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Hi Dr. Silver,

My son forgets things in school, on the bus, in the park etc. He needs a reminder or he will forget things.

Is this related to any disability? If so, how can he be helped? Also, could it be possible that he can’t process multiple tasks at the same time?

Without your son’s age, I cannot be specific. But the behaviors you describe suggest that he might have what is called an executive function disorder. He has difficulty organizing schoolwork, and loses, forgets, misplaces papers and other materials. He gets to school and leaves things at home. Then he leaves school and forgets things that need to come home. He might have similar difficulties with his personal belongings (coat, pencils, etc.).

If he has executive function disorder, it might be a reflection of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Inattentive Type or it might be a reflection of a learning disability. I would discuss these problems with his teacher. If the teacher notices the problems as well, speak with the principal about the possibility of having a special education team evaluate him.

(If you want to read more about these problems, look in my book, The Misunderstood Child, Fourth Edition(opens in a new window), published by Random House/Three Rivers Press.)

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