecca Branstetter, and I've been a school psychologist and collector of practical strategies to support students with executive functioning challenges for over 20 years. As the author of The Everything Parents Guide to Executive Functioning and creator of the “How to Teach Children and Teens Executive Functioning Skills” masterclass, my passion is to help kids figure out how they learn, what's getting in the way of their potential, and what to do about it!


I wrote...

The Everything Parent's Guide to Children with Executive Functioning Disorder: Strategies to help your child achieve the time-management skills, ... needed to succeed in school and life

By Rebecca Branstetter,

Book cover of The Everything Parent's Guide to Children with Executive Functioning Disorder: Strategies to help your child achieve the time-management skills, ... needed to succeed in school and life

What is my book about?

Being organized. Staying focused. Controlling impulses and emotions. These are some of the basic executive functioning (EF) skills children need to function and succeed as they grow. But what can you do if your child is struggling with one or all of these skills?

As a school psychologist, I’ve worked with hundreds of children and teens with ADHD and executive functioning disorders on improving vital EF skills at school. One piece that was always missing was supporting parents, who want practical tools to support EF at home. That’s why I wrote this book! In this hands-on guide, you'll learn what EF difficulties look like and how you can help your child overcome these challenges.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The books I picked & why

Book cover of Make Social and Emotional Learning Stick!: Practical Activities to Help Your Child Manage Emotions, Navigate Social Situations & Reduce Anxiety

Rebecca Branstetter Why did I love this book?

So often, executive functioning challenges like impulse control, difficulties with attention, and trouble with organization are thought of as isolated skills to be taught as an “add on” lesson. However, there are easy ways to teach executive functioning skills as an “add IN” to what parents and educators are already doing throughout the day. I recommend this book because it helps teach executive functioning in everyday routines, like cooking, going to the store, and on the playground. I really love the colorful and ready-to-use pages in this book! The author also sells a really cool card deck you can get to take with you “on the go” to boost not only executive functioning but also emotional regulation and social communication.

By Elizabeth Sautter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Make Social and Emotional Learning Stick! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Mom’s Choice Award winner, Make Social and Emotional Learning Stick! Practical activities to help your child manage their emotions, navigate social situations and decrease anxiety, Expanded and Updated, (black and white version!) has helped thousands of families boost emotional regulation, executive functioning, social communication, reduce anxiety, and so much more!

Does your child struggle to have meaningful connections, navigate social situations, and communicate with others?

Learn how to support them so that they can build on their strengths and interests to feel confident and connected in social relationships and situations.

Does your child experience high levels of anxiety or…


Book cover of Lost at School: Why Our Kids with Behavioral Challenges Are Falling Through the Cracks and How We Can Help Them

Rebecca Branstetter Why did I love this book?

I’ve been a huge fan of Ross Greene’s work for a long time because he is changing the way parents and educators look at children with behavioral challenges. His powerful motto, “Kids do well when they can” is a call for teaching lagging executive skills, instead of punishing kids for having executive functioning challenges. Instead of thinking of a child with ADHD as being a “behavior problem” or “unmotivated”, Dr. Greene's Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) approach helps parents and educators focus on the true factors contributing to challenging behaviors, empowering educators to address these factors and create helping relationships with their most at-risk kids.

By Ross W. Greene,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lost at School as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the renowned authority on education and parenting, “an in-depth approach to aid parents and teachers to work together with behaviorally challenging students” (Publishers Weekly)—now revised and updated.

School discipline is broken. Too often, the kids who need our help the most are viewed as disrespectful, out of control, and beyond help, and are often the recipients of our most ineffective, most punitive interventions. These students—and their parents, teachers, and administrators—are frustrated and desperate for answers.

Dr. Ross W. Greene, author of the acclaimed book The Explosive Child, offers educators and parents a different framework for understanding challenging behavior. Dr.…


Book cover of Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents: A Practical Guide to Assessment and Intervention

Rebecca Branstetter Why did I love this book?

I love a book you can pick up and use right away with students with ADHD and executive functioning, which is why I love this book. Filled with practical and easy photocopying, there’s great reproducible forms and handouts. Great for educators and mental health professionals!

By Peg Dawson, Richard Guare,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

More than 100,000 school practitioners and teachers (K-12) have benefited from the step-by-step guidelines and practical tools in this influential go-to resource, now revised and expanded with six new chapters. The third edition presents effective ways to assess students' strengths and weaknesses, create supportive instructional environments, and promote specific skills, such as organization, time management, sustained attention, and emotional control. Strategies for individualized and classwide intervention are illustrated with vivid examples and sample scripts. In a large-size format for easy photocopying, the book includes 38 reproducible forms and handouts. Purchasers get access to a Web page where they can download…


Book cover of Self-Reg: How to Help Your Child (and You) Break the Stress Cycle and Successfully Engage with Life

Rebecca Branstetter Why did I love this book?

This book is great for parents because it not only explains why children with executive functioning struggle with managing their behaviors, but it also explains how parents can respond differently. He provides examples of how parents can shift from reacting with anger and frustration to a child’s difficulties to modeling and teaching children to calm themselves and bring their rational thinking brain back online.

By Stuart Shanker,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Self-Reg as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There's no such thing as a bad kid. That's what a lifetime of experience has taught Dr. Stuart Shanker. No matter how difficult, out of control, distracted, or exhausted a child might seem, there's a way forward: self-regulation. Overturning decades of conventional wisdom, this radical new technique allows children and the adults who care for them to regain their composure and peace of mind.

Self-Reg is a groundbreaking book that presents an entirely new understanding of your child's emotions and behavior and a practical guide for parents to help their kids engage calmly and successfully in learning and life. Grounded…


Book cover of The Classroom Mystery: A Book about ADHD

Rebecca Branstetter Why did I love this book?

This picture book for elementary-aged students is a great one because it helps shift the focus of ADHD as a “deficit” to a potential strength. I’m a big believer in educating children with ADHD and executive functioning about how their brain works differently, which can sometimes be a good thing! This book can be read to students with or without ADHD and includes a page of discussion questions to build awareness and empathy for students with ADHD.

By Tracy Packiam Alloway, Ana Sanfelippo (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Classroom Mystery as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Someone has been stealing food from Snowball, the classroom pet bunny! Can Izzy use her SEN Superpowers to track down the culprit and save the day? SEN Superpowers: The Classroom Mystery explores the topic of ADHD with an empowering story and adorable illustrations.

The SEN Superpowers series celebrates the positive traits associated with a range of common SEN (Special Education Needs) conditions, boosting the confidence and strength-awareness of children with those conditions, while also allowing for better understanding and positivity among their peers. Each book includes a page of discussion points about the story, a page of tips for how…


You might also like...

Holy Food: How Cults, Communes, and Religious Movements Influenced What We Eat - An American History

By Christina Ward,

Book cover of Holy Food: How Cults, Communes, and Religious Movements Influenced What We Eat - An American History

Christina Ward Author Of Holy Food: How Cults, Communes, and Religious Movements Influenced What We Eat - An American History

New book alert!

Who am I?

For me, history is always about individuals; what they think and believe and how those ideas motivate their actions. By relegating our past to official histories or staid academic tellings we deprive ourselves of the humanity of our shared experiences. As a “popular historian” I use food to tell all the many ways we attempt to “be” American. History is for everyone, and my self-appointed mission is to bring more stories to readers! These recommendations are a few stand-out titles from the hundreds of books that inform my current work on how food and religion converge in America. You’ll have to wait for Holy Food to find out what I’ve discovered.

Christina's book list on the hidden history of America

What is my book about?

Does God have a recipe? Independent food historian Christina Ward’s highly anticipated Holy Food explores the influence of mainstream to fringe religious beliefs on modern American food culture.

Author Christina Ward unravels how religious beliefs intersect with politics, economics, and, of course, food to tell a different story of America. It's the story of true believers and charlatans, of idealists and visionaries, and of the everyday people who followed them—often at their peril.

Holy Food explains how faith pioneers used societal woes and cultural trends to create new pathways of belief and reveals the interconnectivity between sects and their leaders.

Holy Food: How Cults, Communes, and Religious Movements Influenced What We Eat - An American History

By Christina Ward,

What is this book about?

Does God have a recipe?

"Holy Food is a titanic feat of research and a fascinating exploration of American faith and culinary rites. Christina Ward is the perfect guide – generous, wise, and ecumenical." — Adam Chandler, author of Drive-Thru Dreams

"Holy Food doesn't just trace the influence that preachers, gurus, and cult leaders have had on American cuisine. It offers a unique look at the ways spirituality—whether in the form of fringe cults or major religions—has shaped our culture. Christina Ward has gone spelunking into some very odd corners of American history to unearth this fascinating collection of stories…


Genres
  • Coming soon!

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in ADHD, executive function, and parenting?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about ADHD, executive function, and parenting.

ADHD Explore 29 books about ADHD
Executive Function Explore 5 books about executive function
Parenting Explore 326 books about parenting